Dd3 wants a rabbit.advice please(12 Posts)
So lil zoo wants a rabbit. Has done for near a year.she's 9 now. Quite responsible and as we've never had one before we went pets at home to a bunny workshop today.
Some advice conflicting-esp about care,his often take vet and concerns regarding cats(I have fairly placid tom,but lots aggressive Toms use my garden as a toilet)if it's to be outside
Can someone please offer some sensible advice to a beginner please!?
You need a pair. One will be lonely. They need a lot of space, a standard hutch is not enough: they need an outdoor foxproof run as well. Vet bills are high for rabbits- ours needed an op to grind down teeth and it was £280.
Rabbits should never live without another bunny friend, they are very social animals. Anyone willing to sell you just one is to be avoided.
This website has some good info
Rabbits are social animals, not solitary, so they should be kept in pairs at least.
There's lots of good care information on the Rabbit Welfare Association site. They aren't the easiest animals to keep properly and they also tend not to be very keen on being picked up or handled too much.
Places like PaH tend to give relatively poor advice, especially when it comes to housing. Rabbits need plenty of space and many of the hutches and cages sold in pet shops aren't remotely big enough. The RWA started the A Hutch is Not Enough campaign to address this.
If you do decide to go ahead and get some rabbits please consider rescuing some. There are lots of rabbit rescues and endless rabbits in need of a home. The advantage of rescuing is that you can get a bonded pair right from the start and they will often have been neutered and vaccinated before you adopt. Rabbit Rehome is a great site to look for rescue bunnies.
Get guinea pigs instead. They're a lot easier to handle and generally easier and less high maintenance to keep.
Rabbits really don't like being cuddled or picked up and they can kick/scratch quite hard.
Having given in to pressure 7 years ago re: a rabbit for DS - my honest answer is I don't think they make great pets tbh.
If I had my time again I wouldn't do it.
Indoors they gnaw on everything - the bottom of my kitchen units got trashed when I allowed her in the kitchen for a few hours for DS to play with her.
Despite having ours from a baby and being handled regularly, tbh she really doesn't like it and scratches/kicks out. She will sit and be stroked if she's had a good run about though - but not before that.
Ours is outside and we invested in a hutch that has a large integrated run. Even so we rabbit proofed the garden so we can let her out to run around.
It's then I feel very sorry for her. Their legs are so powerful and they are so fast, it must be awful to be cooped up an a basic hutch. Even with a run like we have, she still sprints out the door when allowed to roam in the garden - stretching her legs and jumping. They are just not suitable animals to be caged imho - which is why we let ours out as often as possible.
Getting a decent hutch cost £400 from memory and then the vets bills/food & bedding/proofing the garden/bunnery fees whilst on holiday etc must have cost us well over £1500 over the years.
As I said - I wouldn't do it again.
Just to add - ours was originally one of 2 siblings having been advised not to get just one.
However, one died a few years ago and I do think our remaining rabbit is lonely but I couldn't face getting another and also there was a risk they would fight.
Also, rabbits can live to be 12 years old. Depending on how old your DD is now, are you willing to perhaps be left looking after it when she goes off to college/university? Or moves to a place where there is no garden? As a friend of mine once commented, he got a rabbit for his 10th birthday and still had it at 22 when he was rather past the stage of having a pet rabbit.
Guinea pigs are much better pets and won't need to go to the vet as their teeth don't grow so much. They very rarely bite and scratch. Are generally placid little characters 😊
Don't get a rabbit. I've had piggies and rabbits (not living together) and rabbits need to be treated like a cat or dog with freedom to roam to be really happy. They're fantastic if you have the space inside and out. Otherwise piggies are perfect, less indoor and outdoor space needed, and they'll mow your lawn.
If you get guinea pigs (at least 2!) I'd recommend always letting them roam free in the garden, with plenty of fox and cat proof bolt holes. We accidentally didn't shut their cage once, but they didn't run away, they just... plodded around. We then blocked off all holes around our fence and under our gate and let them be free range guinea pigs. They were so happy and calm from then on, and we didn't have to clean their hutch as much. Also meant that we didn't have to worry about them getting sick in spring from eating grass because they had grass in winter too. Another thing I'd recommend in winter is installing a little heat lamp for their hutch for the days where you don't being them inside. They used to cuddle up to it so they certainly appreciate it. They come from South America, they're not equipped to deal with UK winter on their own!
Ours got very depressed when his brother died. He stopped running about and just sat in his bedroom all day. He died a few months later and was probably glad of it we tried to play with him lots but I'm sure it wasn't the same
We had a rabbit that made it to 13!
They aren't always easy to handle. They require MUCH more space than the average run or hutch.
We had one with misaligned teeth and that cost lots in vets fees as they had to be clipped.
They are vulnerable to things like fly strike and can go downhill very quickly.
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