Not just dogs and cats need forever homes. Rabbits do too, and can often be found in animal shelters and rescues.
Rabbits can make great pets and companions, but as with any pet, there are factors to consider before bringing one into your home. It’s important to do your research to determine if a rabbit would make a good addition to your family. It’s also important to find out if your veterinarian treats rabbits; if not, ask your veterinarian for a referral to one who does. You want to make sure your new hoppy furball has access to any medical care needed!
Here are some factors to consider before you bring a rabbit home:
- Owning a rabbit is long-term commitment! Pet rabbits can live up to 12 years.
- If you have other pets in your home, consider whether a rabbit would get along with them. Generally speaking, rabbits tend to get along well with other pets, such as cats and dogs, but these often view rabbits as “prey,” so they should never be left alone together. And if you have a dog with a strong prey instinct, consider whether a rabbit will actually be a good fit in your home.
- Neutering/spaying your rabbit is important. Unspayed females can develop a number of health problems, including uterine cancer, anemia, and breast cancer. Neutering and spaying also removes the possibility of unwanted baby rabbits.
- Rabbits are intelligent and need mental stimulation. Make sure you have time to devote to a rabbit.
- Rabbits need to be handled with care to prevent serious injury; this is important to consider if you have young children or a very playful dog.
- Rabbits require a good diet and veterinary care just like any other pet; be sure to budget accordingly.
There are many benefits to adopting a rescue over purchasing a rabbit from a pet store:
- Many rescued rabbits are already litter-trained.
- Rescue or shelter staff and volunteers know the personalities of the rabbits and can help you find a good match for your family.
- Many rescued rabbits are used to living in homes with children and other pets.
- Rescued rabbits often have been spayed/neutered.
The greatest benefit to adopting a rescued rabbit is the gift of a forever home. By adopting a rescue, you give it the chance to live a happy, healthy, and full life. That would have any rabbit hopping for joy!