DAYTON — Rabbits make amazing pets and can bring joy to a family, but especially around Easter some people adopt a bunny for the holiday without fully understanding the commitment and responsibility that comes along with being a pet owner.
Did you know that rabbits typically live between eight and 10 years and require the same long-term care as other pets, such as cats or dogs? Despite what people may think, rabbits are not low-maintenance pets and they have specific dietary needs and must be handled with care, according to a release from the Humane Society of Greater Dayton.
For those considering a bunny or rabbit, the humane society recommends not rushing into it for Easter.
Start by giving a stuffed toy bunny to your child, and if after the holiday the child is adamant about getting a pet rabbit, buy a book on rabbit care. The humane society recommends the “House Rabbit Handbook” by Marinell Harriman.
The Humane Society of Greater Dayton has a number of bunnies and rabbits available for adoption, and volunteers who can answer questions and help decide the type and breed of rabbit that best fits your family.
Never thought about adopting a rabbit before? Here are the reasons why they make fantastic pets:
- They don't require a lot of space. When housed indoors, they can be kept in a suitable sized cage or exercise pen. They need a cage large enough for them to move around comfortably, hold a litter pan, contain their food and water and allow a spot for resting or hiding. Some rabbits can even be kept like cats and have free range of the home with litter box training and bunny proofing. Give them plenty of time each day outside their cage to stretch their legs and hop around and play.
- Rabbits are quiet pets. They make little to no noise and will keep you and your neighbors happy.
- They are social companions, form strong bonds. Rabbits are curious, playful and social creatures that enjoy spending time with their owners. They also enjoy other family members, children and pets with adult supervision.
- Rabbits can have big personalities. Just like cats or dogs, each rabbit has its own distinct personality, from being very affectionate and playful to shy or reserved. Spend time with the bunny to make sure you are a good match.
- You can train your rabbit. Rabbits are very smart and with proper positive reinforcement can be trained like other pets. They instinctively will use a litter box if they've been spayed or neutered and it's readily available to them.
- There is a rabbit for everyone. Just as with dogs, cats or other animals, there are dozens of sizes, colors and temperaments in rabbits.
- Rabbits can live a long life. When kept indoors and cared for with proper diet and grooming, a rabbit can live eight to 10 years.