The following are statements you hear time and time again from people that are new to rabbits. All are completely incorrect and here we explain why…
1 Rabbits are boring and don’t have much personality!
Wrong – all rabbits have so much personality and every single one is different & they are far from boring! This statement is usually made by someone that has a rabbit stuck in a small hutch at the end of the garden or just doesn’t spend time with their rabbit. If rabbits have toys to play with, space to run around and company, then they are extremely entertaining and very intelligent too! If stuck in a small cage where they can hardly move & have nothing to play with, then what do you expect!
2 Having a rabbit live indoors with you is weird!
Wrong – it is not weird, it is wonderful. Rabbits make the perfect pet as they are easy to house train and toilet train. They are extremely clean animals and are great company too.
3 Rabbits are really easy to look after – You don’t need to tend to them as much as a dog!
Wrong – if you are thinking like this before you get a rabbit then we would advise you not to bother. All pets are there for you to tend to their every need and whatever time that takes is the time you need to put in. Rabbits need lots of looking after and not just time to look after them but time to spend socialising with them too.
4 A rabbit will make the ideal pet for my child, it will teach my child about responsibility!
Wrong – No parent you should ever think like this! Far too often you hear some parents say ‘It will be their responsibility & I will have nothing to do with it & if they don’t look after it then we will take it away’. Your pet rabbit should be the families pet – the same as a dog or cat would be. Everyone should help to look after them. To expect a young child to look after a rabbit on their own is completely irresponsible. Please do not think you are correctly teaching your child about responsibility by doing this, there are other ways to teach your child that do not include a live animal and the potential of the live animal becoming abandoned.
5 Rabbits love being picked up!
Wrong – Not all rabbits like to be picked up. Rabbits are prey animals and the minute they are picked up off the floor they can become terrified, as this is what a predator would do before killing them and this is the reason most rabbits do not enjoy being handled. They love to be fussed, but most rabbits will prefer to snuggle up to you whilst they are still on the floor laying next to you, rather than being picked up.
6 You don’t have to take a rabbit to see a vet!
Wrong – Rabbits need vaccinations each year and all rabbits will need to be neutered/spayed. Also a rabbits health is very complicated so you may find yourself at the vets for various health issues concerning your rabbits. Health checks are also needed on a regular basis and your vets can help with this as it is very difficult to carry out health checks alone.
7 Rabbits are really cheap pets to keep!
Wrong – Rabbits can be costly to look after. You will need money for the vet bills (it’s always good to have some put by for unexpected emergencies), money if you wish to insure your rabbits, money for the weekly bedding and food and also lots & lots of fresh hay for them to eat. You will also need money to keep their accommodation in good condition & eventually the accommodation may need replacing.
8 A rabbit only needs a small hutch to live in!
Wrong – Hutches need to be at least 6ft by 3ft by 3ft and they will need an additional exercise area of 8ft by 4ft by 3ft. No longer is a hutch enough. Always think the bigger their accommodation the better. There are lots of great ideas that are classed as ideal rabbit homes, from sheds with runs attached to dog kennels and hutches placed inside aviaries. For more information on housing visit Housing ideas
9 Rabbit’s only eat carrots and lettuce!
Wrong – Carrots are high in sugar and can cause your rabbit health problems and should be fed as a small treat only. Lettuce has very little nutritional value and large amounts can upset their digestive system. Iceberg lettuce is poisonous to rabbits. Only dark leafy lettuce like Romaine lettuce should be fed in small quantities. A rabbits diet needs to consist of a good quality pellet (at least 18% fibre) various fresh vegetables or herbs (dried herbs are good also) and most importantly lots of fresh hay – different types are available and to give a selection is a great way to encourage them to eat hay everyday.
10 Rabbits are okay living on their own!
Wrong – Rabbits are sociable animals and love company and to have two rabbits is much better than one. They snuggle up to each other, clean each other and (although you can’t hear them) they talk to each other. If your rabbit is not going to live in the house with you and enjoy your company then it is always better to have 2 bunnies. Lots of rabbit rescues have plenty of bonded pairs of rabbits waiting for their forever home.