As we get closer to Easter it is tempting to splurge on a cute and cuddly bunny as a gift for your children. We encourage all potential adopters to understand that rabbits require a commitment and can live for around 10 years when cared for properly. Don’t adopt a rabbit on a whim. Adopt a rabbit because you love rabbits and are willing to put in the commitment and love needed to give them a great forever home. If you can’t commit to a long-term pet, we recommend maybe giving your child a chocolate rabbit or a stuffed rabbit toy for Easter as an alternative.
Many people don’t realize that the Humane Society of Greater Dayton works with all types of animals. In fact, we have a rabitat at our shelter with some amazing bunnies and rabbits up for adoption. Rabbits can make amazing pets and can be trained similar to cats. If you have never considered adopting a rabbit before, check out these great reasons why a rabbit could make a great pet for your family!
Rabbits are quiet pets
If you live in a home where walls are thin and neighbors are less than enthusiastic to hear your pet barking, squawking or running amuck, consider adopting a rabbit. Rabbits make little to no noise and will keep both you and your neighbors happy.
You can train your rabbit
Rabbits are very smart animals and with proper positive reinforcements they can be trained like other pets. Rabbits instinctively will use a litter box, much like a kitten or cat, if they’ve been spayed or neutered and it is readily available to them. Some rabbits enjoy activities like agility courses and can be trained using clickers or treats such as fresh fruit. Depending on your rabbit’s personality and activity level, the possibilities are endless.
They are very social companions and form strong bonds
Rabbits are very curious, playful and social creatures that enjoy spending time with their owners. They can also enjoy socializing with other family members, children and pets with adult supervision. Some single rabbits bond so strongly with their owners that they come when called and even jump up onto an open lap.
Rabbits can live a long life
If you are looking for not just a loyal pet, but one that will be with you for a while, then a rabbit is perfect for you. When kept indoors and cared for with proper diet and grooming, a rabbit can live an average of eight to 10 years. Rabbits don’t require annual vaccinations, but do require care from a veterinarian that specialized in small animal medicine.
They don’t require a lot of space
If you live in an apartment or small space, a rabbit can be ideal for you. When housed indoors, they can be kept in a suitable-sized cage or exercise pen. They typically need a cage that is large enough for them to move around comfortably, hold a litter pan, contains their food and water and allows a spot for resting or hiding. Some rabbits can even be kept like cats and have free range of your home with proper litter box training and bunny proofing. Make sure to give them plenty of time each day outside of their cage to stretch their legs and hop around and play.
Rabbits can have big personalities
Just like cats or dogs, each rabbit has its own distinct personality. From being very affectionate and playful to rather shy or reserved, every rabbit is different. To make sure you are picking a rabbit that fits with your personality and needs, spend some time with the bunny first to make sure you are a good match. Often staff at your local shelter or rescue can help you select the rabbit that is best suited for you based on their experience with each rabbit.
There is a rabbit for everyone
Just as with dogs, cats or other animals, there are dozens of sizes, colors and temperaments in rabbits. It’s important to do your research before adopting to ensure you are getting a rabbit that would fit best with the needs of your household.
If you are interested in learning more about rabbits, please contact the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. We have many rabbits available for adoption and would love to have one of our Bunny Brigade volunteers help you find your perfect match!
Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded in 1902, it is the largest and most established no-kill animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937-268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.