There’s a lot of misinformation floating around about rabbits in the animal world. Today we look at the nine most common.
Rabbit are easy, low-maintenance beginner pets.
Although rabbits may not need daily walks like a dog, rabbits are anything but low-maintenance. Their living space needs a daily clean and they need at least an hour of exercise. Fresh water and food must be offered daily, including a salad of well-washed dark green leafy vegetables. Like dogs or cats, some rabbits will develop chronic health issues and can require regular (and sometimes expensive) medical treatment.
Rabbits only live a year or two; no long-term commitment required!
This is where dogs and rabbits are similar: their life span is about the same as some dog breeds. Well-cared for, indoor rabbits can live 7-10 years and sometimes even into their teens!
Rabbit don’t need to see the vet.
While rabbits may not need annual vaccinations, regular trips to the vet help to detect small problems before they become big ones.
Rabbit are happiest outdoors in a backyard hutch.
Rabbits are gregarious creatures who enjoy social contact and interactions with their family. Those kept as outdoor pets are often quickly forgotten once the novelty of a new pet wears off. Extreme weather is dangerous to rabbits, as are the diseases spread by fleas, ticks, flies and mosquitoes. All of these factors can adversely affect their life span and health. The simplest and most enjoyable way to ensure the health and happiness of your rabbit is to keep him indoors as a member of your family.
Rabbits are dirty and smelly.
Once mature, litter-trained and either spayed or neutered, rabbits are immaculate creatures! They go to great lengths to not mess up their living quarters. Like cats, rabbits are very willing to use their litter box, as long as it is kept clean. All rabbits from Calgary Humane come spayed or neutered, so you’re already one step closer to cleanliness!
Rabbits love to be picked up and cuddled and don’t scratch or bite.
Like any animal, some rabbits enjoy being handled and others may not. If rabbits are mishandled, they may nip to protect themselves. Many rabbits prefer to be the one to initiate contact and enjoy sidling up to people to get affection.
Rabbits, especially dwarf breeds, do not require a large living space.
Rabbits have powerful hind legs designed for running and jumping. The need a living space that will allow them lots of freedom of moment, even when they are confined. A growing trend is having a free-range rabbit, much like a cat or a dog in your home. They have an area for their litter box and food and water, but are allowed to roam freely in the home. Think how cute it would be to have your rabbit greet you at the door!
Rabbits can be left alone for a day or two when owners travel.
Rabbits need daily monitoring. Problems that are relatively minor in some species, for example not eating for a day or two, may be life-threatening in rabbits and require medical attention.
Rabbits only need to eat rabbit food and carrots.
Your rabbit is not a cartoon character who can subsist off carrots! Timothy hay is the single most important component of a rabbit’s diet and should be given on a daily basis. Choice vegetables are required in small doses, as are rabbit pellets.