Do Rabbits Make Good Pets?

There are sometimes many challenges involved in keeping a pet rabbit. But there are lots of positives, too. Here are some of the pros and cons…

Rabbits can live a long time, sometimes as long as ten years. That in itself can be either a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view. People often view rabbits as something to amuse the kids when they’re yound. but having the life expectancy of a dog makes them a long term commitment. Think ahead.

Rabbits are suceptible to a few diseases that may be difficult to treat. Since rabbits can’t vomit, a hairball can cause them serious intestinal difficulty. A balance diet will help minimize the odds. They can contract something called RHD (Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease), a virus that can cause death. Even if they survive, they can spread it to other pet rabbits. Rabbits can be subject to flea and mite infestations, with all the potential problems that it brings.

Rabbits require some grooming, more than a cat, but considerably less than a dog. Though bathing them is unnecessary, and indeed not generally a good idea (rabbits can become overheated easily), they still benefit from a regular nail trim and brushing.

Some of that grooming effort is for the benefit of the rabbit, some of it is for you. Keeping your rabbit well brushed will help keep the amount of hair floating around the house down. Trimming their nails keeps them from being quite so destructive around the house if they’re left free to roam around.

A pet rabbit that is out of the cage can be quite destructive. They love to dig and they may chew almost incessantly. A rabbit’s teeth never stop growing and one way they keep them under control is to gnaw on things. That may be find outside, but in the house it can be a problem.

Rabbit proofing is the way to go here, but that involves though, effort, and sometimes a moderate expense. You’ll need to lay down covers for the couch or plastic laminates (such as those used under office chairs) and devise other protective measures. There are many ways to do this but it doesn’t have to be done often. Many people see the expense and effort as well worth it.

Veterinary care is important and, as it is for any pet, can be expensive and time consuming. But with rabbits there’s often an additional problem: few vets have much experience with pet rabbits. Often, the litte creatures just don’t get the attention a dog or cat might. When a rabbit becomes ill, they often die and are just replaced. That allows the vet fewer opportunities to treat them. Finding a good one in your location can be difficult.

With all that said, rabbits are still among the most fun and popular pets. They’re cute, soft and they exhibit a surprising array of amusing behaviors. They can run around and express joy. When not in a stressful situation, they can respond well to individual people, likem any other mammals. They are very affectionate, in their own way.

It’s hard to resist something as gentle, cute and full of life as a pet rabbit. Weigh the factors yourself, then be prepared for surprises, just as you would with any pet.

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