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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

easter bunnies part two: the good, the bad, and the fluffy

Miss Holly
Let's be honest, I could talk for days about the joys of having a rabbit as a pet.  It is my one of favorite topics of conversation besides food and crafts.  Since bringing home my little guy, I have had so many questions and opinions about bunnies brought to me.  I would like to take a chance to clear some things up and hopefully shed some light on whether a house rabbit is a good choice for you. This is not a complete novel on the thrills and spills of having a house rabbit so I recommend the links in my previous blog post easter bunnies part one.  Taylor and I are also more than willing and in fact would be thrilled to answer any questions you have about raising a house rabbit, so feel free to leave your comments and questions!
Miss Daisy
Probably, the concern I hear most and heard most when I told my reluctant family and friends that I wanted a house rabbit was that they smell.  Rabbits do smell but they do not stink! Everything smells like something.  My bunny smells like fresh spring air even in the dead of winter (not kidding you could market that scent!).  Bunnies are fastidious little creatures and can not stand to be dirty for long.  They actually clean themselves more than cats!
Mr. Moustachio
Rabbit urine however does smell. Fortunately, bunnies are easily litter box trained.  Rabbits like most animals will find a certain special area to relieve him/herself and stick to that spot.  The trick is to find that spot and place a litter pan there.  I recommend the triangle high back pans (our little man used to hang his booty off the lip of a regular cat pan and pee down the side).  Then be diligent and clean out those pee spots from the litter pan. We clean Mr. Moustachio's pan every other day and found a litter that can actually be flushed. If taken care of properly you should not notice any unpleasant smells caused by your rabbit.
A lot of parents have approached me in the last few years on getting a house rabbit for their children.  Most articles will warn parents away from bringing a rabbit into a house with children mainly because bunnies are fragile, they are not toys, and they do not like to be picked up and hauled around (at least most don't).  I do not believe that a bunny is a bad pet for children though.  I think it is important to teach our children how to respect and handle all creatures in nature.  It can be an important lesson for a child or anyone to learn that although cute and fluffy bunnies are not solely here for our whims and wills but creatures with their very own needs and concerns.  As I touched on in the previous entry, bunnies are prey animals and are survivalists.  They have very sharp nails and one heck of a chomp.  If threatened they will not think twice to defend themselves. But when they learn to trust their housemates they can be incredibly sweet and loving. Bunnies love to be petted and to play.
Fact: Rabbits like to chew. Bunnies like to chomp down on carrots, parsley, paper, walls, shoes, coffee table legs, power cords, and kale.  In fact they need to chew to keep their teeth worn down which I guess doesn't give you a ton of solace when your furniture has little teeth trademarks. A word of advice, offer your little friend plenty of things to chew on: newspaper, natural wood blocks, timothy hay, cardboard, and don't forget plenty of fresh veggies. And watch your rabbit at all times! Some of the things they will find can be more of an inconvenience to you but some can be quite dangerous for your little buddy as well (i.e. power cords).
Lastly, get your little friend spayed/neutered.  It will make litter training easier, keep your feet free from awkward humpings, and most importantly extend the life of you rabbit. By the way a rabbit can live for ten years so please be ready for the commitment if you decide to make it! 


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