Rabbits are the third most popular pet in the United States. As is the case with any animal, there are a lot of upsides to owning a rabbit but there are also some downsides as well. This article will discuss the pros and cons of owning a rabbit as a pet so that you can decide whether to get one of these great animals.
The Pros of Owning a Rabbit
There are many positives to owning a rabbit. Let’s discuss a few of the reasons why rabbits are so popular as pets.
The Cute Factor
Most people will agree that animals are super adorable. Across all breeds, their large ears, twitchy noses, and small frames are what attract people to them at first. Many rabbits have soft fur and there are breeds that have long, luxurious fur. Many children also want a rabbit as a pet because they look like a cute stuffed animal that is a great cuddle buddy.
Pet rabbits live an average of 10 years. This longevity makes them appealing to someone who wants a long-term furry companion. In some cases, pet rabbits have been known to live as long as 20 years. This long lifespan is comparable to that of a dog.
Peace and Quiet
Rabbits are low on the noise threshold when you compare them to some other pets like dogs. Rabbits are perfect for an environment that has noise restrictions like apartments or condos or if you need quiet sometimes for work meetings.
Rabbits follow almost the same sleep schedule as humans. Rabbits are most active at dusk and dawn, but you don’t have to worry about your rabbit making enough noise to wake you up at 3 am.
Rabbits need little room to be content and they don’t take up much space in your home when compared to dogs and cats. A rabbit’s hutch should be at least four times the size of the rabbit.
While that may sound like a lot, smaller rabbits like hutches that are 24” by 36”. These cages can be placed in the corner of one room and serve as a hub for the rabbit’s life. You don’t need a large backyard to house your pet and they don’t require daily walks.
Rabbits are rarely recognized for their intelligence but they should be. Rabbits can use logic to solve problems and even be taught tricks. Bunnies can learn nearly an infinite amount of tricks.
These tricks include jumping or hopping to a certain location, coming when called, rolling over, and so much more. Having a bunny that knows tricks will add to the entertainment value of owning them. Rabbits that don’t know tricks can be fairly entertaining as well, as observing bunnies go about their daily lives is enthralling on its own.
Rabbits are social creatures and they enjoy the company of their human companions. When a rabbit trusts you they will be more affectionate and want to snuggle and cuddle and pet. If you want an affectionate pet, rabbits are a good option, they aren’t like cats who can sometimes want affection and other times act sneaky and want their space.
The Cons of Owning a Rabbit
Although there are many benefits to owning a rabbit we should also talk about the cons. Not every type of pet is right for everyone and looking at the cons will help you decide if a rabbit is right for you.
All animals, including humans, excrete waste. Rabbits can dispel up to 500 pellets every day. Rabbit droppings are small, making them more manageable than a horse’s droppings, but they are numerous.
If you keep your rabbit in a cage, their pellets can often accumulate at the bottom of the cage, creating a mat and preventing other droppings from falling into the waste catch below. The accumulation of waste can create quite a stench so you’ll need to clean your rabbit’s cage often.
Not cleaning your rabbit’s cage can attract mice and insects, and it can even lead to disease in the rabbit.
Rabbits can and will chew anything in sight. Rabbits teeth are constantly growing so they commonly chew to keep their teeth at a reasonable length. Rabbits can also chew out of boredom. Wooden furniture and electrical wires will definitely get a few teeth marks on them if you don’t watch your bunny carefully as they will definitely chew up anything, they can get their mouth on.
To help with the chewing, give your bunny plenty of stimulation with human interaction and chew toys. Redirect your bunny to their chew toy whenever they begin gnawing on something inappropriate.
Rabbits need considerably less space than their larger pet counterparts like dogs and cats but they do take up more room than other small pets.
Small reptiles and spiders can be contained in five-gallon terrariums, and even ball pythons only need a 30-gallon tank. Even smaller means of containment include fish bowls that take up just a few inches of counter space.
Rabbits are small but powerful creatures. Unfortunately, they can become injured easily. Rabbits come in various sizes but even larger rabbits can be easily injured by improper handling.
Bunnies are often given to children as pets, but children should be old enough to be trained on how to properly handle their bunny and comprehend the consequences of improper handling.
So, Should You Get a Rabbit?
Hopefully looking at the pros and cons of getting a rabbit will help you decide whether you should welcome a bunny into your home. There are some downsides to every type of pet, like cats for example, but more rabbit owners find that the joy of owning these adorable creatures far outweigh any potential cons.