Saturday, April 16, 2011
Bunny Blog Hop
Today is the first ever Easter Rabbit Adopt-a-thon and Bunny Blog Hop founded by my friend Carrie Boyko at All Things Dog Blog. In addition to being a dog lover, Carrie also has a rabbit named Robby who has been helping her readers learn how to prepare for adding a house rabbit to their furry families.
Rabbits are popular Easter gifts, but many people purchase them on impulse without taking the time to learn about a rabbit's special needs. Once the novelty of having these cute critters has worn off, many former Easter bunnies end up in shelters - or worse, turned loose. Domestic rabbits do not have the survival skills to adapt to living in the wild and ultimately become lunch for a predator.
If you would like to add a rabbit to your family, first do your homework! Rabbits make wonderful house pets, but they are different than owning a dog or cat. I recommend you visit the House Rabbit Society website, which is a great resource for prospective rabbit owners. I also recommend reading the House Rabbit Handbook by Marinell Harriman, which I used as my go-to guide when I first got BJC.
Once you've learned about the proper care and feeding of house rabbits, make sure you have a safe place to keep your new bunny. You will need a cage big enough for your rabbit to stand up and move around, but bunnies can't constantly be kept in a cage. Your rabbit needs at least 3-4 hours of exercise daily. You will need to bunny-proof an area to make sure there are no electrical cords or other hazards that your rabbit can get into.
Bunnies love to dig and chew, so make sure you have appropriate toys! You don't need to buy toys - BJC loves to play with cardboard boxes, paper towel rolls, brown paper bags, tissue paper, phone books, newspaper, etc.
And finally, rabbits are social animals. Your bunny will be very unhappy if constantly left alone. They need daily interaction with you. Take time to get down on the floor and play with your bunny on a daily basis. I also spend time each day combing and brushing BJC, which helps remove excess hair. Unlike cats, rabbits cannot cough up hairballs. An intestinal blockage is extremely dangerous and can result in death.
Once you're ready to get your bunny, remember to adopt - don't shop. Many, many rabbits are available at animal shelters, and there will be even more after Easter when people who purchased bunnies on impulse begin to regret their decision. Do yourself and your bunny a favor - wait to make sure that you are prepared to make a 8-12 year commitment, then visit your local animal shelter or Petfinder.com.
Here are just a few bunnies available on the Petfinder site:
Spanky is a small, adult female Dutch available at Animal Friends in Pittsburgh, PA.
Felicia is a young, female American Agouti available at the Animal Rescue League in Pittsburgh, PA.
Chloe is a 5 year-old female Checkered Giant available at the Western PA Humane Society in Pittsburgh, PA.