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

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.


  1. Those are adorable bunnies, and I do hope they find a home soon. But, I also hope people will take the time to research all about a bunny, as they should with any pet, before they adopt. We don't want the animal to end back up in the shelter.

  2. Hi Vicki: Thanks so much for participating in the adoptable rabbit blog hop. Your post was very informative and that means a lot. Hopefully I'll have some time to add more information to next year's help page. May I share some of your tips?

    Thanks again:

  3. Hi Carrie - thank you for the idea! I just wanted to share a few things that I learned from my own experience. You are welcome to share anything you think might be useful to other bunny lovers.

  4. Hi Vicki! You offered a tremendous amount of valuable information here! Awesome! BJC sounds like she fits right in with the cats, what with the "toys" she likes lol ... I've never had a bunny myself, but I've known people who did. The poor things sat in cages, lucky enough to get fed regularly.

    Thanks to you and BJC, people can learn just how wonderful a bunny can be - if they just know what to do for it. I read something about pens, that they allow more room to play than a cage - are they something to consider?

    Hare's hopping that lots of bunnies get super, loving homes! ;)

  5. Hi Kim - yes many people use exercise pens for bunnies either as play areas or to keep them in all the time (rather than a cage).

    BJC has a cage, but the door is open all the time so she can go in and out as she pleases. The only time she's ever in the cage with the door closed is when she's traveling in the car (either to the vet or on visits to family).

    She shares her bunny-proof room with the cats. It contains her cage, litter box & toys - plus four cat litter boxes & their toys. Everyone gets along fine!

  6. Bravo. Our family managed to successfully integrate a cat, 2 large dogs and a rambunctious puppy, with our bunny, Robby. With a few training sessions to help the dogs understand acceptable behavior, all went well.

    As Vicki described, bunny-proofing is extremely important. Each species seems to have their favorite chew toys and Robby's were iPod cords and the like. He also had an affinity for the buttons on remote controls :) We had to learn to keep these things put away or under rugs and behind furniture.

    Robby became an affectionate, friendly boy who enjoyed a good ear rub as much as a dog loves its belly stroked.

    My eldest son, who adopted Robby, has now taken him back in his adulthood (following college, he is on his own now) and I miss him terribly. Maybe the All Things Dog Blog bunch will have another rabbit in their future. Could we be the All Things Dog and Bunny Blog? Hmmm.....