Being a parent has the potential to be a full-time role. Juggling a whole host of responsibilities, there is no doubt you might find yourself busy more than you are relaxing. The prospect of adding a pet into the equation could be a thought that you would prefer not to contemplate; we understand!
At the same time, there might be some people reading this and beyond who are in the process of bringing a pet into their family home. Where should you begin when making such a decision? What factors might you need to take into account when adding more responsibility to your day-to-day schedule? It might be hard to know where to start, and you are most likely not the first person nor the last to feel that way.
Rabbits could make a loveable family pet and tend to fit well into the family home unit. Suppose you find yourself in a position where you might be considering bringing a rabbit into the family home. Read on to discover what you might need to know when making a decision like this.
Why Are Rabbits Popular Pet Choices For Families?
Rabbits are the third most popular pet choice in the UK. Following dogs and cats, rabbits could make a great addition to your home.
The British Rabbit Council, as of 2016, recognised over 60 different breeds of rabbits that could be ideal as pets for both families and others. Distinguishing which ones you might like to bring into your home could prove quite the task, especially as there are both indoor and outdoor rabbits to consider.
Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Rabbits and The Care They Require
The most popular means of looking after a rabbit might be keeping them outdoors in some form of a hutch or run. You should expect the demands and needs of your bunny to vary depending on whether you keep them indoors or outdoors.
When considering this as an option, you might need to think about the needs of a rabbit when they are in the wild. For the most part, they would require a safe space to rest and keep themselves safe from any potential predators. At the same time, you may want to ensure you are providing your rabbit with a suitable place to exercise. This includes attaching a sizeable run to the hutch they would be living in. The Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF) has detailed the recommended sizing guides for prospective rabbit owners to ensure their rabbits have an ideal and suitable space.
You may need to consider where you will move your rabbit in the colder months. You might need to provide extra bedding for nesting and burrowing and may need to move the hutch and exercise run into a sheltered place during notably colder weather. You could cover the hutch with a tarpaulin sheet or rabbit hutch cover sheet. This may prevent any adverse weather from affecting your rabbits, while it could also prevent any predators from spooking your rabbits.
You should be able to provide the same care for your rabbit, whether they are living indoors or not. You might want to ensure that your rabbit has an ideal space for sleeping and burrowing away and an adequately sized area for exercising also. You could consider sectioning off an area of a room in your home if you would prefer that over having a hutch inside.
You might consider having a means for your rabbit to access an outdoor area, whether for exercise or socialising. Rabbits are social animals. It would help if you thought about what you could do to fulfil your pet’s needs, which could even mean having more than one rabbit. It is recommended by numerous animal charities and organisations that rabbits should be kept in pairs as a means of fulfilling this social desire.
Why Do Rabbits Make Ideal Pets for Families?
Rabbits are knowledgeable pets and are capable of providing hours of entertainment through their capabilities of learning tricks. Much like other pets, rabbits require stimulation through a range of toys and other apparatus. This could be an ideal way for your children to get involved with their rabbit’s care; who doesn’t like playing with their pet after all?
At the same time, rabbits might need less work than other pets- for example, they don’t need walks like a dog. Every rabbit is different, so you should try to pick the right rabbit to ensure it fits in well with your family unit. Understanding your rabbit’s behaviour is paramount to integrating the rabbit into your family unit in a seamless way.
If you have thought that you might like to bring a rabbit into your family home, then you may well need to research and educate yourself on what you need to consider when doing just that.
What You Might Need When Bringing a Rabbit Home
You might need to make a list of what you may need when bringing your rabbit home, exceptionally if this would be your first time owning a rabbit as a pet. You may need to ‘bunny proof’ any areas of your home that your rabbit may be exploring. Taking these steps might prevent your bunny from causing any trouble and contribute to their overall safety somehow. It might be worth considering rabbit insurance, which might help cover any vets bills and other associated costs. Everypaw is an example of an insurance provider who could help you when faced with this potential situation.
You may need to invest in a variety of toys and stimulating objects for your rabbit as well. Rabbits get bored of their environments quite quickly if it does not fulfil their needs and may display this behaviour in a variety of different ways. You might need to vary what toys your rabbit is given on different days and mixing up their play routine might also go a long way in preventing boredom in your rabbit.
It might be worth considering the dietary requirements of your rabbit before you bring them home. You may need to purchase more specific food if you have a younger or older rabbit or one of a particular breed. You could encourage your children to get involved with this aspect of caring for your rabbit, which might lead to a relationship developing between the two parties.
What You Should Avoid
If you are contemplating bringing two rabbits home simultaneously, it might be worth getting two rabbits that are neutered. This might prevent you from taking on any extra responsibility associated with two rabbits mating. It may be worth getting a rabbit of both sexes; having two of the same might lead to confrontation and fighting amongst your rabbits, which you would not want.
You might find yourself learning new ways of caring for your rabbit as time goes along, and this may be the knowledge you can pass onto your children. You might want to supervise your children while attending to your rabbits. This could prevent injury from occurring to either party and should ensure everyone is happy.
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