As a parent, you may want to look into getting a pet for you and your family. This gives you potentially a few options, with the most popular three being cat, dogs and rabbits. For the sake of this argument, we will focus on rabbits as the pet of choice for you and your family.
You Will Need More Than One
“Studies have shown that rabbits value the company of other rabbits as much as they value food. We wouldn’t dream of keeping food from them would we? So why starve them emotionally by keeping them alone?” – Rabbit Welfare
Rabbits are naturally social animals, meaning they will need companionship in the form of additional rabbits within your home and garden. In general, they will most likely be happier living in pairs or bigger groups than they would on their own, as they could become lonely.
You can try and get a neutered male and a neutered female to live together, or siblings who are neutered to prevent any fighting.
You could consider pairing older rabbits to live together happily too. Firstly, it will help to still have adults neutered as this will keep them healthier and make them less likely to not get along. It could also be a good idea to pair two rabbits together who are of the same age and the same size, as they could have a better chance of getting along. You may also have to consider the personalities of the rabbits and pair some that don’t have conflicting personalities.
Read more about Rabbit Companionship here: https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-care-advice/behaviour/rabbit-companionship/
Why Your Rabbit Will Need To Be Neutered
One of the main reasons that people choose to neuter rabbits is to help calm down raging hormones that make them more aggressive towards other rabbits, as well as help prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Having neutered rabbits could make it easier for you to manage them as a full-time parent. That’s because they may spend less time fighting and be calmer, allowing you to spend more time caring for your children. These neutered rabbits will be more relaxed in nature and could help save you from stress.
Unspayed females are at very high risk of two potentially fatal conditions. uterine cancer and pyometra (infection of the uterus/womb). These can both be fatal.
Read more about the reasons for and advantages of neutering your rabbits here: https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-health/medical/neutering/.
How To Feed Your Rabbit
It could also benefit you to understand what a rabbit eats, as this will help you understand what food you need to purchase, and how to effectively give them care. Clean and fresh drinking water alongside quality hay or grass will most likely make up the majority of your rabbits’ diet.
Rabbits will graze naturally for this food you provide for long periods at a time, as their digestive systems will need grass and hay to function properly. Their additional daily veg should be washed dark leafy green vegetables and herbs. You should only give them root vegetables such as carrots and fruits in small amounts as a treat, no more than once or twice a week, if at all.
Consider adjusting the amount they eat if they are becoming overweight or underweight, this will allow you to try and keep them as healthy as you possibly can, whilst juggling family tasks.
Read more about feeding your rabbit here: https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-care-advice/rabbit-diet/greens-veg-herbs/
Ensuring Your Rabbit Gets The Right Amount Of Care
Your rabbits will need your love, time, and attention.
Whilst you may be busy as a full-time parent, you or others within your family will have to ensure you are giving your rabbit the best care possible. They are not the most difficult of pets to manage or care for, but you will still need to provide a high standard of dedication.
This could mean you may have to provide them a shelter of some kind. Consider if you will house them in a large enclosure in the garden, or if you will keep them indoors. You may also need to think about the bedding you use, as some indoor rabbits may use a litter tray, which they shouldn’t sleep in.
The ideal bedding for rabbits comes in the form of paper bedding, or something similar to that material. Not only is this material commonly available from most pet shops, it also is preferred by rabbits.
Having a rabbit, like with any pet, is expensive. Please make sure you can afford the extra expense before you adopt. You may also need to think about rabbit insurance options from a provider such as Everypaw so that you and your family have reassurance going forward. This could help you get access to a vet team 24/7 for any health or care needs that you’re concerned about, with various lifetime policies available.
Think About How Long A Rabbit Lives
As a full-time parent, it may be worth your time to consider how long a rabbit typically lives. Depending on the current age of your child and the age of the potentially adopted pet, it could be worth thinking about how much of a commitment you’re making.
It’s very possible that your children will grow up with this pet for most of their childhood, so it may be better to find a window that they can grow up with the animal for the most time possible.
Typically speaking, a domesticated rabbit can live anywhere from 8-12 years. There may be other factors that could increase or decrease this figure, with certain breeds of rabbits also differing.
You May Need To Find Time To Clean Their Living Space
“A hutch is not enough!” Please remember, rabbits need to be housed in an enclosure that’s at least 3m x 2m x 1m high. When I was a child, rabbits were often kept in garages or converted sheds. Nowadays, a lot more rabbits are housed within the warm home.
You may need to clean a rabbit living space daily, completing such tasks as removing uneaten food that could go rotten, and washing out any food bowls or water bottles ready to be refilled once again.
There may also be other bits that need cleaning up, such as water spills or urine clumps outside of their typical litter area. For indoor litter boxes, you may need to scoop out the excess regularly and refill it.
Remember the more space, rabbits have to live in and play, the better. Read more about housing your bunnies here: https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-care-advice/rabbit-housing/convert-a-garden-shed/
Consider Their Play Space And Attention Needs
As is the case for most pets, rabbits will need time to exercise as well as play. Exercise may come in the form of running around in their fenced garden area or indoor living space, and play may come in the form of cardboard tubes and little rattly things that they can roll about to keep them entertained and busy. While outdoors, some rabbits like to dig, so you may have to keep an eye out for that.
Please take a look at Rabbit Welfare before you adopt your rabbits to check that you can give them the best life possible, as they deserve.
Donate to Rabbit Welfare here: https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-welfare-association-fund/support-us/donate/