You’ll be my favorite creature
And here’s the reason why:
Your eyes are bright, your feet are swift
Your ears hear round the bend
But your very simple humbleness
Will steal the heart of men.
Together we shall thwart the pains
The gods do throw to earth
And turn aside their fiery darts
With merriment and mirth.
And when time comes that men forget
The lessons animals render
T’will be the humble rabbit
That mankind will remember.–S.J. Tucker, “Rabbit’s Song”
Rabbits have been increasingly popular pets, not only are they cute and fuzzy, they are also quite intelligent able to learn a number of tricks and even (to the delight of parents) learn how to be potty-trained.
Rabbits make great pets for a variety of home situations. Whether you have time on your hands or are a busy bee, Rabbits are more than capable of entertaining themselves while retaining their tameness and docile natures. However, it’s important that your Rabbit is able to interact with all members of the family on a frequent regular basis.
Though people often think that rabbits are content little animals put into small cages, it’s important to understand that these are active little guys and it’s important to have a relatively large cage for them to interact in, as well as sometime outside of their cage. It’s important to have a close supervision while a rabbit is roaming and playing outside of the cage else you might find it chewing your wires, your furniture and your walls!
Rabbits are also smarter than people realize, they are more than capable to learn tricks (such as sit or play dead) as well as certain behaviours that will benefit you as well–such as potty training.
Properly introduced rabbits can also make wonderful pet pals with other animals in the home, including dogs and cats.
Being a prey animal rabbits are often timid animals, quick to run at loud noises and sudden movements, it’s important to train your children (if you happen to have any) how to approach and handle rabbits appropriately and respectfully. Rabbits are loving and cuddly pets (though there are exceptions) and with their gentle natures and brain of theirs they will often come and play with members of the family voluntary. Some are even eager to play, standing on their hind legs.
Let’s talk about diet. It’s important get a good high value diet specifically geared for rabbits, you should be looking for a higher fibre content–for example Living World Extrusion. However, you should also be giving your rabbits hay (such as Timothy Hay), it is one of the most important factors in a rabbit’s diet. It’s full of fibre, which is instrumental to keeping that gut in good working condition.
Though not technically a “food” source, appropriate chew toys and treats (such as yogurt drops) are wonderful sources of entertainment, cutting down the teeth that continuously grow and provide a good balance of vitamins to a rabbit’s diet.
Of course there are various fruits and veggies that you can feed your rabbit as well to help balance and maintain a good diet. Stay away from potatoes, avocado, cabbage and onions (there are just some foods they can’t eat). Good foods you can give are dandelion (be careful of pesticides and insecticides), radishes, carrots, apples (no core or seeds), strawberries, raspberries, plums, celery and pears.
Playing with your rabbit can be one of the most rewarding experiences, not only are they quick to pick up concepts, they are quite engaging. Once you’ve gained their trust they are more than happy to interact. Capable of learning their names, like dogs many come when they are called, loved to be petted and played with, but thankfully like cats rabbits can also entertain themselves and take care of themselves. They are good pets for both the busy and not so busy household.
Rabbits, however, if playing outside should be carefully watched–not only are there predators on land and sky, but they are also quite susceptible to heat and are quicker to get heat stroke than we are. They should be given fresh, clean and cool water on hot days, and if you find the heat hard to deal with imagine how your rabbit is feeling.
There are countless species of rabbits, the most common are your lion heads, dwarves and regulars. There are also dutch, angora, rex, mini rex, silver marten and much, much more. Each equally making great pets.
These humble animals will be quick to win your hearts and affection, they are one pet that is quickly over looked, but perhaps shouldn’t be. They are simply wonderful pets to own, with their easy maintenance, ease of learning tricks and behaviors and their affectionate natures.