Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Bunny PSA

(Above: Rabbits on display in a pet store)
It's that time of year again. Pet stores pray for a good turn out every year and most gets their wishes. Mothers and fathers love the looks on their little ones' faces when they see a cute little fuzzy rabbit, with a wiggly nose, and soft ears and whiskers. Sure, they're small enough now, and seem like a great idea for an Easter present, but PLEASE DON'T fall into the Easter= rabbit for Junior. Don't buy one because it seems like a good idea at the time.
Rabbits are a life long commitment, at least 5-10 years depending in the breed. If you can't or won't take at least an hour out of your day to play, groom, and check over your rabbit, clean their potty pan/litter box (yes, rabbits can be box trained) 1-2 times a week and be prepared to spend 30$ weekly for romaine lettuce, hay, and pellets, don't get one.
Rabbits are considered exotic animals and most vets will see them but many are not well versed in rabbit. Specialist are well versed and will be better qualified (meaning experience, but meaning more expensive too).
Rabbits are the only mammal that can neither pass gas, burping or otherwise, or vomit. Therefore, if your bunny gets a hair ball he cannot spit it up like a cat. That's a trip to the bunny doctor. Nail trimming, teeth examining, shots, well being, all things the bunny doc will do for your exotic treasure.
I'm not saying don't get one if you want one, just know they're expensive and time consuming. But if you're heart is in it, it's also very rewarding. Though similar to cats, they are very playful like dogs. They give kisses and click their teeth, and jump and bound around when happy. With a personality bigger than body.

(Above: My home set up for Joey and Alfy)
I know both sides of the "Easter bunny." Joey was an Easter bunny bought for brother when I was a sophmore in high school. Like most people will do, we were unknowingly killing Joey very slowly. We only fed him iceberg lettuce, which is just water basically, and carrots, which are full of sugar and fat. Nothing heathy really. Within two years Joey hadn't gained any weight and was being to loss fur from his legs and belly. Luckily, E's (we were dating at the time) mom had been raising house rabbits for awhile and set me straight on a lot of things that a lot of people get wrong if they're not ready or educated for a bunny. Joey's story has a happy ending. He got better with proper care and nutrition and is still alive, living into a very old age.

(Above: Alfy in his potty pan)
We have had three rabbits altogether. Colby, who we rescued because he was a school rabbit not wanted and yet again another instance where he was not properly cared for and he unfortunately passed away two years ago because that poor care caught up to him. And Alfy, whom we got right before Colby passed away as a baby from the pet store.

(Above: Joey on his shelf)
In short, I don't want to tell you what to do or what not to do, but please know the facts. Our animal shelters are packed to the brim with animals that people picked up and brought home before they truly understood what they were doing and got rid of because they couldn't take care of that animal or didn't want anymore. Be educated and be prepared. Make wise decisions before you commit to something you weren't ready to commit to. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them or point you in the right direction if I cannot answer them for you.

Happy Easter!

1 comment:

  1. I've also read rabbits have a very distinct "aloof" personality- even more so than a cat! Not to mention the chewing... I don't know if that's true or not, but it's always been in the back of my mind when I was tempted by a little bunny in the pet store. I agree that you shouldn't get into ownership of any animal of them without proper research and preparation.


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