A guide to understanding if bunnies are the right pet for you.

By Madison Heim                                                                                       

In my personal experience, rabbit owners are extremely open when it comes to sharing the advantages and disadvantages of owning this cotton tailed critter. We have no issues sharing our experiences and will proudly tell you about the good, great, and bad days that come with rabbit ownership. 

Ask any bunny owner and they will tell you bunnies make wonderful additions to your family but depending on your circumstances may not be the ideal pet for you. These cute and adorable animals are not low maintenance pets like it is often assumed and instead are animals that are costly and require a lot of commitment to take care of. 

If you happen to find yourself in the market for getting a new furry companion, bunnies may be one of the options you are considering and before you jump headfirst into becoming a bun-parent, here are five things to know before you consider getting a pet rabbit. 

Bunny Careers

Out of all the jobs on the market, it would be wise for you to know that bunnies are interior decorators at heart and are not afraid to show you how their style is much more “bun-chic” than yours. They can chew, dig, and sometimes stop at nothing to decorate your home to how they see fit. The word, “No,” may stop some bunnies, but for many let it be known this word only fuels them to continue their destructive behaviour.

These fluffy butts are known to chew couches, mark territories with urine, chew baseboards (skirting boards) and make any cord within their vicinity wireless. Now, you may be asking why they are so destructive, and the answer is simple. Bunnies like to chew because their teeth are constantly growing. Chewing keeps their teeth worn down and while this can be annoying for us to experience; it is a completely normal behaviour. Besides giving dentists a run for their money, it should also be noted that other factors such as boredom can contribute to destructive habits.

To make your home bunny suitable, you have to be willing to make arrangements for not only your rabbit’s sake, but for yours. After all, it is not their fault your baseboards look so tasty and entertaining to munch on.

Noise Level

As someone who has a household full of dogs and guinea pigs, I am used to the occasional bark or wheek from my pets but once I added a bunny into the mix, I quickly learned that rabbits are incredibly quiet animals. Luckily, an animal having a quiet nature about them is a huge perk that some individuals look for when choosing a companion and bunnies one hundred percent check this box. However, just because they are quiet that does not mean they do not make any type of noise. Bunnies do make noise; you just must listen carefully.

 I strongly recommend any future bunny owner familiarise themselves with the different sound rabbits make such as: thumping, honking, growling, and teeth grinding.  Each noise indicates a different emotion and while bunnies mainly use body movement to convey how they are feeling, a few of the soft noises they make can help clue you in on understanding their mood.

Important Necessities

The first step to becoming a great bunny parent is to have the correct items to care for them. Concerning bunnies, they need an assortment of items such as a spacious home litter box, hay, bedding, toys as well as food and water. Out of all these items, water was one of the things that I did not think I was going to be needing a generous supply of but believe it or not, bunnies can drink up to 50-150 milliliters of water a day. One of the reasons that water is important for them to drink is because it helps them regulate their body temperature. 

To support their hydration needs, I have personally found that bowls work better than water bottles because bowls are much easier for them to drink out of. Nonetheless, make sure you offer fresh, clean water daily. 

Big Responsibilities

It is a huge common misconception that bunnies are pets you can stuff in a cage or hutch and forget about until you are ready to let them out. This is very cruel! The truth about these animals is they are social creatures and require lots of space and attention, which means they are an everyday responsibility.

Besides giving them attention, chores such as feeding, cleaning their home, and changing their litter are daily responsibilities you need to follow up on. Sure, it can be easy to imagine yourself happily taking care of your rabbit on your good, best days. But what about the days where you are tired, not feeling good or want to be lazy? These days happen and are okay to have, but you still have an animal that needs to be taken care of regardless of how you are feeling.

Rabbits rely on you and if you cannot commit the time to take care of them no matter what type of day you are having then unfortunately, this may not be the type of pet for you.

Personality Traits

Besides their cute looks, one of the most appealing traits about bunnies that made me want one was their personalities. A few common personalities that your bunny may have are being timid, curious, affectionate, stubborn, and even high spirited. It is important you understand that the way you want your bunny to act is not necessarily the type of rabbit you will get. Bunnies choose their personalities, not you and if you want your bun to have a certain personality, it is highly recommended (and encouraged) that you adopt because rescues already know the personality types of the bunnies they have in their care.  Adoption allows you to know what type of bunny you are getting beforehand and leaves no room for surprises, which is a win-win for everyone. 

Yet regardless of the type of bunny you get, one personality trait that all bunnies seem to have is a serious attitude problem. Bunnies have no issue holding grudges and giving you the cold shoulder if they deem you have done them wrong. Luckily, treats are one of the easiest solutions to getting back in their good graces. Nonetheless, no matter the type of bunny you get, you must be willing to love them unconditionally for who they are.

Final Thoughts

It is your personal responsibility to research prior to getting a pet and the lack thereof not only affects you but the animal you are bringing into your life. As a pet owner, you are responsible for ensuring an animal’s happiness and this is achievable through proper care.

These creatures have flaws, imperfections, and traits that you need to be willing to coexist with on a day-to-day basis. In their own unique ways, bunnies have a lot of love to give, and it takes a certain type of person willing to receive it.  

Written by Madison Heim, a first time bunny owner to her Holland Lop, Kodi. Madison enjoys reading, writing and spending time with all of her animals which she regularly refers to as her, “Zoo.” You can check out all of Madison’s furry friends on her Instagram: @madiheim