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Any pet rabbit owners?

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
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I've finally caved in to my younger son's desire to have a pet and we'll be buying a rabbit in a few weeks. I've done lots of research about how best to care for it and several articles mention pet insurance. Is it worth insuring a pet as small as a rabbit? I can't work it out!
 

Tanzigrrl

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Rabbits make great pets! I have a female rabbit, Mimi. She has been a completely problem-free pet and I don't have her insured. She sees her vet (a rabbit specialist) once a year for her annual exam. Make sure you have your rabbit spayed/neutered or you'll be having "that talk" with your son a lot sooner than you might have intended to. I will say that my previous rabbit, Oliver, had a genetic condition and ended up in the overnight animal ER more than a few times and racked up some hefty vet bills. That said, even having that experience, I still didn't purchase pet insurance for Mimi. We did have pet insurance on our dog though. In my opinion, I don't think you'll need it. Rabbits are wonderful companion pets and there is so much personality in them that non-rabbit owners just don't know about. Enjoy your new pet. He/she will become part of the family.

img_12348.jpg
 

niter

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I have had rabbits for much of my childhood and they were a joy. My daughter recently received a rabbit for her birthday and he is the first indoor rabbit I have lived with. He is the perfect pet, but I suspect much of that is individual temperament and my daughter's dedication to taking care of him. She has worked on training him daily as well as cage/litter box maintenance. I think a rabbit's care falls somewhere in the middle of a cat and a dog. The actual work involved in changing his litter and feeding him is similar to the effort put forward for a cat's litter box and feeding. However, a rabbit would like more interaction than a cat, and more along the lines of a small dog that cannot withstand rough play.
 

ruby59

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I also had a rabbit for my children as their first pet.

Only thing I can add is that you have to baby proof your house if you are going to allow it to roam free. Rabbits chew on everything, so you need to be careful about electrical wires and anything else they can get their teeth on.
 

amc80

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niter|1469119379|4057988 said:
I have had rabbits for much of my childhood and they were a joy. My daughter recently received a rabbit for her birthday and he is the first indoor rabbit I have lived with. He is the perfect pet, but I suspect much of that is individual temperament and my daughter's dedication to taking care of him. She has worked on training him daily as well as cage/litter box maintenance. I think a rabbit's care falls somewhere in the middle of a cat and a dog. The actual work involved in changing his litter and feeding him is similar to the effort put forward for a cat's litter box and feeding. However, a rabbit would like more interaction than a cat, and more along the lines of a small dog that cannot withstand rough play.
Did your other rabbits live outside? DS1 has been asking for a rabbit for months, and DH and I have been discussing it, particularly an outside rabbit with a hutch. I know we'd have to make sure our yard was safe and didn't have any gaps. I've started doing some research and it seems like half of the material is saying "NO, inside ONLY" and the other half is saying outdoors is fine.
 

hoover

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Oct 15, 2011
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I have a mini lop rabbit now, and have had other rabbits. I would say each one has different personality and they are kind of in between a dog and a cat, but a bit more physically delicate. I never bought insurance for any of them, and I didn't even buy insurance for my dog. I decided to self insure by putting money aside for the pets' healthcare.

Bunnies are great pets - they can be trained to use a litter box and do tricks. Mine roams free when I'm home and he actually pwns the dog :lol:
my guy is a house rabbit and I don't like the idea of keeping him outside by himself as bunnies are very social animals. Also, the weather is just too extreme where I live for me to feel comfortable keeping him outdoors even if he had the world's best hutch. If you plan on keeping the rabbit outside, please get it a buddy to keep him/her company. My bad memory has put this huge fear in my mind that I would forget about taking care of it if it was an outside pet. I would be absolutely wrecked if it died of starvation/thirst/any non-natural cause.
I also agree that they should be spayed/neutered - it reduces risks of some types of cancers and unwanted behaviors such as marking.

Also, be aware of the size differences between breeds - you don't want to get a continental giant when you really wanted a little dwarf :bigsmile: the larger breeds can handle being outside better than the small ones, but indoor bunnies tend to live longer - I've heard of some living to 12 years!
 

Skhii

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Adoption might be possible too if there are animal shelters nearby. There are many bunnies in need of loving homes, especially after holidays.
 

Gypsy

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I was the roommate of a rabbit owner in in college.

Like any other pet, experience can vary based on how good a pet owner/trainer you are. My roommate SUCKED at it, just let the thing roam free, no training for the litterbox, and crate, and let it eat anything. So we had poop pellets EVERYWHERE (seriously it was disgusting) and the thing, while adorable, had a serious fixation with electric outlets and cords.

I moved out. But not long afterward the rabbit fried itself and started a small fire to boot as a result of chewing the cords.

Cats are easier in my experience. But, I admit my experience was a bad one.
 

rubybeth

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My sister was desperate for a pet in her childhood years and cats were a no go since I'm dangerously allergic. My parents let her get a rex rabbit that lived outdoors in a hutch for many years. When that one passed, they let her get a second one. By the time the second one died, my sister had gone to graduate school and gotten a dog.

They never had pet insurance for the rabbits. They don't have it for the dogs, either, though. I don't think either of the rabbits ever had any medical issues that would necessitate insurance. Both were very mellow, nice for petting (they both had 'magic' spots where we could pet them and get them to thump their leg in happiness!), and just adorable and soft. Not great for cuddling, though, because rex rabbits are large and have claw-like nails. Both my sister and I have rabbit scars on our hands from scratches. :blackeye:

We let the rabbit inside the house to roam around/play, at least until we discovered that my sister was allergic, and I was also dangeously allergic to the rabbit (not surprising). The hutch was custom built by my dad (with my sister's help) and allowed the rabbit to go inside part of the garage for warmth in the winter. This breed was suited to our climate (Minnesota). Both rabbits were from the same breeder, who answered any questions they had. Both rabbits were essentially house trained, and used basically a litter box in the house. It only took a few days of putting their pellets into the box for them to start using it. They also both used litter boxes in the hutch, as well (made cleaning the hutch very easy, and the pellets kept other critters away from my parents' garden). If you have other questions, let me know, I could ask my parents or sister (they probably remember more details than I do).
 

KaeKae

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I haven't had a chance to read everyone's comment, so forgive me if this is repetitive.

Rabbits an be fine pets. I would recommend getting one young and handling it as much as possible. The more the better. Otherwise, it will not be likely to enjoy the cuddling that a child may be looking for.

We have pet sit for a friend who has two rabbits. The first, she got very young and handled quite a bit. Bunny1 loves to sit on a lap and be pet. Really, he'll sit with me or my daughter for hours. Bunny2 was rescued at about a year. While he enjoys a nice petting and will tolerate brushing, he does not want to be held or put in our laps.
 

distracts

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Rabbits are amazing pets. I used to have a rabbit but she passed away two years ago. There are many good resources for rabbit ownership online, particularly the House Rabbit Society. I don't think pet health insurance is necessary - your rabbit especially is likely to die before needing any majorly expensive procedure - they are quite delicate little things. But so sweet and smart. You can clicker train them (or just regular train) and they have a ton of personality. My rabbit was way easier to train than my dog is.

I would never have kept mine outside - rabbits are fearful little things and between the psychological stress and being alone all the time I am not sure that the personality of the pet that results would be anywhere near as pleasant. My rabbit was about as socially needy as my dog.

re: cords, yes, all rabbits love cords. All rabbits I know love Apple cords in particular because they are very skinny and easy to chew. Put ALL cords in tubes or behind barriers (you can get wire cube stacker things at target that come as wire panels, and ziptie them together to make gates/barriers, like I made one that fit under my desk so my rabbit couldn't get to the computer cords, and then I ziptied it to the desk so she couldn't pull it away). You have to be careful about your barriers too because rabbits are both smart and persistent and WILL find ways around them. She wasn't like my dog that tries once or twice and then gives up.

Also every rabbit I know loves being bad. Whatever you don't want them to do, that is their FAVORITE THING. It's very cute of them. They also learn pretty quickly who enforces the rules and who doesn't, so just because they behave for YOU doesn't mean they'll behave when someone else is in the room with them, lol. My rabbit had a habit of making a beeline for an attempt at the computer cords whenever I left the room, for instance, even if someone else was in it.

But they are wonderful, delightful little animals. I liked my rabbit more than any other pet I've ever had.
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
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Tanzigrrl|1469107778|4057911 said:
Rabbits make great pets! I have a female rabbit, Mimi. She has been a completely problem-free pet and I don't have her insured. She sees her vet (a rabbit specialist) once a year for her annual exam. Make sure you have your rabbit spayed/neutered or you'll be having "that talk" with your son a lot sooner than you might have intended to. I will say that my previous rabbit, Oliver, had a genetic condition and ended up in the overnight animal ER more than a few times and racked up some hefty vet bills. That said, even having that experience, I still didn't purchase pet insurance for Mimi. We did have pet insurance on our dog though. In my opinion, I don't think you'll need it. Rabbits are wonderful companion pets and there is so much personality in them that non-rabbit owners just don't know about. Enjoy your new pet. He/she will become part of the family.
I think we will go for a female bunny too, I will take your advice about neutering! I'm always very cautious and want everything insured but it's reassuring to hear we should be able to do without it. Love the pic, so cute!
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
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niter|1469119379|4057988 said:
I have had rabbits for much of my childhood and they were a joy. My daughter recently received a rabbit for her birthday and he is the first indoor rabbit I have lived with. He is the perfect pet, but I suspect much of that is individual temperament and my daughter's dedication to taking care of him. She has worked on training him daily as well as cage/litter box maintenance. I think a rabbit's care falls somewhere in the middle of a cat and a dog. The actual work involved in changing his litter and feeding him is similar to the effort put forward for a cat's litter box and feeding. However, a rabbit would like more interaction than a cat, and more along the lines of a small dog that cannot withstand rough play.
I'm really hoping my son will take on the responsibility of the rabbit we get, I think it will be good for him. I have heard that they can be trained and are a bit more interactive than smaller pets, it's good to hear you have had that experience.
 

Snowdrop13

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ruby59|1469119782|4057991 said:
I also had a rabbit for my children as their first pet.

Only thing I can add is that you have to baby proof your house if you are going to allow it to roam free. Rabbits chew on everything, so you need to be careful about electrical wires and anything else they can get their teeth on.

Eeeek, that sounds dangerous! I'm hoping the bunny will mostly live outside and maybe have a run in the hall occasionally. I will definitely make sure it's clear for her!
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
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amc80|1469123991|4058020 said:
niter|1469119379|4057988 said:
I have had rabbits for much of my childhood and they were a joy. My daughter recently received a rabbit for her birthday and he is the first indoor rabbit I have lived with. He is the perfect pet, but I suspect much of that is individual temperament and my daughter's dedication to taking care of him. She has worked on training him daily as well as cage/litter box maintenance. I think a rabbit's care falls somewhere in the middle of a cat and a dog. The actual work involved in changing his litter and feeding him is similar to the effort put forward for a cat's litter box and feeding. However, a rabbit would like more interaction than a cat, and more along the lines of a small dog that cannot withstand rough play.
Did your other rabbits live outside? DS1 has been asking for a rabbit for months, and DH and I have been discussing it, particularly an outside rabbit with a hutch. I know we'd have to make sure our yard was safe and didn't have any gaps. I've started doing some research and it seems like half of the material is saying "NO, inside ONLY" and the other half is saying outdoors is fine.
Ours is definitely going outside, DS has a friend nearby who has a rabbit living outside and it does very well- they let it hop about their garden and as long as they watch what it eats it seems quite happy. It has lasted for 5 years and is still going strong! We do live in a fairly temperate climate though, where it doesn't get too cold in winter.
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
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hoover|1469165749|4058246 said:
I have a mini lop rabbit now, and have had other rabbits. I would say each one has different personality and they are kind of in between a dog and a cat, but a bit more physically delicate. I never bought insurance for any of them, and I didn't even buy insurance for my dog. I decided to self insure by putting money aside for the pets' healthcare.

Bunnies are great pets - they can be trained to use a litter box and do tricks. Mine roams free when I'm home and he actually pwns the dog :lol:
my guy is a house rabbit and I don't like the idea of keeping him outside by himself as bunnies are very social animals. Also, the weather is just too extreme where I live for me to feel comfortable keeping him outdoors even if he had the world's best hutch. If you plan on keeping the rabbit outside, please get it a buddy to keep him/her company. My bad memory has put this huge fear in my mind that I would forget about taking care of it if it was an outside pet. I would be absolutely wrecked if it died of starvation/thirst/any non-natural cause.
I also agree that they should be spayed/neutered - it reduces risks of some types of cancers and unwanted behaviors such as marking.

Also, be aware of the size differences between breeds - you don't want to get a continental giant when you really wanted a little dwarf :bigsmile: the larger breeds can handle being outside better than the small ones, but indoor bunnies tend to live longer - I've heard of some living to 12 years!
Thank you Hoover, I'm loving how enthusiastic everyone is about their pets! We are going to buy a Netherland Dwarf as there is a breeder nearby and I'm definitely considering having 2- he has a litter of 6 that will be available soon! They will live at our back door so we will pass them several times a day, hopefully I won't forget them but I know exactly what you mean!
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
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Skhii|1469169690|4058252 said:
Adoption might be possible too if there are animal shelters nearby. There are many bunnies in need of loving homes, especially after holidays.
We have had a look at this, our local pet store has animals for adoption, sadly no bunnies lately, mostly hamsters......
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
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Gypsy|1469170005|4058253 said:
I was the roommate of a rabbit owner in in college.

Like any other pet, experience can vary based on how good a pet owner/trainer you are. My roommate SUCKED at it, just let the thing roam free, no training for the litterbox, and crate, and let it eat anything. So we had poop pellets EVERYWHERE (seriously it was disgusting) and the thing, while adorable, had a serious fixation with electric outlets and cords.

I moved out. But not long afterward the rabbit fried itself and started a small fire to boot as a result of chewing the cords.

Cats are easier in my experience. But, I admit my experience was a bad one.
This is a cautionary tale and no mistake, I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry! I had a flatmate at university who had 2 Guinea Pigs living in her room, goodness knows how they survived. This bunny is definitely going outside.
 

ruby59

Ideal_Rock
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Eeeek, that sounds dangerous! I'm hoping the bunny will mostly live outside and maybe have a run in the hall occasionally. I will definitely make sure it's clear for her!
____________________________

The vet told us that a rabbit's teeth never stop growing, so rabbit's chew constantly to wear them down.

We live in Rhode Island where the weather can be extreme with each season, so keeping it outside was not an option for us.
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
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rubybeth|1469192964|4058293 said:
My sister was desperate for a pet in her childhood years and cats were a no go since I'm dangerously allergic. My parents let her get a rex rabbit that lived outdoors in a hutch for many years. When that one passed, they let her get a second one. By the time the second one died, my sister had gone to graduate school and gotten a dog.

They never had pet insurance for the rabbits. They don't have it for the dogs, either, though. I don't think either of the rabbits ever had any medical issues that would necessitate insurance. Both were very mellow, nice for petting (they both had 'magic' spots where we could pet them and get them to thump their leg in happiness!), and just adorable and soft. Not great for cuddling, though, because rex rabbits are large and have claw-like nails. Both my sister and I have rabbit scars on our hands from scratches. :blackeye:

We let the rabbit inside the house to roam around/play, at least until we discovered that my sister was allergic, and I was also dangeously allergic to the rabbit (not surprising). The hutch was custom built by my dad (with my sister's help) and allowed the rabbit to go inside part of the garage for warmth in the winter. This breed was suited to our climate (Minnesota). Both rabbits were from the same breeder, who answered any questions they had. Both rabbits were essentially house trained, and used basically a litter box in the house. It only took a few days of putting their pellets into the box for them to start using it. They also both used litter boxes in the hutch, as well (made cleaning the hutch very easy, and the pellets kept other critters away from my parents' garden). If you have other questions, let me know, I could ask my parents or sister (they probably remember more details than I do).
Sounds like your pets lived a long time and were very well catered for! Someone said to me that they can scratch, which did worry me slightly. DS is quite allergies to cats, though not in a dangerous way (itchy eyes), I'm hoping he won't have a problem with a rabbit, fingers crossed!
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
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KaeKae|1469250417|4058524 said:
I haven't had a chance to read everyone's comment, so forgive me if this is repetitive.

Rabbits an be fine pets. I would recommend getting one young and handling it as much as possible. The more the better. Otherwise, it will not be likely to enjoy the cuddling that a child may be looking for.

We have pet sit for a friend who has two rabbits. The first, she got very young and handled quite a bit. Bunny1 loves to sit on a lap and be pet. Really, he'll sit with me or my daughter for hours. Bunny2 was rescued at about a year. While he enjoys a nice petting and will tolerate brushing, he does not want to be held or put in our laps.
Thank you for this KaeKae, good to know- if we get it/them from a breeder they should be about 10 weeks or so which hopefully will be young enough to achieve good handling.
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
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distracts|1469432262|4059026 said:
Rabbits are amazing pets. I used to have a rabbit but she passed away two years ago. There are many good resources for rabbit ownership online, particularly the House Rabbit Society. I don't think pet health insurance is necessary - your rabbit especially is likely to die before needing any majorly expensive procedure - they are quite delicate little things. But so sweet and smart. You can clicker train them (or just regular train) and they have a ton of personality. My rabbit was way easier to train than my dog is.

I would never have kept mine outside - rabbits are fearful little things and between the psychological stress and being alone all the time I am not sure that the personality of the pet that results would be anywhere near as pleasant. My rabbit was about as socially needy as my dog.

re: cords, yes, all rabbits love cords. All rabbits I know love Apple cords in particular because they are very skinny and easy to chew. Put ALL cords in tubes or behind barriers (you can get wire cube stacker things at target that come as wire panels, and ziptie them together to make gates/barriers, like I made one that fit under my desk so my rabbit couldn't get to the computer cords, and then I ziptied it to the desk so she couldn't pull it away). You have to be careful about your barriers too because rabbits are both smart and persistent and WILL find ways around them. She wasn't like my dog that tries once or twice and then gives up.

Also every rabbit I know loves being bad. Whatever you don't want them to do, that is their FAVORITE THING. It's very cute of them. They also learn pretty quickly who enforces the rules and who doesn't, so just because they behave for YOU doesn't mean they'll behave when someone else is in the room with them, lol. My rabbit had a habit of making a beeline for an attempt at the computer cords whenever I left the room, for instance, even if someone else was in it.

But they are wonderful, delightful little animals. I liked my rabbit more than any other pet I've ever had.
I will look at that website, thank you! I'm getting quite excited myself about having this pet, I wasn't allowed a pet when I was a child! Sounds like the tale of Peter Rabbit was true to life- they are all mischievous creatures (I believe Beatrix Potter was a rabbit owner so she probably observed what you have too!).
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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Snowdrop13|1469483742|4059234 said:
Sounds like your pets lived a long time and were very well catered for! Someone said to me that they can scratch, which did worry me slightly. DS is quite allergies to cats, though not in a dangerous way (itchy eyes), I'm hoping he won't have a problem with a rabbit, fingers crossed!
It's really easy to trim their claws. I trimmed my rabbit's claws monthly. You have to get them habituated to it young or it can be a struggle to do, but since you said you have a netherland dwarf breeder nearby they have probably been touching their rabbit's little paws since birth, and as long as you keep touching their paws and getting them used to having the pressure of their paw being held (and usually being on their back when it is done), then the hardest part of trimming the claw will just be moving the fur out of the way so you can SEE the claw. Even when bunny claws are sharp they aren't anything near as sharp as cat claws though.

And yes, exactly like Peter Rabbit. And there's a bit in the Velveteen Rabbit where it describes the real rabbits bunching up and stretching out, and that too.
 
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