So you are interested
in owning a House Bunny eh!
We have some on where to start if you want
a House Bunny like Rodney...
This page contains a list of questions,
with my experience to date against each question.
For a gallery of the top items you will
need to look after your Bunny click here.
For a gallery of cheap but effective Rabbit
toys click here.
From asking people who have Bunny's
I have ascertained that Bunny's have unique personalities and basically
you will have to get to know what that personality is. For example,
some Bunnies take to using a lead very quickly and accept it, others
you stand no chance.
|Are you house proud?
|You can still maintain a tidy home for when visitors
come etc, but the times inbetween are when Bunny is allowed to roam.
The Bunny is a member of your family and therefore should be treated
as such. You will need chewable distractions from your tasty skirting
boards and coffee table legs and these distractions will need to be
available whenever Bunny is out and about. My coffee table is resting
in four margarine tubs to protect the bottom of the legs which Rodney
seems to find irresistable.
Do you have lots
of wires and cabling
in the areas
where you would
|Cables are very attractive chewable objects, for your
safety and the Bunny's ensure that all cabling is out of Bunny's reach.
|Have you done your research?
|Although I was really excited about the idea of a House
Bunny I did try to plan the whole thing. I bought a couple of books,
asked advice from a colleague who had a house bunny just to answer
my initial questions. I then rang 4 vets in the local area to gauge
how much they charged for health checks, vaccinations for VHD and
Myxo, and also for neutering.
I visited all the local pet shops
to see what cages were on offer. At the time I knew that we only
had sufficient room for one rabbit. Rightly, or wrongly, I felt
it best to get a rabbit that has been kept on its own - that way
it wouldn't pine for lost friends.
The books I bought initially were "The Complete House Rabbit",
(which did scare me off a little at first because the author obviously
had a big house and a lot of time to look after the buns, however
if you actually ask people e.g. through newsgroups, for their experiences
you'll understand that everyone's situation is different anyway)
and "The House Rabbit Handbook".
I bought Rodney from the petshop where I found the cage to suit
my needs. The petshop had been recommended by another House Rabbit
owner. This is useful as you know in advance that they should be
able to answer any queries.
|Have you enough room for the cage?
|Work out where you would be keeping the cage - how
much space is there? Most pet shops now sell House Rabbit homes. The
key factors are the size of the Rabbit and the size of the space.
|Have you any children? Do you have any
children that visit you often?
|I was not aware that Rabbits are not overly keen at
being picked up. Rabbits can be timid creatures when faced with an
over enthusiastic 2 year old. I read in the books I bought that ideally
if you were buying a Rabbit for a child, not only should you be prepared
to look after it yourself (should the worst happen and the novelty
ebbs away) but the majority would recommend a child is around 7 years
+ to fully understand the ins and outs of Rabbit care. I do have children
who visit, 2 and 6 years of age. The first visit went well because
I wrote them a letter, from Rodney, explaining how to approach him
and what it is like for a rabbit being faced with eager kids. In the
end the 2 year old ran away from the Rabbit when Rodney sneaked up
on her when she wasn't looking.
|Are you patient?
Have you a sense
|Rabbits have their own mindset and if they don't want
to do something they will do everything they can to get out of it!
One example if trying to get a Bunny used to a lead, another (recent)
example is trying to catch a Bunny when you are trying to clean poo
off that has stuck to Bunny's bottom !
|Can you afford to keep a Rabbit?
|Basic question, but in some bunny's problems with the
teeth could end up costing quite a bit. There are insurance policies
available e.g. Petplan but check what they cover. It approximately
cost £13 per vaccination (VHD and Myxo) and they'll need those
every year. Neutering costs anywhere between £40 and £50.
Because Rabbits are known for being delicate when it comes to the
anaesthetic it costs a little more for the operation. Add on the cost
of Hay, Feed, Sawdust etc. Cost may not be an issue for some but if
you have only been used to keeping Hamsters or the odd Goldfish then
you need to understand the costs.
|Do you take a lot of holidays or weekend breaks?
|Rabbits do need company, and a routine of sorts. If
you do go away a lot who will look after the Bunny when you aren't
there? Physically and mentally the Bunny can be OK for odd day/night
if you are away but on a persistant basis if they are left alone restricted
to the cage their physical and mental wellbeing will suffer.