Things to consider before getting a pet rabbit
There’s no doubt that bunnies are cute and cuddly, and many people may think about adopting one during the Easter season. However, veterinarians say letting your child talk you into getting one as a pet isn’t a good idea. HI Now host Kanoe Gibson sat down with Associate veterinarian Lydia Lam with VCA Hawaii to explain the misconception about the animal and how to best take care of them and give the care they need.
Dr. Lam says many people think rabbits are easy to take care of and serve as good starter pets for children because they’re cute and small, however, that’s not the case. Rabbits are actually difficult to care for properly! She explains that since rabbits are prey animals, they get stressed easily and don’t like to be held or being off the ground. If they’re used to a person, they don’t mind being pet or stroked gently.
Rabbits can live for about 9-12 years, which is a lot longer than most people think, and also have special dietary and housing needs. When it comes to exercise, Dr. Lam says they should have play time outside of their cage to keep them healthy.
While it may be inexpensive to get a rabbit, Dr. Lam says the things they need to be cared for properly add up, and owning one can end up being more expensive than owning a cat or dog. She explains that monthly costs include food, fresh hay, fresh veggies, and fiber-rich pellets. She also recommends putting money aside for veterinary care and to get the rabbit fixed.
If people devote the proper care, rabbits can be wonderful and rewarding pets with playful, inquisitive personalities. Dr. Lam says they’re animals who can even be trained, as some have been known to learn to use a litter box!
For more information: vcahospitals.com