Here’s a Pet You Won’t Forget!

We’ve all heard of (and likely picked a side in) the Cat vs. Dog controversy. At this point, it seems unlikely that a resolution will ever be reached, and frankly, if you are like me you are probably sick of the whole thing. People love the pets they have and that’s fine. The controversy also takes attention away from other wonderful pet species. In honor of National Pet Day, April 11th, I would like to highlight one of the most underrated pets: rabbits.

The Pros of Being a Bunny Parent:

Rabbits, in many ways, represent the ideal pet. Though each rabbit will have its own personality, they are generally beloved pets due to their cute, cuddly appearance, intelligence, and endearing curiosity. As someone who has been around rabbits all her life, I can tell you that spending time with a long-eared friend is as rewarding as spending time with a cat or dog. Like dogs, rabbits are easily trained, and can even learn to come when called. Like cats, they are small, use a litter box, and are very quiet. Additionally, individuals who suffer from cat/dog allergies tend to not have the same issues with rabbit fur!

Although rabbits are often associated with farms, they actually make a wonderful apartment pet. While rabbits definitely need to have a few hours of devoted play time to run around in a bunny-proofed room, the cage where they sleep does not actually need to be very large. Although size will vary depending on the size of your particular rabbit, cages generally only need to be a few feet wide. They need enough space for a litter box, a separate area for food and water, and room for your bunny to fully stretch out and turn around. Beyond their space requirements, as mentioned above, rabbits are also very clean, quiet pets which make them ideal for apartment living.

 

Tips for the Unexperienced Bunny Parent:

Although rabbits do make fantastic pets, there are some things you should be aware of before becoming a bunny parent. The first thing is that rabbits are notorious chewers. Though rabbits are NOT rodents, they do share the similarity of having teeth that grow continuously throughout the course of their lives. In order to keep this growth under control, bunnies are constantly on the lookout for fun things to gnaw on, while this can be tempered a bit with toys, in my experience there is nothing as sweet to nibble as things you really don’t want chewed. Electrical cords, walls, and furniture are all particular favorites. If you decide to adopt a rabbit, bunny proofing or supervision are key to maintaining both the safety of your friend, as well as your sanity. Another tip for potential bunny parents relates to the personality of your new friend. Before you adopt a bunny, it’s important to spend a bit of time with them to make sure the two of you have compatible personalities. If possible, try to spend time interacting with them to judge how social or skittish, playful or reserved, and energetic or laid back they are to find the right bunny for your home.

 

A Warning:

Although rabbits make adorable pets, it’s important to remember that they are living creatures that need attention and love. Too often, especially in the time around Easter, rabbits are bought by people who don’t have the time or knowledge to properly take care of them. Don’t be one of these people. Rabbits are social creatures who want to bond, play, and cuddle with you. If you, as a busy college student, do not have the time to devote to caring for them, please do not bring a rabbit home.

Although all pets are good pets (yes, both cats AND dogs), to me, rabbits are some of the most special and underrated. If you are considering celebrating National Pet Day by looking for a new buddy that is social, smart, quiet, and clean, a bunny may the way to go! No matter what, make sure to spend April 11th celebrating the furry (or feathered or scaled) friends in your life, and always remember to support your local Humane Society.

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