Perks of Owning A Rabbit

Everyone knows that cats and dogs are the go-to pets that people consider when looking for a companion, yet many apartments and rental houses do not allow them. Shelters nowadays are rapidly growing and one of the reasons is that people underestimate the level of commitment required to for a cat or dog. The lifespan of those animals is usually around fifteen years, and most of the young adults my age don’t even know where they will be living in the next two!  Pets, like people, get stressed out by constant moving, and it’s unkind to knowingly subject your friend to that.  If you can’t own a cat or dog, but you are still looking for a companion, consider adopting a rabbit. Rabbits are the third most surrendered animals at pet shelters after dogs and cats, meaning that there are plenty of cute, fluffy rabbits to adopt.

Rabbits are less of a financial investment than a cat or a dog (see budget breakdown below), especially if you adopt. Most apartments allow small pets such as rabbits without requiring you to pay a monthly fee since they are low-liability animals. Most rabbits can be litter-box trained, and even if the occasional accident happens, clean-up is minimal. Rabbits make great conversation starters due to their cuteness and most people are willing to watch over a rabbit if you need to be away for a weekend. Owning a rabbit can also be sustainable because instead of throwing fruit and veggie scraps away to be transported to a landfill, you can simply give them to your rabbit as a little treat. Not only are you feeding yourself healthy foods, but you are feeding your rabbit too. What an easy win-win!

Before you jump right in and purchase a rabbit, though, there are some things to consider. Animals need exercise and rabbits are of no exception. Rabbits need a minimum of two hours of play time and enough space to run and jump around. I usually let mine roam around while I work on homework, but not before I make sure that all electrical cords are out of nibbling reach. You will also have to socialize your rabbit, which means a lot of slow interaction in the first few months of ownership to help your rabbit get to know and trust you. I recommend lying on the floor with them so you are less threatening and letting them come to you. You can reinforce their feelings with pieces of veggies, but just be patient.

I truly believe that owning a rabbit has improved my mental well-being. It is so nice to come home after a stressful day and see a little bundle of fluff excited to see me. It’s easy to feel isolated when you get busy with school and work, and having a pet to come home to can help you feel loved and needed. Rabbits are incredibly soft, so petting them serves as touch therapy while also improving your bond with your bun, reducing stress for both of you. Nugget has her own little personality, and most of the time she’s goofy and curious, which usually gets her into funny situations.  I don’t even know how many times I’ve seen her make a little burrow out of a dirty t-shirt I left on the floor. Having more cuteness in your life is never a bad thing for you, and a loving home is never a bad thing for your soft friends.

 

Budget

Food

Cage

Care/Initial Cost

  • Large bag of pellets: $8 for half a year
  • Aspen Bedding: $40 for half a year
  • Rabbit cost: usually $10-$30 if adopting
  • Timothy Hay: $40 for half a year
  • Newspaper: free
  • Habitat set-up (cage, water bottle, litterbox, food dish): $70
  • Food scraps: free
  • Cleaning supplies: Disinfectant wipes or hose and soap
  • Optional nail-clipping service: price varies based on vet, or free if done at home

 

Rachel Franks

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