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Advantages and Disadvantages of Having a Rabbit

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. August 15, 2018
Advantages and Disadvantages of Having a Rabbit

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Have you wanted to get a pet, but don't think you will have the ability to care for a dog or cat? Many people turn to a rabbit and think that this is a low-responsibility animal. While it is true you won't need to walk them in the same way as dogs or worry they'll knock over pictures on the mantle like cats, they need lots of care and affection. It would be irresponsible to think that you could have a rabbit as a pet and only spend time with them when you want to.

Rabbits can provide wonderful companionship to we humans, but no animal will suit everybody's lifestyle. To help you decide whether you want to adopt a rabbit into your home, AnimalWised looks at the advantages and disadvantages of having a rabbit.

You may also be interested in: Rabbit Adoption - Everything You Need To Know

Advantage: rabbits are docile and easy to live with

When rabbits are well cared for and integrated into the family, they can be very friendly animals. By accustoming them since they are young to being in contact with humans and other animals, the rabbit should behave well and naturally enjoy company. In this way, they can truly become a member of the family.

Rabbits are docile in temperament and can be faithful companions. They are particularly good with children who spend a lot of time at home and they can form a strong emotional bond with them. Rabbits also have the ability to adapt to different environments both indoor and outdoor. Rabbits tend to have contrasting needs. Sometimes they want to spend time on their own and other times they want to socialize with people and want interaction. With rabbits as a pet, it's all about finding a happy medium.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Having a Rabbit - Advantage: rabbits are docile and easy to live with

Advantage: many breeds and personalities

One of the advantages of having a rabbit as a pet is the variety of breeds and styles available in terms of domestic pets. Although most of us are au fait with different breeds of dog and cat, not as many of us are aware of the diversity of rabbit breeds. While every rabbit is an individual, many of these breeds share certain traits and characteristics in terms of look and temperament.

If you have the opportunity to adopt a rabbit, you should first look at the characteristics of each breed and see which best suits you and your lifestyle. Practical considerations in terms of the environment you can provide is important, especially if you find a larger rabbit breed. If you want to know more, AnimalWised has this list of pet rabbit breeds for you to consider.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Having a Rabbit - Advantage: many breeds and personalities

Advantage: obedience and cleanliness

Although it may seem unlikely, rabbits can be trained and will even be able to understand certain orders. The obedience they learn won't necessarily be as advanced as that which you can teach a dog, but these small mammals are much more intelligent than many people give them credit for. Tricks you can teach them are basic, but they are fun and can really help provide positive stimulation for the rabbit.

As far as hygiene goes, rabbits are clean animals. They love to preen themselves all day long and will happily do it with their hutch-mates. Although they can seem uncoordinated at times, they are actually well disciplined. It is rare for a rabbit to get depressed for no-apparent reason. However, if their human companions neglect them and do not clean their cage, they will be negatively affected and become stressed.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Having a Rabbit - Advantage: obedience and cleanliness

Disadvantage: destructive and disordered

When we say destructive, we don't mean that rabbits are maniacal creatures which will destroy everything in sight. The problem is that they love to bite everything and anything: laces, fabrics, plastic toys, electrical cables, etc. In this way, they can be like dogs who will do anything to have a go on your slippers. The reason for this is partly because they have teeth which never stop growing. They need to chew on hard objects to wear them down.

It is also to say that rabbits are a little disordered. For example, when they eat is it not uncommon for them to strew food all over the floor. They are specialists and scattering food throughout houses and gardens.

This aspect of a rabbit's character is completely understandable as rabbits don't have to pay such attention to tidiness when they are in their natural habitat. If you are someone who maintains a meticulous home, you will need to be considerate of this aspect.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Having a Rabbit - Disadvantage: destructive and disordered

Disadvantage: money, space and work

As rabbits have a tendency to be messy, you will need to devote a certain amount of time to cleaning up after them. Rabbits need hay for fodder as well as for comfort in a hutch. It often sticks to their body and they will find ways to carry them all around the nooks and crannies of your home. This could be down the sofa, behind the TV or in your shoes, by way of example. It is not only your home which needs to be cleaned regularly. Cleaning their hutch or cage thoroughly and regularly is part of their fundamental care. Without a clean living space, rabbits will become depressed.

The home or hutch you provide for them needs to be large enough to be comfortable. They also need a run so that they can not feel cooped up, but still have the ability to roam safely without being threatened by the neighborhood cats. Rabbits hate to feel trapped and will be more docile if they are allowed this relative freedom.

Having a rabbit, as with any pet, is not always cheap. You need to have the right amount of food and bedding to keep them well fed and comfortable. Initial costs can also be high (you will need to provide vaccinations and other preventative measures), so adopting a rabbit from a shelter is maybe a good idea for you. You will also need to ensure you are their for them if they encounter any of the health problems to which rabbits are prone.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Having a Rabbit - Disadvantage: money, space and work

Disadvantages: they are not friends with dogs and cats

Rabbits are said to be the natural prey of dogs and cats which is why it is generally difficult to get them to live together peaceably. There are exceptions to this, but many dogs and cats will see a rabbit as potential food more than a playmate. For this reason, you should keep your pets separate, ideally in different parts of the home. However, if you adopt them at the same time, it might be possible to socialize them together when they are very young. This way, they will hopefully see each other as family rather than enemies. It is relatively exceptional, but not impossible for rabbits and cats to get on in this way.

Everything will depend on the individual animals, so it is up to you what sort of environment you can provide. If you don't have enough space to keep all of the animals together, then maybe you should reconsider. Many people will keep a house cat indoors and then have the hutches in a shed or somewhere similar outside. The climate of where you live is important, however, as you might not be able to keep rabbits in cold temperatures. Having a garden or garage is often a good place to keep rabbits, although you will have to be careful in terms of fumes or other harmful substances.

We hope this article on the pros and cons of keeping rabbits as pets has been useful and will help you in your decision to adopt a rabbit. If you have any specific questions about this topic, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Having a Rabbit - Disadvantages: they are not friends with dogs and cats

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