“Should I adopt a dwarf bunny?”
“Do dwarf bunnies make good pets?”
“Is a dwarf bunny right for me?”
These are probably some of the first questions you will ask yourself when deciding on whether to welcome the cute bundles of fur into your home. There are some very mixed anecdotes from owners after adoption of rabbits. Some are overjoyed and swear that these make simply the best pets. Others disregard the rabbit as boring, anti-social, and impossible to form a bond with. Bunnies are certainly not dogs, but they are special and unique and offer a fun, playful, genuine chance for you to form a bond with these intelligent beings. There are, however, a few things that you should understand before embarking on this marvelous adventure (obviously, we here at My Dwarf Bunny are inherently bias!):
1. A dwarf bunny is not a dog
A rabbit is an instinctive prey animal. You are a very tall, scary human with big feet. For a bunny unused to being held and carried, you picking it up for ‘kisses’ is akin to a hungry eagle scooping it up in its long, gnarled talons. That isn’t to say that a bunny doesn’t love your company and cuddles: but you need time and devotion for your bunny to get used to being handled. If you put that initial effort in, however, the rewards are great. You just have to look on youtube or google images to see some amazing evidence of the bond between a bunny and its owner: show-jumping, obstacle courses and tricks are all great activities that you and your bunny can do together. A bunny doesn’t have that natural instinct to please, as dogs do, but motivated by treats and fun training sessions, you’ll be surprised at how intelligent bunnies are!
2. A dwarf bunny needs company
Most pet owners worry about whether the amount of time they spend with their parents is sufficient to keep them occupied and feeling loved, and whether, to compensate their presence, they should get two rabbits instead. Rabbits can be introduced carefully and, with time, learn to get a long with eachother. It is even easier if you pick two rabbits from the same litter that have grown up with eachother. Two females will get along quite happily, as will two castrated males. A male and female will get a long fine, too, but if you want to avoid a rapidly expanding rabbit-family, it is strongly advised that you get the male castrated. A pair of rabbits is great if you have the space and resources to care for two – you will have the added benefits of watching their antics together.
However, a rabbit will be perfectly content on its own provided that you provide enough contact and stimulation. Whilst true that rabbit’s don’t particularly enjoy being lifted high off the ground, they do enjoy nibbling treats from your lap, snoozing beside you on the couch and playing with you and their toys. Their small size, noiseless behaviour and the fact that they can live happily alone make dwarf rabbits a very good pet even for people who don’t have long rabbit runs or back gardens.
3. A dwarf bunny needs specific care and attention
It would be wrong to think that these exceptional creatures need minimal care and attention. Whilst it is true that they are less time-consuming than a dog, for example, they do need a couple of hours out their cage every day and regular interaction (so they stay tame and to prevent boredom). Their nails need regular clipping, their ears and eyes need checking and some of the longer-haired breeds need daily grooming to avoid clumps of fur getting stuck in the rabbit’s system. Meanwhile, their cage needs ‘spot-cleaning’ every few days and the whole litter changed weekly, at least. But, whilst no pet should be taken on lightly, a rabbit is still one of the less consuming pets that you can share your home with. A well-cared for rabbit can live upto 8 years, and you need to be sure that you are willing to go through these routines for as long your bunny lives.