Skip to content
Gray bunny on grass

Pet Rabbit Care: 5 Things to Know Before Getting a Bunny

Are you planning to adopt a rabbit? Good choice! If the idea of a house pet rabbits appeal to you, but you've never owned a pet bunny before, here are some things to consider before bringing a new rabbit into your home.

5 Things to Know Before Getting A Bunny

1. Do You Have Allergies?

People can be allergic to rabbits, even if they are not allergic to dogs and cats. People can also be allergic to grass hay, a rabbit's diet, or primary food. Before getting a bunny, ensure no one in the home is allergic. Visit an allergist or a home where rabbits live to see how you react to being around rabbits.

2. How Many Rabbits?

If you're considering getting just one rabbit, be aware that rabbit experts recommend getting two. Rabbits are social animals who get lonely without a bunny companion. The best combination is male and female because rabbits bond for life.

Group of rabbits in a shed

Of course, they should be altered before you bring them together, not just because you want to control breeding but because altered rabbits make much better pets.

3. Rabbits and Children

Resist the urge to get a young child that baby bunny she's been asking for. Rabbits are not the best choice for young children. Rabbits can be injuredor even killedby being held improperly, a common problem with young kids. Rabbits don't always like to be held and cuddled, especially as they grow older, which may disappoint younger kids.

A distressed rabbit can also bite or scratch, something to remember in homes with young children.

4. Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets

Do you have any other pets in the home? It is best to introduce a rabbit into a house with a calm, mature dog—rabbits can get dangerously stressed when harassed by a rambunctious puppy. The same goes for other pets like chickens and birds.

Some dogs have a stronger predatory instinct than others, so consider this when considering getting a house rabbit. House cats and rabbits can live very comfortably together. Consider introducing a bigger adult rabbit into a home with a cat rather than a baby bunny.

Because rabbits can be more social than cats, you may be surprised to find the rabbit taking charge of the cat rather than the other way around.

5. What Breed of Rabbit is Best?

Any breed of rabbit can make a great house pet. The primary considerations when choosing a type of rabbit are size and level of care. The so-called "giant" rabbit breeds can grow to over 12 pounds.

They need more food and space and can be harder to handle than smaller rabbits. The "mini" rabbit breeds can weigh as little as 4 pounds. Small rabbits require delicate handling; some may nip more than larger rabbits. Fluffy rabbits like angoras are adorable, but they can require daily grooming.

Since they are typically prey species, rabbits need a shelter they can retreat to inside your home whenever they feel threatened. If you frequently travel and leave the house, rabbit ownership might not be for you.

More Tips To Help Your Pet Rabbit Stay Healthy

Brown rabbit lying on floor

  • Rabbit-proof your home. Keep electrical cords, sockets, house plants, books, and other furniture they might chew on out of your rabbit's reach.
  • Rabbits need their litter box daily and have it thoroughly cleaned weekly.
  • Keep their vaccines updated.
  • Rabbit pellets provide a balanced diet, but never overfeed a bunny to keep them from being overweight.
  • Should you need to put them in a cage, ensure that they can stand on their hind legs without them hitting their head on the top part of the cage.
  • Keep them healthy by giving them fruits, root veggies, and leafy greens. Do not give them human treats as they are full of sugar and may be fatal.
  • Most rabbits like to stay grounded. Since they are prey animals, they quickly get scared and do not like being picked up and cuddled with. They might accidentally hurt you and hurt themselves if they try to escape.
  • If you have a female rabbit, get them spayed. A female rabbit could have as many as 144 baby rabbits in a year! Help prevent pet overpopulation by being a responsible bunny parent.
  • Give your rabbits treats like chewable toys or a seagrass mat. There are also some affordable DIY rabbit toys you can make yourself.
  • Rabbits don't need baths as they can generally groom themselves. However, you should trim their nails weekly and brush their hair to avoid matting.
  • Keep a lot of litter pans or boxes in your home because rabbits tend to poop while they eat.
  • Hay is suitable for a rabbit's digestion. Give them oat hay, Timothy hay, or orchard grass.

Spaying And Neutering

There are many reasons why you must have your rabbit neutered or spayed. First, it helps reduce abandoned and homeless rabbits through population control. It also prevents diseases like uterine or testicular cancer in your pet. Spaying and neutering also lower your pet's aggression and eliminate its desire to mate.

The procedure is typically done by a veterinarian surgically removing the rabbit's ovaries, uterus, or testes. While it is a routine surgery, it does require anesthesia and recovery time. It is essential to spay or neuter your rabbit at the appropriate age. 

Where To Get A Rabbit

One option is to visit a local animal shelter or rescue group. These organizations often have rabbits available for adoption; many rabbits in shelters need loving homes. You can also check with breed-specific rescue groups, which may have purebred rabbits available for adoption. 

Another option is looking for rabbits advertised for adoption in online classifieds or social media. You can also look for pet stores if you're looking for a specific breed.

White and gray bunny in a pet store

However, before adopting a bunny, it's important to research its care needs and make sure you are prepared to provide a safe and appropriate home for your new pet.

Additionally, it's essential to consider the long-term commitment of caring for a rabbit, as they can live up to 10 years or longer with proper care.

House rabbits make excellent house pets. To learn more about caring for rabbits, check out the House Rabbit Society website.

Rabbit Ownership FAQ

What is the lifespan of a pet rabbit?

Healthy rabbits have an average lifespan of about 8 to 12 years, but it ultimately depends on their breed, genetics, and overall health. Some species of rabbits may live shorter or longer than others. 

Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations are essential to detect potential health issues early on. The lifespan of a pet rabbit can be extended with proper care, attention, and a loving home, so it is essential to be dedicated and responsible in caring for your furry friend.

Do bunnies bite?

Bunnies can potentially bite, especially if they feel threatened or scared. However, they are generally gentle creatures and will not usually bite without reason. It's essential to approach bunnies calmly and give them a chance to sniff and get comfortable with you before attempting to touch them. 

What is a suitable environment for pet rabbits?

A suitable environment for pet rabbits should be spacious, safe, and stimulating. Rabbits need plenty of room to stretch their legs and run around, so a cage or enclosure should be at least several square feet. Ideally, rabbits should also have access to a secure outdoor play area to graze on grass and interact with their surroundings.

What exercises do rabbits need?

Let your rabbit run freely outside their cages for at least two to three hours daily. Rabbits need exercise to help them burn off excess energy, keep their muscles toned, and prevent obesity. You can also provide them with toys like tunnels, boxes, and cardboard tubes to encourage them to play and explore. 

Encouraging your rabbit to run and play will help them live a long and healthy life. It is important to remember that rabbits are social animals, so providing them with a suitable companion to play and exercise with is best.


Looking for somebunny to love? Check out our Bunny collection here at Animal Hearted 🐰

Previous article Can Rabbits And Chickens Live Together?
Next article Bunnies And Fruits: Can Rabbits Eat Oranges?

Comments - March 21, 2023

For beginner rabbit owners, I’d recommend Mini lops because they’re very friendly and gentle. They’re also one of the first rabbit breeds I’ve had.

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields