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Bunny Basics

Jan Brett

 I hope everyone had a fun Easter! Maybe it included lots of chocolate and jelly beans, or even a stuffed bunny. In some cases, kids even get live rabbits. Pets should never really be a surprise, but sometimes it happens because fuzzy little animals are so very cute! If you did get a bunny, hopefully it was adopted from a rescue society. Many rabbits from pet stores are from rabbit mills, which are very much like puppy mills. This just creates more demand for these unhealthy animals and continues a horrible cycle.

 So, let's say you have a newly adopted bunny that is now a member in your family. Rabbits are a big responsibility. I adopted a rabbit from the Colorado House Rabbit Society and it is quite a commitment, like any pet. He is about 9 years old now and every week, I clean his cage and replace all of his hay. Timothy hay is the main part of a healthy bunny's diet. He is fed pellets twice a day and always needs clean water. He also gets fresh fruit and veggies. Bunnies live to be about 8-12 years old, and because they are considered “exotic” pets, vet bills can be very expensive. Ask your vet for more information or to see if they even treat bunnies. Furthermore, domestic rabbits are indoor animals can’t be kept outside. Predators and weather are always a danger. However, I take my bunny out in good weather during the day and he can run around in a pen on the grass. Bunnies love to play and get exercise too. They can even learn tricks.

 When preparing for a bunny, keep in mind that they need a pen and space to run, a litter box, and some toys. Many can be house trained. If you are adopting two, you must make sure ahead of time that they get along. Make sure your bunny has some boxes or crates to climb on too. Remember that you need to make sure that your rabbit is spayed/neutered. Then, we can save more unwanted bunnies from being born or destroyed.
 If you want to know more about rabbits, you can either go to the National House Rabbit Society website (http://www.rabbit.org/hrs-info/index.html) or the Colorado House Rabbit Society website (http://www.coloradohrs.org/default.asp) Both have great information about adopting and caring for rabbits so you can enjoy your new friend for a very long time. Happy Spring!