Rabbits make wonderful pets and the benefits of owning a rabbit are obvious... they are cute, loving, friendly and intelligent pets. They are great fun to watch and form strong bonds with their human companions, which is of course very rewarding. However before committing yourself to getting a rabbit, read this list of reasons not to...
Rabbits are a commitment, they need lots of attention and interaction, they need to be handled every day if your cute bundle of fluff is to stay friendly... a neglected rabbit quickly becomes aggressive. Do not think that just because they are small than a dog, don't require walks or live in a hutch in the garden a rabbit is less of a commitment. Any living animal brought into your home is solely dependant on you to meet ALL of its needs for its ENTIRE life. You cannot expect a child to do this, you must be prepared to oversee all the animal's care.
They are not as easy to train as a dog, so you must be patient, litter training can take a while with a young rabbit. However with time and care rabbits can be trained not only to use a litter tray and come to their name, but to perform a whole host of tricks (especially if you use fresh herbs as treats!).
Long haired rabbits require regular grooming. This cannot be put off or ignored as rabbit fur can quickly become matted. Its vitally important for outdoor rabbits as matted fur causes health problems such as fly strike in the summer months. (If you want a long haired rabbit ask your breeder to show you how to groom it - many breeders also offer grooming services for your new rabbit if you are unsure.)
Rabbits can live up to 15 years, so think about the future, if buying for a child what will happen to the rabbit when the child grows up.
Rabbits can go through a nasty 'teenage' phase when they become aggressive and hormonal, you must be patient and continue to handle the rabbit throughout this period or have your bunny speyed/neutered as soon as you are able.
They chew, if they are living or coming in the house, be prepared for furniture and carpets to be nibbled on. You can take preventative measures but you will not be able to stop it completely.
They can thump, in the larger breeds this is rather loud and can sometimes disturb the neighbours.
Rabbits will dig in the garden and eat plants, you will need to remove plants that are dangerous to rabbits and be prepared to keep them contained it you are garden proud.
Vet bills can become costly, vaccinations, speying, neutering and routine health care, rabbits should not be viewed as a 'cheap' pet. Pet insurance is available to help cover these costs.
However if you feel you can live with the things listed above, you will find a rabbit to be a wonderful, loving and loyal companion, well worth the time and effort of caring for them.