F.F.F. has always been committed to helping any and all formerly
When we were approached to help feature some homeless bunnies, we were
only too glad to lend some of our web space to help these homeless bunnies
find loving homes.
These bunnies have hopped onto our web-page and hopefully, right into
COMMON RABBIT MYTHS
MYTH 1: Rabbits are great, low-maintenance starter pets.
REALITY: Although they don't need to be walked like dogs, rabbits are
anything but low-maintenance. Their quarters need daily cleaning, and
fresh food and water must be offered daily, including a salad of well-washed,
dark-green leafy vegetables. Certain rabbit health problems can become
chronic and can require regular (and sometimes expensive) veterinary
treatment. To complicate the picture, veterinarians skilled in rabbit
medicine are often hard to find.
MYTH 2: Rabbits only live a year or two, so no long commitment is
REALITY: Well cared-for indoor rabbits can live 7-10 years, and some
live into their teens. This is approximately the same life span as some
breeds of dogs, and requires the same long-term commitment.
MYTH 3: Rabbits do not need veterinary care the way dogs and cats
REALITY: Although rabbits in the USA do not require annual vaccinations,
nevertheless, regular veterinary checkups help to detect small problems
before they become big ones. Companion rabbits should be spayed/neutered
by veterinarians experienced in rabbit surgery. This not only reduces
hormone-driven behaviors such as lunging, mounting, spraying, and boxing,
but also protects females from the risk of uterine cancer, the incidence
of which can exceed 50% as rabbits grow older.
MYTH 4: Rabbits are happiest outdoors in a backyard hutch.
REALITY: Rabbits kept outdoors in hutches are often forgotten and neglected
once the initial novelty wears off. Far too frequently, they are relegated
to a life of "solitary confinement" and are subject to extremes of weather,
as well as to diseases spread by fleas, ticks, flies, and mosquitoes
all of which can adversely affect their health and their life span.
They can die of heart attacks from the very approach of a predator -
even if the rabbit is not attacked or bitten. Rabbits are gregarious
creatures who enjoy social contact with their human caretakers. The
easiest way to provide social stimulation for a companion rabbit is
to house him indoors, as a member of the family.
MYTH 5: Rabbits are rather dirty, and have a strong odor.
REALITY: Rabbits are immaculately clean and, once they have matured
and are spayed/ neutered, they go to great lengths not to soil their
living quarters. They will readily use a litter-box, and if the box
is cleaned or changed daily, there is no offensive odor.
MYTH 6: Rabbits love to be picked up and cuddled, and do not scratch
REALITY: Although some rabbits tolerate handling quite well, many do
not like to be picked up and carried. If rabbits are mishandled they
will learn to nip to protect themselves. If they feel insecure when
carried they may scratch to get down. Unspayed/unneutered rabbits often
exhibit territorial behavior such as "boxing" or nipping when their
territory is "invaded" by the owner.
MYTH 7: Rabbits- especially dwarf breeds - do not require much living
REALITY: Rabbits have powerful hind legs designed for running and jumping.
They need living space that will permit them ample freedom of movement,
even when they are confined. Dwarf rabbits tend to be more active and
energetic than some larger breeds, and require relatively more space.
MYTH 8: Rabbits can be left alone for a day or two when owners travel.
REALITY: Rabbits need daily monitoring. Problems that are relatively
minor in some species (e.g. a day or two of anorexia) may be life-threatening
in rabbits, and may require immediate veterinary attention.
MYTH 9: Rabbits do fine with a bowl of rabbit food and some daily
REALITY: The single most important component of a rabbit's diet is grass
hay, which should be provided, free-choice, daily. Rabbit pellets should
be given only in very limited quantities.
© Mary E. Cotter, 2002
If you have questions about bunnies, please call Terry at 925-408-3850
or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.