Contributed by Theron Peck III
If you are going to consider adopting or rescuing a rabbit as a first time pet, please consider a few words of wisdom from our family as you consider this new pet. Rabbits are unique and provide a special kind of love which requires more care than you may think. I wish you the best for rescuing a bunny and allowing him or her to give you years of companionship.
Our family unknowingly got into owning house rabbits through one of our daughter’s preschool science projects once complete about 20 years ago. We have learned so much during this time span with each new rabbit personality bringing new challenges and a special kind of love that only a bun can provide. My wife and I were asked if we could “bunny sit” this tan and white mini‐lop named Cadbury over a school vacation break. Who could say “no” to such a sweet bunny and our daughter with that look on her face?
Once the school year was complete Cadbury needed a permanent home and we agreed figuring how difficult could rabbit care really be after a simple one week trial run. Nothing could have been further from the truth and what we learned with Cadbury set the stage for learning the language and needs of future house rabbits.
Cadbury lived inside our house in a standard wire mesh cage and was lucky enough to not endure a hutch outside away from socializing with our children, playing on the kitchen floor, and simply being part of our daily routine. My daughter would recite the four rabbit rules brought home from school on request. No yelling, No squeezing, No pinching, No hitting; piece of cake – we got this. Our first common mistake was over feeding our bunny with grain. Not really knowing much, he was given access to amounts far exceeding need or requirements for a mini‐lop. Instead of eating roughly ½ cup per day, Cadbury had an unlimited supply. We figured he would just stop when full, big mistake.
Our second error was not providing Cadbury with timothy hay to keep his digestive system going as we later learned rabbits have one more akin to a cow than say a dog or cat. Without the necessary fiber to keep Cadbury’s digestive system going, like bran for humans, he ended up have having a blockage. With no pellets coming out the back end, and without our knowledge he was no longer pooping, Cadbury died suddenly on the way to the veterinarian in my daughter’s arm. We all cried and were upset that we had inadvertently led to the death of such a sweet creature. The entire family was devastated. Cadbury did not die in vain for our future rabbits or perhaps those reading this article today.
After several months of research on better rabbit care, the family decided having another rabbit was an appropriate move as we missed Cadbury dearly. My girls and wife picked out two bonded sister rabbits, one named Mocha for her chocolate fur and the other Midnight, entirely black as you might have guessed; both mini‐loops. And so began the real journey of our family truly becoming an official house rabbit family. Although we still had a lot to learn, Cadbury’s untimely passing made us more aware of how special bunnies could be if only understood and cared for properly.
A proper diet was the cornerstone of basic rabbit care and we then graduated to behavior, personalities, exercise, and toys. We currently have four Dutch rabbits living with us and I don’t see us ever not having one, or two, or three, or maybe more now that my girls have grown up. I hope to share other bunny stories because they make excellent indoor pets if you know the right stuff!
About Theron Peck III: I live in Lebanon NH with four house Dutch rabbits, Rocco, Pen Pen, Dixter, and Noah. I enjoy writing and hope some of my stories touch folks who own or are considering rabbits as pets.
Note: The above article was submitted by a guest author. All articles written by guest authors do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of ilovemyhouserabbit.com