It’s a ‘bunny boom’!
Right now, the BC SPCA has nearly twice as many rabbits in care as we had at this time last year. As a result, we’re in urgent need of both foster and forever homes for bunnies of all ages and sizes.
Not sure if you’re ready for a rabbit (or, even better, two)? Here are five reasons why these loveable little lagomorphs might just be right for you.
1. Rabbits suit a nine-to-five workday
Rabbits are crepuscular, meaning they’re most active during the early morning and again during the early evening. For folks who work a nine-to-five day, this can make for a good schedule match-up.
Here’s a typical day:
When you get up in the morning, your rabbits are eagerly awaiting breakfast. You give them some fresh water, a small amount of rabbit pellets each, a huge pile of grass hay and some quick head pats before heading out the door.
Once you get home from work, it’s dinnertime for all of you. You top up their hay and give them some fresh leafy greens to eat. Then you let your rabbits munch away on their bunny salad while you do a quick tidy of their enclosure, including their litter boxes.
Finally, as you settle down to stream the latest episode of your favourite show, you let your rabbits out of their enclosure for exercise in a rabbit-proofed room. They might come over for a quick cuddle or two before getting back to exploring and playing with their toys. Then, a few hours later, they’re ready to turn in for the evening.
(For rabbits who already have free run of a safe room, there’s no cage for you to let them out of — but you still need to spend time hanging out with them!)
2. Rabbits can be housetrained
Believe it or not, rabbits can be trained to use a litter box, just like a cat! They naturally tend to choose one area of their enclosure to urinate in. By simply placing a litter box in that spot, you’ve already started the housetraining process. Adding some hay to the litter box is a great way to encourage rabbits to use it, as they often like to potty and snack at the same time.
Check out even more tips for housetraining rabbits.
3. Rabbits don’t need a backyard
Rabbits are often thought of as outdoor pets. They’ve typically been kept in small, dark hutches in the backyard. However, indoor life is really where it’s at. Rabbits should be kept in an area of the home where people hang out, ideally in a large, enriched enclosure or with free run of an entire room. That way, they can become part of the family where they belong.
At a minimum, enclosures for rabbits need to be big enough to fit food and water bowls, at least one litter box each and at least one hideout each, while still allowing them to take several unobstructed hops in a row.
The more space you can provide, the better! Traditional wire-and-plastic pet store cages are much too small. A good-sized enclosure can easily be made from exercise pens meant for dogs.
Learn more about good rabbit housing.
4. Rabbits are healthy eaters
When you have rabbits, you’ll find yourself frequenting the produce aisles more than ever. Rabbits are herbivores and thrive on a diet that includes plenty of fresh vegetables every day. Leafy greens like kale, bok choy, parsley and romaine lettuce are especially good for them. As a result, many rabbit guardians find themselves being complimented on their healthy food choices at checkout. Having rabbits must just inspire you to eat more greens yourself!
Leafy greens are just one component of a rabbit’s diet. Grass hays like Timothy hay should make up most of their diet, and rabbit pellets should only be a small portion or else they can gain too much weight. Find out what else rabbits should eat (PDF) to stay healthy.
5. Rabbits are entertaining
Perhaps because rabbits have traditionally been kept outdoors, away from the family, they’ve long been overlooked and misunderstood as companion animals. However, those fortunate enough to spend some time with them are often surprised to discover just how affectionate and interactive they are.
Like dogs and cats, rabbits have unique personalities. Some are laid back, while others have a more in-your-face style that demands attention. They’re very intelligent too, and can be trained to do tricks or even rabbit agility.
As social animals, rabbits do best when they have another rabbit for company. Keeping two together will double your fun!
Hear from rabbit guardians themselves in these adorable adoption stories.
Can you help a bunny out?
As with any companion animal, it’s important to know what to expect before bringing a rabbit (or, ideally, two!) into your life. For folks looking for a pet who’s smart, curious and engaging, though, you might just have found your match.
Have some time on your hands to care for a rabbit temporarily? Find out more about what it takes to foster for the BC SPCA.
Ready to make a longer term commitment? See all our rabbits available for adoption at spca.bc.ca/adopt.