Rabbit myth busting
Rabbits are sadly one of the most misunderstood creatures and are often mistreated purely through our lack of understanding of their needs! So if you’re thinking of adopting one be sure to read what we think are the most common myths when it comes to bunnies and their welfare…
1. A Guinea Pig is the perfect companion for a Rabbit
This is probably the most common misconception when it comes to owning a Rabbit. They have different dietary requirements and different ways of communicating and behaving; not to mention that your sweet little bunny rabbit could turn into a bully when living with a guinea pig!
2. Rabbits love carrots
Okay so that’s not technically a myth; for the most part rabbits love carrots, but they actually contain high levels of natural sugar so should only be fed as a treat.
As much as Bugs Bunny loves them, carrots aren’t all your bun will need to be hoppy and healthy. Contrary to what you might think, there are a lot of components that make up a rabbits diet. Fresh hay, greens and fresh water are essential along with a good quality, complete rabbit food.
3. Rabbits are easy to care for
People often choose the smaller creatures as pets with the assumption that they’ll be easy to maintain. This couldn’t be further from the truth! If you’re planning on keeping your rabbit outside you will need around 10 square feet for a proper rabbit hutch and run. Like all animals, rabbits need their vaccinations to prevent disease; they also need their nails and teeth trimming regularly so you should take your budget for visits to the vet into account. All in all a rabbit can cost around £500 to buy and set up properly and around £50 a month to maintain. Just because rabbits don’t speak like our canine and feline friends it doesn’t mean they don’t need interaction, feeding your rabbit isn’t enough, creating fun games will keep their mind and body active. Rabbits love to dig and forage, they also love to gnaw so why not hide treats around the house (places you don’t mind being dug up) or give them clean cardboard to chew on.
4. You can pick up rabbits by the ears
You should never, ever do this! It’s painful, stressful and can cause damage to your poor bun. It takes two hands to pick up your rabbit safely, with the majority of support underneath, you shouldn’t let their big back feet dangle either. It takes a little time for your rabbit to feel safe being handled by you; talk to them and stroke them first so that they can learn to trust you. Then when you do come to pick them up, keep them close to your body to make them feel secure, and don’t hold them too far off the floor, in case they try to jump.
5. Rabbits like to be alone
The final myth we’re busting is that rabbits are solitary animals. Rabbits in the wild live in colonies and your domestic bun shouldn’t be too different. Left alone in a hutch rabbits can become depressed and lonely. They need plenty of company either from you, a bunny companion or preferably both.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below.