Clover Patch Sanctuary Inc.
Q: "How many years does a bunny live?"
A: With proper care, vetting, diet and love, a bunny can live up to 12 years old and I've seen some that live to be older!
Q: "I'm wanting to adopt a bunny for my child. Are bunnies good pets for children?"
A: Bunnies are high maintenance animals that require precise care and attention. Young children are not capable of being suitable bunny parents without adult intervention. Bunnies are NOT good "starter pets". Therefore, we recommend that an adult be the "bun parent" taking care of all of the bunny's needs while allowing their child supervised play-time with the bunny only.
Although bunnies are cute & fluffy, indeed, they are NOT generally "snuggly" as you would see on TV and/or movies. They are adventurous, ground loving and like to explore their world. Although some bunnies might "snuggle" with time, you cannot expect that as snuggling is NOT in a rabbit's nature. Some rabbits will never "snuggle" and prefer to only hop into your lap and/or settle down next to you for comfort. This is something that's VERY important (We can't stress it enough) to explain to your child/children before bringing a bunny into your family as forcing a bunny to "snuggle" can only stress the bunny out and create many issues with your new fluffy pet.
Q: "Why can't I keep my bunny in an outside hutch?"
A: Based on the concept of "Out of sight-Out of mind" we only adopt to persons who wish to make their bunny a part of their life, living indoors ONLY, giving him/her all the same respect as a dog or cat. After all, a person who wants a fur-pal dog or cat wouldn't put it into a hutch in their back yard, right? It's cruel and promotes the idea that rabbits are nothing more than adorable rodents which is UNTRUE.
Q: "I want a rabbit, but they can be stinky! Is there any way to keep them from stinking???"
A: Rabbits don't stink... They are not dirty (they are very clean, in fact) and if their habitat stinks, it's the OWNER'S fault. Properly trained and spayed/neutered rabbits will "do their biz" in a litter box. If you don't keep that litter box clean and clean the rabbit's habitat, it's like not flushing a toilet for a couple of days. It will stink also, ya know?
Q: "Can I let my rabbit hop around the house?"
A: Yes! Please do! Your rabbit will LOVE you for it and you'll see some binky jumps flying! Be careful, though, to protect your electrical cables and give your bunny plenty of activity items to play with. Also, give your bunny a nice, dark secluded spot to hop into as well in case he needs some time away from his great big world.
Q: "What is the best habitat for my bunny in my home?"
A: In accordance to The House Rabbit Society's guidelines, appropriate habitats are as follows:
1. Circle Pen or X pen: These can be purchased pre-made out of metal for around $80 at any pet store or you can make one with the "Organize It" squares found at Target for around $20. If you choose to make your own, we will instruct you on how to build a good, sturdy pen or if you'd like for us to build one for you, we can do so for $40 (includes costs of materials). You will need a rug or a good piece of carpet around 4' x 4' either square or round to place under your pen so your bunny can have a soft fluffy area to relax in and the addition of the rug/carpet protects your floor underneath from any accidents.
2. XL Dog Crate: Many adopters choose this option if they intend to allow their bunny to be mostly "free roaming" or have a smaller area such as an apartment or condo. The XL crate with a solid bottom(NOT WIRE) either 28" x 42" OR 30" x 46" in size can be purchased at most pet stores and home improvement stores and is around $100. The crate disassembles easily for moving from room to room. You will need a rug or a good piece of carpet for the bottom of your crate. We have found that a washable bath mat works best for these and is easiest to clean.
Example of a store bought circle/x pen
Example of a XL dog crate
Q: "Does my bunny need to go to the vet?"
A: Yes! Your bunny needs to visit with a qualified rabbit veterinarian once a year! Although they don't require shots, heartworm meds, etc, you want the vet to give your rabbit a good "once over" yearly to determine their overall health and condition of their teeth among other things.
Q: "Can my rabbit play outside?"
A: Absolutely! You must know, though, that rabbits need to be monitored HEAVILY during outside play time by an adult or responsible person over the age of 16 years old. Because rabbits are prey animals to most outside creatures, they should never be allowed long periods of outside play time. Generally around 1-2 hours per day is enough. Also, rabbits are subject to heat stroke so we highly discourage letting your rabbit have outdoor time during the summer months.
Q: "I just don't understand why my child shouldn't pick up and hold the rabbit! My child is strong and responsible and has been holding animals for a long time"
A: All animals are different! Dogs are not cats and cats are not dogs and NEITHER are rabbits. Young children simply don't have the muscle strength & coordination required to pick up and hold a rabbit properly. End of story. We're not trying to insult your child's level of strength and coordination, but we can't and won't argue with human physiology. The best age to let your child begin picking up and holding a rabbit of any size is 12 years old or older. And again, as stated at the top of the FAQ, rabbits do not like to be held. They are ground loving creatures. To pick up and hold, initiates "snuggle time" with a young child. When a young child picks up a bunny and cannot hold it properly, the rabbit feels insecure and will "kick off" or could even die from a series of improper pick ups. The "kick off" could cause injury to your child as a rabbit's back feet are really their only line of defense against what frightens them. And trust us, you don't want to have to deal with a deep, "gash like" cut on your young child that could scar them permanently. If you allow your young child to pick up a rabbit and attempt to hold or snuggle it and your child gets injured, it's YOUR fault... not the childs and certainly not the rabbits. Plus, the death of a beloved furry friend can and will devastate your child...Improper pick ups CAN cause the death of a rabbit. All of this can be avoided by never allowing it to happen! We're terribly sorry to be so abrupt in our answer here, but the message is just not getting across as well as we'd like that young children should NEVER pick up a rabbit for any reason! Please don't be angry with us for stating true and tested FACTS. We sympathize with your child's need and desire to hold and snuggle a bunny, but we respect the rabbit's health and nature of the rabbit FIRST.