Are Rabbits Low-Maintenance Pets?

Find out if rabbits are low-maintenance pets in this Howcast video featuring bunny lover Amy Sedaris and rabbit expert Mary E. Cotter.

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Rabbits make wonderful pets. If you're thinking of getting one, check out these videos: Actress Amy Sedaris, who is a loving mom to her own pet bunny, helps rabbit expert Mary E. Cotter, Ed.D., LVT answer all your questions about how to take care of a pet rabbit. It's not always easy, but it's worth the work.

 
 

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Speaker 1: Here we are. Rabbits are low maintenance pets. People ask me that all the time. Speaker 2: Yeah, and people get rabbits thinking that they're great low maintenance starter pets. They usually get them for children and all the parents thinking when they do that is that the rabbit won't have to be walked like a dog. Speaker 1: Right. Speaker 2: You know, you won't have to clean the litter box like a cat. Rabbits you know, people don't know, that rabbits use litter boxes. They're not low maintenance pets. These pets take me more time to care for than my dog takes to care for. Speaker 1: Full-time job. Speaker 2: Yeah, it is. Speaker 1: Mm hmm. Speaker 2: It's a fair amount of work to care for a rabbit properly. A lot of people don't care for them properly and they make short work of it and the rabbits don't get what they need, but if you're really giving a rabbit what he or she needs, it's a job. These are not low maintenance pets. They require good veterinary care. They should go to the vet at least once a year for a well bunny visit assuming they're not sick. They need to get out for daily exercise. They need their... Speaker 2: Yeah, environmental stimulation and enrichment. You need to change the environment periodically. You know, move where a chair is. Move where a bench is. Put an object on the floor, a cardboard box, something for your rabbit to investigate and you always . . . Speaker 1: Just change it up. Speaker 2: Change it up. Speaker 1: Make meatloaf in a ring pan. Speaker 2: That's... Speaker 1: Instead of a loaf pan. Change it up. Speaker 2: So, yeah. You do have to pay attention to your rabbits and you have to be there when they're exercising. The idea is to keep them safe. Whatever they're doing in your home, they shouldn't be chewing on anything that's possibly toxic or that would cause a gut impaction for them. That's a big deal, so there you have it. Speaker 1: Okay.

Expert

  • Mary E. Cotter

    Mary E. Cotter, M.A., Ed.D., LVT is the founder of the NY-based Rabbit Rescue & Rehab. She serves as chapter manager of the NYC House Rabbit Society and is vice president of the International House Rabbit Society. Involved with rabbit rescue since 1982, she speaks and writes frequently on rabbit-related topics, addressing owners, veterinary professionals and shelter workers. Mary is an adjunct assistant professor in the veterinary technology department of LaGuardia Community College (City University of New York) and co-manages a 7,000-member Internet mailing list focused on rabbit health, care and behavior.