Are you thinking of buying a pet as a gift for a loved-one this Christmas?
That is a STUPID idea!
I’m sure you mean well. Giving someone a pet as a present is perhaps a sweet sentiment, but it’s not really fair to the gift pet.
If you give someone a pet you absolutely have to be 100% sure:
- They want a pet
- They are allowed to get a pet where they live
- A member of their family/housemate isn’t allergic to that pet
- They want that specific species
- They want that specific breed
- They can afford to care for the pet
- They have actually TOLD you they want to get that pet.
… And even then I wouldn’t recommend it.
Many unwanted (or perhaps just unaffordable) gift pets end up abandoned and/or in shelters. During the festive season there is also an increase of people just abandoning their pets when they go on holiday or simply leave them at home, alone and unattended. Animal Rescue shelters reach crisis time during the December holidays, due to the shear number of inmates. Many of them run out of food and space.
This festive season, if you’re thinking about getting a pet, rather adopt than buy. Go to your local shelter and find a friend who will love you forever for giving them a new home.
Don’t however adopt a pet as a gift for someone else. You don’t want the poor animal to be recycled and simply end up back at the shelter.
A rabbit’s diet should consist mostly of hay (alfalfa, timothy or oat), pellets, vegetables and water. However there are some plants that are toxic to rabbits.
- Tomato (leaves an vines)
- Indian Hemp
- Oak (acorns, foliage)
- Wild Carrots
- Apple seeds
- Rhubarb leaves
- Coffee beans
For a complete list of toxic foods, see the list on rabbit.org
Much like a kitty, your bunny rabbit can do her business in a litter-box. It is vital to use the correct lining and dispose of the waste regularly. An unhealthy litter-box can lead to health problems such as kidney disease.
Documented scientific research has already shown that aromatic softwood beddings are potent enough to alter biological functions of the liver.
– Vesell, E.S. (1967) Induction of Drug-Metabolizing Enzymes in Liver Microsomes of Mice and Rats by softwood bedding. Science. 157, 1058
Good lining choices are:
- Paper pulp
- Dry grass pellets
- Peat Moss (though it’s very smelly) Compressed sawdust pellets
- Straw (chnge regularly)
Unhealthy lining choices:
- Silica gel litters
- Pine shavings Chemical sand.
- Corn cob
The other day I was wondering if you could spay and neuter rabbits, this is what I found out about pet rabbits.
As far as veterinary care goes your bunny will need to be de-wormed and vaccinated. The vet should also regularly check the weight of your rabbit as well as for dental problems.
It seems that you can spay and neuter your rabbit and that this could also prevent reproductive cancers. “Fixed” rabbits will also be calmer and less destructive.
Many vets are not experienced with performing this procedure, so you should check that your vet has spayed and neutered bunnies before.
You can spay a female bunny at around 4-6 months of age and a male rabbit at around 3.5 – 5months (as soon as the testicle have ascended).
It is not recommended to breed your rabbits, as many health complications can occur.