Have you ever wondered why rabbits are associated with Easter? In actual fact, rabbits have been associated with springtime since ancient times. The hare was a popular motif in medieval church art and the concept of the Easter bunny derives from the German tradition of an Easter hare bringing Easter eggs for the children. The Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity’s most important holiday. Like eggs, rabbits are symbols of fertility.
Contrary to Easter-time hype, rabbits are not actually the best match for children. Did you know that a rabbit may still be around long after your child has grown into a teen? They hate being picked up and cuddled and are very timid creatures that startle easily. Rabbits, like all animals, need to be treated with lots of care and attention everyday. The following information should help you understand a rabbit better.
EnvironmentMost rabbits can be outdoors all year round, but others can live happily indoors provided you meet their needs. However, rabbits need an exercise run as well as a hutch in order to have enough space. Rabbit hutches should also be lined with newspaper or clean wood shavings, with soft hay or straw on top. The sleeping area should contain clean, dry hay or straw as bedding. Remember, no matter the material, rabbit bedding this needs to be cleaned at least once a week.
DietIt is recommended that rabbits should eat at least their own body size in good quality hay each day and a handful of suitable fresh greens morning and evening. Traditional rabbit food is an adequate accompaniment, but they should also have just a tablespoon of commercial rabbit nuggets once daily. Sugary treats and rabbit muesli should be avoided and fruit should only be fed in small quantities.
All rabbits should be registered with a vet, vaccinated and neutered. It is advisable that they are regularly brushed to keep their coats healthy. It is also important that rabbits are checked daily for any signs of illness. To be safe, you should find an experienced rabbit doctor before a problem develops.
Rabbits are very social animals and need the company of other rabbits as it is important to them. The best combination is usually a neutered male with a neutered female. However, company from people that a rabbit trusts is better than the rabbit living alone.
Rabbits can be trained to use a litter tray and they also enjoy having space to roam and things to do such as digging, running and playing. It is better to rotate your rabbits’ toys and give them a planter filled with potting compost to dig in.
Rabbits can be a rewarding and charming household pet but it is important to understand what you are getting into first. Many families can't resist these sweet little pets for their young children, but all too often are not prepared for the long term commitment. This can easily be avoided if you properly research these animals and think carefully about whether they are the right pet for you. Let's make Easter a joyful time for our long-eared friends.
Still considering getting a rabbit of your very own? We've put together a Rabbit Starter Kit to help new pet owners get into the swing of things. Feel free to contact us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+ if you have any more questions on rabbit care and ownership.