Enjoying Your Rabbits as Pets

Raising rabbits as pets can be a whole lot of fun. Here are some activities you can enjoy together.

  • House rabbits can provide hours of entertainment for you and your family. Before letting them loose, however, care must be taken to make your house rabbit proof.
    Photo by iStockPhoto/xavierarnau
  • Rabbits can be great companions, like this rabbit owner laying on floor reading a magazine with her Holland Lop rabbit next to her.
    Photo by Daniel Johnson/Courtesy Voyageur
  • In rabbit hopping competitions, the rabbit, wearing a body harness and leash, makes its way around a course of jumps, leaping over each one.
    Photo by iStockphoto/ferrantraite
  • Dutch rabbit hiding behind a wicker chair.
    Photo by Daniel Johnson/Courtesy Voyageur
  • A Holland Lop rabbit, a doe, sandy colored breed, in litter box.
    Photo by Daniel Johnson/Courtesy Voyageur
  • This invaluable resource contains everything you need to know about selecting and caring for healthy rabbits, whether you keep pet bunnies or exhibit animals as youth projects for the National FFA Organization or 4-H.
    Photo courtesy Voyageur Press

Owning rabbits, taking them to shows, feeding and caring for them – these are all rewarding pursuits that can bring a lot of enjoyment. The fun, however, doesn’t have to stop at routine rabbit care. There are many more activities you and your bunnies can enjoy together, many of which are lesser known to most new rabbit enthusiasts.

For those folks who look at rabbits more as members of the family than as “livestock,” here are some reasons you may want to give your furry friends a few toys, enter them in hopping or agility competitions, or even invite them into your home as house rabbits. Give them a try and learn how much fun your bunnies could be for you and your family.

Fun ’n’ games

You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you I have a rabbit that demands toys, but it’s absolutely true. She used to pull her water cup off the cage wall, dump the water, and then carry the cup around her cage in her mouth. I would remove the cup, refill it and put it back. An hour or two later, she would be carrying the cup around the cage again. Well, let’s just say that it didn’t take me long to replace her water cup with a “locked” version that affixed tightly to the cage wall and give her a toy to play with. Now, she loves her toys and plays with them regularly.

If you have a rabbit with a penchant for toys, you may be wondering which types to choose. Small-pet catalogs offer a wide variety of choices, and you can rest easy knowing that they are specially designed for small-animal use. You can find balls, “hay wheels” and grass mats. The grass mats are particularly interesting, as they can take the place of a resting board in your rabbit’s cage, but since they are made of dried grass (hay), it’s perfectly all right if your rabbit decides to eat it.

If you’d rather use items that you already have around the house, such as empty paper towel tubes or recycled soda cans, make sure that you choose items that don’t pose any danger to your rabbits. Baby or toddler toys can make suitable toys for rabbits, as can some cat toys.

Hop to it

Rabbit shows are undeniably fun, but if you’re looking for an event with a bit more bounce, then you might want to look into rabbit agility and rabbit hopping competitions. If you’re at all familiar with dog agility competitions, then you know that they offer a wide variety of obstacles for the dog to maneuver over, around or through. Rabbit agility is essentially the same, although the obstacles are proportionally smaller. Rabbit agility is still gaining momentum, but many rabbit enthusiasts are discovering it as a great way to interact with their rabbits, maintain their health, and have a lot of fun at the same time.

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