Rabbit ownership has doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic, with adoption rates up significantly compared to previous years, according to the House Rabbit Society. Rabbits are popular because they are relatively easy to take care of and adapt to indoor living; they are social and enjoy human company; and they have therapeutic and calming effects. However, they should be housed in a spacious and secure enclosure, fed a healthy diet, given regular exercise, and taken for veterinary check-ups. Rabbits are intelligent animals and can be trained, but they are also prone to several health problems that owners should be aware of.
Pet Rabbit Ownership Doubles in 2021 Amid Pandemic Restrictions
Pet ownership has always been popular, but the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a significant rise in the number of people turning to animal companionship to help beat the lockdown blues. While dogs and cats have always been the go-to pets for most people, rabbits have seen a sudden surge in popularity. According to the House Rabbit Society, rabbit adoption rates doubled in 2021 compared to previous years.
Why the sudden surge in rabbit ownership?
There are several reasons why rabbits have become the new ‘in pets’ during the pandemic.
Firstly, rabbits are relatively easy to take care of and adapt well to indoor living. They are quiet and do not need constant exercise like dogs, making them an ideal choice for apartment living.
Secondly, rabbits are social animals and enjoy human company. With so many people working from home during the pandemic, rabbits have become the perfect companion for those in search of some much-needed company.
Lastly, rabbits are known for their therapeutic and calming effects. Spending time with a rabbit has been known to reduce stress and anxiety levels, making them the perfect stress-busting pets for people living in uncertain times.
Responsibilities of Rabbit Ownership
While rabbits make great pets, it’s important to remember that owning a pet is a big responsibility. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are considering adopting a rabbit:
Rabbits need a spacious and secure enclosure to live in. They should have enough room to move around, stand on their hind legs, and stretch out. Ensure that the enclosure is made of durable materials and is safe from any potential hazards.
A rabbit’s diet should primarily consist of hay, fresh vegetables, and limited amounts of pellets. Avoid feeding them sugary or processed foods, as this can lead to health problems.
Rabbits are social animals and require regular exercise. They should be allowed to roam in a secure space, preferably outdoors, for at least a few hours each day.
Like any other pet, rabbits require regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and parasite controls. Owners should also keep an eye out for any signs of illness and seek prompt medical attention if required.
What happens if I need to travel? Can I leave my rabbit alone?
It’s not recommended to leave your rabbit alone for extended periods of time. If you need to travel, arrange for someone you trust to care for your rabbit in your absence. Alternatively, consider boarding your rabbit at a reputable rabbit daycare or boarding facility.
Can rabbits be trained like other pets?
Yes, rabbits can be trained. They are intelligent animals and can be taught to use a litter box, respond to their names, and even perform tricks.
What are some common health problems that rabbits can face?
Rabbits are prone to several health problems, including dental problems, gut stasis, and respiratory infections. Other health concerns include obesity and traumatic injuries due to falls from heights or inadequate housing.
In conclusion, rabbits have become increasingly popular during the pandemic as more people seek the companionship and therapeutic benefits of owning a pet. However, owning a rabbit comes with responsibilities, and potential owners should do their research before making the decision to adopt one.