Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Why Rabbits Make Great Pets: Introducing Fluffy and Arctic

One month ago our home got a bit more crowded! After 7 years of asking for a pet rabbit Lexie's dream finally came true. You know that saying about how rabbits multiply? It happens! One rabbit SOMEHOW turned into two.


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In all fairness I can't blame Lexie for wanting to give them all a home. These adorable baby bunnies were destined to be food. You read that correctly. They came from a farm that raises rabbits for meat. The incredibly lucky Fluffy and Arctic were rescued from their fate and joined our family when they were 6 weeks old. Lexie was beyond thrilled!

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This isn't a new experience for me. I've owned quite a few pet rabbits before. When I was a child we had rabbits that were kept outside in a hutch. They were cute but not overly friendly. As a teenager I owned a bunny that was house trained. He used the litter box, roamed our house freely and hung out with our cat. And he was a nasty animal. He only liked me and the cat! He literally growled at people and attacked them. Every so often he would hop onto my mom's chest while she was sleeping and I would hear her frantically whispering for me to get my rabbit before it tore her throat out. That grumpy rabbit lived 7 years. Grant and I owned a tiny pet rabbit shortly after we got married. He was very friendly but we didn't have much luck with house training him. Unfortunately, he didn't live as long as we expected.

Lexie started asking for a pet rabbit when she was 2 and she never stopped. At the time we had 2 dogs and 2 cats and I didn't really want another animal in our house. We have been cat and dog-free for a year and a half now. Up until recently all we had left were 3 pets that belong to Lexie (a parakeet, a hermit crab and a mouse that the kids found in the backyard and domesticated) and my horse, who is boarded elsewhere.

Lexie is an unbelievably responsible pet owner with a huge heart. At 9 years old she's easily a more responsible pet owner than most adults. She has been like that since she got her first hamster when she was 3 years old.  She takes care of all of  her pets completely and without complaint, so no pet care fell on me other than buying the supplies.

We never allowed Lexie to get a rabbit so her alternative was hamsters. She had two different hamsters whom she loved dearly. When her last hamster passed away a few months ago, Lexie was devastated. We didn't want her to get another pocket pet with such a short life span so when she started asking for a pet rabbit again a few months later we agreed!  And one rabbit became two...

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Fluffy and Arctic are incredibly sweet, friendly and cuddly. I definitely believe it's crucial to get them when they are young so they get used to being handled. They got used to the noise and chaos inside our home very quickly and they love to cuddle with us.

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They DO live inside our home because rabbits that are kept indoors live longer lives (8-12 years if they are well cared for). They live in a hutch and while they aren't allowed to roam freely, they do spend a lot of time hopping around the house with supervision. We are in the process of house training them so they don't have accidents while they are hopping around.

Keeping Rabbits as Pets

The best thing about rabbits that are kept indoors is that they are very much like a puppy! As soon as you enter the room they are in they immediately rush over to the cage door. If they are hopping around freely they hop over to greet you. If you walk away they follow behind. They like to jump up on the couch and sit on your lap. They actually play with toys and toss around a ball.  Everybody in our family adores them!

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Fluffy and Arctic have very distinct personalities. Fluffy, who belongs to Lexie, is very bold. She races through the house at top speed and isn't afraid of anything. Arctic, on the other hand, is much more cautious! She will often sit in the same spot for 20 minutes before taking a step forward!

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As soon as you pick them up they immediately relax. These bunnies know how to chill!

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Just to give you an idea of their level of calmness...

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One thing is certain: They are both unbelievably sweet and calm when you hold them! They seem to thrive on all the attention.

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The kids are in charge of taking care of the rabbits but it really isn't much work.  Lexie gives them food, hay and water daily. Twice a week Dylan is in charge of emptying the bedding out of their hutch and replacing it with new bedding. And once a week they get wiped down with a wet washcloth and brushed. And every single day they are smothered with love!

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 Fluffy and Arctic have only been with us for a month but they already doubled in size! They will end up around 8-10 pounds each.  Liam is a tiny dude and they look like giants next to him now! Liam was terrified of them at first but he will finally pet them. If they try to to crawl over him the game is over!

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They will be visiting the vet soon for a checkup and will get spayed since we aren't planning on breeding them. And they ARE both females. We triple checked that!!!

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Rabbits are easy pets to take care of but as with any animal there are a few things you need to be aware of:
  • Rabbits like to chew! If they are out of their hutch they will need supervision in your home. Tuck away electrical cords and for an extra safety measure purchase a small exercise pen. That way they can still run freely but safely!
  • Again with the chewing...just be sure to supervise. They just might try to chew on furniture or pull at carpet threads!
  • Rabbits are pretty good at escaping! We learned this the hard way. I returned home a few days ago to find them hopping freely in our home. They somehow figured out how to throw their bodies against the hutch door. After witnessing how they escaped we clipped their hutch door shut!

Rabbits are also inexpensive to care for. Vet care is very minimal. It is recommended that you spay or neuter your pet rabbit(s) but they don't need yearly shots like cats or dogs. Here are the basic supplies that you will need:
  • Hutch or cage
  • Food dish that clips onto their hutch/cage. They will flip their dish if it isn't attached!
  • Large water bottle
  • Wood chews
  • Litter box
  • Bedding
  • Rabbit Food 
  • Hay
  • Toys 
  • Bed

Daily care is very simple. It just includes replacing food and water and handling your pet. The more you handle them the friendlier they will be! Ours are so loved that they rarely get a break!

Lexie is absolutely ecstatic about having not just one, but TWO, pet bunnies!

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Along the way the entire family fell in love with our rabbits! This extremely friendly, non-traditional pet fits into our family perfectly!!!


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Why Rabbits Make Great Pets - Keeping Rabbits Inside Your Home


Let's Be Friends!
  





12 comments:

  1. They do look like great pets! My kids would love to have bunnies! For now, we just name the ones we see in our yard!

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  2. Mason and I are begging Nate for a rabbit! We want a lop! Your bunnies are so cute. I don’t know how people can eat sweet little bunnies. Especially ones this precious. I am so glad you guys rescued them. I love how much Lexie loves animals. What a sweetheart! And it sounds like these two sweet babies were a perfect fit for your family. I’m dying over the bunny in the baby carrier. Hilarious and awesome!

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  3. This is so adorable!!! They look like such sweet rabbits. We had two rabbits growing up and we recently bought a hutch but have yet to get a rabbit. How adorable is your daughter with one in that carrier?! Precious. Beautifully Candid

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  4. Very cute. I used to have a pet rabbit and loved it!

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  5. I had rabbits growing up! Oh how I love them!

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  6. Oh my gosh. I had no idea how calm rabbits were. I always pictured them hopping around and around but they're like little puppies that like to cuddle! They are just darling!

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  7. We had bunnies all growing up and they are so cute! But I didn't know you could house train them! That is super appealing when considering pets.

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  8. Holy smokes those are some lovable bunnies! I didn't even know bunnies could be so friendly.

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  9. Could they be any cuter?! I wanna take a nap with the bunnies!

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  10. Aww this makes me want bunnies! I always had them growing up too. How do you house train them?

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  11. Aaaahhhh!!!! You totally have me convinced... now to convince the hubby. He is a bit harder to sell than I am.

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  12. Destined to be food?! That's horrible! So nice of you to take them in. Love the pic of the bunny in the carrier lol too funny

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Thank you for reading! XOXO