Why rabbits make great pets

Brian Weltge is the president and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. For more information, call (937) 268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org. Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org.

As we get closer to Easter, parents may find it tempting to splurge on a cute and cuddly bunny as a gift for their children. We encourage all potential adopters to understand that rabbits require a commitment and can live for around 10 years when cared for properly.

Don’t adopt a rabbit on a whim. Adopt a rabbit because you love rabbits and are willing to put in the commitment and love needed to give them a great forever home. If you can’t commit to a long-term pet, we recommend maybe giving your child a chocolate rabbit or a stuffed rabbit toy for Easter as an alternative.

Many people don’t realize that the Humane Society of Greater Dayton works with all types of animals. In fact, we have a rabitat at our shelter with some amazing bunnies and rabbits up for adoption. Rabbits can make amazing pets and can be trained similar to cats. If you have never considered adopting a rabbit before, check out these great reasons why a rabbit could make a great pet for your family.

Rabbits are quiet pets. Rabbits make little to no noise and will keep both you and your neighbors happy.

You can train your rabbit. Rabbits are smart animals, and with proper positive reinforcements they can be trained like other pets. Rabbits instinctively will use a litter box, much like a kitten or cat, if they've been spayed or neutered and it is readily available to them. Some rabbits enjoy activities such as agility courses and can be trained using clickers or treats such as fresh fruit. Depending on your rabbit's personality and activity level, the possibilities are endless.

They are very social companions and form strong bonds. Rabbits are very curious, playful and social creatures that enjoy spending time with their owners. They can also enjoy socializing with other family members, children and pets with adult supervision. Some single rabbits bond so strongly with their owners that they come when called and even jump up onto an open lap.

They don't require a lot of space. If you live in an apartment or small space, a rabbit can be ideal for you.

Rabbits can have big personalities. Just like cats or dogs, each rabbit has its own distinct personality. From being very affectionate and playful to rather shy or reserved, every rabbit is different. To make sure you are picking a rabbit that fits with your personality and needs, spend some time with the bunny first to make sure you are a good match. Often staff at your local shelter or rescue can help you select the rabbit that is best suited for you based on their experience with each rabbit.

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