Rabbits are, of course, one of the most popular small pets. But there’s lots to learn about any pet when you first own one. A good specialist retailer will not only take care to ensure you buy a healthy pet rabbit but will also take the time to talk through their needs.
We have the heads-up on what they are likely to discuss…
- Rabbits aren’t cheap pets! The lifetime cost of keeping a rabbit has been estimated at £7,750. And as they come in pairs that’s a potential lifetime cost of £15,000. More than you thought? Be prepared but remember, as rabbits live to around 10 years of age that’s not a big annual cost for a lifetime of love. Do be ready to invest in keeping them healthy and happy.
- Rabbits come in pairs – or should do. Without a rabbit companion, your furry friend will be miserable. Another rabbit not only meets their needs to be sociable, it also provides another pair of eyes and ears to look out for potential threats, helping both rabbits to feel more safe, secure and relaxed in their home.
- Need to save money? A retailer will tell you where you can make savings with home-made toys and which products not to compromise on. Good quality hay doesn’t cost much more than poor quality and can save you hundreds in veterinary bills for dental care when your rabbits teeth become overgrown due to inadequate chewing of unpalatable hay.
- Help to choose – not sure if you will ever use this product or love that but don’t know if it will last? Your local retailer knows what products pet owners love, the ones that are played with forever and those that are gone in a whisker but are worth it for the fun they deliver. Make a list of what you think you need, then take advice on what you actually need. An expert retailer knows if they give you the best advice and help you to avoid wasting money, you’ll come back again.
- Go huge on hutches – or at least make them as big as you can accommodate. Your rabbit should be able to stand up and complete several hops in the space available. A good retailer will be able to advise on the right housing to match their size: whether you opt for indoor or outside living for your pet.
- They’ll ask questions – a good retailer will try and find out about your specific needs which could affect the care you can give your pet. If you have an asthma sufferer at home, dust-free bedding products are a must. If you have a strong drive to be more eco, they can tell you what rabbit products meet your pet’s needs without harming the environment.
- They can help answer your questions! Not sure whether your rabbit should be kept close to you indoors or outside in the garden? It can depend on a number of factors such as weather conditions, predators and general risks outdoors, as well as your personal preferences. A good retailer can help explain the pros and cons so you can reach the right decision for you and your pet.
- They can hunt down your must-have products. Most specialist retailers have access to a much wider range of products than you see on the shelf. So, if you’ve seen something online and can’t find it, or love a product on the shelf but would like it in a different colour, just ask!
- There’s a lot to take on board. Your retailer can let you know the best websites to visit or books to buy to help you care for your rabbit. They are also likely to have leaflets, vouchers and coupons and even loyalty programmes so your start up budget stretches a little further.
- They can show you how to handle your rabbit correctly. A good retailer can provide tips on how to gain your rabbit’s trust over time and to handle them in a way that avoids injury. A rabbit that is easily handled and that doesn’t become stressed is a much nicer pet to own and more likely to be loved and lovable over its natural life span.
- They are there for life – whether it’s problem solving or helping you to transition your new pet from a junior to an adult food. A local retailer can be your font of knowledge, your adviser and there for a hand hold when you are worried.
- They know you, they know your pet. A good retailer is someone to ask if you are unsure, they’ll remember your pets name and that they love pea and mint treats. They are the people who make sure they keep the food your rabbit likes in stock and who love talking about pets as much as you do… just how do you measure the value of that?