Skip to main content

Selecting the Right Pet Rabbit for You

little girl and bunny

Few animals make a more delightful pet than a bunny. Domestic rabbits are clean, cuddly, inexpensive, and intelligent. Choose the right bunny and care for it well, and it will become a good friend and companion.

Potential pet owners need to decide why they want a rabbit – as a house pet, for show, or for meat – and who is going to care for it. Young children are better suited to having small rabbits.

Like humans, rabbits vary in disposition. They are individuals. Some are calm and friendly, while others are skittish and aloof. Nearly any rabbit breed or crossbreed can  make a great pet, however small breeds, such as Dutch, mini Rex, and Lops, have interesting patterns and colors and have been bred to be calm and friendly. Small breeds are easier to handle, eat less, and require less hutch space than bigger rabbits.

Rabbits that are gently handled, petted and talked to from an early age make the best pets. They are used to being held and enjoy cuddling with their owner and love attention.

Feed & pet stores sell bunnies, especially in the spring. Often they are cross breeds and it’s hard to tell how they were raised. These stores may charge more for a bunny than a rabbitry does, but many outstanding pets have come from stores.

Another option is buying an animal from a jumbled rabbitry. Some people love rabbits, and have garages or sheds filled with hutches containing rabbits of all breeds and ages. Visit one of these places and rabbits are everywhere, including running around on the floor. Often these rabbits are of unknown breed and haven’t had much individual care when young. They are usually the least expensive place to buy a bunny. But, this source can yield the least satisfactory results, so use caution.

Buying a young rabbit from someone who shows them, is often the best way to get a quality pet. Breeders pay attention to their animals and frequently handle them. The rabbits also receive outstanding nutrition.

People who raise show rabbits usually specialize in one or two breeds and inspect babies to see if they have perfect markings for their breed. Many are born with atypical colors or patterns, making them unsuitable for show. These bunnies usually make wonderful pets and because they have been handled and, because they have no show value, they are usually inexpensive.

Attend local and/or state fairs where you can pick up well-cared for rabbits that just didn’t “make the grade” but that are well-adjusted and healthy.

Have fun finding the rabbit that is just right for you!