“Rabbits for Sale!”: A guide to buying rabbits 0 310

Rabbits for sale
Rabbits for sale
“Rabbits for Sale!” – A guide to buying rabbits

The most important thing to do before you start the process of buying a rabbit is to decide if you are really ready for the commitment. It’s easy to get excited when you see a sign advertising “rabbits for sale” and get carried away, buying your new pets there and then. But you need to be ready to look after them properly.

Many people think of rabbits as an easy option when it comes to having a pet. This is not necessarily the case. Rabbits need to be cleaned, fed and groomed regularly. They also need a lot of love and attention. On average, rabbits live for around 7-8 years, so looking after them is a big commitment!

Where to find rabbits for sale

If you decide that rabbit are right for you, then you need to decide where you are going to get them from. There are often baby rabbits for sale in pet shops, but unless the pet shop can tell you about the history of the rabbits it sells, this option may not be the best for you.

Instead, you could find a reliable breeder where you can go and see their facilities. A breeder will also be able to tell you all about your new pet’s family history.

Many animal shelters also have rabbits for sale. If you would prefer to adopt an adult bunny then this is a good choice. It’s a good thing to give a shelter rabbit a home!

Once you have decided where to get your pet from, there are a few more things you need to think about…

One rabbit or two?

Rabbits are social creatures and they love company. For this reason, when you are looking at rabbits for sale in a pet store, from a breeder or from a shelter, it can be a good idea to choose two.

If you do choose to have two rabbits then the best combination is a spayed and neutered male and female.

Of course, this means you need to make sure that you have enough space for both rabbits in your home. If you choose to adopt your bunny from an animal shelter you may find they will only let you adopt two rabbits and not one by itself. If you do decide to buy a single rabbit then you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time with it and keep it entertained.

Preparing for your rabbit’s arrival

Ideally it’s a good idea to prepare your home for your rabbit before you buy it. In order to do this you will need to know what size the rabbit is and buy a suitably-sized hutch or pen.

If your rabbit is going to live in your house with you, then you won’t need a hutch. However, you should still think about buying some sort of home for your bunny to get some alone time.

You also need to make sure that your home is bunny-proofed. Remember: anything that could be dangerous for your rabbit needs to be removed from any area it has access to. This includes wires which rabbits could chew. They should be kept out of your rabbits reach or boxed in.

Of course, you also need to make sure that you have some food for your new pet. Around 70-80% of a rabbit’s diet should be made up of fresh hay. You should also include around half a cup of pellets for every two pounds of rabbit, each day. It’s also a good idea to include some fresh vegetables in your rabbit’s diet, such as carrots. These should be included in small amounts.

You also need to buy items such as food dishes, water bowls or bottles, and rabbit toys (chew toys are a good choice).

What to ask the breeder or shelter

As we said, it’s usually best to check out rabbits for sale at a shelter or reliable breeder. Some shops are reliable but you need to make sure they know all about the rabbits they are selling. You should ask a breeder or shelter questions like:

  • What is the rabbit’s history?
  • Is there any record of illness, such as dental problems, in the rabbit’s family?
  • Depending on how old the rabbit is, does it have all its vaccinations up to date?
  • Again, depending on the age of the bunny, is it neutered or spayed?
  • Is there any policy for what happens if the rabbit gets sick or dies soon after you buy it?

How to choose your rabbit

No matter where you buy your rabbit from, you need to make the right choice of pet for you.

It’s a good idea to ask to hold a rabbit you are interested in if you can. You should also spend time watching the rabbit; is it inquisitive, playful and friendly? Remember to watch out for signs that the rabbit may be ill. For example:

  • Watery eyes
  • Dull and thin fur
  • Dirty bottom
  • Sneezing
  • Overgrown teeth
  • Lethargy

You can never be absolutely certain that you are choosing the right rabbit, but if you choose one that appears healthy, is bright and alert, and gets on well with you, then you are doing all the right things to find yourself a healthy and happy pet.

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3 surprising behaviours of pet rats 0 813

Pet rat behaviour

Rats have been given a bad name by decades of bad press. Far from the dirty, disease-filled pests that are portrayed on our screens, these sociable, clean animals have a few surprising perks to owning them.

These sociable, friendly pets are highly trainable animals who show affection for their owners and have many cute little quirks that make them great companions. They also have a very strange way of showing they’re happy!

With that in mind, here are three surprising behaviours of pet rats.

1. They are incredibly playful animals

This one will be no surprise to those who will have seen the boxing, chasing and excited jumps with their own eyes, but many are unaware that rats spend lots of time playing with each other and their owners. One scientific study actually showed that rats giggle when they are tickled. It’s highly recommended that you fill your pet rat’s cage with lots of enrichment toys and interact with them daily. Many owners report that their pet rats love being chased or to wrestle their hands!

2. They are incredibly social animals and love to show affection

Rats are incredibly social creatures. While of course every animal has its own personality and there are exceptions to the rule, they need to live with at least one other rat and most enjoy lots of daily interaction with their owners. It is not a rare sight to see pet rats snuggled up in the laps, pockets and sleeves of their humans. They will also nibble and lick them, as they would other rats, in a show of affection.

3. They boggle their eyes when they are happy

Surprising when first witnessed, one of the most peculiar aspects of rats is the way they display their contentment. While cats purr and dogs wag their tails, when a rat is very happy or relaxed they will brux and boggle – which is a sort of teeth grinding and very fast bulging of the eyes.

Rats are brilliant pets for all ages and there are many positives that come from owning these friendly, misunderstood animals.

What can degus eat? 0 1304

What can degus eat

When they’re living in the wild, degus focus on dietary fibre. It makes up about 60% of their diet, with the other 40% consisting of natural vegetation. But when they’re kept as pets, you’ll need to keep a close eye on what you feed your degu.

Good quality hay

For the most part, your degu’s diet should consist of good quality hay. There are lots of brands that will suffice, but two of particularly good quality are Timothy Hay and Meadow Hay. Keep an eye on the colour: if it’s pink or white, you should throw this hay away as it’s growing mould. If it’s green, it can cause bloating. Occasionally, you can mix some Alfalfa hay in with your regular hay. It’s high in protein, so great in small doses.

You can top up your degu’s bowl with a little bit of guinea pig or degu-specific food, but don’t go overboard. It’s important that your degu doesn’t start ignoring the hay because it’s got a range of health benefits, including the maintenance of a healthy gut and strong teeth. Around 10g of degu food a day should do the trick.

Human food in moderation

The good news is you can feed your degu some of your human food! Give them to your degu in moderation though, as they can cause gas and bloating. On rotation, you can feed them the following foods around once or twice a week:

• Asparagus
• Carrot tops
• Dandelion leaves
• Broccoli
• Cauliflower
• Fresh herbs
• Brussels sprouts
• Celery
• Cabbage
• Courgette
• Green beans
• Beetroot
• Dried herbs
• Pumpkin
• Butternut squash
• Marigold flowers
• Radish

Some sugary foods can be an occasional treat for your degu. In excess, they carry the risk of diabetes, so we’d only recommend doing this once a month.

• Apple
• Cherry tomatoes
• Peas
• Sweet potato
• Carrots
• Cucumber
• Sweetcorn or corn on the cob

When it’s treat time for your degu, give them a tiny amount (one or two) of:

• Sunflower seeds
• Peanuts
• Pumpkin seeds
• Whole nuts

As a general rule, the main thing to avoid giving your degu is fruit not listed here, rabbit food, hamster food or anything with molasses.

Just like us, degus love food – whether it’s good or bad for them. Bookmark this page to make sure you give your degu a balanced diet, and happy feeding!

Learn more about caring for your degu and other pet care advice here: http://www.nichepets.com/category/mammals/degus/