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Should I Buy a Pet Bunny Or Adopt an Adult Pet Rabbit?
by Andrea Austin, Rabbits-n-Bunnies.com

Buyers who purchase from a pet store need to be very careful about selecting a pet. For one thing, pet store rabbits may have been mistreated or neglected by store owners; for another, owners sometimes accidentally “mis-sex” a rabbit, meaning that they mix up the genders.

That said, it is perfectly possible to bring home a healthy, content animal just so long as you follow the guidelines provided in this book for selecting a rabbit. When you buy a bunny from a pet store or a breeder, you can bring home a young animal and raise it to become familiar with you, your family, and your home environment. You can see to it that he receives all the necessary medical care, love, and attention that he requires.

In addition, if you buy a bunny as opposed to adopting a rabbit, you know exactly what you are getting. That is important if you are hoping to breed your rabbits later on, because you will need to purchase a specific type of animal.

However, if you aren’t planning on breeding and just want a lovely pet to brighten your household, you should consider visiting your local pet adoption center or shelter to see if there are any rabbits available. Why? Just as with any other kind of pet, there are many rabbits who have been taken away from unfit owners who abused or neglected them. Many such rabbits who are not adopted are euthanized.

But often, these rabbits are hardy and pleasant creatures, who have been through a lot and have survived nonetheless. They are better equipped to handle stress than other rabbits, and therefore may be less dependent on you for constant attention and less likely to behave aggressively or hyperactively. Moreover, older bunnies are just as adorable and sociable as bunnies. Finally, as the environment in pet stores can sometimes be less than ideal, rabbits from shelters (which take much better care of their animals) may oftentimes be in better health.

What to Look For in a Rabbit

Wherever you decide to get your new pet from, there are a few essentials to keep in mind while looking for your rabbit. To ensure that you bring home a happy, healthy pet, make sure that:

· The rabbits for sale are separated by sex (females in a different cage from the males). If the rabbits are mixed, you might wind up with a pregnant pet.

· The rabbits for sale are older than 6 weeks of age. If the bunnies are younger, they may have been separated from their mothers too soon and may suffer for it.

· The cage should be clean, and the rabbits should have access to nice, clean water and food.

· All the rabbits in the cage appear to be in good health. If one rabbit in the bunch looks sick, chances are the others may be ill or at risk of sickness, too.

The rabbit’s eyes should be bright (not runny) and he should seem alert when he is awake

· The coat should be clean and feel nice to the touch (not matted or wet)

· If there are any rabbit droppings in the cage, they should be firm, not liquid.

· The rabbit should not look too thin or emaciated.

· The rabbit’s teeth should be properly aligned, with upper row of incisors in front of the lower of incisors.

Finally, a word about where to conduct your search. I recommend looking locally, whether in local pet stores, local breeders, or local shelters. Shipping animals is expensive, and that cost will get passed on to you if you buy from far away. And who knows what the animal will have been subjected to on the flight?

by Andrea Austin

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