When people hear the term “Exotic pet” they automatically think of a Capuchin monkey, an alligator or a raccoon. Some are baffled to find out that bunnies are exotic pets too.
According to Dr. Kevin Wright, a vet specialized on exotic pets, “an exotic pet is any species that is not one of the nine major domesticated species that comprise the majority of the curricula of veterinary schools”. That means any animal that’s not a dog, a cat, a horse, a cow, a sheep, a goat, a swine, a chicken or a turkey, can be exotic pet.
The first thing you should consider before welcoming a rabbit into your home is that they are prey animals, which means that they’ll interact with their environment differently than animals like cats or dogs which are predators by nature. For instance, if you bend over a bunny and grab them the animal might feel like he’s being picked up by a hawk. Imagine how scary it must be for the cute little rabbit. That said, bunnies are indeed very sociable creatures. They not only like to interact with humans, they need to. But the best way to interact with your bunny is on the floor. If you sit on the floor while he plays he’ll soon approach you to investigate you. And he’ll want you to pet him as he sits next to you; at least at first. With a lot of time, love and patience he might like to be held. Some bunnies grow to become “lap rabbits” after some time.
If you are going to hold your rabbit, you should be familiar with the right ways to do so.
First of all, you should approach the rabbit so he sees you coming and then pet it to help him relax. Then place your writing hand under his arms and hold his chest. After that, put your other hand to scoop up his bottom. Finally lift the rabbit to your chest.
You can also pick your bunny up from the midsection. In this case, place both hands around the rabbit’s midsection between its front and back paws.
For all the aforementioned characteristics, bunnies are not suitable pets for toddlers or small children. A little kid will likely want to hold the rabbit right away and won’t be patient enough. Besides, a little child won’t know how to properly hold it in a gentle manner. A dog, on the other hand, will love to play rough.
Rabbits are also not recommendable for households with dogs or cats, considering that canines and felines have natural hunting instincts.
Buying or adopting any pet means making a commitment for as long as the animal lives. It’s crucial to do the proper research before becoming responsible for the well-being of a living form that doesn’t reason but definitely has feelings. This is of particular importance when it comes to an exotic pet, since people generally don’t know a lot about them and information about these particular animals tend to be scarce.