Life With Theodore
With Easter right around the corner, I wanted to remind everyone that these beautiful creatures are not Easter basket fillers. They are a 10+ year commitment and require A LOT of exercise, fresh foods, training, grooming, nail clippings, vet visits, and most of all attention and love. Rabbits need daily human interaction and exercise to live a happy life. Bunnies flood animals shelters after Easter each year. Not to mention the rise in pet stores and bunny mills profits around this time of year. It's always better to adopt rather than support the terrible conditions that pet stores like Petco and Pet Supplies Plus get their bunnies from. Hopefully this post will help you decide whether you're ready for the real thing or if you should stick with a chocolate bunny this year.
I dreamed and researched about bunnies for years before I committed to one. It wasn't until I actually adopted Theo that I realized how much work it would actually be. But it's definitely the best decision I've made. He has taught me how to be patient, disciplined, helped me to stay on a schedule, and most of all he's a living creature that relies on me which can always teach a lot.
Life with a bunny sometimes means nibbles on books or clothing, potty accidents on the floor :/, bunny proofing the house, lots of trips to the market for fresh greens, etc. But it also means joy, love, a companion, and having someone who relies on you to wake up everyday. Just as dogs take hard work, training, and dedication, so do bunnies.
Theodore Bartholomew is a lionhead bunny which is why he has that handsome beard and cute little pieces of long hair. He's about 3 years old. Each rabbit has their own personality. We were blessed with Theo. He is the sweetest boy and has never bitten anyone and hardly gets angry even when my cat chases after him. Although he doesn't like to be picked up, he loves nose pets and snuggles on the floor and his stuffed elephant friend that he grooms for hours on end.
Life with Theodore looks like this...
I wake up in the morning about 2 hours earlier than I normally would if I didn't have a bunny. I typically start school and work at 10 am so I wake up at 7. I don't really mind this because I prefer to wake up early and have a slow morning. I wash my face, brush my teeth, and head downstairs to let Theo out and make coffee. He gets so excited when he hears me coming down the stairs. We then head upstairs together so I can get ready for the day and he can play in my room. I'll normally put him back in his cage between 9 and 9:30 with his breakfast of fresh hay, fresh pellets, fresh water, and a handful of fresh washed greens.
Contrary to popular belief, bunnies are not animals you can keep in a cages their whole lives. They need lots of exercise and human interaction daily in order to live happy lives.
Training a bunny to be a cage-free bunny is absolutely the best option but it's understandable that's not ideal or possible for everyone. Theo just sleeps and eats all day so he's content being in his cozy house with his food and a blankie. This makes it more comfortable for us because we can go about our day without worrying that he's getting into trouble as well as making it more comfortable for him because he has a place that's his that he can feel safe in during the day.
Bunnies need a large cage to move around in. Most of the cages at the pet store advertised as "for bunnies" are not large enough.
In the evening, I'll let Theo out around 7 pm. Letting a bunny run around your house is a lot different than just letting a dog or a cat run around, at least for me. I do have to watch and be with Theo during the time he is out so he's not getting into trouble. Although he is an awesome listener and is litter box trained, we do occasionally have some bunny moments like hopping up on the couch to pee or chewing on the furniture. Sometimes I have moments where I can't even sit down without having to get back up again to shoo him away from something! He is really good most of the time and has learned what he can and can't do, but it just depends on his bunny mood that day. When he comes out, books have to be picked up, cords have to be covered, rugs that he likes to eat have to be picked up, etc. It's a lot of work and sometimes stressful.
Depending on what the next day looks like, I might stay up late just so he can get some extra exercise. But on school and work nights, he normally goes back in his house for the night around 10 pm. Just like in the mornings, he gets fresh hay, pellets, water, and more greens.
Bunnies should have 2 cups of greens a day for every 4 pounds they weigh. Theo's favorite greens are dandelion greens, cilantro, parsley, wheatgrass, raspberry leaves, and mint!
*Other things to note about bunnies*
Contrary to the cliche that bunnies eat lots of carrots, bunnies should only have 2 tablespoons of NON-GREEN treats a day. Lots of fruit and things like carrots in excess can upset their digestive system.
Bunnies need unlimited
hay every day. Not alfalfa!
There are certain things bunnies can eat and some they can't. Here's a good reference list of fresh foods bunnies can eat.
Bunnies molt (shed their fur) about every three months, with the change of the seasons. During this time it is important to brush the bunny because they cannot cough up hairballs like cats can. Hair will get stuck in the digestive system and completely block everything. Sadly I've experienced this first hand. Luckily Theo recovered no problem, but ever since then I have been brushing him with this brush and it works wonders.
There's a lot more to bunnies than what I have shared here, and your own thorough research before committing is always necessary! But I just wanted to give a little insight on what life is like with a bunny. It is hard work but at the end of the day I wouldn't trade it for anything! Do you have any other questions? I'd love to answer them!