So, there are a whole bunch of misconceptions about keeping a bun, and one of the biggest and most common is that they should be kept in a hutch outside. There are few reasons why this is the better option, for example if you have another pet that is less than friendly towards your bun, or if someone in your house has an allergy. Whether you decide to allow your rabbit free roam of your house or a room, or decide to set up a hutch in the living room, the pros to indoor living far outweigh the cons and here’s why.
1. They’re Safe From Predators
Kept in your cosy home, your rabbit is safe from predators such as other people’s cats, foxes and birds of prey etc. Even if securely in a hutch outside, a preying fox would cause your rabbit extreme stress if approached as rabbits are prey animals and therefore very nervous. A stressed bun would not live as long as one who is chilled out indoors. Another predator to consider is the elements – the cold winter months can be fatal for your outdoor rabbit if they’re not properly sheltered with lots of bedding and a thermal cover. The same goes for the soaring heat during summer! With your house providing both heating and air conditioning (or a fan) it’s one less thing to worry about if they live inside with you.
2. You Become So Much Closer to Your Bun
A bun living indoors will get far more attention than one living outside. Let’s face it, who spends more time in their garden than they do their living room? With your bun inside they’re never out of sight out of mind, and you’re much more likely to get them out to play in the warmth of your own home, especially in those horrible winter months. By spending so much more time with them you will bond much faster and much deeper, able to enjoy the rewards of such a relationship. I am a new bun mum to my Dwarf Netherlands Rabbit, Apollo, and by having him live with me in my bedroom we bond everyday for at least a few hours. Having only been with him for 3 weeks, he is already super confident and at ease, often licking me and binkying around the room. Of course this depends on your bun’s personality and may take longer if your bun is shy. Becoming closer to your rabbit will make them much more fun to be around, but also makes grooming and vet appointments a lot easier for the both of you.
3. They Deserve Companionship
Rabbits are such great companions with their own unique little personalities and often this gets overlooked. A lot of the time people use rabbits as a “starter pet” or a “lead up” to getting a dog or cat because they think they’re low maintenance animals, but this really just isn’t true. Rabbits can live as long as a dog or cat (up to the age of 12 years!) and take a lot of care and love, just like any other pet. Even if you have more than one rabbit to keep them company, they still need love and attention from their human! If you only handle and spend time with your rabbit once a week, they will spend the rest of the week waiting to have more time with you than just feeding times, only to be disappointed. Sorry to say, but if you don’t spend time with your bun, you’re missing out, and should think about whether they would be happier in another home.
4. Pet Therapy
Emotional support animals aren’t exclusive to dogs, and can be any animal including rabbits! Rabbits are loving creatures and can provide emotional support to those who need it. Sometimes they’re preferred to dogs as they’re quiet, very clean, don’t need to go for long walks like dogs, and they don’t take up much space. My boyfriend got me Apollo as I’ve had a really hard year and he knows how much happier I am when there is an animal around me! It’s not been long but honestly he’s already helped me so much and is more than often the highlight of my day! He’s the most adorable little thing and provides endless entertainment – I wouldn’t be able to bond with him and get such support if he were living outdoors!
5. They’re Really Easy to House-Train & House-Proof
Rabbits are so super easy to housetrain! I had rabbits when I was much younger and had no idea this was true until getting Apollo. We’re only three weeks in and he’s pretty much got it down already! If you allow your rabbit to have free roam of your house or flat, it’s highly recommended to get this out of the way as soon as possible, as it leads the way to a much easier time for the both of you! As well as house training, you’ll have to house proof for your bun. Chewing and digging are natural instincts for them and leaving wires and other things around that you don’t want chewed is going to be very frustrating! Not only is it frustrating (and potentially expensive!), but can be very dangerous for your rabbit, as they may end up getting electrocuted! To avoid this it’s super easy and cheap to cover wires with tubing and place grates around plugs etc. This also encourages you to keep your house a lot tidier! Get more tips on keeping a free-roam bun.
6. It Can Teach Your Kids Better Responsibility
If you’re a parent and have given your child companionship in the form of a rabbit, keeping them indoors will really help your child to learn better responsibility. Your child is more likely to play and take care of your rabbit if they’re frequently in sight (the same goes for adults!) As prey animals rabbits are good at hiding when they are ill, so you’re also much more likely to spot an illness if you’re spending a lot of time with them and monitoring their behaviour and eating habits.
All in all, rabbits have been proven to live longer if kept indoors, and you’ll both live a much happier and healthy life if you’re together! Please consider it!
Lydia & Apollo