Do you remember the documentary Roger and Me? It was about how General Motors' departure from Flint MI devastated that city. In it Michael Moore, then an unknown, interviews residents. If you've seen it, you likely know where I'm going with this. There's a scene where Moore interviews a woman who sells rabbits from her home, for "pets or meat". It's only about 2 minutes of the movie, but it became the 1989 equivalent of a viral meme. I think of that scene whenever Pinterest shows me a pin about how to dress rabbits - and I'm not talking about cute hats and sweaters.
I accept that many people raise rabbits for their meat. Rabbits reproduce quickly, their meat is lean, they are small and their feces can be used as fertilizer. In poor countries where malnutrition is a serious problem and protein is hard to come by, raising rabbits for food makes sense. I personally can not imagine eating rabbit now that I've known and loved these curious, fun-loving, affectionate creatures, but I'm not going to tell other people not to.
No, I'm bringing this up because much of the advice regarding rabbit care is very different depending on whether you are looking to care for many rabbits, inexpensively, for a short period of time or a couple very healthy rabbits for ten years or more. This is a problem cat and dog owners don't run into. Most of the books I've borrowed from my local library network are intended for farmers. Even books intended for pet owners are often outdated, suggesting diets and housing that veterinarians now know are not in the rabbits' best interest.
So I've written up a short list of reliable resources for people with pet rabbits. I'll continue to add to it as I find more. If you know of one I missed, please let me know in the comments.
- Rabbit Advocates - A quick overview of rabbit behavior. Consider it the Spark Notes version.
- Save a Fluff - This website from the UK focuses on feeding rabbits. The section on why hay is so important and how to choose the best hay is especially good.
- Too Many Bunnies - Great information about rabbit communication, behavior and grooming. It's written by people who foster and rehome rabbits.
- Rabbit Archives - The MSPCA provides an introduction to rabbit ownership, interesting facts and the most common reasons why people surrender pet rabbits.
- House Rabbit Society - You can't find anyone more dedicated to pet rabbits than members of this nationwide group. If you're considering getting a pet rabbit, this site is a must read.
- Rabbit Care with Amy Sedaris and Mary E. Cotter, Ed.D., LVT. - Amy and Mary created a series of Howcast videos dedicated to caring for your pet rabbit. Amy is a long time rabbit owner and Mary is a licensed veterinary tech (LVT) and rabbit expert. Their video on clipping nails gives the best advice I've seen anywhere.
- My House Rabbit - This website, written by two rabbit owners was very helpful to us when we first got Lady. Some of the diet advice differs from what we've read elsewhere, so be sure to get your information from multiple sources.
- Here's Why Easter is Bad for Bunnies - This article comes from National Geographic. It explains how rabbits have become "one of the most abandoned pets in the United States". There is also an adorable video of the photo shoot for the article.
- Regarding the Secret Life of Rabbits - Penny Collins draws cartoons about her life living with three rabbits. It is hysterical and spot on.
- My Rabbit Board - An eclectic mix of most things rabbit related, is the best description I can give of my rabbit page on Pinterest.