Before you bring a rabbit home it’s important to think about the quality of life you will provide for him. If your intention is to house your rabbit outside, in a garage, or another outside building please reconsider. Indoor living and being fully incorporated into the life of the family is best for rabbits.
An indoor house rabbit is:
1. Safe from predators, both wild and domestic.
2. Protected from parasites and insect-borne disease.
3. Sheltered from life-threatening weather extremes.
4. Monitored for health problems, which can be noticed before it’s too late.
5. Not at risk of theft or harassment from strangers.
6. A part of the family.
Rabbits should not live in an hutch outside because:
1. Most areas of the United States have weather extremes of hot or cold (or both) which can be deadly to rabbits.
2. Rabbits confined outside are often forgotten and neglected.
3. Rabbits need exercise with room to run, leap, jump and play.
4. Rabbits are social animals and need social interaction.
5. Life confined in a hutch is boring, depressing, dangerous and stressful. Solitary confinement is detrimental to health and happiness.
6. You will develop a deeper connection and relationship with your bunny when you live with him. Rabbits can be fully incorporated into family life, just like dogs and cats.
The average lifespan of a rabbit kept in an outdoor hutch is 3-6 years.
The average lifespan of an indoor house rabbit is 8-14 years.
by Amy Ramnaraine
House Rabbit Society Educator in Training, Minnesota