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Rabbit Fun Facts

Rabbit Fun Facts

Many of us will celebrate Easter this weekend and no animal is more synonymous with Easter than the rabbit.  While wild bunnies are out and about all year long in Pennsylvania, they are most often associated with spring.  Today, we’ll learn some fun facts about our favorite cute and fuzzy bunnies!

  •  Rabbits are not rodents but rather part of the lagomorph family which also includes hares and pikas. They have 2 sets of upper incisors instead of one like rodents.  Male rabbits are known as bucks, females are does and their babies are called kits.
  • With eyes set wide on each side of their heads, this affords rabbits a nearly 360 view around them to make sure they can avoid predators.
  • A rabbit’s teeth grow constantly and can grow up to five inches a year!  Wild rabbits eat enough roughage to constantly grind their teeth down but pet rabbits sometimes have dental problems due to lack of hay or other foodstuffs to wear them down.  Make sure your pet bunny has plenty of roughage to chew on.  Rabbits need good quality grass and/or hay as the mainstay of their diets.  Fruits and vegetables may be fed in moderation and rabbits can be fed pellets as a lesser part of their diet. Avoid iceberg lettuce which can actually be toxic! Romaine lettuce, kale and other dark leafy greens are acceptable in small quantities. Cauliflower, onions and raisins are no-nos for bunnies but celery, broccoli, bell peppers are okay.
  • Those long rabbit ears have a dual purpose: hearing, of course, is the number one function. Rabbits have excellent hearing and can hear sounds up to two miles away!  But, the large surface area, thin skin and blood vessels of a rabbit’s ears also allow them to cool down on a hot day or conserve heat by constricting those vessels when it’s cold.
  • Baby bunnies or kits often nurse only once a day. If you find a nest of kits with no mother in sight, it does not mean the babies have been abandoned.  Monitor the nest before assuming mama bunny has disappeared. If you are concerned that the babies are not being cared for, you can place some light sticks/grass or string over the nest then check it the next day to see if it has been disturbed. If you are certain the mother rabbit is not returning to the next, orphaned kits can be taken to a licensed wildlife rehabber such as  Do not attempt to care for orphaned or injured rabbits yourself.

Rabbits can make fun and loving pets, but please resist the urge to buy a bunny for Easter. Many bunnies end up in shelters this time of year once the novelty wears off.  Please be sure you are fully committed to feeding, caring for and providing veterinary care for a rabbit for 8-12 years before adopting a bunny.

Patton Veterinary Hospital wishes you and your pets a very Happy Easter and Passover!

This blog brought to you by the Patton Veterinary Hospital serving Red Lion, York, and the surrounding communities.