From its many dog parks to bars that allow dogs outside, there is no denying that Hudson County is dog friendly. While dogs are the most popular local pets, they are not the only cute four-legged residents; Hudson County also has some adorable local bunnies. Hoboken resident Margaux, who has had rabbits for years, said, “People think [rabbits] are boring but they are actually loving, curious, playful, and funny and love to be part of the action,” and there are more local bunnies than you might think. Before getting a bunny, it’s helpful to study up on what to feed rabbits, how to care for them, and what local rabbit resources are in your area — like exotic vets for bunnies. Whether you and your bunny already call the area home, or you are thinking of welcoming one into your family, here is some information to keep your local Hudson County bunny hoppy (pun intended).
What Bunny Owners Should Know
Rabbits make great indoor pets. If you are working from home with your rabbit keeping you company, your coworkers will never hear barking on a Zoom call and your neighbors most likely won’t object to your quiet companion. With several breeds under five pounds, most rabbits will easily clear your building’s pet weight restrictions. Many people also don’t realize that rabbits can be litter box trained, but be warned that their high fiber diet means they poop a lot.
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While they don’t need to be walked regularly like dogs, they do need a lot of exercise. They can be set up in your home with a dedicated exercise space (not a cage) where they can hop and explore, or you may choose to allow yours to free roam if your home has been bunny proofed — they are known to like nibbling on wires.
Some rabbits enjoy walking outside on a harness — although you should never bring your rabbit to a dog park — and some more pampered bunnies enjoy being pushed in a stroller for fresh air. Hoboken City Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher has enjoyed pet rabbits since 2005. Councilwoman Fisher described rabbits as, “The best adult urban pet. They have the litter habits of cats and the personalities of dogs.” She currently shares her home with Lili, a sweet rex rabbit who is almost 11 years old.
A rabbit’s diet consists of pellets, hay, and fresh veggies. Always make sure your rabbit has access to fresh cool water. In the summer and fall, stocking up on fresh veggies and herbs from one of Hoboken or Jersey City farmers’ markets or signing up for a CSA program will surely make your bunny happy. Hoboken Pet at 524 Washington Street also has a great selection of rabbit food and toys.
Local Resources for Your Bunny
Although most of us wouldn’t think of a rabbit as an exotic pet, to veterinarians, that’s exactly what they are. To keep your bunny healthy, you will need an exotic vet with experience in rabbits. Some local veterinary practices that accept bunny patients are:
Like all pets, it’s important to get your rabbit spayed or neutered. Rabbits are very fertile — females can give birth to multiple litters a year – hence the phrase ‘multiplying like rabbits.’ Spaying females is especially important as they can be prone to uterine, ovarian, and mammary cancers if not spayed. Ask your vet or local rescue organization for recommendations for safe spaying.
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More information about taking care of domestic rabbits can be found at House Rabbit Society, and a great place to connect with other bunny owners is the NJ Bunny Parents FB Group, which currently has over 4k members. If you are looking to add a rabbit to your home, consider adopting one from a shelter or rescue like Hug-a-Bunny Rabbit Rescue. Not sure if a rabbit is right for you? Fostering a rabbit can give you a taste of what it’s like to be a bunny mom or dad. All About Rabbits Rescue, Inc is always looking for volunteers. Keep in mind rabbits can live 10 years or longer, so don’t enter into rabbit ownership if you are unsure if you are up to the commitment, and, as such, you should never give a rabbit as an Easter present.