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Mybunnybella

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I have just been informed my my mother that i am keeping my rabbit in a cruel environment.As you can understand, i am annoyed providing the fact that she knows next to nothing about my rabbit and is constatntly wanting to get rid of her either to an outside cage or a shelter. Im not happy, but im putting a post up here so i can show her that im doing the right thing. O.K, so, the vet has said to her that my bella should live outside, as it is "proper" for rabbits to live outside as they do in the wild. She has said that its cruel to keep bella inside as she does not get the sunlight that she needs and the grass need in her diet is not fulfilled. Now, 1. My rabbit is not "wild" she does not have the sense not to eat non poisonous plants, this is australia, as im typing its is 38 degrees, she has a pen outside for her sunlight, and she always has timothy hay available for her "grass needs". So how do i convince my mum that this vet is propably not the most rabbit savvy one around?Can you post some reasons that rabbits should live inside and as part of the family?
All help appreciated, Thanks!
 

LakeCondo

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Do you live with your mother or does she provide your finances? If not, she needs to respect your boundaries.

But if you feel you must respond, tell her that 2 facts make Australia about the worst place for a rabbit to live outside: 1} the heat 2} the illness that they can get there [not here in North America. thank goodness] that is carried by mosquitoes.
 

Blue eyes

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Oh boy! I hear this too often --some people think that rabbits should live outside. Wild rabbits, yes. Domestic rabbits, no! They are domestic. They have been domesticated. You are correct that domestic rabbits have lost their ability to know what plants are toxic to them.

They are also susceptible to heatstroke. 30C or less and they can die from heatstroke.
Unfortunately, these people see rabbits as either wild (not domestic) or as meat rabbits (not pets).

Here is a copy/paste from 3 Bunnies Rabbit Rescue which should give you some good facts:

"[FONT=Arial,Helvetica]Bunnies need a LOT of exercise!!! They are prey animals and are built to run!! They need several hours a day of exercise, and those that are kept in cages all day long will suffer muscular atrophy and a host of skeletal and health issues.

Rabbits belong indoors with you as pets, not in outdoor hutches where they are often forgotten and live out their lives as prisoners. It is crucial that people who do keep their rabbits outside should bring them inside for several hours each day for exercise and to enjoy the family, and also to protect from weather extremes, and please look in on them frequently when they are outside!!

Keeping a rabbit in an outdoor hutch can substantially shorten its life due to exposure to the elements, proximity of predators who get near the hutch and try to get at the rabbit, and also because families often times forget about their outdoor rabbits, resulting in the rabbits living their lives without care or love, or suffer fatalities from exposure to climatic extremes

Stories abound about rabbits left in outdoor hutches who are forgotten about and as a result, denied proper food, water, or medical attention, and who ultimately die a slow, agonizing death as a result - there are numerous stories of a starving rabbit being removed from a hutch after spending two weeks with its dead mate, who had succumbed to starvation already

Rabbits need toys and playtime stimulation to fend off boredom and give them intellectual and emotional fulfillment

You can never know how wonderful a pet a rabbit can be until you share your home with one

Rabbits will display many antics inside in front of their family members that they wouldn't if left alone in an outdoor hutch

Rabbits are easily litterbox trained and usually fastidious about their habits

The lifespan of an outdoor rabbit is typically on 1 or 2 years (and it is usually an unhappy and lonely life), the lifespan of an indoor house rabbit is 8-10 years or more (and it is a happy life)

Fear can cause a rabbit to have a heart attack (see prey animals), and rabbits kept in outdoor hutches suffer from fear of predators that try to get at them"
[/FONT]
 

JBun

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The proof is in the life span of indoor rabbits vs. outdoor rabbits. Generally speaking, indoor rabbits seem to have longer happier lives. They usually get more interaction being indoors with people, and so are happier. You don't see many rabbits binkying and playing in their hutch, but most indoor rabbits love to zip around and play. Plus extreme heat being outdoors, can be really hard on a rabbit and even deadly if they over heat. Rabbits do better when the temp is under 85 F, and can really get stressed when the temps are hotter than that.
 

agnesthelion

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I just wanted to chime in. I was going to bring up what Jenny said, the life span of indoor rabbits vs. outdoor rabbits. I think that speaks volumes. And also, not sure about Australia, but here in the States, most rescue organizations won't adopt a rabbit to someone who is going to keep them outside.
Both my two are inside and I wouldn't have it any other way. We have some wildlife that could be dangerous to them plus the extreme temps where I live ( brutallyncold winters, hot and humid summers) are not good for them. Plus they are around me more simply because they are inside with the family :)
 

Bill Jesse

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My rabbits live outdoors in a garden shed which is exclusively theirs. It is not heated or insulated. The winter temperature averages around the freezing mark and rarely do the water bowls freeze. Their hutches are 2 x 4 feet and they also have outdoor pens which are big enough to run wild. My problem is putting them out and bringing them in. I can carry two of them out but all four have to come back in their carriers. And they don't want to come in. They are never out unattended or in very bad weather.
If you could make a compromise like that it may appease your mother. My other rabbit lived in the house but went out to a pen on occasion. He lived to 13 years. Was it because he lived indoors? Hard to say. But rabbits do need fresh air, exercise and not much sun.
 

Hyatt101

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I have rabbits indoors and outdoors, and I personally like indoors so much better! I find myself interacting more with my rabbits inside, and often, the ones inside get more exercise, because here it is snowy, so I obviously don't want my bunnies to go outside!
 

Chrisdoc

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I prefer rabbits to be indoors as you can interact with them much more than if they are outdoors. If you think that when they aren´t locked up indoors for the night, they are free during the hours that I am in the house, then that´s a lot of hours they spend with you. There are some other members on here whose rabbits are free roaming all the time. I don´t have the space anyway to keep them outside and I don´t know that I would if I could. I love observing them and seeing them binky and race and clean themselves. I´d miss that if they were outside. I´m not saying that a lot of people who have outdoor buns don´t enjoy them just as much but you have to have the right environment and lots of space and prepare much more to avoid predators and extreme temperatures.
 

wendymac

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I have the majority of my rabbits outside, with 7 living inside. During the winter, my inside bunnies see me a little bit more. But I spend a lot of winter hours, and most of my spring/summer in the barn. I try to get everyone out in Xpens throughout the year. The pens get set up in the stalls (and some even by the shavings pile), so no snow to worry about. If I just had a pet bunny or two, they would definitely be in the house. Heck, once the kids are all out of the house I've already told them their rooms would become bunny rooms. haha
 

KittyKatMe

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I think that if they are kept in VERY large cages and get 5 hrs MINUMUM inside daily, they should be fine. And only if you have really good weather (45-75ish). But, if you live in extreme heat, it could be fatal. My bunns can have MUCH more space outside then they ever could inside my house. My house/yard is extremely small because so many people are crammed into such a small space here. Heck, I'm lucky to have any yard at all! But in Australia, they should always be kept inside. The heat is too much.
 

whitelop

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You run the risk of your rabbit getting myxo being outside. In Australia you cant vaccinate for it and it is fatal and horrible. That is the main reason other than heat, why i would not have an outdoor rabbit where you are.
 

BugLady

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Everyone has given great answers so far.

My rabbits are both indoor only, and never caged - they are free in the house and litter trained just like cats. They get to run until they're exhausted and play and nap and basically do anything they desire. They were both rescues and extremely skittish - now they love to follow me around and beg for treats.

Comparing that lifestyle, to a rabbit kept in a hutch and maybe let out for a few hours a day, there's no question in my mind - I want the companions running around my feet! So while health is a big factor, the emotional factor is huge - your rabbit will be friendlier if you keep it inside with you.
 

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