You may consider buying a rabbit from an animal rescue centre
This can be a good idea, as the rabbits’ health and temperament has already been checked out for you, and they will most likely already have been neutered. Hopefully you can get a pair who are already bonded
If you are buying from a breeder
1: Ask to see the bunny’s parents, so that you know the size, temperament, and health of the bunny you are buying.
Ask for a Birth Certificate. Make sure the parents shown to you are the ones on the Birth Certificate.
If the hutches are not named, you have no way of being sure.
2: Ask to see the breeding conditions.
Check for clean ventilated spacious hutches.
A “breeder” who simply brings the rabbit out in a box, and won’t let you look around, could be suspected of having something to hide.
Unclean conditions with a build up of droppings and urine can cause infection.
Better to buy from a breeder who only has a few rabbits for sale, rather than those who have a bulk supply.
The kits would be more likely to have been well handled, resulting in a more friendly pet.
3: Ask to see where the rabbits have their daily exercise.
Exercise is important for a rabbits’ health and happiness.
You wouldn't want to support cruelty, where rabbits are exploited without consideration for their happiness.
Some breeders keep their rabbits like battery hens, in cages without any freedom, (never sitting in the sunshine, or running on grass), locked up all their lives in hutches, just for breeding, to make money or win prizes.
4: Check to see that none of the rabbits are sick or have runny noses. Ask to see all their rabbits, not just the one you are buying. Infection spreads fast.
5: Check that the bunny you are buying doesn’t have diarrhea or eye infection or sore ears.
6: A well handles rabbit shouldn’t be cringing or running away.
7: Check that the top teeth slightly overlap the lower teeth.
The lower teeth should not overlap the upper teeth
If you buy a rabbit with malocclusion, it will require teeth clipping all of its life; otherwise it will die of starvation.
This can be very expensive and stressful for the rabbit. Some vets could suggest to remove the front teeth altogether, or to euthanize.
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If buying from a pet shop,
Check for health and temperament of the bunny you are buying.
Make sure you are buying a rabbit which is at least 8 weeks old, and obtain some of the food that it has been used to.
If any rabbit in the shop looks sick, it could be possible that they are all infected.
If buying from a pet shop, you are unable to see the parents or the breeding conditions
This e-book was written by Faye