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Home Forums HOUSE RABBIT Q & A I really want a rabbit…but my parents say no?

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    For all my life I’ve wanted a pet rabbit. The thing is that my parents say no because: a) we’re too busy, b) it costs too much, c) I already have my own guinea pigs.

    I know that our schedule is a little busy but I do have time during the week to take care of my guinea pigs, so I think I could probably take care of rabbits.

    When I said that we could foster rabbits for a little while just to see what it’s like and if we could handle it. Is this a good idea? Anyways, my parents said no, still.

    How could I persuade them? Is it a good idea to even want a rabbit with my busy high school schedule? If I can’t have a rabbit, what should I do to still spend time with them?


    Hi Cassandra, lovely name by the way it’s mine too!

    I had the same problem in high school, my parents wouldn’t let me have a dog. I was so mad at them but when I look back at my high school life, I was crazy busy all the time. Also vet bills can get quite expensive, I spent almost $3000 on vet bills last year for my 2 bunnies.

    If you really want one, you could put together a plan. Where would it live? How much would it eat. How often could you let it out for exercise. How will you pay for vet bills etc. If you can convince your parents that you’ve thought it through and planned it all out they may let you have one.
    Good luck!


    Your parents are right when they say that bunnies are very cost-intensive. VERY cost intensive. You have hay, fresh greens, litter, living establishments, and regular vet bills. And illnesses can crop up out of the blue that easily cost upwards of $100.


    Welcome Cassandra – I have to say, I am VERY glad to hear that your parents understand how much may go into having a rabbit. Just check out the “Cost page” on our site – can be expensive!    And as far as time, rabbits do need at LEAST 3 hours of run around time. So I feel relieved that IF your parents ever do decide to get a rabbit, they will know what they are in for and you will be able to create happy healthy home for a bunny

    Also to keep in mind is that rabbits can live to be over 10 years old, so if you are a teenager, you will be in your 20’s and if you plan on college that is another challenge.

    That’s not to say that if the whole family is involved and it is more of a “family” animal companion (or at least the parents are completely aware and on board with all of the care and needs) then the rabbit could get the short-term and long-term care needed. But if your parents are saying they don’t have time, nor have the funds right now then I can’t tell you how grateful I am tthat you have parents that truly care about the well-being of any animal they bring into their home. We have had some kids here that want to do the best for their rabbits – get needed vet care, create proper housing and they meet with resistance from their parents. (Could be that the parents didn’t understand or research what went into rabbit care prior and just assumed a bunny was a cheap and easy pet, but regardless, the rabbit suffers in the end).

    However, if your parents are up for “Fostering” that is a good way to experience the time and daily expense aspect. You also have to make sure to give it enough time – you have to let the bunny “newness” wearout a bit because, of course, at first, it’s exciting; but months down the line is when people start to realize they may be in over their head and are not able to devote as much time and energy. Plus financially, a vet visit is expensive. I always say, you pay for the vet, not the pet. And rabbits are rather fragile – digestive problems are common and need to be treated quickly. I think most of us of here have had at least one scare and vet visits. It sort of comes with having a bunny.

    I’m not trying to talk you out of having a rabbit, nor talk your parents into getting a rabbit. I just want to relay  that it is very important that you know realistically the time and financial aspect. After that, who knows you yourself may not want one until you are older.  But once you have all the facts, even if they may seem negative, then if you and your family are able to deal with it, then you will all be fully prepared to bring a bunny into your life.


    Posted By Cassandra on 12/15/2009 05:48 PM

     If I can’t have a rabbit, what should I do to still spend time with them?

    Offer to bunny sit for the people you do know have them. People are looking for pet sitters this time of year.  Also, look into volunteering at a rabbit rescue.  It would be a good way for you to learn more about them for the future, get your ‘bunny fix’ and it would certainly help the Rescue.  Be aware though, you may be doing things like multiple litter box cleaning.  I’m not sure if your age would restrict you in volunteering but if it does, you can still visit and play with the rabbits if they have exercise time.  

    Another thing is look into rabbit social clubs or rabbit agility groups and see if they’re open to visitors. That way you can enjoy being around bunnies and be able to talk with different people about their experiences in having them.



    Welcome! This is a common question/complaint from older teenagers, but I’m not sure that you’re going to get your “desired” response from us. Generally, I don’t recommend rabbits as pets for minors, most notably b/c of the TIME and COST commitment. Most everything has been said already but just to reiterate… if you have any plans for college (especially living away!), having a rabbit (and guinea pigs) is going to throw a serious monkey wrench into those plans. Dorms do not accept pets. Students may sneak them in, but you don’t want to have to deal with the added stress of living under the radar. And you’re going to be way too busy to adequately care for any of your pets. A couple years into college, if you’re living on your own, that may be feasible, but just starting off, there’s no way. And of course, the cost aspect… being a student does not pay.

    I’d strongly encourage you to volunteer, learn about rabbits, stick around on this forum as your time permits and soak in as much as you can. At some point, the time will be right for you to have a rabbit and be able to care for it properly. Rabbits are not going away! If anything, they are only gaining in popularity! So again, welcome! I do hope you will stick around and you can experience what having house rabbits is like thru us!



    I am glad your parents are being up front with you because, as BB said, many can’t afford or can’t deal with a crisis of care when it comes up, causing heartache and serious illness for both you and the rabbit. It is a wise choice to assess your situation now, and plan for the future.

    A bunny really is a 10 year companion, given the necessities of good housing, food, supplies, vet care and a safeguarded environment. Many high schoolers get a bunny, only to have to leave them with a reluctant family as they move on to college. But it’s a great companion in an apartment when you are out on your own. Landlords accept them, they can live in a few rooms with you, and are able to move from place to place. You could think of getting a bunny as a gift to yourself on graduation – from HS if you are going to work right away, or from College if you are heading there first.

    Check out your local rescue shelters and humane societies. They always need volunteers. I would suggest working with a no-kill shelter since it can be harder to experience the other kind. Someone who wants to care for the bunnies may take the duties off of another person who prefers the dogs and cats, and you can learn about bunnies while interacting with them. I had g. pigs growing up (the perfect pet for kids!) and got my bunny as an adult. Much more work, but so worth it.


    So I know the whole going-to-college thing has come up, but what if I got an older rabbit that is about 8-9 years old? That would mean probably 1-4 years and that’s enough time before I head to college. I know I brought this up in an earlier post but if I set up a vet fund, would this be a good idea?


    i have a bunny plus 2 cats a gecko and STILL have time for fun, friends , and my homework (im in high school too) the key to getting your parents to let you have a bunny is get good grades plus show then how much free time you have and how absolutly BORING it is not having something to do in that free time… bunnies are soo funn but they can be a bit of work too.. cleaning the cage , feeding them , and baby sitting them when their out of their cage… or they’ll eat your cords (HERSHEY!!!!!) do you have any friends with a bunny?? you could offer to baby sit their bunny when they go away and then your parents will see how well you take care of it plus you can see if you really want one and the annoyingly frequint work they need… just my advise and personal oppinion… but i think you should get one.. they are amazing little fluffy pets and you sound like your really into the responsability.. you seem to have a plan for everything.. good luck with your parents…


    an older bunny also might not be as friendly as you want it to be.. ive learned the hard way that a younger bunny is probably the best option then you can teach it to behave where as an older bunny will be harder to teach manners to if they dont already have them (such as not pooping out of their cage)


    With older bunnies you also have the added vet expenses that come with old age. Bunnies cost even more at older ages, are you willing to spend every cent you have, plus some, for vet care?


    Well, when you put it that way…

    It’s just that I so badly want a rabbit – NOW. I know that sounds kind of impatient, but I am!

    Ugh, I’m really torn here. My parents already said no to even fostering a rabbit, and they’re pretty dead-set against a rabbit we own. They also say we have a “busy” schedule, but I don’t have a busy schedule, it’s just them.

    In conclusion: Life is hard and everything you want you cannot have right away. You must wait for the things you want, but then once you get them, they’re not as cool anymore.


    Aww, I know it’s rough, but trust me, once you get one, it will still be just as cool! I’ve wanted a horse since I was 4 years old and I’ve wanted a dog of my own since I left my parents’ house. I don’t have either one and I won’t even be able to get that dog for another few years. But you know what? It’ll be even more awesome when I do because I had to wait for so many years.

    Would you be interested in another pet? Like a rat or a gerbil? I know they’re not the same, but they don’t require as much time (at least gerbils don’t) and they don’t live nearly as long. I had gerbils through college because I knew I couldn’t have anything else but wanted something furry. And now I have a bunny because I can’t get a dog. Just a thought.


    Oh I cried those tears before-the I want a rabbit and my parent’s won’t let me have one.

    Your parents are right-they are expensive, and they take a lot of time. Like a LOT of time and a LOT of money. Between vet bills and special feed because one of my rabbits is sick…I’m almost at 1300$ or so-rough tally to give you an idea And that’s just one illness on one bunny.

    I wanted to think when I first got my very first bunny that the illnesses I read about would never happen to me. But they do happen. It’s not safe to bank on them not happening.

    But I really really feel you. My heart just broke I wanted one so bad. And then one day, when I was living on my own-well I went out and got one

    If you want to spend time with bunnies-volunteering is a GREAT thing to do. For one your helping, for two it’s enjoyable-and three it looks great on college applications. Many shelters want volunteers who are over 18-so if you aren’t, ask one of your parents if they can accompany you and give the shelter a phone call


    Oh I just thought of another way!! You’ll want to do some research first on rabbits, and rabbit care. But how ’bout pet sitting for bunny owners? If your older then 16 (Don’t post your age if your under 18-to be safe ok?) most would be cool with you looking after their pets-I mean people leave 12 years olds with children right? If your parents OK’d it and could give you rides to your jobs-you could do rabbit-sitting in peoples homes


    What I usually recommend to people who want a rabbit but are not able to get one for whatever reason… make the most of the pets you have! You say you have guinea pigs, you can definitely post some pics of them on this site (we have the Lounge section for fun posts and picture posts) and please tell us about them! Many of our members either have or used to have pigs, I had 6 at one time! I’d love to see pics! I’ve seen some awesome guinea pig habitats online, so you can spend some time and make their space very cool and piggie friendly. Make them some toys, buy tunnels or different things to keep them happy and entertained!

    This is a great site that has info about pig habitats…

    And it look like they have a forum too!

    BB Administrator

    Ditto! I’d love to see your guinea pigs too. Hop down to the forum and tell us about them (now that I think about it, you may have already – I’d better go check)

    EDITED: Oops this is BB in Box mode. LOL.

    My Test Signature v2


    Honestly, I’m 21 and I went through this. I still live at home, and we’ve got two cats. My younger cat, Grace, we didn’t think would be an issue. Our older cat, Frasier, however, was another story. Problem 1: Cats. I did my research though. I joined here and lurked for a while, read up on websites, and went out and actually bought a few books from Borders and various pet stores. I literally did my homework. I highlighted the books, took notes, the whole shebang. I did a legit presentation to my father. He’s an executive, so I figured the best way to present my case was to actually present my case. I explained all of the possible costs, from infancy to the geriatric stage, the life span, any kind of illnesses they get, everything under the sun. For close to 6 weeks I sleeped, ate, and breathed bunnies (Ok, maybe not ate, I’m a vegetarian!). I bunny-proofed everything in my room and our spare room, cleaned from head to toe, anything that could be bunny proofed, I did. So. I pleaded my case, he took a week to look things over, and he finally said yes. I honestly don’t even think he said yes because he wanted another animal in the house, I think he agreed because of all the work I put into it!

    I went and got my baby bun a few days later. Here’s the thing we weren’t expecting; When I got her, I was told she was a dwarf. And for all intents and purposes, she looked like a dwarf except she had HUGE ears, but I didn’t think anything of it. 10 pounds later, bun ain’t no dwarf! At that point my dad was so attached to her, we thought out a plan together. Now she has her own room!

    I’m very greatful to my dad because he didn’t need to say yes. He didn’t need to allow me to keep her when she grew to mammoth proportions. She’s the same size as my Egyptian Mau now! I guess the point I’m trying to make is all you can do is get your information together. Even with all the research I did, I’m still learning every day how much of a responsibility owning a bun is. Whenever I stay the night somewhere, I need to call home and make sure she gets her fruits and veggies at 9:00 on the dot, or she gets irritible. It’s just like having a child. It’s a huge responsibility, and can be crazy at times because they’re so smart!

    I really hope everything works out for you. I totally understand the bun itch, you want one like, yesterday! It sounds silly and cliche, but good things come to those who wait! Sorry if I rambled much, and good luck!


    Also ps, clearly Grace did not prove to be an issue!


    Sorry to threadjack, but MissPinUp, have you posted any new picks of gigantic Lucy? I only remember seeing pics when she was tiny!


    Thanks for sharing, MissPinUp! I was a lot like that when I was a teenager (this is how I ended up with the aforementioned 6 guinea pigs and iguana and turtle and hamsters and mice and various tanks of fish… lol!) I probably read every pet care book in the library (Dewey decimal 636 if I remember correctly…LMAO!) I still love learning about different types of pets and what is required for the best possible care. I don’t think I could post on a site like this if I didn’t have a real interest in the welfare of animals. As far as Lucy’s size, I think you lucked out with a big bun… especially as your first, a larger bunny who will (probably) have a calmer disposition is the way to go.


    I did 3 months of research and thinking b4 I decided on a housebun.   I am glad I did.   I was aware of wire covers cuz they love to chew wires.  I learned about litterbox training and experimented with 3 different types of litterboxes. I learned they shed 4x a year with 2 big molts  per year.    Tho mine do 1 major molt each and 1 minor shed.  I learned about xpens and nic cubes.  I now have 2 xpens.   I can’t even remember why I got the 2nd one. lol.   

    1 I use to let Ruby out to play and the other to keep Cotton from getting behind the couch.  I learned about males spraying and neuter / spay can be up to 300.00 per bun.  

    OH I also learned to cover and tape up my remote controls with plastic ziploc bags to keep the buttons from getting chewed off within seconds.  They are fast chewers.  I have also put a couch cushion in a big trash bag cuz after we moved Cotton got upset and started wetting the couch. 


    I have learned when to notice a bun with an upset gassy stomache and what to do. I have learned about good grooming tools for shedding and how to clean anal glands.  I have learned to trim their nails and clean their anals 1x a month it is marked on my calendar to be sure I remember when to do it.

    Hay is an absolute must.  Vet care is expensive.  I have paid a mere 550 on Cotton and he has no diagnosis and has to stay this way. 

    At about 4 months to 1 year unspayed/unnuetered buns get wild.  They may grunt and box at you or nip.  Start spraying and litterbox habits go off a bit.  Then comes the expensive spay/neuter.  

    Then if you are working and go to college your time may be shorter to spend with your pets.

    All things to think about.  I gave you a lot of the negative aspects of rabbit owning.   Oh and they hate being picked up and held.  they aren’t real cuddlers in that way.

    Now we both know buns are cute delightful creatures.  I listed the downfalls of rabbit owning on purpose.  More things to think about and how to handle it when these things come up.   I am so glad I did my research b4 I got my buns.  That way I was aware of what can happen and how to handle things when they do come up.  And yes all these things did come up.

    It is expensive to get set up with a bunny too.  OK now to think and discuss with your parents.


    Great post Bunnytowne! I think you hit the major points. And all research aside, there will always be more that you don’t even realize until it happens. All in all, I’d say that the time and expense involved in having a rabbit is equal to (and sometimes more than) having a dog or cat.


    All that is so true what Bunnytowne said.

    I can only speak for myself but I can tell you vet costs are very high (at least for me) – I have one rabbit with chronic dental problems and one with arthritis right now and they cost me bunches. I recently had to put one rabbit to sleep that had chronic bladder sludge and other issues that cost me alot too…I’m not complaining but vet bills are expensive…


    Great posts MissPinUp and Bunnytowne!!! Awesome.

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