Go Green with a Rabbit Companion
by Judith Pierce
06:08 PM, Sunday, March 11
You’re vegetarian, you shop with your own recycled bags and work hard to keep your waste out of the landfill, so it make sense that you are leaning toward an animal companion that matches your green lifestyle. Look no further – rabbits are one of the most planet-friendly pets around!

Rabbits Create a Very Small Carbon Paw Print

Like you, rabbits are herbivores. They eat only plants and grasses. They are “local” consumers, enjoying fresh hays and greens. Shop at your local farmer’s market for their daily salad and enjoy an extra bonus; ask for the “trimmings” from carrots, beets, turnips, etc. and get them for free! Hay can come from your local feed store (or in San Diego from the House Rabbit Society’s community hay sales program), decreasing the “food miles” required to sustain your rabbit companion.

A rabbit’s waste is comprised of broken down hay fibers, which is clean and free from bacteria that are harmful to our environment or us. This makes them cleaner, fresher smelling, and easier to care for than other species. Sure, you still have to dump a litter box but its contents can go straight onto your compost pile. If you use a rabbit-friendly paper or wood-based litter box filler that, along with bunny’s droppings and hay, makes wonderful compost material.

Love to garden? Plant a vegetable and edible flower garden to feed you – and your rabbit – and use bunny’s litter box waste to fertilize the plants and act as mulch to protect roots and hold in moisture. You don’t even have to compost it first; rabbit waste is nutrient rich and safe to use right from the litter box. If you belong to a garden co-op or a gardening club, your rabbit’s litter box waste will be like “gold,” everyone will want some!

Rabbits Love to Recycle

Rabbits love “green” toys. Cardboard boxes make great “hidey” homes and are fun to chew. Empty tissue boxes or toilet paper tubes stuffed with hay make yummy treats. Old magazines and phone books translate into hours of shredding fun. Empty paper bags create fun hiding places. No need to spend money on expensive new toys; just share your junk mail and paper-based waste with bunny!

Rabbits also love babies’ toys. Heavy plastic chew toys and rattles are fun to fling, rattle, and chew. Toddler playhouses from Little Tikes make great bunny play areas. You can pick these up at resale shops for children.

Think Green When Choosing and Caring for Your Rabbit

Adopt – don’t shop. Visit your local shelter, humane society or rabbit rescue when looking for a rabbit companion. Thousands of rabbits end up with local animal welfare agencies, in need of a good home. When you purchase from a breeder or pet store, you are contributing to the problem of animal overpopulation and not enough homes for every bunny born.

Spay or neuter your rabbit companion. Another important step in stemming overpopulation is to get your rabbit altered as soon as he/she is old enough. Males can be neutered at about 12 weeks, and females at 20 weeks. Contact San Diego House Rabbit Society to get referrals to rabbit-experienced vets and lower-cost spay/neuter options for rabbits. Altering your pet rabbit will not only prevent babies, it will make your rabbit a healthier and happier companion and aid in litter box training.

Use non-toxic cleaning products. Vinegar & water make the best cleaning solution for bunny’s washable bedding, toys, and litter box. Also, keep your yard and home free from pesticides and harmful fertilizers.

For more great ideas on the green benefits of adopting a rabbit companion, contact San Diego House Rabbit Society at hrs@sandiegorabbits.org.

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May 15, 2012
Hi - I wanted to let you know that I added your post to our Blog Hop on Bunny's Blog!
May 15, 2012
Thank you! Please share anytime.

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