Many owners overlook the benefits that owning a rabbit can bring. These cheerful, sweet little critters can go a long way towards lifting our mood and making us smile during the long winter months.
For many, the rabbit is the perfect pet. They don’t need as much attention as their feline or canine cousins and are relatively good at taking care of themselves. They are also a good option for those with cat and/or dog allergies.
The low maintenance room mate
Rabbits make wonderful companions for people who may not have a huge amount of time to spend with their pets. Most bunnies are content to spend their time with their rabbit friend or friends and to have us check in on them every now and then. For owners whose lives have become a mix of home schooling and Zoom calls; this self-reliance is a real bonus! Having to think about walking your dog during the dark winter nights simply isn’t for everyone.
For those rabbits tame enough to be handled and who enjoy being stroked, it can be a real treat to have a little cuddle. Their soft fur and warm bodies make them the perfect snuggle companion in the winter to help lift our mood! Be mindful that not all rabbits enjoy being handled in this manner. Always provide them with the option to ‘escape’ safely. We now know that spending time stroking a pet can release mood enhancing chemicals in your brain. This can lead to naturally reducing your stress levels.
A sense of purpose to help lift your mood during winter
Having a pet to take care of can help centre us and provide a sense of purpose; especially during these uncertain times. Knowing that we need to ‘fill the water bowl’ at 8 a.m. and ‘clear out the litter tray’ in the evening provides structure to the day. It can be all too tempting to lay in bed during the colder, darker mornings. However, having a fluffy friend to care for makes this temptation less of an option.
Your furry family
Pet rabbits quickly become part of the family and, just like a pet dog or cat, can become someone we rely on and build a strong bond with. Having someone around to talk to that doesn’t judge you and accepts you, warts and all, is not something to be sniffed at! Winter can be a lonely time and, if you find yourself leaving the house less, it’s nice to know your rabbit is someone to rely on.
We shouldn’t underestimate the benefits that owning rabbits can have on our mental health. Caring for a bunny during the winter months will provide a real sense of purpose as well as companionship.