Mayer, J., Brown, S., & Mitchell, M. A. (2017). Survey to investigate owners′ perceptions and experiences of pet rabbit husbandry and health. Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine.
Although pet rabbits are becoming increasingly popular in the United States of America (USA), very little is known about their status in captivity or their effect on the veterinary field. A questionnaire containing 26 questions was submitted online to rabbit owners through a volunteer-based nonprofit organization in the USA (House Rabbit Society [HRS]). A total of 959 owners answered the survey, with most respondents being located within the USA. The study aimed to evaluate pet rabbit owners׳ self-reported perceptions and experiences regarding varying aspects of rabbit husbandry (e.g., health status and nutrition), as well as how much they spend on veterinary care, food, and toys. The results of this study suggest that a segment of pet rabbits can be considered similar to dogs and cats with respect to the economics of veterinary care. The survey data also revealed that a large population of rabbit owners do not currently own a cat or a dog, and therefore might represent a potential new market for a veterinary clinic looking to expand their caseload. This is the largest survey on a specific segment of pet rabbit ownership reported to date.