Dear Homeward Bound: Is it OK for a bunny to live in a hutch?

Dear Homeward Bound,
My friend has a bunny that messes up her house and her mom says it needs to go outside and live in a hutch. We don’t think her mom is right and are wondering what we can say to convince her to keep the bunny in the house. Do you have any advice?
Dear Curious,
It’s great that you are advocating for the bunny. Animals need us to be their voice. In this case, I agree with you. It’s not so much that a rabbit shouldn’t be outdoors and in fact supervised outdoor time is really important for bunnies to be able to run and jump and nibble. The problem with hutches is that they really don’t meet a bunny’s needs for exercise and socialization and weather extremes can even endanger bunnies. In addition, most hutch flooring is wire and wood, which can be bad for a bunny’s feet.
I think many bunnies end up in hutches when people get frustrated by the fact that they chew — wires, wood, carpet, books, you name it. That is frustrating and it is important to make sure you have a way to contain your bunny inside when he or she is not in the cage. A great solution is a round puppy play pen. They can run and hop and stretch out without getting access to anything they might destroy. Maybe you and your friend can find a way to raise some money to buy a play pen and that will help convince her mom. Good luck.
Jessica Danyow
Homeward Bound

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