Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Relocating with a Rabbit

Apartment hunting as a rabbit owner is a nightmare.  That is the lesson I’ve learned this week.

It is hard enough to find an affordable rental in the District in the first place.  Add to that the fact that you own a pet, and you’ve already eliminated at least half of your options.  I don’t know how many Craigslist ads I’ve read through and gotten excited about, only to reach the very end of the listing and read the following phrase: “NO PETS.”  Ugh!

My boyfriend pointed out that most landlords only consider dogs and cats when indicating the no-pet policy.  And he’s probably right, but when I think about the potential damage that rabbit teeth and claws can do to an apartment that already isn’t pet-friendly, I shy away from even bothering to ask a landlord for leniency.

I found a great, affordable apartment in my desired neighborhood.  The website said “pets welcome,” which furthered my excitement.  A few clicks through the website later, and I stumbled across the following:
"Pet Restrictions: Other animals prohibited, including, but not limited to, snakes, ferrets, iguanas, potbelly pigs, rabbits and insects.”
Bummer.  Onward with the search.

Having a rabbit caused me to consider things I never would have before when looking at an apartment.  I worried about wall-to-wall carpeting and the quality of hardwood flooring (and the cost of repairing either flooring option, due to chewing or digging).  I looked at the baseboards and crown molding to consider how easily fixable they would be after Walter noshed on them.  I checked where outlets were to consider furniture placement so that power cords to electronics and lighting would be out of the rabbit’s reach.  I made sure there was an appropriate place in the living area for Walter’s cage.  I thought through the floor plan to ensure that there was room for my belongings, and still space for the rabbit to safely roam.

I finally found a great place that I think both Walter and I will love.  It’s carpeted, so I’ll have to watch his digging claws and his chomping teeth, but I think he’ll love the ability to run around the apartment without slipping on the hardwood floors.  I am also grateful that Walter was housebroken in my boyfriend’s apartment (sorry, Paul!) so that his urge to chew the baseboards at our new home will be kept to a minimum.

I don’t think Walter will be very excited about moving.  Sure, he’ll have a new place to explore, but rabbits are creatures of habit.  Changing up his routine in a major way will surely upset him.  Let’s hope his grumpiness and payback are short-lived.

Did I miss any other key rabbit comforts and safety precautions when considering our new home?  What has your experience been with transitioning rabbits from one home to another?

No comments:

Post a Comment