I have been breeding rabbits for over 15 years now. I started as a child breeding meat rabbits and selling them at the market. I simply love it. I learned, as an adult, the important of educating my pet rabbit buyers.
I admittedly didn’t know a whole lot about raising rabbits as a teen, and when I look back, I made TONS of errors. This knowledge helps me to be more tolerant of the errors I see others making. Sometimes a person just doesn’t know any better eh? To that end, when I sell a bunny I do my best to educate the buyer in how to best care for a bunny.
How to Educate Pet Buyers
The education of pet buyers takes many forms for me.
- conversation when picking up a bunny
- bunny care sheet emailed and handed out depending on form of communication
- website information
- emails, phone calls and texting
Conversation when Picking up a bunny
If this bunny is to be a child’s pet (Over the age of 8) I do my best to engage the child. Talking to them about what they think a bunny needs (Carrots and hugs is often the answer) and then telling them what a bunny really needs. I engage them in learning how to pick up a bunny safely … not only for them but also for the bunny. Learning how to feed a bunny, water and housing requirements and how to litter train their pet.
One of things I often ask them is “does your mom let you have a chocolate bar every day?” Sometimes the answer surprises me with a “yes” but usually it’s no. I then help them understand that to a bunny, sweet food like carrots and apples is like giving a bunny a chocolate bar every day and do they think that would be healthy for the bunny?
If the bunny is for a child younger than 8, I emphasize that the bunny is a family pet. They can’t expect a youngster to independently care for the bunny or know what to watch out for. To that end I talk with the parent about care, show them how to pick up a bunny, tricks for helping their child handle the bunny and so forth.
Some people when they come for a bunny merely want to pick bunny up and then dash off. It’s hard to engage those folks in conversation, so I remind them I’ll send them a care sheet and off they run. I can’t force people to learn.
I have a PDF that I send people. This contains a brief summary of how to care for a rabbit along with links to my website that has a number of helpful articles for people to read. It contains my return policy and other basic information. A two page document meant to give information without being overwhelming.
I have worked hard on my website over the years. Writing articles to help the pet buyer, answering questions, rabbit friendly veterinarians and more. I think overall I’ve done well though sometimes think some tweaking has to be done. 🙂
Email, Phone Calls and Texting
I much prefer conversing with people over email. It’s easier to be clear about what I am saying. It’s easier to link to articles and websites to facilitate communication. I can easily clarify points made, send pictures stored on my computer, and send files.
Long phone calls require the most patience for me, particularly when people don’t seem to listen to what I say. I find that often the message is not heard and needs to be repeated. This gets rather frustrating. It’s hard to remain patient when what you are trying to say isn’t heard because emotions or agendas get in the way.
Texting, though quick, and excellent for communicating whereabouts, vehicle descriptions and quick question/answers is not ideal for long discussions or linking to relevant articles. Texting is an excellent way to share a picture of good weed to feed bunnies, or one to stay away from.
Knowing when to let go
Even though I dearly want to make sure that I am educating my pet rabbit buyers I know there is only so much I can do. Despite conversation and communication people will choose to think they know better and want to do things a different way. Sometimes they are influenced by the preponderance of house rabbit society information on the web. Often times they are misinformed by vets and well meaning people. Then there are financial constraints that sometimes hit people and they cut corners and figure bunny is okay so they continue to cut corners. Things happen that I cannot control. I can only do my best.
Others in this Series
- American Fuzzy Lop.
- Baby Bunnies.
- Culling well.
- Discussing Death.
- Errors in Judgement.
- Feeding Rabbits.
- The G’s of rabbits.
- Holland Lops.
- Interesting facts about rabbits.
- The Joy of Bunnies.
- Choosing Rabbits to Keep.
- Leaping Lagomorphs.
- The Scoop on Poop.
- Not Wanted Rabbits.
- Over the Hill.
Letter P Link Up
Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.