Rabbit Handbook: Purchasing, Feeding, Health Care,
Housing, Understanding Rabbit Behavior is one
of the best books around on caring for a pet rabbit.
It covers a good range of topics on selecting,
caring for, breeding, and showing rabbits. At 144
pages, it offers more depth and a wider range of
information than many similar rabbit titles. The
author, Karen Gendron, is a veterinarian in New
England who specializes in small animals like rabbits.
She also hosts a weekly call-in radio show about
pets, "The Vet Line," on WESX in Salem, MA.
geared more for pet owners, The Rabbit Handbook does
offer a nice overview of topics of interest to beginning
breeders and exhibitors. These topics include breeding
procedures, an introduction to rabbit coat genetics,
caring for a pregnant rabbits and a litter of kits,
and exhibiting rabbits at an American Rabbit Breeders
Association (ARBA) show.
book starts out with a brief overview of the biology
of a rabbit, which would be helpful for a school
report on rabbits. This section of the book also
covers the history of rabbits in the world, including
the traditional link between rabbits and Easter and
the use of rabbits in dog racing.
issues found in most rabbit books, such as how to
choose the perfect rabbit as your pet and how to
handle one, are included. The book also looks at
housing for rabbits (both indoor and outdoor), rabbit-proofing
your home, litter-training, and grooming your bunny.
The author gives many good tips, such as providing
guidance on how to travel with your rabbit, acclimate
your bunny to other pets, and deal with grief after
a pet rabbit dies (including phone numbers for pet
loss support hotlines).
section on nutrition is excellent, covering not only
Dr. Gendron's recommendations for a healthy diet
for rabbits, but also reviewing other theories on
how to feed a domestic rabbit. Unlike some books,
Dr. Gendron's book acknowledges that different people
have different ideas on the perfect rabbit diet,
many of which can result in a healthy rabbit.
section on health is also very good. It provides
an overview of major illnesses, disorders, and injuries
a rabbit can suffer with information on symptoms,
causes, and how the problem is usually treated by
a vet. This section also shows how to medicate your
rabbit, including how to give them pills and eye
drops (but not how to give them injections), and
how to pull together a first aid kit. Like most books
aimed at pet rabbit owners, this one advises rabbit
owners to take their pets to a vet rather than try
to diagnose and treat their rabbits themselves.
book concludes with a very nice glossary.
of the pleasures of a book on rabbits are the photos
of cute bunnies, and this book doesn't disappoint.
It has some very nice four-color photos of rabbits,
although not as many other rabbit books. The emphasis
in The Rabbit Handbook is on the text, rather
than the illustrations. This is what makes the book
superior to many other books on rabbits: the depth
and range of information is better, making it a reference
you can turn to again and again, rather than just
an introduction to having a rabbit.
Gendron also has coverage of topics that aren't found
in most other rabbit books, such as rabbit overpopulation
and underpopulation in the wild. While most of us
are familiar with the overpopulation of rabbits in
such countries as Australia and New Zealand, the
author asserts that some parts of the world, such
as the New England area in the United States, suffers
from an underpopulation - that wild rabbits and hares
are losing their habitats due to development of land.
You'll also find in this book such fascinating tidbits
as the legend of the jackalopes and the names of
rabbits the world over.
a suggested retail price of under $11, The Rabbit
Handbook by Karen Gendron is a terrific reference
for a pet rabbit owner to have on hand.