Christine A Howard

Why Rabbits Are The Perfect Emotional Support Animal

In recent months it seems the news is filled with stories about service and emotional support animals. It used to be that only the blind community used service animals. However, in recent years, a growing number of people have begun to realize the benefits that animals can provide for a number of disabilities. The biggest controversy seems to be around emotional support animals. That is why I am sharing the perfect emotional support animal that most likely will work for most situations – the rabbit.

Emotional Support Animal VS. Service Animal

First let’s make sure we are aware of the difference between emotional support animal and service animal. I believe that most of today’s issues stem from people confusing these two terms. While both types of animals serve a purpose, there are important differences to be aware of.

Rabbit and little girl

Service animals have a job that they perform for their owns. This job is quite specific and typically tied to a particular disability such as blindness or mobility issues. There are only two types of animals that can perform the task of service animal, and they are dogs and small horses. Service animals are protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), and can travel with their owners anywhere.

Emotional support animals provide their owners with emotional support through companionship. These animals do not have the same protections under the ADA laws. This means they can be legally prevented from entering certain public places. The nice thing about emotional support animals, is that the owner is not limited to a dog or small horse. Almost any pet can be an emotional support animal.

rabbit and owner

Both service animals and emotional support animals must be documented. For emotional support animals this is a fairly easy process. Typically there needs to be documentation by a medical professional and documentation stating the animal is truly necessary for emotional support. For further information you can check out the National Service Animal Registry website.

Why A Rabbit?

When thinking about emotional support animals, rabbits typically are not the first to come to mind. While we see a ton of cats and dogs filling these jobs, these pets come with problems that rabbits don’t have. Unlike other caged animals, rabbits can live for up to ten years, which means you will have your support animal for a long time.

rabbit care

Ease of Care Makes Them Great Pets in General

Rabbits are very easy to care for, and typically don’t require a large financial investment. The basic rabbit supplies are as follows:

  • Enclosure large enough for the breed
  • Water bottle
  • Food dish
  • Hay hanger
  • Caged animal pet bedding
  • High quality rabbit pellets
  • Timothy Hay
  • Rabbit chew toys
  • A rabbit safe exercise area
indoor rabbit hutch

The Right Temperment for Emotional Support

Rabbits in general have a very sweet, calm, and loving personality. They bond quickly and easily with their owners, and learn to love being handled by their owners. Much like a cat or dog, rabbits are soft and cuddly. They love to spend time just sitting on their owners’ laps soaking up attention.

Rabbits are social and love to play, so if you get them toys, they will provide hours of fun. But, if you happen to need your space for a while, they are happy to return to their enclosures until you are ready to play with them once again. They really are there for you when you need them.

rabbit and little boy

Caged Animals Often Pass Apartment Policies

Rabbits make the perfect indoor pet, and even pass most apartment caged animal policies. First of all, rabbits are very quiet. They really don’t make any noises except for cage noises. Rabbits don’t need to be let outside for exercise or toileting. Plus, they can be litter trained like a cat! Since they can be caged when you are away, they don’t run the risk of damaging your furniture either.

Approved by Some Airlines for in Cabin Travel

Did you know that there are quite a few airlines that allow rabbits in the cabin of the airplane? This is because they travel in small cages, are quite, and do not disrupt other passengers. According to the House Rabbit Society, these airlines allow rabbits in the cabin:

playing with rabbit

Rabbits Can Be Shown Just Like Cats and Dogs

Did you know that there is a national organization devoted to rabbits? It is called the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). The ARBA has shows you can place your rabbit in all over the country. If there is a 4-H organization nearby, you can have your child show their rabbit in your local county fair. With these organizations, you can have fun meeting other rabbit lovers. You will also learn great care tips as well.


If you are looking for the perfect emotional support animal, why not try out a rabbit. They are friendly, quite, social and have all of the necessary qualities a great support animal needs.

Why Rabbits Are The Perfect Emotional Support Animal

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