Pet rabbits selling like hotcakes in Year of Rabbit

By Apples Jalandoni, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 07 2011 09:55 PM | Updated as of Feb 08 2011 07:14 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Pet rabbits are selling like hotcakes at pet shops here in Arranque St., Manila.

According to Kenneth Rodriguez, one of the sellers here, they have been selling an average of 300 pet rabbits a day since Chinese New Year last week. They sell them at 500 pesos each.

In fact, the few pet rabbits they have left, they couldn't sell because they are too young, at less than a month old.
Pet rabbits should be at least two months old to be sold.

They order the rabbits from farms in Batangas and Laguna. He says even the farms couldn't produce enough to
meet the high demand. Because of this, they may get their next stock this June.

According to another seller, Jomar Dilip, it's very important to take good care of pet rabbits since they are
prone to stomach illness and respiratory problems. Pet rabbits should not be bathed since they clean themselves.

Exposure to water may lead to respiratory complications, which is why it's important to keep their environment clean.

At the Cartimar pet shops in Pasay, pet rabbits are also sold out.

The few ones that pet shop owner, Al Mesolas, have left have already been reserved by a buyer just this morning (Feb. 7), disappointed buyers like Joy Ong.

Ong says she believes a pet rabbit will bring her good luck this year, and she will continue looking for a pet rabbit.

Mesolas says he wasn't prepared for this kind of demand for pet rabbits.

Last year, they could barely sell a couple of dozens a week. Now, they sell up to 500 pet rabbits a day!

Mesolas adds pet rabbits should be placed in a big enough cage so they can roam around and exercise.

The cage should be filled with wood shavings as these will absorb the pets' wastes so that these will not stick on rabbits’ fur and cause irritation.

Mesolas says pet rabbits should be given special feeds with some water. They can also eat vegetables like carrots but sparingly.

Water intake should also be limited since too much water may cause stomach problems.

Injections and immunizations are not needed for pet rabbits.

Animal rights group PETA, meanwhile, reminds the public that while rabbits are gentle companions and have complex needs, which is why they shouldn't be purchased on a whim.