Rabbits facing each other

7 Reasons why Rabbits are Better Pets than Dogs

Here are seven reasons why rabbits are better pets than dogs (bet you didn’t think of number 4!).

While the rest of the world seems to divide itself into cat or dog people, those of us who have bunnies know that the best pets of all are rabbits. Here are seven reasons why rabbits are better pets than dogs (bet you didn’t think of number 4!). 

1. Rabbits don’t need walking

Dogs are great. We have some friends with a lively, friendly labradoodle. You couldn’t imagine a gentler animal. And, as part of the family, the friends look after their dog. 

Which means walkies. 

Every. Single. Day.

You know that myth that eskimos (more properly Inuit or Yupik people) have fifty different words for snow? In the north-west of England, we have fifty different words for rain. There’s a reason for that.

So dogs need walking in bad weather. When it’s pelting it down. Raining cats and dogs. Sleeting. Spitting. Lashing down. Coming down in torrents. Raining stair-rods. Pouring. Showering. Or even just drizzling.

Muddy paws and boots
Muddy paws after a rainy day. Dogs need walking whatever the weather.

No matter how bad the weather, their labradoodle needs a decent walk. 

Our bunnies don’t. I can just let them zoom round the garden. And plenty of people keep their rabbits indoors permanently, where they can hop around to keep fit and well. 

And I can watch them, sitting down, drink in hand, relaxing.

Rabbits 1 – Dogs 0.

2. Rabbit poo is better than dog poo

It gets worse than just having to take the dog for a walk in miserable weather. My friend has to keep a selection of small plastic bags to hand, to pick up their dog poo. 

And then carry it with him for the rest of the walk.

By choice. Because dog poo is so bad that you can’t just leave it for others to step into. 

And almost nothing smells worse than dog poo. The smallest trace left on a shoe is enough to contaminate it and stink out wherever you go.

It would be bad enough if dogs could be litter trained, or always used the same spot – but they don’t. They just find a random patch of grass, and let it out. 

Now contrast this with rabbits. The poo consists of small, neat, brown balls that don’t particularly smell, and don’t spread and cause mess everywhere.

And Fish and Chips, our rabbits, know how to use a litter tray. We just need to empty it every now and then into a nearby bin. 

No plastic bags, no mess, no smell, no carrying poo around with you.

Rabbits 2 – Dogs 0. 

3. Rabbits are quieter than dogs

My grandfather had a number of dogs over the years (he was a farmer). There was Ben, a faithful, gentle sheepdog, and Rags, who was a little crazy, and Jason (a labrador with a golden fleece) who was stupid but kind. 

They all had one thing in common.

They barked. 

At times, loudly.

Bottom line – dogs are noisy.

But rabbits… …are blissfully quiet. No yapping, no howling at the moon, and no barking at the postman.

You want a quiet life? Get a rabbit.

Rabbits 3 – Dogs 0.

4. Rabbits are more environmentally friendly than dogs

We don’t tend to think about climate change when it comes to our pets, but perhaps we should. And one factor to take into account is the size of the carbon footprint that comes from feeding our pets.

Dogs mainly eat meat – they’re pretty carnivorous. 

(As an aside, there’s a scientific debate over whether dogs are better classed as omnivores or adaptive carnivores. You can read more about it in this scientific paper: Hendriks, W. H. (2014). The omnivorous dog dogma and carnivorous cat connection. Abstract from ESVCN – European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition, Utrecht, The Netherlands).

And meat production is bad for the environment (you can find out more from Friends of the Earth). 

Many people are reducing the amount of meat in their diets (or changing to low-intensity farmed animals) over a concern for global warming (meat-free Mondays is taking off in some schools). 

It’s fine to make that choice for ourselves – but much harder to make it for a pet that is adapted to eat meat. 

It’s true that there are some vegetarian diets for dogs – but the food is more expensive. And you have to be vigilant to ensure your dog is getting all the right nutrients (and as for cats – forget it. They are obligate carnivores – they need meat). 

In contrast, our rabbits Fish and Chips enjoy hay, and grass. 

This is a renewable form of food (the grass grows back!). It’s cheap. And it’s plentiful.

Even the best quality hay (we buy Timothy hay – you can find out more about it in our article on why it’s best for rabbits) is an order of magnitude cheaper than a good quality dog food.

And with a much small carbon footprint.

Rabbits are more environmentally friendly pets than dogs.

Rabbits 4 – Dogs 0

5. Rabbits sleep at convenient times

Bunnies are creatures of dawn and dusk (crepuscular is the technical term). This is when they are most active.

Rabbits sleep most at night and midday (we have a whole article about when and how rabbits sleep here).

This is convenient for most families. The mornings and evenings are when most people are around. While you are asleep at night or at work during the day, the bunnies are happily taking naps.

Bunnies have ideal sleeping patterns for today’s world.

To be fair, dogs aren’t too bad here either. They too sleep at night, and can nap during the day. 

Perhaps a point each, then.

Rabbits 5 – Dogs 1.

6. Rabbits can live happily indoors or outdoors

In Britain, about half of rabbit owners keep them in the house, and about half outside in a garden (if you plan to do this, you need to make sure that your rabbit can’t escape and is safe from any predators).

This means that they are flexible pets. You can keep your house animal-free if you have, for example, a family member with allergies.

And they don’t need a massive amount of space (though they do need a large hutch or run – enough to make at least three hops. You can read more about the hutch we have here). 

Rabbits 6 – Dogs 1.

7. Rabbits do the cutest binkies

Happy bunnies will run, jump and turn in the air simultaneously – it is the cutest thing to watch. Here’s an example:

Dogs can’t do this.

Rabbits 7 – Dogs 1.


Rabbits and dogs. Both intelligent, sociable, inquisitive animals. Both great pets. But rabbits are the best. The 7 – 1 score proves it!

Rabbits are fantastic pets, but you should make sure you can look after them properly for the long term before going out to the pet store or adoption centre.

You can find out the total cost (including running costs) of having rabbits in our article. And if you’re thinking of buying a large hutch, have a read of our review of the hutch we use. Also check out the cost of pet rabbit insurance – I’ve done a comparison of the UK providers.

Already own bunnies? Check out the toys which ours love the most.

Despite everything, you insist on choosing dogs? You might find this guide on which dog breed to choose helpful.

Posted by Jonathan