For those of you who know don’t know me, besides my passion for reading my other passion in life is domestic rabbits. I share my home and daily life with them and pride myself in being the voice they do not have. The topic for today’s blog is important and close to my heart and the actions of others affect me in as little as three months after Easter is over…..Young Children and Rabbits Don’t Mix.
If you're thinking about buying your kids a cute little bunny for Easter, PLEASE don't. If your family is not prepared for the long-term commitment and expense of a rabbit, please give your child a rabbit stuffed toy or candy chocolate bunny.
Young children are naturally energetic, exuberant and a pet rabbit may seem like a good idea, but contrary to common belief, rabbits generally aren't good pets for kids.
There are numerous reasons why not? Many children want a pet they can hold and cuddle like a doll. Most rabbits are not going to be happy with that. Domestic rabbits are physically delicate animals and require safe, gentle handling and a quite environment. They have a lifespan of 10 years, which means a commitment to their care, and expense that is the same or more than that of a dog or cat. Rabbits must be spayed and neutered for a number of reasons one is it will help prevent cancer another is they will mark your house with feces and urine if not.
The myth that certain rabbit breeds make better pets is just that: a myth!
Did you know that (despite what the pet store clerk may tell you) rabbits are NOT “low-maintenance” pets and it is not all right to keep your bunny confined to a tiny cage. They need toys to keep their mind stimulated and free of boredom, they require exercise to keep their body fit and GI tract flowing as well as a PROPER diet of unlimited Timothy Hay, fresh greens, water and a small amount of pellets daily. **Should your pet rabbit be sentenced to a life outdoors you must be responsible to make sure he/she has a spacious shelter that will protect them from predators and extreme weather conditions.
Most children lose interest in a live bunny after only few weeks. Many rabbits are accidentally dropped by small children that result in broken legs and backs. Curious children often poke at a rabbits’ eyes or laugh in delight at a rabbit that is running away in panicked fear…not understanding fear CAN kill a rabbit. When they are no longer tiny and cute, kids lose interest and the rabbit has no voice to remind you that they are hungry, or thirsty, or needs their cage cleaned and in turn are then neglected, abandoned at a shelter or set free. A domesticated rabbit cannot fend for himself or herself as they do not have the instincts to survive on their own and most will fall prey to predators or starve.
This may sound to you that rabbits do not make good pets, quite the contrary! With the proper caretaker who is ready for that long-term commitment of a companion rabbit, one that will provide the proper environment and diet, they will find out just how inquisitive, intelligent and social their rabbit is; living as a member of the family.
If you remember just one thing let it be this - a pet rabbit is not a child’s toy-he is a real, live commitment.
Learn more; there is a wealth of information at www.rabbit.org and if you are looking to take a rabbit into your home and family please Save a Life and ADOPT.