Should you give a real, live bunny as an Easter gift?
Who can resist a cute baby bunny with its long ears and fluffy tail? Of course your son or daughter would love one as an Easter gift. But is it a wise decision? Let’s weigh the pros and cons.
Rabbits are Quiet
Rabbits don’t make noise like a barking dog or howling cat. They are quiet, which makes for a good pet, especially for apartment dwellers. Because they are quiet they prefer a home that is quiet, too. How boisterous is your household?
Rabbits Live for 10 Years
Choosing a rabbit as a pet is a long term commitment – the same as if you are taking a dog or cat as a pet because they can live for 10 years or more. How old is your child? Are you okay with having a pet rabbit after they leave home or lose interest when they’re older? Any pet should be considered a family commitment.
Rabbits Can Be Trained to a Litterbox
If your family doesn’t want to make a commitment to walk a dog, a rabbit can be a great alternative because they can be easily trained to use a litterbox.
Rabbits Can Be Trained to a Litterbox
Yes, we’re listing it as a con too. We all tell ourselves that it will be great for our child to learn responsibility in taking care of a pet, but in real life who cleans the litterbox? Will it be alright with you if it happens to be you that cleans the litterbox for the next 10 years?
They are Most Active Morning & Evening
Rabbits are most active first thing in the morning when everyone is getting ready for work and school and again in the evening when everyone returns home. They tend to sleep during the day and are satisfied with being in their penned area. They are social animals that require attention and stimulation just as much as a dog or cat, so when you are home would you find it relaxing to play with your rabbit and to hold it?
Rabbits Should Be Spayed or Neutered
Of course you don’t want your house overflowing with baby bunnies like tribbles (joke for the Star Trek fan), but the most important reason to spay or neuter your pet rabbit is to keep them docile. Rabbits go thru an adolescent stage where they can be territorial and nip at the age of 4 – 6 months. If they are spayed or neutered they remain quiet, cuddly pets. It is very important to accept this fact and add it into the cost of your pet.
Rabbits Love to Snuggle
If you love to have your pet sit on your lap while you watch TV or talk on the phone, a bunny is the perfect pet for you. They’ll sit with you for hours.
You May Have to Vacuum More Often
Rabbits molt four times a year so during these times you’ll have to vacuum regularly.
Owning a Rabbit is Just Like Owning a Puppy
Rabbits Need Cages: Most people today kennel train their puppy which is a good way to look at your bunny’s need for a cage too. Even if you will allow your pet rabbit to run free around the house, there will be times when you will want to put it in its cage. The rabbit cage needs to be big enough for your bunny to have its litter box in one corner, food in the opposite corner with enough space to stretch out completely between the two areas.
Rabbits Need Special Food: Just as you leave kibble for your dog to munch on at will throughout the day, baby rabbits eat alfalfa pellets and hay and rabbits over 6 months old eat timothy hay and pellets. In place of the canned dog food, rabbits eat a handful of green vegetables.
Rabbits Need Exercise: Just as your puppy needs to go for a walk for daily exercise, a rabbit needs to run and play. You need a rabbit-proof room or play-fenced area for them to hop around freely and explore toys.
Rabbits Need to Chew: Puppies chew – and so do rabbits! In fact, rabbit’s teeth keep growing so they absolutely need to chew. You can buy chew toys for bunnies, provide cardboard boxes, straw mats, branches and paper bags so they will be content and not chew your possessions. Wires and cords should be threaded through PVC (plastic) tubes to protect them from destruction.
Rabbits Need YOU: Your bunny needs your loving just as much as a puppy. Rabbits are social animals who love snuggles and wants to be with you just as much as your dog does. They don’t like to be left alone all day and miss you as much as a puppy.
Congratulations! You Want a Bunny
If you’ve decided to look for a pet rabbit for your family, please consider adopting a rescued rabbit. We understand how cute a baby bunny at the pet store can be, but think of the positives of owning a pet that is already trained to a litterbox, old enough to not be injured by excited children and the bonus joy you get from knowing you saved another living thing.
If you are interested in a rescued rabbit you can contact your local SPCA Humane Society – some do have rabbits – or do a search with Pet Finder.
I hope this list helped – let us know if you are giving a pet rabbit to your kids this Easter, we’d love to hear from you.