Easter is only a few days away, and advocates are urging people not to buy a bunny as a gift. Baby chicks are also off the list of Easter gift ideas.
While it may seem like a fun idea to gift your child a holiday-themed pet, it shouldn’t be a spur-of-the-moment decision. Although they can make a fantastic addition to the family, there are several important things to consider before you make the purchase. Here are just a few of the big ones …
They Can Be Expensive To Care For
Pet rabbits aren’t cheap – in addition to the cost of purchasing the rabbit itself, there are also ongoing costs for food, habitats, accessories, and vet bills. It’s important to be aware of these costs and make sure you can afford them before you make the purchase.
Rabbits Can Be Aggressive
One of the first major expenses you’ll have for your rabbit is getting it spayed/neutered, which can cost more than $300. Even if they never meet a rabbit of the opposite sex, it’s necessary. Otherwise, your sweet bunny may become aggressive.
If you do get your bunny spayed/neutered, you have to remember that there’s still a risk they could scratch or bite. It doesn’t mean they’re aggressive or dislike you, but accidents do happen. Especially since rabbits are nervous by nature.
If your bunny gets surprised or accidentally mistakes a hand for food, it could give you or your child a bit more than a playful nip. Oftentimes, when a child is bitten by their rabbit, they no longer want to give it the care or attention it needs to thrive.
Caring For Rabbits Can Be Complicated
Rabbits require a lot of care and are not considered low-maintenance. They can suffer from boredom or depression if they aren’t let out frequently and given regular stimulation. That means that you need the space and time to let them free-roam.
When it comes to their diet, rabbits live off of hay and fresh vegetables. While it may seem easy enough to toss a few carrots into their habitat each day, it’s not quite that simple. You need to feed them a diverse selection of veggies that are rich in the nutrients they need, which requires research and commitment. In fact, rabbits should only have carrots, other sweet vegetables, and fruit as treats, because they’re high in sugar.
Rabbits Are Fragile
It’s important that young children are always supervised when handling a pet rabbit. Like other small pets, rabbits are fragile and can be easily hurt. If their accidentally held too tightly, jerked around, or dropped, they could break or bone or get a dislocation.
They Live A Long Time
Rabbits can live from 8 to 12 years so buying one means that you’re making a long-term commitment. To add some perspective, depending on the age of your kids, they may be at University and living on their own before their pet passes on. If their dorms or rentals don’t let pets, you could be left holding the caretaking torch.
For some parents, that’s not an issue. For others, it’s a big deterrent …
Pet Rabbits Can’t Survive In The Wild
Bunnies that are purchased as Easter gifts are often abandoned outside by parents who think the rabbits will survive on their own in the wild. But domestic rabbits are designed to survive in the wild.
They have very different food requirements than wild rabbits. They also lack survival instincts and usually meet a quick death from a dog or hawk.
The best advice for Easter is to buy a stuffed or chocolate bunny instead of a real one. That doesn’t mean a pet bunny is off the table. But you should be sure you have the time, money, and commitment to care for one before you get it!
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