Buy Chocolate, not Rabbits!

April 09, 2017 Izzy Grey 0 Comments

Alright, it's that time of year again, so I'm going to preach this for the people in the back.


There are a ton of reasons why rabbits are not suitable pets for children in the first place, but since Easter means a spike in bunny sales, I'm gonna cover the main points. As a bunny mom for the last 8 years, I have a few things to say on the subject.

1.) Rabbits do not do well with young children

Rabbits are far more fragile than the normal cat and dog. If you hold them wrong, they can break their own spines. If that alone isn't scary enough, you need to get your head checked out. Young children generally lack the ability to hold a rabbit properly, and are rather grabby. You must always support the butt of a rabbit, and hold it very close to your chest.
Sure, these photos look cute, but all of these bunnies are being held improperly, and could very easily hurt themselves.
This is the proper way to hold your rabbit.
The majority of rabbits don't like to be held at all, and only accept petting on certain parts of their body. For instance, my bunny Maylene will only allow me to pet her on her head. As prey animals, they tend to not enjoy petting like a dog or cat would. She will not tolerate petting on her back, sides, or her stomach. She has whipped around and bitten me on more than one occasion when I have tried to touch her in places she doesn't approve. It's simply the way rabbits are.

2.) Rabbits should only be kept in certain conditions

Bunnies are incredibly fragile, as I stated above. Holding them wrong could mean they kick wrong, and break their leg or spine. Their immune system is no different. Bunnies are susceptible to a plethora of diseases and parasites that are found outdoors. They need to be kept indoors, and at a human comfort temperature. They can't be in the wind or under a vent either, as they can easily get sick from the air movement.

They also shouldn't be kept for long periods of time in cages or hutches. Bunnies need room to roam around and get all their energy out, and they simply don't get that in a cage. Maylene is only in her cage when we're asleep. When someone is home, she's got free roam of the house, just like us. We've had to bunny proof the rooms, and make sure that each room has a litter box for her to use, but otherwise life goes along just like it would with a dog. If you have no plans to ever let your bunny have room to stretch and play though, do not get one. Simple as that.

3.) Rabbits require special Vets

If you think paying $100 to get your dog a check up and vaccinations is steep, don't ever look at getting a rabbit! They require specialized vet care, which can be difficult to find, and comes at a high price. It generally costs me around $350 for a basic check up, deworming, and vaccinations for Maylene, and that's at a vet that accepts rabbits. Many don't.

Two months ago, Maylene was simply laying in her cage during play hours. I tried to lure her out with treats, but she sat huddled in her cage, and my Bunny Momma siren started screaming at me. I got down very very close to her, and put my ear on her head, to hear the soft sound of her grinding her teeth. A sign of pain. Being a prey animal, they often don't show signs of sickness or pain until it's too late, and there are very few places that offer emergency care for rabbits. My hubby and I began calling vets immediately, but it was 10:30 at night, and when it comes to rabbits, time is never on your side. They can die in hours.

We finally managed to get a hold of a small farm vet 60 miles away, who agreed to stay awake so we could rush her out there. Took us an hour to drive there. The cost was astronomical. But she was diagnosed with Stasis, and we left with medicine and a treatment plan. The point is, unless you're tuned in to your rabbit and their habits, something as simple as not wanting to come out of a cage might be missed and you could wake up to a dead rabbit.

4.) Rabbits require a lot of work

If your child isn't willing to walk the dog, they are not ready to care for a bunny. Buns require far more work than any dog or cat. They have to have litter boxes and cages cleaned and sanitized, must be brushed weekly, have to be fed special diets ( a cup of fresh greens a day, 1 to 2 ounces of suitable fruit a day, unlimited hay, and a small supply of pellets), and require a lot of time for socializing and exercise. 

Most children simply don't have the attention span for such care. Did you know that the month after Easter, shelters are flooded with rabbits whose families got tired of caring for them? How is that ok?

5.) Rabbits live 10+ years

That's right, rabbits live 10 to 15 years! If you're not ready for a dog, you're not ready for a rabbit! No animal deserves to live a crappy life because you thought it would be cute to get your kid a bunny for Easter.

TL:DR - Buy your child chocolate candy or a stuffed animal for Easter, don't buy them a bunny!

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