As Easter approaches, many parents consider getting those adorable baby Easter bunnies from pet stores. However, unless you have a child over 12 who’s really responsible, I’d say go for a stuffed bunny toy instead.
Here’s why: Rabbits are quite delicate. Their bones are more fragile than those of dogs or cats, and a simple fall can break their spine. Sure, baby bunnies are irresistibly cute and seem okay with being handled, but they grow up fast. In just a couple of months, that cute little thing turns into a teenage rabbit with a whole new attitude. They might not like being held anymore, and their strong legs can cause scratches, not to mention their bites. Male rabbits, if not neutered, can spray like dogs, and unspayed females become territorial, sometimes attacking. To avoid these issues, spaying or neutering is a must. Every year, as rabbits hit puberty, shelters get flooded with these former Easter gifts.
Remember, rabbits can live for 10 to 12 years. Is your child ready for such a long-term commitment? Without continued care and attention, these social creatures might end up forgotten in a backyard hutch.
Last year, many rabbits were given up to shelters in our state. Unlike their wild cousins, pet rabbits can’t survive in the wild. They don’t last long on their own.
It’s a sad fact that older rabbits in shelters are often overlooked, with people preferring younger ones. This is a shame because older rabbits are usually better with kids and have developed their personalities.
Rabbits are wonderful pets, but they need to be understood and cared for properly. They belong in a safe, indoor environment, not outside in a hutch. So, this Easter, think twice before buying a bunny. If you’re really set on having a rabbit, consider adopting from a shelter or a rescue group like the House Rabbit Society. You can find listings of adoptable rabbits at petfinder.org or rabbit.org.