It’s hard to believe that Easter is almost upon us. Like many families, you might be considering buying a rabbit to celebrate the season. If that is your intention, take a moment to reflect on the following information. According to pet adoption experts, buying a rabbit for Easter is a terrible idea.
“Rabbits aren’t pocket pets, they are not low maintenance or low cost. They are very social and interactive. They need daily environmental and social interaction just as a dog or a cat would,” Joyce Kuhns, lead education and adoption coordinator for Southeastern PA-DE House Rabbit Society told Delaware Online.
According to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, thousands of bunnies purchased during the Easter season are released into the wild or brought to shelters and abandoned every year. It happens once the novelty of owning a bunny wears off.
Buying a bunny is not a short term project. They mature quickly and can live just as long as a small dog. Puberty hits hard at around 4 months so they might get aggressive and start biting. The American Rabbit Breeders Association also says that they might lose interest in cuddling when their hormones start raging.
Rabbits will also form a deep attachment to their owner and if they lose a playmate or a human in their family, they will mourn the loss.
Rabbit bones are rather brittle and fractures happen frequently. These fractures can be difficult to repair because their bones are tiny.
“A kid will want to pick up a rabbit and squeeze, but bunnies equate that to ‘I’m about to be eaten.’ They will struggle, the kid drops it, and bones can get broken,” said Kuhns.
BinkyBunny.com says that the ongoing cost for a single rabbit can be $80 per month, which is a surprise to most rabbit lovers. That is just for basic care and does not include vet bills for emergencies or illness. Spaying and neutering a bunny can run between $300 and $400. If you get a bunny from a rescue that has already been spayed or neutered it can help you avoid that cost.
Bunny-proofing the home is also something that most new rabbit owners overlook. It can be expensive to repair any damage from chewing, digging, and other issues. Rabbits naturally chew everything, so all cords, baseboards, and furniture legs will need to be protected.
Rabbits will need a constant source of grass, hay, and pellets (with 18% protein or higher). Fresh greens and vegetables also need to be supplied. Rabbits also need a proper litter box, sometimes in multiple areas of the house.
Many people will lose interest in the rabbit and abandon them in the wild, assuming that they will survive. In reality, a domesticated bunny does not have the same instincts as a wild bunny.
The ASPCA says you should provide your child with a book on rabbit care before you buy one. If they are begging you for a bunny, take them to a local shelter or rescue group, where you can talk to an expert about the possibility of actually adopting a rabbit.
Visit aspca.org for more information on adopting a rabbit.
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