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Children & Rabbits

For years rabbits have been one of the most popular kiddies pets and if well looked after, they live long and happy lives. As such, these delightful creatures often become a real member of the family. With this said, rabbits are not the ideal choice for very young children and even older children should not be given the sole responsibility of looking after them. This is why parents too should like the idea of having a bunny around whether they are kept as indoor or outdoor pets because looking after a bunny needs to be everyone's responsibility.

Rabbits Are Intelligent & Sensitive Creatures

Rabbits are clever creatures but they are very sensitive too. They need lots of care and they love attention. Children are great at giving new pets a lot of attention, but sadly the novelty sometimes wears off as children get bored with their pets. This is something parents need to consider when thinking about introducing a bunny into the home.

If you are thinking about buying or adopting a rabbit from an animal shelter there are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself before you make your final decision, which are as follows:

  • Would you be prepared to look after the rabbit if your children lose interest in taking care of their pet?
  • Would you be happy to look after your rabbit even if they are sometimes a little aggressive or maybe need more veterinary care than you first anticipated?

Rabbits Are Not Cheap Pets

Unfortunately, many people believe that rabbits are cheap pets to keep and that they are easy maintenance so the kids can take care of them with no problem at all. However, this is far from the truth because rabbits are not "cheap" pets and they need taking care of properly which means quite a lot of "looking after" is involved – some of it like cleaning out cages on a regular basis being one task children are not overly fond of doing!


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Living Alone in a Hutch is Not Good

For a long time rabbits were put in hutches and kept in solitary confinement with people believing this was the right thing to do. However, these days this particular method of keeping a rabbit is seen to be completely outdated and in fact, is considered to be quite "cruel".

The other thing parents need to understand about rabbits is they do not generally like being picked up nor do particularly like being cuddled which is something that most children instinctively like doing with their pets. This could well be one of the reasons why children may get bored so quickly when they have a rabbit as a pet. With this said, some bunnies love being cuddled - but this is the exception rather than the rule and if you are lucky enough to own a bunny who really enjoys a cuddle or two, they are worth their weight in gold!

Too Many Pet Rabbits End Up in Shelters

Sadly, too many lovely bunnies end up in shelters as unwanted pets even though they are perfectly fit, healthy with friendly personalities. However, many of them have been passed from home to home, simply because they did not end up being the sort of pet the family wanted. Some rabbits end up in shelters because their owners thought they were not exciting enough!

Facts You Need to Know About Rabbits

Rabbits become valued members of a family – they can live to the ripe old age of 12 if well taken care of. This is one fact that needs to be taken into consideration when you give an eight year old child a pet rabbit – the question you need to ask yourself is whether your child would still be willing to take good care of bunny right up until they are 20 years old! Other facts include the following:

  • Hutches need to be cleaned out on a regular basis which means disinfecting everything with the right type of product – will your child be willing to do this?
  • Rabbits really do not like loud noises and this includes children screaming and squealing with delight when they are having fun. A bunny will run and hide which results in an upset child who doesn't understand why their pet won't play with them.
  • They hate being chased and it is never a good idea to handle them roughly which may just end up with a bite. This kind of behaviour puts a lot of stress on rabbits which is really bad for their well being.
  • Rabbits are fragile creatures, their bones break very easily and this is especially true if they are dropped by a frightened child.
  • Bunnies will bite and they will scratch and kick if they are frightened by anything. The image they have in story books is a little misleading because they are neither slow or quiet creatures that put up with anything.
  • Rabbits do NOT like it when they are picked up – they like to have all four feet on the ground and will typically wriggle until they are put back down. They will also give a nip which through no fault of their own will draw blood.
  • Bunnies are not cheap animals to keep – you would need to fork out around £1,000 a year to look after properly making sure they are given the right balanced diet and a great hutch that's a good size for them to live in.

Conclusion

If you are thinking about getting a rabbit for the children, it is better to think about owning a bunny as a "family pet" which would be looked after and cared for by everyone in the household much like a cat or a dog would be. Rabbits live long and happy lives when well taken care of which can be anything up to twelve years and more. They are lovely characters, full of personality and a lot of fun to have around and interact with which is something that many people don't realise about these adorable long-eared creatures.


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