Every Easter, a child wants a rabbit. But, before you hop down that trail to rabbit ownership, check out a few facts first. Make sure that a rabbit is the best pet for you and your child.
What is it? If you are buying just one, then the sex can be either male or female. If you are buying several, consider purchasing rabbits of all one sex. If you want to mix them up, keep the males and females in separate pens to avoid breeding. Two rabbits are cute, but ten rabbits could be a nightmare.
Where will they live? Decide if your rabbit will live inside or outside of the home. Outdoor rabbits need a warm hutch to live in. Place the hutch in a part of the yard where it will be braced against the wind. Indoor rabbits will need a home as well which can be placed in a laundry room.
Doctor visits. Consider a rabbit like a kitten or a puppy—constant supervision is necessary especially if they are an indoor pet that can roam free about the house. Rabbits can acquire hairballs and fleas. They also get bacterial infections common to them that, left untreated, could cause their death. Regular checkups will be necessary.
Rabbits are just as delicate as baby chicks when it comes to their bone structure. Picking them up and walking around with them could be hazardous to the rabbit if they are dropped or jump down from the child’s arms. The shock of the landing could break their backs. If you must pick them up, use the scruff of the neck and avoid contact with their spines if at all possible.
Tender loving care. Rabbits need to be groomed weekly and their food and water changed daily. Creating an enclosed area around the hutch will allow the rabbits to be let out for exercise. Keep them near enough to the house that you can get to them quickly in an emergency. For indoor rabbits, let them roam while you refill their water and food. Keep an eye on them, though. Make sure you know where your rabbit is at all times to avoid any incidents.
Rabbits make good pets if you are willing to commit the time needed to care for them. Make sure that your children know that. If they do, then pet ownership will teach them responsibility, compassion, and dedication.