Thinking of buying cute little bunny for Easter? DON'T DO IT! Bunnies are NOT toys. Don't be fooled by all the Easter advertising. Rabbits are not toys to be set up in a kid's room only to come out when the child FEELS like playing. The rabbit needs a family to live with who loves them. They need room to play and be themselves.
Rabbits are not usually cuddly and do not care to be carried around. They are affectionate when given the right diet, space, affection and attention from the family. However of they are undernourished, lack play and mental stimulation, fearful of the family or if they have incurred an injury that has gone unnoticed and untreated rabbits can become moody, skittish and even BITE. Would you or any other pet be playful and cuddly given the same circumstances? Rabbits aren't toys.
Rabbits are not good first pets for a very young child. Kids lose interest quickly and rabbits need continual love, care and support throughout their lifetime. Children can't accurately read a bunny that isn't feeling well or injured. Unnoticed and unattended injuries are painful and rabbits use their teeth and claws to communicate when they are stressed, sad or in pain. This often leads to the child getting bit and the rabbit getting thrown outside or dumped in a cage or hutch and forgotten about.
Bunnies enjoy running and playing on the ground and use litter boxes initially with no training. The bunny picks a corner of a room, cage or hutch to do their business. THEY pick the corner and you simply put the litter box in their chosen corner. HOWEVER, once their hormones kick in, this changes, everything changes as it does for most animals and humans alike. DO NOT use kitty litter in your rabbits litter box! Make sure your rabbit does not have access to your cat's kitty litter.
Rabbits need medical care from an Exotic Veterinarian, considered a specialist in their field. These specialist are hard to find and costly. Spay or neuter can cost $150 or more, and rabbits require routine veterinary care. Rabbits that are not spayed or neutered, both male and female, become messy, spray and nip! The hormones make them irritable and uncomfortable. Rabbits are not toys. They become adults with adult needs and care requirements quickly.
Rabbits can become easily frightened when held or spooked by loud noises or unfamiliar predators like the family dog or cat. In time most rabbits lose their fear of their fellow house pets but this takes time and patience on your part. THEY NEED LOVING, GENTLE CARE through the process before they can adjust their fears. The loud noises will most likely always spook your rabbit. They are not toys. They have emotional needs that must be met before your bunny will adjust well to your family.
Bunnies need to live indoors to be safe from diseases and predators. Rabbits are High maintenance pets! They require more work than cat or dog. They have high social needs and need another rabbit as a companion. However, when their hormones kick in most rabbits become very aggressive with each other until spayed/neutered. Healthy rabbits can live 10 years, sometimes more.
DO NOT BUY OR ADOPT A RABBIT ON IMPULSE. Rabbits have special diets and housing needs. They cannot be set "free" out of doors. They have no survival skills and often fall victim to predators, cars, the elements or trusting the wrong stranger. Pet rabbits see people as a source of food and shelter. This makes them susceptible to cruelty and abuse. They are not a disposable toy to be trashed when no longer considered fun. To abandon a living, feeling needy critter that has come to love and need you and your family, leaving them to starve or fall victim to the dangers of the outside world IS and act of animal cruelty punishable by law in most states and counties.
MOST RABBITS PURCHASED AS EASTER GIFTS END UP ABANDONED ON THE STREETS OR AT SHELTERS. If you think that you might like to add rabbits to your family please visit your local rabbit rescue or humane society. Spend time with the rescue rabbits. Get to know them and their needs. Ask questions of the staff and volunteers. Meet the wide range of rabbit characters, personalities, temperaments, size and breeds. You will have the advantage of bringing home a spayed/neutered rabbit with some insight to their required care and responsibility. Like any pet, a bunny is a life long responsibility, not a disposable toy.
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