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Many of you know I love bunnies. I have shared my home with two house rabbits, Tilly and Bertie, and I hope to adopt more in the future.
They make wonderful pets – but if, and only if, you are prepared to make accommodation for them in your life and if you are prepared to put in the work for maybe up to 12 years or more.
However cute bunnies look, and I admit a baby bunny is cuter than almost anything on this earth, they are not to be purchased on a whim. That little tiny fluffball will grow up to have a mind and personality of his or her own, they will chew, need lots of space, require careful feeding and once they are teenagers those dreaded hormones will kick in. Furthermore, you will need to pay for spaying/neutering, vaccinations, veterinary care, housing, toys, food and more.
A young rabbit is also very fragile and needs careful handling. Young children are probably not their best house mates because they can get too enthusiastic and cuddle the new arrival just a little too hard – sometimes resulting in injury or death for the rabbit.
After the initial enthusiasm has worn off many rabbits are sentenced to a dreadful life, living alone in a small hutch with inadequate care. Rabbits are social animals and believe me when I say they have just as much personality as a dog or a cat.
Imagine if people put their dogs and cats in small cages at the end of the garden and rarely gave them the time of day – there would be a national outcry – but that is what often happens with rabbits.
I believe rabbits should live in the home and be given free rein, however this will mean bunny-proofing your home, litter training your bunny and taking extra care – in other words it will mean a dedicated time investment.
At the very least rabbits should have a large hutch and run, where they can exercise; nibble the grass; and experience what it means to be free. If they are living outside it’s also best to keep them bonded in a pair – bunnies love company. I did have solo rabbits but they lived with me and always had the opportunity for interaction, a snuggle and plenty of play and affection. That said, I would probably adopt a pair next time, so they have the best of both worlds.
Easter Is Fatal For Rabbits
I don’t say that lightly.
Easter is synonymous with rabbits. It’s the new birth of Spring and it’s the time for Mr or Mrs. Easter Bunny to deliver your chocolate eggs. Of course children should get to enjoy those traditions, but make it with stuffed animals; chocolate bunnies; Easter bonnets with a papier-mâché bunny on top; or an Easter egg hunt with Peter (rabbit) leading the way.
Real, live rabbits are not for Easter. The Make Mine Chocolate Campaign in the UK found in a survey that 4 out of 5 rabbits bought near Easter were either abandoned or had died within a year. I find those statistics heart-breaking and I would image that the story is pretty similar in other countries.
So please, however cute that tiny bunny looks. Please don’t purchase them on a whim in time for Easter. Becoming a bunny Mom or Dad needs careful consideration and a commitment to that fur baby’s welfare for a decade or more. A toy rabbit will make your child just as happy and be much less work once Easter Sunday is over.
I would super appreciate you sharing this article to help spread the word – thank you!