Does your child want a rabbit? Long ears are popular pets for children. But these animals are not for everyone. Here’s everything you need to know before buying rabbits for your child.
Rabbits are very popular with children and are often touted as being good pets for children. Rodents are also often given as gifts for birthdays or Christmas. But beware! Rabbits are not cuddly toys, they are real creatures with needs. Therefore, think carefully about whether your child is ready for a pet. We’ll help you with that.
Rabbits are not stuffed animals!
Basically, rabbits are prey animals that can sometimes be very skittish. As a result, most long-eared cats don’t really like being picked up and carried around. They don’t want to be petted all the time, either. Some rabbits will even defend themselves by scratching, biting, and kicking.
Therefore, keeping rabbits is only recommended if the children can take the needs and characteristics of their charges into consideration. You have to be able to understand that the rabbits want to be left alone and accept that they cannot carry the animals around when and how they want. If they can’t do that, they’re not ready for rabbits.
Rabbit housing requirements
Rabbits have many requirements when it comes to keeping them. If you and your children cannot meet these requirements, you should refrain from buying a rabbit. These claims are generally:
- daily healthy feeding
- clean enclosures regularly
- Keep bunnies busy (even with something other than petting, cuddling, and carrying!)
- give the rabbits free rein every day
- enough space for the rabbit enclosure and species-appropriate enclosure equipment
Another essential aspect of keeping rabbits: Rabbits must not be kept alone! They need at least one conspecific, otherwise, they wither mentally and develop behavioral disorders. Even a guinea pig cannot replace a second rabbit. Your child cannot, therefore, wish for “a rabbit”. There must always be at least two!
The primary responsibility for the rabbits lies with the parents
It is well known that pets teach children to be responsible. Nevertheless, the well-being of the animal and thus the main responsibility ultimately lies in the hands of the parents. You are responsible for ensuring that your children learn how to handle the rabbits and understand if the animals want to be left alone.
It is also your responsibility to ensure that the rabbits are well cared for and occupied. Most importantly, you need to realize that if your children lose interest after getting the rabbits and they don’t take as good care of the animals as promised, all of the work with the animals will fall back on you. You have to consider that before you buy.
As a parent, you should find out about the housing and care requirements of rabbits before making a purchase and think carefully about whether rabbits are really the right pets for you and your children.
Rabbit as a birthday or Christmas present
Please refrain from giving rabbits – and other animals too – birthday or Christmas gifts. Countless animals end up in animal shelters every year because they were given away carelessly and prematurely! Only afterward do many realize that they are overwhelmed with the animal or that it is not as much fun as expected.
It is therefore strongly discouraged to make a hasty purchase or to give rabbits as a birthday or Christmas present. If you have long and extensively informed yourself about the animal and its husbandry and then Christmas or a birthday is just around the corner, that’s something else. But these festivals should never be the reason for buying an animal!