4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
Easter is coming up, and that means bunnies are receiving lots of love! Or at least, that’s how it seems. Spring is a big season for buying and adopting bunnies, which makes sense thanks to the famous Easter bunny. But while the increased demand for bunnies sounds like it should be a good thing, there are sadly a lot of downsides to it.
Every year, lots of bunnies are returned, abandoned, or mistreated. Many of these bunnies were Easter presents for young children. In fact, bunnies are the third most surrendered animal after cats and dogs, and approximately 23% of bunnies in shelters are euthanized. So, no one should be bringing a bunny home unless they’ve done their research and are fully committed.
Here are some reasons why giving live bunnies for Easter is a bad idea.
Bunnies are Difficult to Care for
When people think of bunnies, they think of cute, fuzzy things that are almost like stuffed animals. But unlike a stuffed animal, live bunnies are a lot of work. They might not be as time-consuming as a dog, but they are not a good pet for beginners. Bunnies need lots of space to roam, not just a tiny hut like many people believe. And that large space has to be cleaned often because bunnies poop a lot! They also live about 10 to 12 years, so they’re a long-term commitment just like a canine companion. Plus, they’re social creatures who like to interact with their humans and with each other if you have more than one. So, all these care requirements need to be taken into account.
Some Puppy Mills Breed Bunnies
Like dogs and cats, bunnies often come from horrible breeders called “rabbit mills”. These are similar to puppy mills, where bunnies are bred over and over again in inhumane conditions. So, if you buy a bunny from a pet store, especially if it’s a store that sells puppies, that bunny is probably from a rabbit mill. And buying those bunnies will only support the mills and encourage them to hurt more bunnies. If you must get a bunny, please adopt one from a shelter instead.
Bunnies Aren’t Good Pets for Children
Since bunnies are smaller animals, humans naturally assume they’re great beginner pets for kids. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Young children usually want a pet that they can hold and cuddle, but that can be overwhelming for rabbits. And when a bunny gets scared, they might kick or bite. So, they need a family who knows how to give them space and care for them properly. Bunnies aren’t recommended for kids under 10, even if they’ve done their research. I’ve heard that rats and guinea pigs are the friendliest small mammals, making them get along with kids better than bunnies. So, maybe consider one of those animals first.
Bunnies From Pet Stores Aren’t Usually Fixed
“Breeding like bunnies” is more than just a saying, it’s a fact. Rabbits can reproduce fairly quickly when given the option. So, like dogs and cats, there are many good reasons to spay or neuter your bunny. Unless your bunny comes from a shelter or rescue, it’s unlikely that they’re fixed. So, if your bunny ever comes into contact with another rabbit, whether they run away or meet a friend’s pet, they might quickly reproduce. Since rabbits can easily be euthanized like dogs, it’s best to help control the bunny population as much as possible.
They Have a Lot of Health Problems
Bunnies aren’t the most durable animals. They’re built for speed (I should know, I’m a dog who loves chasing rabbits!). Thus, they have lightweight skeletons, making it easy for them to break some bones. This is another reason why kids shouldn’t handle bunnies too much. If they accidentally drop a bunny or squeeze them too tight, it could be life-threatening for the fuzzy critters. Bunnies are a pet that you’ll need to be extra gentle with, which many families don’t realize.
Pets Aren’t Presents!
Most importantly, animals are not presents. If you want to give your child a pet on a special occasion, you need to make sure it’s something your family has talked about in advance. Make sure your kids are ready to help with a pet rather than surprising them with one out of the blue. Many animals are surrendered or abandoned because people bought them thinking they were cute, but then they ended up being more work than they seemed. So, please do your research and talk with your family before committing to a bunny or any other animal.
Sure, dogs love to chase bunnies, but it’s more for fun than anything else. We don’t want bunnies dying in shelters because humans aren’t properly caring for them. So, this Easter, you might want to stick to a plush bunny until you know your family is prepared to welcome another living creature into your home.
Like my blog? Please follow me on Facebook!