Do rabbits make good pets for kids?
Bunnies are very appealing to people of all ages, particularly persuasive children! If you’re thinking about getting a rabbit for your child, there are a few things you should think about first.
To begin with, rabbits are very sociable and must live in pairs, so you would need to purchase two!
Rabbits are not good pets for small children ( Toddlers)because it is difficult for them to remain quiet, calm, and gentle around rabbits.
Rabbits, as prey animals, are alert, timid creatures that are easily startled. They have fragile bones, particularly in their backs, and must be picked up with support on the belly and bottom.
So you’re considering getting a pet rabbit. You’d heard they’re good first pets, but you figured it’d be best to learn how to care for a rabbit first. And it’s a good thing you did!
Rabbits are frequently a lot more work than people anticipate.
They follow a strict diet and require daily exercise and socialisation.
But I wouldn’t be here discussing rabbits if they couldn’t also be bouncing bundles of joy and wonderful pets.
Some vital things to know about rabbits
Rabbits dislike being chased or rough-handled and become easily stressed.
This can cause them to bite, become withdrawn or aggressive, or become ill as a result of the stress.
Bunnies have delicate bodies and can easily be injured or have broken bones if mishandled or dropped. A bunny trying to get away from a child’s arms won’t realize it’s hurting itself by jumping.
A quick nip indicates a desire to be returned to the ground; a child’s reflex is to scream and drop the rabbit.
Rabbits bite, kick, and scratch; even the tiniest bunny can cause harm to your child. They are wild animals with the ability to bite, kick, and scratch, not the quiet, slow, soppy animals we see in stories.
Rabbits absolutely despise being picked up! Because rabbits are prey animals, they prefer to have their feet firmly planted on the ground; 99 per cent of rabbits will scratch and kick until they are put down.
They can easily draw blood without their own fault or intention.
They are expensive to maintain (around $1,200+ per year), and unfortunately, you will be footing the bill, not your child! Look at this. What is the cost of keeping a rabbit? to get an idea of how much it will cost.
Rabbits can live for 10-12 years, so if you have a 10-year-old girl, will she be able to give these rabbits the time, space, love, and affection they require throughout her adolescence until she is in her 20s?
They must be cleaned on a regular basis. Will your child accept responsibility for cleaning up poop and urine and disinfecting?
They dislike loud noises, such as screaming or children squealing with delight at their new pet, and will flee and hide.
So, if you have younger children ( < 5 years), it’s a good idea to postpone having a bunny for now and wait till your Children grow up a little more.
Children quickly grow tired of the pet who “doesn’t want to play.”
Are Rabbits good pets for kids?
The RSPCA believes: “The biology and behaviour of pet rabbits are very similar to that of wild rabbits.
This means they have very complex needs and although traditionally thought of as good pets for children, this is not the case as they are not easy to look after well. Typically, rabbits live for 8-12 years, but some may live for longer.”
Often children do become bored with their pet rabbits because rabbits are not the cuddly, Awww type of pets.
Therefore, parents must think very carefully before taking on rabbits as a child’s pets and consider two very important questions.
Are you willing to take full responsibility for the rabbit’s welfare for the rest of its life (up to 12 years) if your child loses interest? If the answer is no, we strongly advise you not to buy or adopt rabbits for your children.
Are you still willing to meet the rabbit’s welfare needs for the rest of its life (up to 12 years) if it turns out to be unfriendly/difficult to handle or requires expensive veterinary care? If the answer is no, we strongly advise you not to buy or adopt rabbits for your children.
Why is it that way?
We believe that the popular perception of rabbits as cheap, easy pets for children is a myth, or at least it is if the rabbits’ welfare needs are met properly.
Many rabbits are adopted by good people who have unrealistic expectations of rabbits as pets. A typical rabbit dislikes being cuddled or picked up.
As a result, it is not surprising that many children grow tired of them quickly. Although we occasionally come across a lovely ‘cuddly’ bunny, these are the exceptions, not the rule.
Bringing a Bunny Into Your Home
Rabbits, despite being smaller than cats or dogs, require the same level of care and commitment as these animals.
Many people are unaware of the responsibilities that come with being a bunny parent, and as a result, these animals are frequently abandoned in shelters.
Life in a noisy, cramped shelter can be extremely stressful and overwhelming for prey animals.
If you are thinking about adopting a bunny for your child, don’t just go to a shelter and take one home;
instead, try to make your child spend some quality time with a rabbit over a few days to get a good sense of what their personality is like and if your child’s Personality is truly appropriate for their needs.
About the Author: Ash loves Pets! Ash is an animal lover. She loves caring for and sharing her knowledge of all kinds of pets.
Ash is a long-time pet lover. There has always been a soft spot in her heart for dogs. Although she has owned many dog breeds in her lifetime, Cavoodles has become her favourite.
Her Love for pets made her Join the pet paws hub Team, to share knowledge with the world.