Despite being the third most popular pet in the UK, many rabbit owners still don’t fully understand their needs. Assumed to be an ideal ‘starter’ pet for children, they’re often given as surprise gifts to youngsters; a new cuddly pet for them to dote on. So why shouldn’t you buy a rabbit as a gift this Easter?
Did You Know?
- Lifetime Cost of owning a rabbit could be as much as £16,000. Including veterinary care such as neutering and vaccinations, housing, and food.
- Average Life Expectancy of 8-12 years. A 6 year old child may be adamant that they’ll love and care for a rabbit everyday, but could they say the same by the time they’re 16? Consider the fact that you will likely become the primary, or sole, carer for this pet for the next decade.
- Rabbits need 3m x 2m x 1m (height) permanent space, per pair. Occasional access to a larger ‘run’ area will not be sufficient.
- Rabbits cannot be kept alone. The best companionship match is a neutered male with a couple of neutered females.
Why Aren’t Rabbits An Ideal Pet For Children?
The common misconception of rabbits being fluffy, cuddly, patient and tolerant has led to many disappointed children.
- They do not like to be picked up. They’re a prey animal, which means they’re rather nervous and skittish creatures. Being chased for a cuddle by a small child could easily lead to undue stress on the animal who may believe they’re being attacked by a predator. It could also lead to scratches and bites for the child. Developing a relationship with a rabbit takes patience, something that young children don’t usually have in abundance.
- They’re not easy to look after. Aside from daily cleaning out, and feeding, they will also need regular vet care for vaccinations, and are prone to illness. So that initial outlay of £30-£50 may not seem too much, but add on to that the expense of the appropriate housing, the daily fresh hay, other foods, vet care… It soon adds up.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy A Rabbit As A Gift This Easter
The viral posts on social media that show videos of young children being surprised with a pet are extremely emotional and it’s understandable to want to see that same joy on your own child’s face. But these videos don’t show what happens a year down the line, or whether the child turned out to be allergic…
We understand that not all children are alike, and many will benefit from the education that comes from looking after a pet, but if you want to surprise your child this Easter with a cute little bunny for them to appreciate, please consider one of the many alternatives on the market that your child can love just as much.
Preloved does not allow animals to be advertised as “gifts”,
especially in reference to special occasions such as Christmas and Easter.