Pets
8:45 am
Sat April 12, 2014

Easter Bunny

Rabbits are cute and make great house pets!
Credit antaean [Flickr]

Live Easter bunnies grow up to become rabbits.  Are you ready for a rabbit as a pet? 

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It's getting close to Easter and you may be noticing baby rabbits in pet stores; you might even be tempted to take one home. After all, it makes a great surprise for the family, right? Well, there’s a lot more to that bunny than just the “cute factor”.

The truth is that rabbits make good pets, but like any animal, you have to know how to care for it properly. Start with feeding it a healthy diet, which should include hay and fresh greens. You can buy rabbit pellets, but be careful not to overfeed. As with most pets, make sure your bunny has fresh water available at all times. In addition to a proper diet, you should find a veterinarian who understands the special needs of rabbits. You will also want to arrange to have your bunny neutered, to keep it from marking its territory. With the right diet and veterinary care, your pet rabbit can live for seven to ten years or more.

Rabbits are social creatures. They should not be left outside, even in a cage – especially not one with a wire mesh floor which can be painful for their tender feet. They make good house pets, and can be trained to use a litter box. You can even give them the run of the house, as long as you rabbit-proof it. They have strong hind legs which need room to move and hop around, so they may not do well in a small apartment.

They also don’t do so well with very young children, who may have difficulty holding an animal with such strong back legs. They might not understand that rabbits tend to be “ground-lovers” and often are not too keen to be held. In the process of trying to hug it and not let it escape, they can unintentionally hurt the pet.

This Easter as you see the cute baby bunnies for sale, realize that what you don’t see are all the rabbits surrendered to animal shelters in the weeks after Easter. If you take any animal into your home, you are assuming responsibility for a living, breathing, feeling creature, not a toy.  A rabbit can be a good choice for a house pet; but if all you plan to do is keep it in a cage, that's a sad life for the animal and not much in the way of companionship for you.

A pet is a companion to be enjoyed for all seasons, not an impulse for a holiday. If what you really want is rabbit for Easter, like me you can say “make mine chocolate” when you’re speaking of Easter pets.

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