Rabbits as Pets for Children
If you are considering bringing a rabbit into your home for your child, there are some important things to consider.
Before bringing a rabbit home, you need to understand the personality of rabbits as well as the dynamics of your household and your child's personality. Rabbits do not always make good house pets or companions for children.
Here are some reasons rabbits many NOT be suitable for your family:
- Rabbit do not enjoy being held. When picked up, rabbits will often kick, claw, and bite until placed back down. This is because they are pray animals and it is in their instincts. Rabbits will always struggle to escape from your grasp.
- Rabbits do not like to cuddle. If they do cuddle, it will be on their terms. When and how they want.
- Rabbits are very delicate with fragile bodies. They can break bones easily if they are mishandled or dropped.
- Rabbits are timid. They do not like loud noises or fast movements. Rabbits do not like children that scream or squeal.
- Rabbits hate to be chased or roughly handled. If they are, they can become aggressive, scared, and stressed. A stressed rabbit will become sick.
- Sometimes rabbits like to be left alone to eat or nap. They will need their own space.
- Rabbits can live a long time. Having a rabbit is a big commitment. Their life span can range from 10 - 15 years.
- Rabbit require regular grooming and nail clipping.
- Rabbits are social and need a lot of attention. You need to spend a lot of time with them.
- Rabbits like to live in pairs or with groups of other rabbits.
- Rabbits need daily exercise and play.
- Rabbits will need to be litter box trained.
- Rabbits need fresh water and food daily.
- Rabbits need daily cleaning of their cage and litter box.
- Rabbits need to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and have vet checkups.
- Rabbits need a large cage or enclosure. At least 6ft x 2ft for two average size bunnies
- Rabbits are sensitive to changes to their feeding, cleaning and exercising routines. Changes can cause stress, which can cause illness.
If you are still ready to commit your family to a rabbit, you will need to understand that although you may be bringing the rabbit home for your child, you will still need to be responsible for the rabbit. The adult will need to ensure that the rabbit is receiving love, attention, and the proper care. The adult will need to ensure that the rabbit is healthy and pay the cost of keeping a rabbit.
Some children are more suited for a rabbit.
Children that are easy going, calm, gentle, quiet and cooperative do well with a rabbit.
Children that are loud, active, play physically or aggressively, forgets rules and needs
reminders often may find it difficult to build a relationship with a rabbit.
Children that have been taught to respect animals may do well with a rabbit. Children should know to never chase, poke or scare a rabbit. They should know to be clam, quiet and patient with the rabbit. Rabbits will approach children that are calm and can sit quietly and still on the floor, rather than moving around loudly. Children need to be patient in gaining the rabbits trust and building a bond and relationship with the rabbit. Children also must understand that the rabbit is timid and it takes time to build a trusting relationship. If you think your child can stay calm, quiet, patient and move slowly around a rabbit, then a rabbit may be a good fit.
With all of that said, rabbits can be great pets!
Rabbits are quiet, can easily learn to use the litter box, are fun, small, and full of personality. Rabbits can learn tricks and games. Children can be very creative in creating new toys and games for your rabbit. Children can train their rabbit, similar to a dog. Rabbits bring a lot of joy into many homes.
If you are ready to bring a rabbit into your home and feel that a rabbit would be a good fit for you and your family, here are some things that you need to consider:
- You will be toilet training your rabbit, there may be mistakes and mess in the beginning.
- Rabbits love to chew. You will need to rabbit proof the house (remove electrical cords and anything else you don't want your rabbit to chew or dig in)
- You will need to check on the rabbit often and supervise your child interacting with the rabbit.
- You will need to buy or make toys for your rabbit, this will prevent your rabbit from chewing and playing with inappropriate items.
- You will need to create a new routine that includes the rabbit.
- You will need to find space for the rabbits cage and exercise/play area
Remember that your child learns from you. Your child learns by watching how you interact with the rabbit and your tone of voice when you speak to the rabbit. Your child will learn how to care for, appreciate and respect another living being by observing your actions.
If you'd like to feel secure, confident and ready to bring a rabbit into your house. You and your child need to become knowledgeable about rabbits. You need to know what types of foods are best for your rabbit, how to correctly interact with your rabbit, appropriate games and how to train your rabbit. You also need to know how to care for your rabbit and rabbit body language and communication.
Consider enrolling your child in the Care & Responsibility Course for Rabbits. To Learn more about the course and how you can your child can get the most out of having a rabbit, click here!
If you do bring a rabbit into your family, do you want your child to learn how to care for your pet rabbit? Learn rabbit behaviour and body language? Plus take responsibility in the care for your pet rabbit? If so, the Care and Responsibility Course for Rabbits is perfect for you and your child!