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Why a rabbit is NOT a good child’s pet !

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Lucas the Bun 💕🐇

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Why rabbits are not good children’s pet !
In my opinion a rabbit should not be given to a child less then 12 years old
(they would have to be very responsible 12 year olds and that is often not the case
- They are expensive I spend about $40 - $60 a month on Lucas, you can definitely find ways to save money, but do not expect to spend very little money. Then you have to take into consideration vet bills which can be in the thousands ! 💰

- You have to take time to bond with them, you have to earn your rabbits trust, you cannot expect your rabbit to be nice and trusting right away,

it took me 2 months to bond with Lucas but it can take a lot more,
some rabbits do not begin trusting their owner till 2 years

- They are not cuddly, rabbits do not like to be cuddled, it can make them feel trapped

- This rabbits life depends on you, your rabbit has no say in its care it cannot clean its litter box or feed itself
 
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Lucas the Bun 💕🐇

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- Rabbits can live 7-13+ years (depending on the breed) so they are your responsibility for 7-13 years (their quality of life depends on you, because technically you can stick a rabbit in a 2 x 3 cage and feed them, and they can live but they won’t be happy)

- What happens when you go to college are you going to leave your rabbit with your parents, are they educated in rabbit care, I’m lucky enough & know when I go to college I will be able to bring Lucas with me
 

Hermelin

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My first bunny I got I was 7 years old, I can totally say I wasn’t the best owner. I have no idea why my bunny built a strong bond with me. Where he would jump up into my arms when getting scared, letting me handel him easily and was a cuddly bun. Yet I never cleaned the litter box and didn’t want to have the responsiblity to take care of him. I only wanted to cuddle with him and take him for walks.

It became my dad that took care of my bunny when I was a kid. I only provided the cuddles, changing water and giving food sometime. My bunny at that time was an outdoor bunny, not neutered and yet he was litter trained. We didn’t have hay or food in the same place as the litter box but he always made sure to do everything in his litter box. He was such a good boy but he could of have had a better life, when I think back. He would totally been a dream bunny for most people. He was a perfect bunny.

I even left him outdoors without supervision loose in a friends yard, he stayed in the yard while myself was playing games indoors. I just called his name and he came running and we just walked back home, he knew the way home from my friends house 😅

But my days from 6 to 18 years old was packed with activities and school. I had things to do 6 out of 7 days and often got home late. The older I got the more things I had to do and the later I got home. The latest day I had, I got home around 23:00 which became my time to eat dinner.

I can say I was a bad owner as a kid and as teenager I wouldn’t have time for a bunny. But it’s okay to have bunny as a family pet. Just don’t leave everything for the child and expect the child to do everything 😊

You read all too often ads about family selling bunnies because their children lost interest. Which just means the parents didn’t do any research and thought longer.
 

Auggie+Snowball+Belle

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I agree! We got our first bunny as a family pet when I was like 3. My parents, of course, took care of her and thinking back, she didn’t live very long, maybe 4, 5 years. She lived in our garage in a hutch (even when it was freezing) and we rarely let her out. I was younger then and now I would never allow that to happen to any of my bunnies.

My next bunny we got when I was 8ish and again, I had no clue how to take care of her (Snowball). At first I loved spending time with her and she liked me but then I forgot about her and my mom took care of her all the time. Sometimes, she (not her fault, it was my rabbit) forgot to feed her, we never let her out and she became very mean. She grunted all the time and sometimes bit. That was for a couple years (I really regret that so much) until I got my other rabbit, Belle. I actually did a ton of research on rabbits and found out we were doing everything completely wrong for Snowball. That’s when I started to change. My parents never wanted her to come out of her cage(she took a long time to catch and they had to help me because I was scared of her) but I stood my ground. We changed her diet and even changed it again. I had (and still do) to fight to bring her to the vet but I always won (for lack of better word) and there was always something that was wrong with her (sadly). Most of the time due to me since I fed her completely wrong and never let her out. Now, she is so lovey (to me, my parents never took the time to lay on the ground for hours with her) and is a completely different rabbit. She never grunts anymore or bites or lunges, she loves to be pet and gets so excited when I come to see/take care of her.

Anyways, that just shows that any uneducated person (kid or adult) shouldn’t have a rabbit until they’ve done the research. It is a lot harder for a kid because most of the time, they don’t know how to do research or don’t have a phone or anything to look stuff up on. Teens (like me) are very busy so it’s hard to set aside time to take care and bond with rabbits. This will take hours every day and is a lot harder than cats/dogs. Not to say they can’t have a rabbit, but make sure you do lots of research and know the commitment. And make sure you know they aren’t all super cuddly, especially at first and you need to let them get to know you before you try and cuddle with them.
 

Vee

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I have raised rabbits on and off for years and I continue to learn about how I can improve their care. There is no end to getting better at taking care of these delightful animals and I never get tired of learning more about this. I agree that rabbits do not make good pets for young children, but if parents teach older children properly about their care and development, I think trained children can not only make good pet owners but become more knowledgeable about animals in general. Too often children are given pets and expected to feed and clean after them without the additional training that should also be given. The rabbits may be stuck in cages, a bad situation that I also would become bored with. Instead, if the rabbit is raised in an open pen that is properly set up, the family as a whole would get great pleasure and knowledge and the pet would become a true family member. This is a wonderful way for a child to develop empathy and understanding of what is involved in relationships with others whether they be human or another animal species. Just some food for thought.
 

Happy Hollands

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I was just barely 11 when I first got my own rabbit (we had family pets since I was 3, but this was different). I did all the research, and found the "perfect" bunny on Craigslist. It was $60 for a mixed breed, I still laugh at myself to this day reminding myself I could've got a purebred, or at least a rescue because all I was looking for was a "tiny snuggly bunny" (a.k.a. dwarf breed). My poor rabbit lived outside on our covered porch for the first 9 months we had it - we weren't really thinking ahead, because when winter came, it snowed and was too cold so we moved Bunny to the garage. Bunny was played with for multiple hours a day, and tolerated constant snuggles. We had a good routine when I would feed, clean, etc. Still being young and just shy of 12 years old, I kept researching and reading more. I started by selling the wire cage Bunny was in, and using a pen to fence off a large, solid floor area in the garage. I learned to litter box train Bunny. I went to a feed store to buy hay in bulk to save money. I bought a exercise pen so that Bunny could hop around in the grass & not be on a harness during the day.

Then vet bills, illness, and sadness came along the following years. Bunny had surgery's for various reasons, G.I. stasis a few times, and got neutered eventually. ALL of which my parents so kindly paid for. They still remind me of this haha!

Anyways, long story short, I agree that young, irresponsible children should not have a pet unless the parent(s) agree to help take care of it & pay for expenses including vet bills. I do feel I was responsible enough at the young age of 11, but everybody is different. It is important to be financially stable before investing in a pet. Obviously I was not as a kid, so this responsibility falls on the parent(s)!
 

HalaBuns

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I had my first bunny when I was 6 and he was just a baby. I was very poorly at the time and spending a lot of time laying on the sofa. I remember he would do zoomies around the room, then come sit on me for a while, then off he would go again. I loved him sooo much.

We also had cats and one day during one of his adventures around the lounge, someone had left the door open and he hopped out and ran into one of them. He got injured and very quickly died of shock. I was completely devastated and it was my first experience of grief.

I think to try to make me feel better, my grandparents then bought me another rabbit, but he just wasn’t the same and I wasn’t interested in him. I never even named him. He lived outside in a hutch with our guinea pig and was rarely taken out. We got a dog and all my attention turned to him.

Now I’m older I feel dreadful for how he was treated, he must have had such a miserable life 😔. But I was very young and didn’t know any better, plus at that time, there were not the resources that we have now to learn about rabbit care (the internet was not even a concept) and I don’t think my parents really researched it.

If children are going to have rabbits as pets, ultimately it is still the adult’s responsibility to make sure they are cared for properly as kids can only learn from what we do.
 

Catlyn

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We had our first rabbits when i was a pre-schooler. They were kept in the wood shack, in small housing boxes above ground, with barely any space to move. They weren't given proper care at all, our parents didn't teach us how to care for them, they barely got out because one had run off as such, and the other two eventually became pot meat. We didn't share any bonds at all and the best we did as kids was maybe collecting our kid handful of grass and splitting it among three rabbits. The only thing i remember of them is that they were pretty average rabbit size rabbits and dad held one up by its ears to scare a cousin of ours.

A long time passed when we had a cat and two dogs, nobody wanted or needed a rabbit. They all disappeared though, and for about 4 years we had no pets at all. Two years ago i started constantly suggestively asking for a pet again and kept at it until last year's summer when i finally got Musti. He was a complete game changer to how our family saw rabbits. He was big, firendly, cuddly and well-trained, easy to handle and sometimes came when called. He was such a relief and emotional support beam for me. I did all of the research on proper rabbkt care then, learning along the way of owning him. He too started off in the wood shack in a relatively small cage, a 60*90*60cm cubicle assembled from grid sheets. I managed to convince my parents to get him neutered and vaccinated, and in late november he came to live with us inside. We were all happy but he managed to catch a condition that our local vet couldn't fix and we picked a bad vet to trust from further away. By the time we had found a great vet he was already too far gone.
If it was a great decision or not, i don't know, but i picked up Storm on the same day that Musti had gone. After a week of owning him, i had managed to convince my parents to try letting him live indoors right at the start as it had gone well with Musti.
They agreed and with loads of rabbit proofing and testing Storm came to live with us, got neutered and even got a pal picked up from 130km away. The pal got neutered too, there was some more trial and error but now i can say that they're bonded, neutered and living inside with us.
My parents did zero extra research for that, leaving me to be the main person to inform them and cry if my buns needed vet help, and protest if yhey give buns something they should not have.
Goes to show that even children/teens/young adults can all be smarter/wiser than their parents when things come down to it.
I'm not busy with activities outside of school so i can dedicate a big part of my time for my buns. I also pay 90% of their costs on my own, unless my dad says that it's fine if i don't pay him back the sum of the litter and haybales. So i guess that even i get some parently commitment...
 

NYAngela

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No child (with rare exception) should be given any pet with the idea that they will take full responsibility for it. Even fish can require more than most children can handle! Our FAMILY (which includes a 5&4 yo) has a bunny and I think they make wonderful pets. Parents need to go into the decision of getting a pet with the understanding of the commitment, care, costs, etc and need to want the pet just as much as the child. It needs to be a WHOLE family decision not that just one family member wants a pet or it’s not fair to the animal. Imagine a dog that only one family member wanted and cared for, how would it feel?

Each of my kids does something age-appropriate to help with the care (like refilling food, sweeping, picking up/rotating his toys) obviously I’m in litter duty LOL

Regarding costs, it’s not much different than a dog/cat. Food/bedding is extremely affordable. I paid $10 for a 40lb bag of bedding, I use maybe 2 cups a week. His hay was $35 should last me 4-6 months, and I’m in NYC I know there are much cheaper options elsewhere. If you haven’t already you should look into getting insurance. I had done a lot of research about the vet costs prior to getting our bunny. I purchased a plan 2 weeks before we picked him up so that it would be in effect the day we got him and there would be no “pre-existing conditions” excluded. I’m covered for 90% of all of his vet costs after a $250 deductible annually including wellness, neutering, emergencies, surgeries, prescriptions, etc

Overall he’s been a wonderful addition to our family, I don’t regret the decision one bit and would highly recommend a rabbit as a FAMILY pet. He’s helped to teach our children boundaries, care and commitment. They absolutely adore him and he seems to feel the same about them!
 

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TheresaR

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No child (with rare exception) should be given any pet with the idea that they will take full responsibility for it. Even fish can require more than most children can handle! Our FAMILY (which includes a 5&4 yo) has a bunny and I think they make wonderful pets. Parents need to go into the decision of getting a pet with the understanding of the commitment, care, costs, etc and need to want the pet just as much as the child. It needs to be a WHOLE family decision not that just one family member wants a pet or it’s not fair to the animal. Imagine a dog that only one family member wanted and cared for, how would it feel?

Each of my kids does something age-appropriate to help with the care (like refilling food, sweeping, picking up/rotating his toys) obviously I’m in litter duty LOL

Regarding costs, it’s not much different than a dog/cat. Food/bedding is extremely affordable. I paid $10 for a 40lb bag of bedding, I use maybe 2 cups a week. His hay was $35 should last me 4-6 months, and I’m in NYC I know there are much cheaper options elsewhere. If you haven’t already you should look into getting insurance. I had done a lot of research about the vet costs prior to getting our bunny. I purchased a plan 2 weeks before we picked him up so that it would be in effect the day we got him and there would be no “pre-existing conditions” excluded. I’m covered for 90% of all of his vet costs after a $250 deductible annually including wellness, neutering, emergencies, surgeries, prescriptions, etc

Overall he’s been a wonderful addition to our family, I don’t regret the decision one bit and would highly recommend a rabbit as a FAMILY pet. He’s helped to teach our children boundaries, care and commitment. They absolutely adore him and he seems to feel the same about them!
Where do you get your insurance
Through? I’d love to check into this!
 

NYAngela

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Where do you get your insurance
Through? I’d love to check into this!
Nationwide, to my knowledge they are the only carrier to have a plan that fully covers Rabbits. The price differs by state I’m in NYC probably one of the most expensive areas, it’s $42 a month. They also offer another option that does not include wellness which is much cheaper, I believe it was $15 a month? I might switch to this after the first year, this year I had to factor in getting him neutered and I really don’t know what to expect from him health-wise!
 

TreasuredFriend

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Our rescue has seen many surrender inquiries that state the children no longer are interested. Allergies, and lost interest are common surrender reasons both at rescues and during the years I volunteered at the local shelter. 'Tis extremely important that parents are onboard with lifelong expenses including DVM, and daily care of any family pet.

-- Two adopters (the parents) with school age or elementary age children readily showed me that the kids would be instructed how to handle the bun gently, and the youngsters would be assigned age-capability duties to care for their new family member. One of the stray rabbits captured and transitioning to our rescue actually is a gentle therapy companion to the young daughter who has anxiety and medical concerns.

At the shelter I was involved in a meet 'n' greet adoption for a duo of 10-ish yr. old or pre-teens; eventually the dad had to care for the breezeway contained bun in a wire cage. The 4H project bun became the dad's responsibility as the mother was disinterested or got involved in higher priority matters. The mom came to surrender the elder bun to the shelter and was told the elder bun wasn't in adoptable shape due to huge spots of matted fur, eye malady, respiratory ailments, and immobility to a slight degree. The elder unadoptable rabbit would be euthanized. We got the call asking if we had space to accept as the mom was going to just leave the rabbit while the staff did the final injection to stop heart. So in that respect, the pre-teens got involved in other activities. and left dad to care for her. Dad losing interest eventually, as well.

I likewise have seen adults get a dog or cat, and the rabbit becomes lesser status or the novelty wears off.
 

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