Last Updated on July 19, 2022 by ellen
Are rabbits good pets for children? If you’re considering buying a rabbit to be a family pet, you should know that very young children are not usually good companions for rabbits.
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We usually think of rabbits as cute, fluffy pets. And, they are. But, they’re not particularly good with children, and kids are not particularly good with rabbits.
They’re often not a great match if your child is very young or doesn’t have the ability to play gently.
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Are Rabbits Good Pets
One of the myths about rabbits is that they love to cuddle. In fact, most bunnies, unlike some animals, just don’t like to be held that often. If you try to hold them, they may kick and claw. Because they have sharp nails, they can seriously scratch your child. By struggling to get loose, the rabbit may hurt themselves. Physically, rabbits are very fragile. When you try to hold them, they can break a bone quite easily because they are trying to get away.
Another problem with children and pet rabbits is that rabbits are very shy animals. Children can scare them without meaning to. Children run, play and are loud quite often. Rabbits are not good with this kind of noise and activity. They can be frightened. Did you know that rabbits can even die of heart failure if startled too much? That said, if a child is sitting still and playing quietly where the rabbit can come up to them, many bunnies will go investigate.
There’s nothing wrong with having rabbits as a pet for your children, but pet rabbits for younger children are not usually a great combination. Your child should already be capable of taking responsibility for their things before you get them a pet to care for. Parents must ultimately be responsible when it comes time to take care of the rabbit if the children won’t. Check out these pet rabbit tips.
Pet rabbit care
Helping a child care for a pet is an important way to help the child learn about taking care of animals. Rabbits are easily litter trained. Helping to train a rabbit to use a litter box is a great job for an older child. Be sure that they are encouraged to clean the litter box on a regular basis. Other chores your child can help with include feeding and providing fresh water daily, grooming the rabbits’ fur and clipping nails, and giving each rabbit plenty of attention, exercise and playtime. Older children are well able to do these tasks, and if a grownup is supervising to make sure the rabbits are cared for, these can be good jobs for tweens and teens.
Are rabbits good pets for children
The bottom line is that rabbits should be a family pet, in a family with older children who understand that rabbits are not toys, and who are very careful and gentle with the bunnies. Younger children are not always capable of the care that is required, and the rabbits should always be a joint responsibility and never left solely to a child who might forget or neglect the rabbits unintentionally. If your whole family gets involved, rabbits can be a great source of joy.
So, are rabbits good pets for children? You will need to evaluate your family to make that decision. If you want to learn all about rabbits as pets, I would recommend a few pet care books.
Ellen runs a small pet sitting business in southern Vermont. She has experience with a variety of small animals, dogs and cats. She has also cared for ducks, chickens and rabbits. Combined, she has over 20 years of experience in pet care and pet sitting.