Think Twice before Giving Rabbits as Pets

USA TODAY, March 2010 | Go to article overview

Think Twice before Giving Rabbits as Pets


As Easter approaches, hearts and minds naturally turn toward springtime and all that it entails. During this enchanting season, many of us feel the impulse to give colorful Easter baskets brimming with surprises for children. Too often, one such "surprise" is a velvet-eared, live bunny rabbit, adorably nestled among green plastic grass and pastel chocolate eggs. While it often is tempting to give those cuddly little creatures as pets, people must educate themselves about the nature and needs of rabbits before taking the bunny plunge, cautions Marie Mead, author of Rabbits: Gentle Hearts, Valiant Spirits--Inspirational Stories of Rescue, Triumph, and Joy.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"Rabbits are very misunderstood animals. They are extremely sensitive, intuitive, and gentle creatures who require extensive attention and mature guardianship--something many people don't realize when they purchase a baby bunny. It's a very sad fact that most rabbits don't even enjoy a year of happiness with their new caretakers. Instead of living out their normal life span--eight to 12 years--they often die within the first year of life.

"Many rabbits are injured or become ill due to improper handling and care and, as a result, either die painful deaths or are euthanized. Discarded bunnies overrun the animal shelters after Easter, resulting in many rabbits being euthanized due to space constraints and other factors.

"Equally discouraging, some people who decide their rabbits require too much attention simply abandon them in the wild," Mead continues. "This means certain death for domesticated rabbits as they don't have the skills necessary to survive on their own. Many other rabbits are relegated to cramped outdoor hutches, where they languish alone and forgotten, their eyes losing all signs of joy and life."

Here are some of the basics of rabbit care:

Great pet parenthood begins before your rabbit enters the home. To ensure your rabbit receives the absolute best care from the get-go, research diet, health, behavior, socialization, housing, bunny-proofing, and proximity to an appropriate vet. Gather information by accessing reputable Internet sites and good books on domestic companion rabbits. Other helpful sources are rabbit rescue groups and knowledgeable veterinarians.

Rabbits and small children generally are a bad combination. Although bunnies tolerate being cuddled and small children love holding a cute little ball of fur, many rabbit injuries result when youngsters mishandle or drop their new family member. When the rabbit reaches adolescence, it may begin running away from the youngsters. Although frustrating for the children, this behavior is perfectly normal for a prey animal. The rabbit flees the kids as a deep-seated instinct to protect itself.

"As they get older, many rabbits don't like to get cuddled and held and, at that point, children often lose interest," relates Mead. "It's important to remember that, as your rabbit grows up, he will feel more comfortable if handled on the floor--at his level. To have a significant relationship with a rabbit, you must work daily to build trust with him, which can be a slow, methodical process. If parents understand what is involved in creating a good relationship with a rabbit, they might think twice before giving one to a small child. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Think Twice before Giving Rabbits as Pets
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.