Easter takes place this weekend, and millions of parents and grandparents across Chicagoland are searching for the best chocolates and general crap to put in their kids' Easter baskets. Believe it or not, this Jew got an Easter basket when she was little. I'll tell you one thing that was never in that basket though: a live rabbit.
It makes me so sad every year to hear about all of the rabbits that were purchased as a prop and then dropped off at a shelter (or worse!) once families realize that a real bunny is not the same as a stuffed animal. If you're thinking of getting a rabbit for Easter, consider these points:
- Rabbits are not like hamsters or Guinea pigs. They require regular vet visits and often need to be spayed or neutered to cut down on aggression. You have to check their eyes and ears for infections. Rabbits can live up to eight years, and when they get old they can experience heart disease, arthritis and liver disease.
- You'll need a large cage to house the rabbit, as well as a larger area for them to exercise. They need lots of stimulation, so plan on having plenty of toys.
- Do you have a dog? I can almost guarantee they won't get along. Rabbits are prey animals, and the family dog will instinctively try to hunt it. The last thing you want is to hear the sound a rabbit makes when it's in Fido's mouth. It's the very definition of a soul-shattering noise. Trust me, I know.
- Think you can let your bunny rabbit hop around your house? Think again. Those long chompers of theirs continuously grow, so they have to chew on things to keep them at the correct length. Say goodbye to your remote, pillow and especially any sort of cord. My sister's rabbit chewed the cord to a lamp and got electrocuted. She was fine, but her whiskers were fried. I'm not going to lie, it was hilarious.
- Rabbits are not passive, cuddly creatures. (See 'prey animal' above.) They're fragile, and if they feel threatened they will bite you. That's why they don't do well around children.
If you do happen to find yourself with a rabbit you can't take care of, please PLEASE do not just release it outside. The rabbit will have no idea how to survive in the wild. You can drop it off at the Red Door Animal Shelter, one of the few shelters in the area that accepts rabbits.
Now that I've completely scared you off from ever getting a rabbit, they are great pets for those willing to make the commitment. They have big personalities for such little creatures, and they can be very affectionate. My sister's rabbit even licks her!
With some training and love they'll be your little fluffy bunny. If a rabbit is right for you, considering visiting a shelter after Easter as there are usually a lot of abandon rabbits who will need good homes.
Filed under: Holiday
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