Around Easter, a lot of kids ask for the Easter Bunny to bring them their own real life bunny. While bunnies are cute and fun, there are some things to consider before getting your child a bunny for Easter. For example, have you considered cost, eating habits, and training? There are a lot of other things to consider before getting your child a bunny for Easter.
6 Things to Consider Before Getting Your Child a Bunny for Easter:
1. Do you have a space for the bunny?
Depending on where you live, the bunny will more than likely need a place to stay indoors. Staying indoors will keep them out of the heat and away from their natural predators like snakes and coyotes. (Maybe it’s just like that in South Alabama.) If you do decide on an outdoor cage, you will need one with plenty of room for the bunny to hop around and play, and with a way to get out of the heat and rain. Otherwise, you will need an indoor cage so the bunny has somewhere to eat, play, and sleep.
2. Is your child ready for a bunny?
This may seem like a silly question, but is your child ready for a bunny? Meaning, can they pick up a bunny without squeezing too hard, can help with feeding, and can be sure to have daily play time with the bunny? It’s important for bunnies to have play time to stimulate their senses, and keep them from getting bored.
3. Are you ready to “rabbit-proof” your house?
Bunnies are very curious animals, who get bored easily, and will chew a lot! Bunnies need space to run around, explore, and mental stimulation. Before you get a bunny, you will need to cover all of the wires that are plugged in at floor level with critter cord, flex tubing, or by lifting them out of reach. Bunnies will chew through cell phone plugs, computer and printer wires, and even cable wires. You’ll want to protect the wires, along with keeping the bunny safe from getting electrocuted.
You will also want to cover baseboards and the bottom of chairs with plastic guards. You will also want to block off certain ares of your house since bunnies will chew on anything they can reach, including everything underneath the bed, couch, on the bottom shelf of a bookshelf, plants, kids toys, and just about everything! Basically, you will want to “bunny proof” your house like you would for a baby crawling. If you don’t want to bunny proof, you can use a small pet play pen to allow your bunny to exercise without getting into everything else in your house.
4. Are you up for potty training a bunny?
Believe it or not, bunnies are potty trainable! It may not take as long to train a bunny as it does to train a toddler (or maybe that is just my kids). Bunnies are naturally inclined to poop or pee in one place. If you get a Bunny Starter Kit, most come with a corner litter box to hook onto the side to help encourage the bunny to poop/pee in one place.
If the bunny is going to be out a lot, be sure to get a small litter box and fill it with recycled newspaper pellet litter so that the bunny can poop while he/she is out of his/her cage. (Clay/clumping cat litter and wood shavings are not safe for rabbits.) Cover the recycled newspaper with timothy hay because rabbits like to eat hay and poop at the same time. The hay will encourage the rabbit to poop. Of course, reinforcing the good behavior with a treat will help your rabbit keep pooping/peeing in the litter box.
5. Do you know what bunnies can eat?
Contrary to popular belief, rabbits cannot eat lettuce. It is harmful for them!
Other items not safe for bunnies to eat:
- Potato peelings
- Tomato Leaves
This may come as a surprise, since there are numerous pictures of bunnies eating these very foods; however, it can be fatal to them to eat these foods. I would suggest getting a book so you know exactly what is safe for your bunny and what is not safe for your bunny to eat.
6. Do you have the money in your budget for a bunny?
While a bunny may not be very expensive at a pet store, you still need items like a cage, water bottle, toys, timothy hay, bunny food, alfalfa, and treats (for training). You can purchase a Bunny Essentials Rabbit Starter Kit for around $100.00. Then when you add in the litter for around $8.00, a water bottle for around $6.00, a veggie basket (to keep veggies and fruits off the bottom of the cage) for around $7.00, rabbit toys starting at around $2.00, bunny bedding starting at $6.00, rabbit food for around $10.00, a bed for around $11.00, and all of the items to “bunny proof” your house. You’re looking at $150.00 just for the supplies, not including the rabbit. If it’s not in the budget, don’t make the purchase. You don’t want to mess up paying off debt or saving for something you need for a rabbit. When you do have the money in your budget, bunnies will still be for sale in the pet shop. Waiting an extra year or so to purchase a bunny for Easter will not hurt.
Consider these things before purchasing a bunny for your child for Easter. If you are getting your child a bunny for Easter, I’m sure they will be pleasantly surprised!