If you’re thinking about buying a bunny for Easter, make it a chocolate one


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Easter is nearly here and you may be thinking of purchasing a bunny rabbit for a child (or for yourself). Who can resist a fluffy bunny, right? But as with any other pet, rabbits require proper care. That means being able and willing to purchase the food and supplies it needs to survive, ensuring it has appropriate veterinary care — including getting it spayed or neutered — and teaching your child how to handle it the right way.

Impulse purchases — particularly those involving pets — are a bad idea. Many sanctuaries and shelters are already putting the word out to adults: please do not purchase rabbits to give as Easter gifts. Your heart may be in the right place, but rabbits are not a low-maintenance critter. The APSCA offers a comprehensive list of things to keep in mind when getting a bunny or rabbit as a pet.

  • Pet rabbits can live from 7 to 10 or more years and require the same long-term care as dogs and cats.
  • Young children and bunnies aren’t such a good match. (That’s right. Even children who are very careful may accidentally drop a bunny or be too rough with it. An adult must be the primary caregiver.)
  • Pet rabbits have specific dietary and veterinary needs, and must be handled with care. (Don’t just hand it a carrot because that’s what you’ve seen in cartoons.)
  • Pet rabbits must live indoors, with their human families. (If you think your rabbit stinks up the house too much, the answer is not to put it in the backyard but rather to not have a rabbit as a pet.)
  • Thousands of ex-Easter bunnies are abandoned to shelters or into the wild each year when their novelty wears off. (Pets aren’t accessories nor are they disposable.)
  • When you first get your rabbit, you’ll need to spend about $90 for a cage, $30 for a carrier and $25 for a litter box. Food runs about $125 a year, plus $25 annually for toys and treats, $125 for veterinary care and $400 annually for litter and bedding material.


Still dead set on getting that bunny? Okay! Well, before you purchase a rabbit, consider adopting. Remember all those discarded rabbits available at shelters, sanctuaries and rescue groups all across the country? Some of them are available for adoption. Check out shelters and rescues in your area.

One safe haven for rabbits and other exotic pets is Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary. Located in Northwest Illinois, the sanctuary is home to 350 homeless unusual pets, all of which were abandoned, neglected or abused. The no-kill shelter cares for everything from guinea pigs and rats, to foxes, hedgehogs and, of course, bunnies.

The group maintains a strong online presence and uses its Facebook page to raise the $350 per week it needs to feed all the critters they take in. Along with caring for unadoptable exotic pets, the sanctuary provides tours as a means of educating prospective pet owners, current owners and the general public.

So remember the commitment required of you when you become a pet owner — even if it’s “just a bunny.” If you don’t think you’ll be able to take on the responsibility, then consider getting your child (or yourself) a chocolate or stuffed toy bunny instead. If you can, then please consider adopting a homeless rabbit rather than purchasing one. And the same goes for chicks, too. They aren’t toys, so get some Peeps or toy chicks instead!