There are many things to carefully consider before adopting a pet
rabbit for a child
If you have decided that you want a pet rabbit, your next
thought is probably to simply go down to the local pet store
and buy one. But we have a few concerns and suggestions for
you to consider before you buy your rabbit friend.
First, have you researched what rabbits require for health
and happiness, and what you will need to do to provide for
your pet properly? Learn about rabbit health. Rabbits are
prey animals, so your rabbit won't show that it is ill if it
can help it. You will need to know what to watch out for. A
rabbit, like any pet, takes time and attention, needs a
proper diet and daily care, and will require veterinary care
at some time in its life, certainly at around four months
when it should be neutered. All of this requires that an
adult take responsibility for the rabbit's care, even if the
rabbit is a pet for a child.
Young rabbits are adorable, but when rabbits are young
adults they may be troublesome and develop bad behaviors and
will need training which will take your time and knowledge.
A pet rabbit can live up to twelve years, so please consider
and prepare carefully before you purchase so that you and
your pet will have the best possible life together. The
shelters that will take rabbits are usually full of rabbits
that were bought on impulse without the owner realizing how
much care they would need.
Second, since the shelters are full of rabbits that need and
deserve a good home, why not adopt a rabbit from a shelter
rather than buying one at a pet store? You will also be
saving a life, since most shelter rabbits are never adopted
and in the end must be euthanized.
Plus, pet stores seldom know anything about the health or
personality of the rabbits they sell, and since quality
rabbit breeders don't sell their babies to pet stores, you
aren't likely to get the best rabbits from a pet store.
Shelter rabbits have already been checked by a veterinarian,
spayed or neutered if they are old enough, groomed and
socialized for you, at no cost or time from you. Shelters
and rescue organizations will not put sick or aggressive
rabbits up for adoption, so you will know what you are
Another positive thing about shelter rabbits versus pet shop
rabbits is that pet shops normally won't give you much time
to get to know the rabbit before you make your decision.
With a shelter rabbit, they want to know that you and the
rabbit are suited to each other just as much as you do.
Often after the initial interview and decision process they
will let you take the rabbit home and see how you, the
rabbit, and your other family members and pets all get
along, and if there are problems with the rabbit you can
return it to the shelter.
To find a shelter rabbit, you can inquire at your local
humane shelter or ask at your local veterinary office. There
is probably a shelter near where you live, and if not, there
may be a member of the House Rabbit Society or other group,
whose members foster homeless rabbits and try to find them
A rescued rabbit probably will be adult or nearly adult. You
can tell its personality, and it is large enough not to be
as easily injured by small children or other pets in your
household. We hope you will seriously consider adoption
rather than a pet store when searching for your perfect
rabbit, or, if you really want a young rabbit and the
shelters don't have any, purchase from a good breeder. In
any event, we hope you and your rabbit will both have long
and happy lives together.