Rabbits do not make good pets for young children. Pet rabbits are not like Peter Rabbit or Little Grey Rabbit. They are hopeless pets for young children who cannot safely pick them up or hold them if they struggle (Royce 1996, Brown 2001). Rabbits don’t usually like being picked up and cuddled anyway (Schepers et al., 2009).. Guinea pigs, rats, or hamsters are easier and hamsters don’t live too long! Sensible children over the age of 10 can cope with rabbits, but if you buy a young rabbit, it can live until your child is 22 years old. When your child is out clubbing, will she really want to come home to feed bunny? One way round this problem is to get a middle aged bunny from a rescue shelter, not a baby. Rabbits are best as pets for adults. House rabbits (in pairs) fit in well with adults who work during the day, as rabbit peak activity time is evening and early mornings – not midday.
Brown, S. A., (2001), ‘The Domestic Rabbit: Husbandry and Clinical Techniques,’ Suppl Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet, 23, 2(A), 15-22
Royce, J., (1996), ‘A Practical Guide to Indoor Companion Rabbits,’ Rabbit Care News, Johnson City, USA, Southern Tier Rabbit Care Network.
Schepers, F.,, Koene, P. & Beerda, B., (2009), Welfare assessment in pet rabbits, Animal Welfare, 18, 477-485
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All normal safety precautions should be taken when dealing with animals. The advice in this section should be taken only at the owner’s own risk. All sick animals should be seen by a vet.
General advice of the kind found in this website is no substitute for an individual consultation with a vet or qualified behaviourist working on a vet’s referral.