Are Rabbits Good Pets for Children?

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
Anastasia Gepp/Shutterstock

Over the years, rabbits have proven to be a popular choice as pets, for families of all shapes and sizes. They have many wonderful characteristics, certainly, but one has to wonder whether they are the perfect pet for young children in particular? While bunnies seem cuddly, fluffy, and cute – traits that are always attractive to kids – the harsh truth is that they might not be the perfect pet for every kid. There are several reasons why this is the case, and it is important to take a rational look at the rabbit as a pet for your child before you make any rash decisions.

One of the most important facts that we need to consider is that rabbits simply require plenty of work and understanding, and a lot of responsible, adult care and supervision. In a family setting, when adults are always near and invested in the bunny’s wellbeing, they can be wonderful pets. But once this is not the case, trouble can soon arise. It should not come as a surprise to know that rabbits are rather skittish and easily frightened, especially if we consider that they are natural prey animals in the wild. Some of that reserved instinct survives in their life as pets as well. They can respond adversely to being handled and cuddled, especially in a carefree manner as young children are known to do. If frightened by sudden moves and stressed, they might lash out and take a bite at your kid. And you might not think so, but a rabbit's bite can be quite serious.

This can be an even greater possibility if your rabbit is not properly socialized and used to handling from a young age. Of course, stress that ensues from such situations can cause bigger health problems for rabbits. With all that being said, it should be obvious that rabbits can be demanding as pets to some people – from diet to grooming, and all the way to handling. A young child wouldn’t be suited for a bunny-caretaker role, especially without proper adult supervision. On the other hand, a teenager with a greater sense of responsibility could care for a rabbit in a much better way. Of course, the best environment for a pet rabbit is a loving home where every member of the household would provide ample care.

If you are thinking of getting a rabbit pet for your child simply because you think they are soft and cuddly and an ideal “kid’s pet”, you should think twice. Children, especially at a young age, can have a tendency to quickly get “bored” with their new pet, leaving it somewhat deprived of attention and affection. This means that you will be left with a pet that is potentially neglected, and that would require a lot of your daily care. If you are not prepared for something like that, it might be best to choose a different pet that is easier to care for. In the end, the simple truth is that rabbits are challenging pets with a lot of complex needs – contrary to the popular belief – and that adopting one is a big commitment. Be sure you are ready to make one before acting on an impulse!

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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