Best Bunnies for Children
Bunnies can make great pets for kids, but it helps a great deal to choose the right sort of bunny. Also, before you get your child a pet rabbit, please realize that they can get sick and require veterinary care. If you do not intend to provide veterinary care for your pet, or if you are unable to do so, please do not purchase a rabbit, as there is nothing crueler than letting an animal slowly die from curable and preventable diseases.
Also, educate yourself on rabbit care prior to getting the rabbit. Those tiny cages you see in pet shops are far too small to keep a rabbit in all the time, they're little better than a prison cell. You should also get the basics of rabbit nutrition down. All your rabbit really needs is good quality hay, some good quality pellets and water. Anything additional to this should be researched, and added to the rabbit's diet in small amounts. New foods can cause stomach upsets which lead to loose runny stools and horrible messes. In many cases, foods that you might think are good for rabbits aren't, for instance carrots are okay, but lettuce can cause death.
Please also remember that rabbits are prey animals, and a new rabbit may be timid. If a rabbit is scared it may very well bite, kick and scratch. It will be your responsibility to make sure that your children handle the bunny carefully and with respect.
Now we have the bare basics out of the way, lets look at what sort of bunnies make the best pets for kids.
- Stay away from the fancy breeds. Fancy breeds require much more grooming than short haired plain breeds, and may also have more unstable temperaments due to inbreeding.
- Medium sized rabbits are probably the best size for children. they can be patted without fear of harming them, and they also tend to have more placid temperaments than smaller bunnies.
- Rabbits from a private breeder are better than pet store bunnies. A good private breeder cares about their stock and breeds for good health and temperament, and can also provide ongoing care you might not get from a pet store.
- Rabbits from private hands, (assuming it is a small scale operation) are often better handled and socialized than pet store bunnies which have been traumatized by being taken from their mothers and shoved into cages under bright lights.