I care for rabbits and enjoy sharing husbandry and housing tips.
Bunnies can make great pets for kids, but it helps a great deal to choose the right sort of bunny. Keep the following in mind when searching for a child-appropriate pet rabbit:
- 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.
|Good for Children||Not Ideal for Children|
Medium sized rabbits
Small or large rabbits
Rabbits from private hands or breeders
Rabbits from pet stores
Rabbit Care and Children
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.
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.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Lulu on March 12, 2017:
Would a 9 year old be fine with a rabbit?
rights4bunnies on March 09, 2013:
As a rabbit lover, advocate and bunny parent of #8 rescued rabbits the last 13 years... I would like to stress rabbits are not toys, but living and feeling creatures. Rabbits are not pets for young children; Only if the adult would be the primary care taker and supervising all interactions between both child and rabbit at all times. Unlike dogs or cats Rabbits are "prey" animals and being very fragile... improper handling can result in broken limbs or back. Rabbits also DO NOT like loud noises, quick movements or being picked up (Younger children should never be allowed to pick up a bunny on their own, risking injury for both if rabbit gets frightened and struggles to get free... No child should ever forcable try holding the rabbit down, being a prey animal this scares the rabbit and the fear from this can kill them. Most rabbits do not like being picked up and certainly do not like being chased after... All of these actions can and will extremly stress out a rabbit, resulting for a very unhappy rabbit or even DEATH!! Rabbits should NEVER NEVER be picked up by the scruff of their necks!! When frightened, rabbits can bite and scratch!! With proper care and housing indoors rabbits can live 10 years and longer. Rabbits are social creatures - WHY they should never be housed outdoors in a hutch... Most people wouldn't think of housing their dog or cat in such way and most would veiw this as even cruel to do, so why would this be any different just because it is a rabbit!? Rabbits living outside in a hutch are often forgotten after the excitement of having them has worn off and that is cruel to deprive any living and feeling creature of contact and touch -- Also things as extreme temperatures and stress from preditors can kill a rabbit too!! A 10 year + commitment is long time and rabbits need vet care that can become just as costly as it is for dogs and cats, so do your homework before considering a rabbit as a pet -- Single home rabbits needing at least 2-3 hours a day for one on one attention and out of cage time (rabbits are sensitive souls and you are now their whole world, so if you have a job that keeps you travling or requiring many late nights at the office - your rabbit will become deppressed. Rabbits having a delicate digestive system - if not being properly managed can result for a sickly, in -pain or even DEAD rabbit!! With so many homeless rabbits in shelters -- PLEASE DON'T buy from breeders or pet store - ADOPT!! "Till no more are homeless and due to the lack of shelter space are having to die" - BREEDERS NEED TO STOP BREEDING - UNLESS THEY ARE WILLING TO TAKE BACK THE RABBIT IN THE EVENT THINGS DON'T WORK OUT!! Rabbits should never be given as gifts and if your considering getting one, first do your homework to make sure a rabbit would be a right fit for you and your family lives; not after you get one!! These are GODS CREATURES... We need to treat all animals with respect and love -- teaching our children while they are young to do so as well -- starting with the little creatures such as frogs and snails; life is life!!
brianna.f. on February 07, 2013:
I would like a baby bunny that is a three year old please when I am nine years old nana then I will give you a surprise.
Louise on November 13, 2012:
Hi my b day is coming up and my mum said that i am going to get a bunny for my birthday and i was wondering what breed would be good?
i love bunnies!!! on November 10, 2012:
i have a bunnie she is a netherland dwarf known as the worst rabbit for kids but even thou i am 11 she is soo sweet i love bunnies
hannah on June 21, 2012:
I got 2 bunnies they are both girls one of the bunnies name is cookie and the other one name is puddles one of them is a lionhead the other one is a doe will they kill eachother when the get older
shakira on April 26, 2012:
elisa on April 01, 2012:
My favorites are new zeeland white, but also red, rabbits. Super smart and friendly, maybe a little cheeky sometimes but also very sweet. They are medium sized rabbits and when they are adults they are like big fluffy huggable (on the floor) teddy bears. I will always have one of them around.
BunnyLover on March 28, 2012:
I love my pet rabbit, he's a mini lop mix. He is the most gentle rabbit I have ever seen and met. For those who don't know what type of rabbit to get, try a Dutch bunny. They are rated one of the most tolerant and gentle rabbit breeds.
Rex on March 24, 2012:
I have a Polish Rabbit and she's very easy to litter train. I love her.
katrina13 on February 29, 2012:
Me and my sisters are getting a mini Rex for a 4h project superr exciteddd!!!! :D we felt a mini rexs fur at the royal agricultural winter fair in TO and it was the softest thing we have everrrr felt. Were getting a broken black. Adorablee!! W
Emma on February 05, 2012:
I have a rabbits and I am giving away maybe for 400 plus with the cage and shipping 500???
elfgirl on February 02, 2012:
what rabbit breeds have the best temperment ? I was told the best one is the Marten breed, any ideas?
cute bunnies! on November 04, 2011:
what kind of breed should i get? i'm a beginner bunny owner. i have no clue as to how to take care of a bunny. any help?
Andi on May 22, 2011:
VERY HELPFUL EVEN THOUGH I'M 10 YEARS OLD
Shayna on December 07, 2010:
my bunny, Roxy, was the sweetest thing ever. i let it run around my room all day while i was out and it never did a single bad thing. when anybody would walk past my door it would run over to see them. this was my first bunny but i would totally recommend it. go to the store and hold the bunny for a while and see if they are calm and don't bite u. potty training is totally possible although sometimes they cant totally control their poop and they may go on the floor but its really not that big a deal...u just scoop it up cuz its in a ball. get a bunny but make sure u r well educated and are willing to put it some time and effort.
i love bunnies!!! on December 05, 2010:
i go a bunny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
tweety11440 on November 21, 2010:
i think bunnies are sooooo cute my mom or dad wont let me get a bunny because they think the dog and cat will end up eating the bunny (i don't think so!!!)
Sparkles on September 20, 2010:
My daughter who is 5 has had a mini lop for over a year now and the mini lop has made an excellent pet for her. The bunny basically litter trained herself and is very very sweet. I will not get anything but mini lops she has NEVER bit anyone and will sit on your lap and watch a movie with you. The mini lop rabbit has a great personality and is a great docile lap bunny which children love. I also have a 2 year old son who has been taught what and what not to do with the bunny and as long as your child listens there shouldny be a problem having a mini lop as a pet.
jessbunnylove on September 04, 2010:
i am getting a bunny soon, im excited! what should i do to make sure my bunny is healthy once i get it and once i have it? also what breed of bunny is the best? im 12, thanks;)
bunny lova on May 12, 2010:
im a preteen and my little sis wants a bunny and i have no clue what website to go on ?help?
bunbun on March 26, 2010:
My first bunny was a minnie rex, it was stuborn but I loved it.
It was hard to keep my brother out of it's way, and when he got in the way she bit his toes! She died from "snuffles" and I research it so I'am pre-pared for my next one.
I had 2 rabits before I realized that it wasn't just a cold, I recommend an easier breed for beginer rabbit owner. Its a great breed but a tough one.
All in all I'm getting another rabbit soon, and i will be pre-pared this time.
Jenny-rabbit on November 02, 2009:
We have a Himalyan rabbit and she is very sweet compared to what i have heard of other rabbits. She will let the kids pet her and she comes to them all the time for a nose rub. My daughter is very easy going and will sit and call the bunny until she comes and then pet her if she doesn't come then Jessica moves on and tries again later. My step-son on the other hand is "all-boy" i am constantly having to tell him not to chase the bunny the reason she doesn't come to him is b/c he chases her to get her and tries to make her stay when she wants to leave. Though I don't think he is abusing the bunny i would not have gotten one if he was the only child in the house and if that is what your child will be like or worse then i would not get a rabbit. If your child's personality is like my daughters though very calm, self-entertained, always careful with babies and animals then i think a rabbit could be a good choice. I would go for a Himalayan b/c i've heard and seen that their breed is a lot like a cat and are great "starter" rabbits. Mine has a wonderfull personality "she's still a handfull my husband wouldn't listen when i told him she will eat the wires so she chewed his computer cord" maybe next time he'll listen to his wife that doesn't know anything but somehow always ends up being right in the end.
Bunniez (author) on October 15, 2009:
I honestly don't think rabbits are great pets for kids because their temperaments are so volatile and most of them are not great 'huggers'.
Youdon'tknowme on July 25, 2009:
I am getting a rabbit!!I want the tiny breeds though.I had rabbits before but we had to get rid of the 3 little guys
dirk on April 21, 2009:
they are so cute i want one!
Ashley Joy on March 04, 2009:
My daughter had a pet rabbit for awhile and it was the nastiest pet she ever had. It was hard to keep the cage clean and it was not as easy to train as I was told. We stick with dogs now.
B.T. Evilpants from Hell, MI on September 27, 2008:
They are cute! But they seem Kinda incomplete, without antlers.