Gifting Animals for Easter

Why You Should Not Buy a Bunny as a Present and What You Can Do Instead!

Easter is around the corner and with this holiday many people think of celebrations and cute animals such as fluffy bunny rabbits and baby chicks! While this holiday is a happy time for families, especially children, enjoying chocolate treats and hide and seek as well as other festive fun celebrations, it’s also a sad time for certain rabbits. Although most of these parents have good intentions to give a cute, fluffy, bunny for Easter to their children who get excited initially but then might get bored. Then the responsibility falls completely on the parents to look after that rabbit that was intended to “entertain” their children. Unfortunately, small animals such as rabbits that are bought on a whim and impulsively are not well-thought out or researched. Oftentimes people have no idea that rabbits like other companion animals need attention and love. Sometimes it’s a surprise to realize that rabbits also have special needs and require care. 

There are many problems with gifting animals when it’s done on a whim or impulse.

Rabbits are Living, Breathing, Complex Creatures, and they NOT Toys 

Small, cute, animals such as beloved rabbits may appear toy-like with their fluffy fur and adorable appearance. They remind us of childhood stories and chocolates. But rabbits are living creatures; they are varied, complex, with unique personalities and needs. They require routine, proper food, medicine (where necessary), careful care, companionship, and comfort. Adopting a rabbit is a serious commitment for the life of that creature and requires consideration. It should never be done without planning especially when young children are involved. 

For example, rabbits are social creatures and they are fragile. It is easy to injure a rabbit if not careful and they do not do well if they are left alone. They need a play area and should not be left alone in a small enclosure. Although they are smaller than other types of companion animals, they are sensitive and scared as they are prey animals, so leaving them unattended with small children can result in injury to that animal and heartbreak for a child (who may unintentionally harm it). As well, rabbits left alone in cages may suffer from loneliness so they require attention, enrichment and love. Rabbits can live from 8 to 12 years and can get sick and require veterinary care. It takes time, responsibility to care for them as well as commitment.  

Instead of Buying a Bunny as an Easter Gift Adopt a Rescue Rabbit

As an alternative to bringing a bunny home for Easter if your family is not ready for the responsibility, here are a few ideas: You can take your children to an animal rescue and or visit a farm sanctuary to meet and interact with cute farm animals and learn about them, such as rabbits, chicks, ducks, pigs, lambs, etc. You can enjoy family time on this excursion and teach your children that animals are individuals with personalities and you can learn something too. You might find a rescue rabbit there and learn to take good care of it. Otherwise, you can buy your children delicious chocolate treats for Easter (try vegan healthier options). 

If you are ready to adopt to rescue a rabbit you can provide a loving home with preparation and proper care. For instance, our beloved rabbit, Zoey, was surrendered at an animal shelter. It’s possible that a family abandoned her when they got bored of her or could not properly care for her. It took time and research to get to know this lovely creature and she is a wonderful companion animal with a feisty personality. She responds to her name and loves to cuddle. It wasn’t always this way! Before we brought her home, we learned about rescue rabbits. Initially, she was scared of us, and hid in her cage; she behaved more like a wild rabbit. It took time and patience for her to learn to trust us. Now she’s a sweetie pie! She craves affection and loves to spend time with us. Zoey, like other domesticated rabbits, requires special care. We take her to an exotic vet (not a regular vet where you take cats/dogs), and she thrives on her routine, plenty of hay, and comes over for treats and cuddles and prances like a ballerina when she’s happy.

In conclusion, rabbits are loving creatures; they are not disposable items that can be bought and returned like other consumer items. Rabbits are varied, have unique personalities and thrive on routine and social interaction, and they are tender creatures that require care. If you wish to adopt a rabbit, research and plan ahead as this is a lifetime commitment for that animal. You can bring home a bunny when your family is ready and find a loving companion animal that you can take care of for the rest of that rabbit’s life.