Rabbits and Children: Do They Go Together?

There is a special relationship between children and rabbits. Children get to know animals at an early age, be it as a literary figure like Beatrix Potter’s “Peter Bunny” or as a friendly Easter bunny. Most of all, children like to have “real” rabbits, want to hug them, feed them, and stroke them. But are rabbits really suitable pets for children? Read here what you should know about this topic.

What to Do If the Child Wants a Rabbit

Most children want a pet from an early age. This can be a fleeting and impulsive desire, but it can also solidify and take on a serious character. A child’s desire for a pet is legitimate and understandable. But: Only decide to buy animals if you can ensure that they are kept in a species-appropriate manner and can bear the maintenance costs and there are no allergies or other health risks within the family.

Small animals like rabbits are particularly popular with smaller children. No wonder: The Mummler is cute, humble, and peaceful. This makes them good roommates in households with children, but the same applies to rabbits: Small children should only interact with the animals under supervision. You can teach small children to respect rabbits and explain to them that they are not stuffed animals, but creatures with their own needs. The rabbits should be able to withdraw from the enclosure at any time and only be petted if they allow it.

Also, find out if the child actually wants rabbits as pets. Is the goal of desire actually a dog or a cat? Then don’t get rabbits as “substitutes”.

Is a Rabbit Good as a Pet for a Child?

Rabbits as pets for children have a number of advantages:

  • Attractiveness for children: Under the supervision of an adult, rabbits are also a suitable choice among small animals for younger children: among small animals also a suitable choice for younger children: Unlike hamsters, for example, they are active during the day, can be petted and their life expectancy is longer quite high so that especially small children are not too quickly confronted with the natural end of the beloved animal.
  • Intelligence: Some rabbits can be trained. With patience and empathy, the child can teach you little tricks and enjoy the sense of achievement.

There are a few points that need to be taken into account when handling rabbits in an animal-friendly manner, and which children may find difficult to grasp:

Proper handling of rabbits

  • Animal autonomy: the child needs to understand that the animal has its own will. If it does not want to be petted or if it pinches or scratches out of unwillingness, the child has to respect that.
  • Consideration: There are things that rabbits don’t like: noise and hectic, for example, or being picked up from the floor and carried around.

At What Age Can a Child Care for a Rabbit?

Basically, the following applies: Growing up children with pets and assuming responsibility for a living being have a positive influence on personality development. Strong relationships can develop between child and animal, the animal becomes an important point of reference and “partner” in many situations. When a child can take care of an animal on their own responsibility depends on their age and maturity.

Involve your child in caring for the animal right from the start. At the same time, it learns to take responsibility. The younger the child, the more care you have to take on the animal as an adult. At around ten years of age, a child should be able to take responsibility for rabbits. But you can also entrust smaller children with small care measures, for example portioning the food or changing the litter in the cage.

What Should Be Considered When Buying Rabbits for Children?

It doesn’t just apply to rabbits: animals are living things that deserve respect. First, find out about the animal’s needs and make sure that it can be kept in a species-appropriate manner. Then make the child aware of the responsibility that the animal demands: a rabbit can live between seven and eleven years old if it is well looked after. If young animals are purchased for an elementary school child, they accompany their keeper until they are teenagers.

Is the young person ready to be there for the animal for so long? Are you ready to take care of the animal if, for whatever reason, the child’s interest wanes? Under no circumstances should an animal be bought on a whim or for a festival like Christmas. Give the child the opportunity to seriously consider his or her wish for a while and then make a conscious decision in favor of the animal. Age-appropriate rabbit literature will help the child find out whether rabbits are really “his” pets.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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