We are considering a pet rabbit for our daughter who is age 6 going on 7. Some of the sites indicate that they are very expensive to keep. I'm not sure if that because they are more particular than we will be. Even our dog hasn't gone to the vet in a long time,and she is beloved to us all.
Actually, her (the dogs )interactions with the rabbit is another sticking point
I'd be very cautious about getting a pet rabbit for a 6-year-old. It really depends on the personality and maturity of the child, but please be aware that rabbits are far more delicate than dogs and cats. I've heard quite a few stories of rabbits being accidentally harmed by well-meaning children. In addition, cage/litter box cleaning can be a daunting task for a little one. On the other hand, if she's a very gentle child and has some experience taking care of animals, and you're willing to help, it could work.
As far as expenses-yes, they can be costly to keep. Feeding and housing isn't too much, but vet care can be, especially if it gets sick. Not all vets know how to treat rabbits, and the ones that do aren't cheap.
I have 2 kids and 4 rabbits. The kids help out with the rabbits and play with them, but they are ultimately my responsibility.
As far as the dog goes, it depends a lot on the dog's personality and training. My dog is good with them, but she's livestock guardian breed (Great Pyrenees) and is protective of them. A dog with a higher prey drive could be a danger to them.
I suggest doing some reading on the subject before you make a decision. Rabbits can be wonderful pets, but they're not for everyone. Feel free to ask more questions here as well.
Thank you for your response,very helpful. The dog has strong herding instincts, she is a Australian cattle dog mix. Smartest dog I have ever had. My daughter is very soft and gentle, but we can't afford too fragile an animal, be it dog or rabbit.
For instance I took one look at rescued greyhound and knew we couldn't afford something so breakable ...
Dogs and rabbits might work, and probably won't work. The rabbit will die. They are hard wired prey animals. Dogs are hard wired predators. There are rare exceptions that can work out, but they are rare.
Rabbits can just drop dead from being startled.
They can break their own back by jumping too hard/enthusiastically.
Also note that rabbits will be absolutely guaranteed to chew on cords, you know, electrical cords. Maybe electrocute the rabbit, maybe short out and burn the house down. They can have zero access to cords.
And, they will eat your wooden furniture, our piano for example. And our chairs. And the baseboards.
Yes, we had two adorable wonderful pet rabbits that lived free in the living room. Red crawled up on my lap every morning to share breakfast.
Wood pellets (the kind for burning) turns out to make fantastic litter box material, and 5 dollars for a 40# bag. They naturally like to pee in the litter box, so that's no issue. But they will leave their dried pellets laying around just any old where.
We weren't grossed out, they're dry. But some people wouldn't like that.
Location: SW Tennessee Zone 7a average rainfall 52"
posted 5 years ago
I would second most of the above. We have always had a house rabbit or two ... my daughter breeds show rabbits, and there always seems to be a kit who moves into the house for some reason and then never leaves. We currently have two in the house.
We have 3 dogs. Two of them are fine with the rabbits. The third one we have to watch ... not because she is aggressive, but because she tries to play with the rabbits, and there is no way to explain to her that a 45 pound dog can do some damage. You do have to watch your electrical cords, as well as steps or anything the rabbit can fall off of. Our rabbits stay in their cages unless someone has the time and inclination to supervise them. They are out every day, but they do not have the run of the house 24/7. Rabbits are a little more fragile than cats or dogs, although I wouldn't agree with the idea that a pet rabbit is going to drop dead just by being startled. You will not have to worry about the rabbit every time the dog barks or a door gets slammed. They get used to the activity in your house. Injury is really the thing you have to worry about.
With a 6 year old, it has to be understood that any pet is ultimately the responsibility of the parent. A 6 year old is not developmentally mature enough to have total responsibility for anything.
Having said all of that, a rabbit might actually be a good choice for a child who is normally gentle with animals. I would suggest looking for a Netherland Dwarf ... this is what my daughter breeds. They weigh about 2 lbs. at maturity, which is a good size for a child. Most pet rabbits are injured because the rabbit is too big for the child to pick up, and the child ends up dropping it. ND's are generally calm and sweet tempered and make excellent pets. My daughter has sold a lot of pet quality rabbits to families with children. Our rabbits have never seen a vet ... my daughter is knowledgeable enough to take care of most problems on her own, and to be honest, by the time you know a rabbit is sick there is often little you can do for it. Rabbits, like most prey animals, are experts at being absolutely fine until suddenly, they're not. We have never lost a rabbit to injury ... when my kids were smaller, they were only permitted to hold a rabbit if they were sitting on the floor. That way there was nowhere for the rabbit to fall if the kid lost his grip.
So I've said all that to say that like any pet, you need to understand the pros and cons and then make the right choice for your family. Personally, I think small rabbits are good first pets for most kids.
Thanks for all the feedback on having a house bunny.
Two years later and we now have two!
They are very personable, and boy do they make poop! I am going to try growing corn in a bucket of the stuff, just to see what happens.
Getting the boy fixed so we can eventually leave them alone together. Darn it, rabbits are expensive to neuter if you are not willing to rubber band them...
I just stumbled across the "house rabbit "post here while looking through some Critter posts. For years a good friend raised meat rabbits and I had rabbit once a month.
When I met my wife,she had a house rabbit and thirteen years later we have had one ever since. All house bunnies have personalities. The first rabbit she had had been rejected by its mother and she had to bottle feed it for weeks before reintroduction. I did not even know the a bond between a rabbit and human that close was possible. He would follow her everywhere she went inside and outside during good weather. She would plant a flower,he would be right next to her digging it up LOL.......Years down the road I have house rabbit. His name is Teddy. Yup,I'm a fifty year old guy who loves a rat with long ears. Did not realize how much that furry idiot meant to me till we almost lost him from an illness. we have never had a problem with our dog.Yea all out rabbit accessible power cords are armored. I fixed the furniture chewing thing by making sure there is a green (unseasoned) apple wood block under the dining room table. Personality wise,they are as different as people. After awhile,you can even tell when they are happy or pissed off. .Larry
Love, love, love having rabbits in the house!! I call them my little fluffy compost machines as they make SUCH great additions for the compost heap Hubby less keen however, so we don't currently have one, but watch this space.....
posted 4 years ago
Linda, I truly thought I was gonna have to put Teddy down. Man enough to admit, I had tears in my eyes on the way to the vet. $204 and three weeks later. He is good as new. Being a"tough guy" construction worker....well I guess you can't control what/who you get attached to. LOl. He watches tv with me every night. Piddles in the box, the cocoa puffs, just there way of saying. This area is mine. Being vegetarians , I've gotten used to picking them up