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July 1, 2010

In category: Lindsay's posts

Rabbits as small children’s pets?

Funny Bunny is my favourite rabbit in the world, but even he has to be handled with care.

Somebody comes into the shop and says that they want to buy a rabbit as a pet for their children.

I ask two questions: “How old is your child?” and “Can I meet them?”

Age is essential. The screaming tones of excited small children blast through the giant ears of a naturally nervous animal and makes taming near impossible. You need to be old enough to be able to keep quiet, at least until the rabbit really gets to know you. Otherwise expecting it to keep still is like asking the same of you next to a controlled explosion.

I will be honest, for first time pets? I’d always recommend going for a couple of guinea pigs.

Why? Rabbits can scratch you. Guineapigs can’t.

The difference is in the power of the back legs. While both animal have sharp claws which they use to dig and root in the ground with. Rabbits have extremely powerful muscles that can kick out, causing nasty wounds. Unlike a cat, the rabbit cannot take it’s claws back into it’s soft foot pads. The claws are always there, making cuddling difficult, like with Edward Scissor-hands.

It’s unfortunate for rabbits. They don’t mean to hurt their owners.

Today I was walking Funny Bunny round the garden with a collar and harness. Don’t groan. It irritates me when people come into the store and state how ridiculous the process is. I was walking him with a collar and harness in my garden because he is on holiday from the shop and I am trying to train him to come when I call. The lead helps, even though he tends to drag me around.

Accidental Scratches like this one are common among rabbit owners.

My niece and nephew thought this was great and I allowed them to help me work (although I stated no pulling the rabbit.) and everything was ticking along nicely until Mabel said “Let’s stroke the rabbit” and I caught him on my lap and allowed them to touch him. Perfect moment, perfect pet, that is until my father boomed the words “chocolate ice cream” from the kitchen and sent the kids running amok. Which, scared Funny Bunny, which scratched me. Ouch.

So if you are going to buy a rabbit- be aware. I’m not saying that they don’t make good pets. I love Funny Bunny to bits and will talk for hours about him (just ask my co-worker long suffering Georgie) Rabbits are wonderful, intellegent, incredibly rewarding animals.

I just want to make sure that you do have tame rabbits and that you don’t give up after the first accident.

Firstly, it’s not too hard to learn how to handle rabbits but it takes a certain amount of bravery and a lot of responsibility. That is why I like to meet the children who buy my pets. The lesson they have with us at the store might make the difference between a lifetime friend or the feared animal at the bottom of the garden.

That’s it from me tonight. More funny stories about rabbits, chipmunks and crows to follow…

  1. I don’t have any pets anymore. My siersts, brother and I used to have cats and dogs when we lived in small rural places so they could be outside since I’m allergic. I tried to have fish once but I didn’t do a very good job of keeping them alive. What’s your cat’s name? Why would you describe him as weird? Ms. SimonsenYorkton, SKCanada

    Comment by Fedz — March 19, 2015 @ 4:52 pm

  2. Thank you for this blog edition, Lindsay.

    Like yourself, I have two nieces who have not yet mastered the fine art of being around a rabbit. The bad part? The oldest (nine years old) wanted a pet rabbit, but her mother would only allow her to have one if it stayed with me and the girl’s grandparents (we live in the country). So Pop-Pop and Aunt Katie are “Spotty’s” main caretakers.

    Did I also mention my pre-teen niece has an almost 2 year old sister who has entered into the “I love to scream!” stage?! Good times.

    Right now, I’m nursing some pretty bad rabbit scratches, which thankfully are not caused by the screaming and chasing of said rabbit, but by my learning how to pick him up. Poor Spotty, at least we are trying.

    Again, thank you for the lovely and informative blog post.

    Comment by Kate — August 13, 2015 @ 12:06 pm

  3. Kathryn, I’ve sent you an email offering further advice about handling rabbits. I’m glad that you find the blog useful. I going to make a short film with Funny Bunny that I hope will help you further. Thanks again, Lindsay

    Comment by admin — August 13, 2015 @ 4:07 pm

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