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Opinion on children and rabbits

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Minion, Jan 17, 2012.


  1. Minion

    Minion PetForums Member

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    I was just looking through an adoption website, looking for a friend for my rabbit, and stumbled across one that read 'came into the sanctuary after the child lost interest'.

    Now I've had rabbits from the age of 4 and I do believe it teaches responsibility. My Mum and Dad have always set 2 rules about pets:
    1) You can have any pet you want as long as you do your research first and accept the responsibilities, which to be fair put me off wanting a pony pretty quick at the age of 6.
    2) If you buy a pet you keep it for it's lifespan and look after it how it is suppose to be looked after.

    Pets have always been a member of the family in our house and not just one person's pet. I once spent an hour distinguishing between 3 neon tetra fish so that i could name them so they felt loved (a little extreme and thereafter bought fish that looked completely different). I do think if you have a child and buy a rabbit that it's the parents responsibility as well. If you want something that is cute and fluffy with minimal care a teddy is the best option, not something that is going to suffer and have to be re-homed.

    My biggest hate is people that see a little bunny all cute and fluffy and then go and stick it in a hutch, never to be paid attention to again. To be fair it's not just children that do this. When my rabbit accidentally had a litter of 2 rabbits my friend asked if she could have one and I told her they were sold, as she is the same. Best friend but not going anywhere near my baby rabbits. Ironically, I kept one, and the other went to one of my Dad's friends who has a little girl. I've been getting regular updates as I was so upset to see her go. She's now a happy house rabbit, that has her own bedroom and the little girl still feeds her everyday even after 4 years :)
     
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  2. SEVEN_PETS

    SEVEN_PETS PetForums VIP

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    If a rabbit is bought for a rabbit, it should always be the parent's responsibility to care for the rabbit. Young children can love feeding the rabbits, but cleaning, handling etc should be carried out by an adult.

    I personally don't think rabbits are the best pets for children, as they are prey animals, they don't like to be handled (can kick and scratch), and they require specialist care, eg large enclosures, unlimited hay.
     
  3. Minion

    Minion PetForums Member

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    My dad used to help clean them out for hygiene reasons but my sister and I had to stand there and hold the black bag open just to make us a little bit more appreciative and understand that although we did the easy bit of food, water and lots of love, the rabbit hutch didn't clean itself.

    Although all my rabbits in the past have allowed you to pick them up, the rabbit i have at the minute, Minion, is the only one that's actually asked to be picked up. Not literally :D He sits on his back legs stretching himself up my leg. But even then there is a time limit to the amount of affection you can have in one hug and if you don't see the signs that he's getting bored you better hope you have a pair of bird of prey gloves on :D I wouldn't leave him with a child.
     
  4. FrankieT

    FrankieT PetForums Member

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    I got a rabbit for my tenth birthday after a good year of nagging. I managed looking after him on my own (with my parents financing it all) until he was pts after a stroke at the age of 8.

    I have small pets at the moment, but none have been bought for the kids. The like to help, but ultimately I knew when I got them that I would be responsible for them.
     
  5. wacky

    wacky PetForums Member

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    personly i would suppervise a child at all times with a rabbit i wouldnt leave my young grand children alone unsuppervised with any of mine
     
  6. Waterlily

    Waterlily Amused

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    I dont think any pet is good for a child lol, all mine are family pets not the "childs" pet and are treated as such, kids arent responsible enough yet to care for a pet properly, thats what parents are for to look after the young show them how to, but not leave them to it. If my kid said he was bored with our pets then he would get a massive lecture on commitment and compassion :D
     
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  7. Kammie

    Kammie PetForums VIP

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    My baby loves the rabbits and will follow them around. The rabbits are mine and not his but they will teach him some very important lessons. When we get our next rabbits (in a few years) we will probably say its Jacks rabbit but it will still be part of one of my groups and I'll be doing all the work. As soon as Jacks old enough he'll be helping me look after them, cleaning their homes and feeding to him him some idea of responsibility. I'd never leave him in sole charge of a rabbit though.

    Jack is a year old by the way so he's a long way off having any resposibility with them but he's now learning to pet them gently rather than try grabbing ears.
     
  8. Hel_79

    Hel_79 PetForums Senior

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    I believe that children can learn responsibility and empathy from helping to care for animals. I also believe that the key word here is 'helping'. No child instincively knows the best way to care for an animal; they need an adult to model that care to them and to teach, guide and support them. Ultimately any child's pet is really the parent's pet in terms of overall care; very few children can take their pet to the vet by themselves and manage vet bills, etc., for example.

    I think every child with a pet needs a really great role model to help them care for the animal to the best of their ability. For example, my stepdaughter didn't have that in her family home which is why, after she brought home a rabbit from a pet shop one day, said rabbit ended up coming to live with me a year later...
     
  9. Minion

    Minion PetForums Member

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    My Dad would have said "Maybe he's bored of you! Now which one of you is the biggest drain of my money and time?" ;) ... I've never actually got bored of a pet though, they've been family.
     
  10. ClaireandDaisy

    ClaireandDaisy PetForums VIP

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    Parents who are stupid enough to buy an animal as a toy for a child....
    I think the rabbit was best out of there.
     
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  11. Minion

    Minion PetForums Member

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    But it is sad that it had to go through that ordeal to begin with :(.

    It is a beautiful rabbit though and if it's still there in a month I will go have a look and see what she's like and whether she will be suitable for my rabbit. I would go now, but my rabbit is only being neutered on Tuesday and I wouldn't want to put a reserve on her as a month is a long time in a rescue center and I wouldn't want to reduce her chances of being rehomed in the meantime :)
     
  12. emzybabe

    emzybabe PetForums VIP

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    Children cannot legally be held responsible for any pet! Parents should always supervise young children and older children will still need reminding of vaccinations let alone cleaning out
     
  13. sskmick

    sskmick PetForums VIP

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    That's a get out clause for the parents who have lost interest, cute little bun needs a lot more looking after than parents realised. ...and that's exactly why I now have my grandson's rabbit - our grandson was 2 when my daughter now demoted back to step daughter decided a pet rabbit would be a perfect pet for our grandson. I tried to tell her but as always parents advice falls on deaf ears.

    I simply could not standby and watch this little fella suffer any longer. He came here while they went on holiday and has stayed ever since -that was two years ago.

    I am no hero or martyr I hate having to see to him twice a day, every day but he is really cute and after what he has been through I am loathed to offer him for re-homing. I know nothing about rabbits only what I read on these forums and answers to my questions... but by eck I do my best for the little guy. Even though I curse and swear this weather - to be fair last winter was a real nightmare with sub zero temperatures. Having to check his water regularly to ensure I kept it from freezing up, I use a thermal jacket for the water bottle.

    Our rabbit has a double decker hutch full insulated and a run attached to the front. He has the freedom of our secure garden every evening while I supervise him and I take the opportunity of cleaning his hutch out at the same time.

    I have seen excuses like "I don't get on with other rabbits" - well why not get another hutch and run for him - you chose the little guy.

    To be honest I much prefer to see rabbits waiting to be rehomed than the knowledge of them being neglected.

    imo No pet is the responsibility of a child, to me a child helps and learns parents teach and train.

    Really sorry guys for the rant, but if I have stopped one person from buying a rabbit without looking into the care of rabbits first, then this rant was worth it.
     
    Waterlily likes this.
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