It’s almost Easter – a great time to get your kid a fluffy bunny, adorable duckling, or itty bitty baby chicken.
While the thought of giving your child a cute little baby animal in an Easter basket may sound like a good idea, it’s not. These are living, breathing, animals we’re talking about. And, unlike the chocolate Easter bunnies that will be gone in a few days, animals are going to stick around long after the fake grass is tossed in the trash.
Sadly, while a bunny may seem like a good idea at the time, once the novelty has worn off and Easter is long forgotten, it’s likely your child will get bored and the new pet won’t get the care and attention he needs to stay healthy. The House Rabbit Society sees a huge increase in abandoned Easter rabbits. Here are a few facts they point out about pet rabbits:
- Rabbits are not “low-maintenance” pets, and are a poor choice as a pet for children.
- They have a lifespan of 10 years and require as much work as a dog or cat.
- Your home must be bunny-proofed, or Thumper will chew cords and furniture.
- Rabbits must be neutered or spayed or they will mark your house with feces and urine.
- They should live indoors, as members of the family.
Baby chicks and ducks aren’t much different. They’re going to need care as well, and not just for a few weeks while they’re new. They require a lot of care, are messy, and can be noisy and downright annoying. Here are a few facts from Live Ducks that will hopefully change your mind about getting a pet duck, or even a chicken.
- Ducklings are fully grown in 30 days.
- A domestic duck lives 10 to 20 years, sometimes longer.
- A duck dumped into a public pond or lake will likely not survive until its 1st birthday.
- Ducks do not make good starter pets for children, they are not easy to care for.
- Ducks can peck and pinch aggressively.
- Ducks are extremely messy eaters and poop alot.
- Ducks can develop health problems and cannot be treated by a standard “dog or cat” veterinarian.
- Exotic veterinary bills are prohibitively expensive.
Bringing a new pet into your home, regardless of what type it is, includes making a commitment. If you’re not able, or willing, to say that you’ll be there to take care of that pet for it’s lifetime, please don’t bring it home. Instead, put a fluffy, cuddly, stuffed animal in your son or daughter’s Easter basket. It won’t poop, bite, smell, or need trips to the vet. It’ll always be well behaved, and it might even turn into one of their most cherished childhood toys.