Pet selection: So, why a rabbit?

My eight-year-old daughter has been begging me for a pet rabbit for several months now. I told her we could get a pet rabbit in the spring if she ate her vegetables, showed me should would be responsible by being obedient and a good helper and had a good attitude most of the time. Well, it is spring and she has been eating her vegetables and is generally obedient, positive, and responsible.

We decided to get a pet rabbit for several reasons. We do enjoy animals and wanted a pet to take care of and love. With four young children, I am not wanting the responsibility of a dog or cat. So we thought a smaller, or contained animal would be the right kind of pet.

My daughter wants a pet that she can hold and love and be affectionate with. Bunnies are so cute and cuddly and seem so friendly and fun. Our research has shown this to be the case. They are generally low maintenance and can be trained to use a litter pan and roam around the house. Yet they can also live in a cage, which means you can play with and cuddle, take care of your pet when you want to, then you can put them away in their cage when you don’t want to supervise them.

Rabbits are ideal pets since you have options for how to keep them. You can keep them outside or in a garage in a cage or hutch and visit them and let them play outside in a run or play yard. We plan to keep it inside in a cage and allow it to run around the house with supervision and also to let it run around in a play yard outside. We will also walk it on a leash. I like that they are they an animal that can be contained and controlled. Children can learn the responsibility of pet care without having it around all the time like a cat or dog.

Over the last few months my daughter has done a lot of reading and research on pet rabbits. She has read several books. She even copied one book by hand, writing every single word and drawing every picture. She has become obsessed with bunnies. She likes to get on-line and look up certain things about pet rabbits. She has written several stories, books, and poems about bunnies. She dreams about them. She talks about them all the time. She says, “I can’t stand it, I just have to have a bunny.”

I believe that my eight-year-old daughter will be able to do almost all of the care for her pet rabbit. She may need some help with the cleaning of the cage and with supervision inside and outside; however, I think she will be able to do all the feeding, brushing, and making sure it gets the attention it needs. She can have complete responsibility and this pet will be all her own. I know that she will enjoy it and be successful with its care and this will make her feel good about herself.

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