Thursday, April 5, 2012

Think Twice Before Buying a Pet for Easter

Many people are tempted to bring home a new pet for Easter. Rabbits, chicks, and ducklings are hard to resist when they are babies, but it is important to remember that these animals will require years of care and attention. Every year shortly after Easter, animal shelters across the country are overwhelmed with unwanted rabbits, chickens, and ducks. Unfortunately, many of these animals are euthanized due to lack of space in the shelters.

Here are some things to keep in mind before you buy that cute Easter pet:

  • Rabbits require a lot of space to run, dig, and play. They will not thrive if they are living in a hutch 24 hours a day.

  • Rabbits, and especially chickens, and ducks all crave social interaction with others of their own kind. If you are adding just one animal to your family, be sure you have enough time to play and interact with him or her.

  • Rabbits can be expensive to own. Their diet should consist of hay, and fresh vegetables as well as rabbit pellets. Veterinary care will often be more expensive than it would for a cat or dog because many animal hospitals consider them to be exotic pets.

  • While rabbits can be trained to use a litterbox, chickens and ducks will eliminate where they happen to be standing when they get the urge.

  • Rabbits do not always make good pets for children. Younger children may not understand the proper way to pick up their pet rabbit, and may accidentally injure them.

Should you decide that a new pet is the right choice for your family this Easter, please consider adopting from a local shelter or rescue.