The bunny is the symbol of Easter, and during this period, buying a real bunny as a gift for their children is a popular way to upgrade from the chocolate version.
Bunnies are wonderful and cute pets, but owning a bunny is not like buying a toy. A bunny takes care, money, and love to nurture and take care of. Otherwise, the health of the bunny can be put at risk.
So why shouldn’t you buy a bunny for Easter?
- Bunnies are a long term commitment
- Bunnies and children are not a good mix
- Bunnies are not dogs
- Bunnies are not outdoor pets
- Owning a bunny has hidden costs
- Bunnies have different personalities
- Bunnies sleep cycles don’t match a humans
- Bunnies are work
These eight points are reasons why you shouldn’t buy a bunny as a gift for Easter. However, what if you are willing to put in the work to raise a healthy, happy bunny?
Bunnies Are A Long Term Commitment
Buying a bunny as an Easter gift can be short-sighted. Bunnies live long lives. They can live for 12+ years! See our post on “When do Bunnies Stop Growing” for the average lifespans of the 15 most popular domestic bunny breeds.
It’s important to be prepared with knowing that gifting a bunny is a long term commitment and can’t be given and forgotten about.
Bunnies And Children Are Not A Good Mix
As cute as a bunny is, sadly, they are not the best pets for children. Children are full of energy and want to follow and chase the bunny so they can pat and pick them up.
We experience this first hand when we let our bunny play outside and the next-door neighbours child comes to play with her. Our Grooty gets more and more stressed as she is chased from hiding place to hiding place to escape being potentially picked up and handled.
Bunnies are prey animals and don’t feel comfortable being chased and followed. While they can be playful, this is done through throwing and chewing their toys and being close to their humans at ground level. This means lying on the floor with them and letting the bunny come to you. Something a child definitely struggles with.
Perhaps your children are a little older, then getting a pet bunny and teaching your children how to be gentle with her is a great learning opportunity.
Bunnies Are Not Dogs
Dogs love being petted, picked up and cuddled, being taken for walks, and being a vacuum cleaner for your leftover food that you’ve dropped on the floor. Bunnies generally don’t like to do any of these and being a vacuum to your leftover food could potentially cause health problems.
As a bunny warms up to you, they can love being petted and touched. But they still won’t like being picked up. You can even train your bunny to go for short walks! But this takes lots of time and patience and trust between you and your bunny. Hence, a bunny should be a long term investment rather than a short term Easter gift.
Bunnies Are Not Outdoor Pets
Outdoor hutches were originally invented as housing for meat bunnies. Keeping them outside exposes them to seeing predators and uncomfortable conditions that can really stress your bunny. Lots of bunny stress can be fatal.
Bunnies should be kept inside with the family. Once your bunny warms up to you, they can be the most loving animals as they lie next to you on the floor and kiss you with their nose.
Bunnies are social animals and need interaction with their bunny friends or their humans. Furthermore, keeping them in a hutch or cage outside doesn’t give your bunny the space they need. They should be able to stretch their legs, boing, and run circles around large areas.
Keeping them in a cage or hutch is going to make them more prone to obesity due to the lack of movement and is just sad for the bunny.
Owning A Bunny Has Hidden Costs
Buying a bunny doesn’t just come with the bunny themselves. There’s the bunny playpen, litter box, food and hay, toys, vet visits, spaying or neutering, and bunny proofing your house.
Some of these things you may not think about when looking to purchase a bunny. But if gifting a bunny, these are the things that will need consistent upkeep. Bunny upkeep each year can be approximately $750 per year so it is worth considering if you have the money to look after a bunny.
Bunnies Have Different Personalities
While all bunnies seem cute and cuddly, only a very small percentage of bunnies actually like being picked up and cuddled. The vast majority would rather be left alone or will come to you for some pats and lie next to you. You could even have a bunny that despises all human contact and just does their own thing but this is much rarer.
If you have a bunny that is very nippy, then this could cause harm to your children. You’d be better off gifting chocolate bunnies and if you want to go down the pet road for your kids, then a puppy dog would be a better choice. However, that comes with its own set of responsibilities!
Bunnies Sleep Cycle Doesn’t Match A Humans
Bunnies are most active during dusk and dawn. Which means they generally sleep much of the day and night. We’ve experienced this first hand with Grooty scratching our door like a puppy at 6 am every single morning. Or going to bed at 10 pm and Groot jumping on our bed and running rings around the duvet while rolling everywhere.
If a bunny is a gift for your children, when your children want to play with your bunny is likely when your bunny is wanting to sleep! It can be difficult to see when your bunny is asleep during the day as they can sleep with their eyes open.
Bunnies Are Work
Last, but not least, bunnies are work. While a dog you can let outside to do their business, a bunny needs a litter box inside the house. Perhaps more than one. That means this litter box will need regular cleaning. See our article “How to litter train your bunny?” to see how often you may need to clean it.
Further, a bunny loves to chew on things around your house especially if they are made of wood. We are pretty sure wires look like spaghetti to our bunny so that is another thing you have to consider. Buying wire protectors or finding a way to hide your wires from your bunny.
If you have boxes filled with items you are keeping, expect those boxes to also be destroyed. As bunnies like to chew on almost everything, your house can look like a farm.
Moving from a litter box to the hay, they can have bits of litter and hay stuck to their fur which they drag around the house. We vacuum our entire lounge and within the next few hours, it doesn’t look like we’ve even cleaned.
Now that you’re aware that a bunny is a long term commitment versus a short term Easter gift, where does the tradition of the Easter bunny actually come from?
Why Does A Bunny Represent Easter?
It seems the Easter bunny originates from pagan traditions during their celebration of the start of spring. The pagan festival Eostre is dedicated to the Goddess of fertility who is depicted as a bunny.
The bunny represents the symbol of fertility and just like springtime, it is the renewal of life. Funnily enough, springtime is also when baby bunnies are born as bunnies give birth as soon as the weather warms.
The earliest account of the Easter bunny dates back to the 17th century in Germany where an Easter bunny was believed to nest colourful eggs to children that were well behaved.
Since then, the Easter bunny pagan tradition has merged with the Christian religion as the re-birth of Jesus is like the renewal of life in the springtime.
When looking for that gift to top your previous years’ Easter present for your children, please stick with the chocolate versions of these precious bunnies. If you have older children and are looking to make another addition to the family, then a bunny can make very loving house pets.
We love our Grooty and her company every day. We were prepared knowing the expenses and the long term commitment we’d have to make. If you read through these points and they didn’t scare you, maybe you are ready to make the commitment too.