My child is very responsible and has a very good girl. She wrote a letter to Santa and would trade "everything on her list" for a black fuzzy bunny. We have 2 puppies and 2 cats. I want to get her what she wants for Christmas, and am willing to help her take care of it and learn to take care of it. But I have never had a rabbit and would "prefer" not to. Also, I am assuming that her younger sister would be sad if she did not get one. We live in a mild climate in the country, but I am not sure if they could live outdoors year round, and am concerned that they will make my house stink. BUT, they are better than a bunch of plastic toys!! My daughter will be devastated if she doesn't get a bunny. Any suggestions/thoughts/experiences/words of wisdom?
Lots of thoughts.
A pet is a big responsibility, so my temptation is to say that Santa does not bring pets (if you want to be cute about it, they don't go well down chimneys, and they get sick in the sleigh). If we are going to add a living thing to our household, we have to talk carefully about that creature's needs, and discuss the responsibilities involved.
I might be willing to discuss getting a bunny with my kids, in detail, laying out the costs and concerns and the needs of that animal. I might even be willing to go out and get one. I would NOT make it a Christmas or birthday gift.
If you're not willing to deal with more pets, it's also totally okay for you to just say no. Say it before Christmas, to give the kids time to get over it.
I don't have a ton of experience with bunnies, but I used to petsit for a family who had one and their house (or even the part of the finished basement where the bunny cage was) did not in any way stink. If that's a big concern you might want to talk to other bunny owners. I agree with MeepyCat in the approach she suggested.
We've had house bunnies that were a delight! They used a litter box, played & snuggled and were great company.
Had to watch them with chewing though.
Ours were a large female Rex and smaller natural brown male. They adored each other and had beautiful babies!
Bunnies will make you house stink. I used to have one in our apartment.
They are sort of boring pets and kids get bored with them
You will be stuck taking care of animals you already do not want. It is bad idea to get a pet unless entire family wants one.
I think your child will be upset but devastation is bit of the strong word. It is not harmfully but actually beneficial for children to get disappointed from time to time and not get everything they want. Life is not a bowl of cherries.
Pet is not better or worse than plastic toys. It is is like comparing apples and oranges.
You are the parents. If you do not want a bunny, do not get a bunny.
Get her a week at some zoo based summer camp. My son went to one which is natural museum and a wild life rescue center. He loved and learned a ton.
I would tell her that Santa absolutely does not bring living creatures- no animals and no babies- so he can't bring her one and she should write a new letter.
I would tell her that you understand that she wants a bunny very much. They are very cute and soft. A new pet is something that you as a family need to research and think about carefully for several months or even a year to make sure it is right. You already have 2 puppies and 2 cats- are they also indoors? Do you have space for a rabbit? Are the other pets a good mix with a rabbit? I would have your dd help you research any questions.
An animal is not at all like a toy. It is a big commitment in terms of cost and care. I would not get another one at all unless you are prepared to completely care for it no matter how responsible your child seems or what they promise now.
I had a pet rabbit when I was a child and she was housed outside. Her hutch was broken into and she was killed by another animal one night. So there is some risk to housing a rabbit outside beyond climate. If possible I would locate the rabbit in an indoor building.
Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)
Hi - rabbits are neither "boring" (as one poster said) nor low maintenance - they are unique pets and should be housed indoors. Go to www.rabbit.org (House Rabbit Society) for lots of good information on rabbits as pets or my website www.hopperhome.com (not commercial). Normally, I don't recommend rabbits as pets for young children. They are not like cats or dogs. Wire bottom cages are bad for their feet so they need a puppy pen or a very large cage. Many people litter train them and let them run loose in the home if the home is "bunny-proofed." They are very clean (they clean themselves 5 times a day top to bottom - more than a cat), but they must be neutered or spayed. They also have dietary needs that most people don't realize. Most of their diet should be hay. Pellets (which are easy to feed) should not be their primary food for a long and healthy life. (Be sure no one in your family is allergic to hays.) Rabbits are cute as "bunnies." but as unfixed adults (at about 4 to 6 months of age) they will become aggressive, territorial, even spray urine and are no longer docile about handling especially about being picked up. Neutering or spaying most of this.They like affection, but on their terms. Afterall, they are prey animals and some movements that seem like grabbing are distressing to them. Also, their skeletal systems are fragile and their backbones and legs can break if dropped. Not a good combination for a child. Never get a rabbit if you don't want one yourself since you may end up caring for the bunny. They can live to be 10 to 12 years old as house rabbits. It's a long commitment. I appreciate that your daughter wants a rabbit, but it's not a good idea from what you described.