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Old 07-19-2010, 08:20 PM
shyknees shyknees is offline
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New bunny buyer!


Hi everyone, i am in need of some help. Im buying a bunny for my 3 year old little daughter, and 2 year old son. They are so intrigued and have been asking for it, for months now. I dont know much about them, but was wondering if someone could help me out with the best breeds for younger children, of course i would be taking care of the cleaning, feeding. My children play very soft and friendly with animals, so i dont doubt he or she wouldnt be safe. And if anyone knows of a good breeder site, that would be lovely. If you could help me asap, his birthday is in a week, but i wanted to get it for him, for his late birthday present. Please please help! Its a needed member in a little family.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:46 PM
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Are your kids looking for a cuddly pet? Most toddlers want to snuggle rabbits but a lot of rabbits don't enjoy being held (many downright hate it). Just be aware of that. I personally feel that rabbits aren't good pets for young children but it's good that you're aware that you'll be the ultimate caretaker. Also be aware that they'll probably lose interest and you could easily have the rabbit for 10 years. The rabbit should be spayed or neutered (make sure you locate a good rabbit vet ahead of time), too.

Check out http://www.rabbit.org and feel free to ask questions. I would look into rescues first--they can tell you the individual personality of the rabbit and most come fixed already. Keep in mind that some rescues may not adopt out a rabbit as a children's pet...make it clear that the rabbit is for you.

Breed shouldn't matter too much but avoid breeds that require a lot of grooming (unless you're up to it) like angoras, jersey woolies, lionheads, etc. Also avoid tiny dwarf breeds, they're too fragile for kids. A larger rabbit like a New Zealand would be better. A New Zealand would be too large for the kids to actually hold but they're study and calm (remember, they shouldn't be picking up the rabbit anyways).

Definitely do your research and maybe consider another, more child-friendly animal.
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:07 AM
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FlickeringHope FlickeringHope is offline
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Yeah..like maybe a Syrian hamster. Syrians were the first pets I was ever given the responsibility of taking care of, and I grew to love them very much that I still love them. And they gave me some of the best moments growing up that I ever had.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:02 AM
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I have to ditto Sasami. I volunteer with a rabbit rescue and the majority of the animals we receive are abandoned children's pets. Rabbits really don't like to be held and cuddled.

Additionally, they will systematically destroy your house. I spent 2 hours with a new adopter rabbit proofing everything and when she'd had them a month she called me and told me that she'd ran to the bathroom while they were playing only to lose two $50 phone cords and the corner of her mother's fine china cabinet.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:25 AM
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I have to agree,rabbits are usually not good children pets,despite what books and pet stores tell you.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:18 PM
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Purple-Hops Purple-Hops is offline
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I think rabbits are a BIG maintenance pet. IMO the money and time speant on them is far more than the return love you'll ever receive. My bunny Acacia (in my sig pic) is still the one to run from me to avoid being picked up and she's almost 4!! In relation to caring for it for the kids, my 6 yeard old niece likes to help out feeding the bunnies and offering treats and she loves to pet them (or tey to when they're out) but she gets bored of them and forgets sometimes that loud sounds from toys and squealing can really terrify a bunny.
Also, I would personally opt for a shelter since there are hundreds of thousands of bunnies dumped there annually. The shelter can help you pick out an abandoned bunny who is good around children or has a calm disposition. If you have'nt done ANY research yet then you want to start ASAP! And like someone above mentioned, you want to scope out a bunny-savvy vet because of their delicate body and veins and the like a regular vet might end up hurting your rabbit!
Good luck and keep us updated!
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:52 PM
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Hello i see your from Chicago , i live in Crown Point IN and i currently have a young female lionhead up for adopton with her cage , water bottle, food dish ect. Shes still very little, but is a sweet heart! my 1 year old daughter grabs her fur and pets her and she doesnt mind a bit If you are still interested in adopting a rabbit let me know im sure we can set something up!
Danielle Sharp.
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Old 10-30-2010, 03:22 PM
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BlancDeHotot BlancDeHotot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shyknees View Post
Hi everyone, i am in need of some help. Im buying a bunny for my 3 year old little daughter, and 2 year old son. They are so intrigued and have been asking for it, for months now. I dont know much about them, but was wondering if someone could help me out with the best breeds for younger children, of course i would be taking care of the cleaning, feeding. My children play very soft and friendly with animals, so i dont doubt he or she wouldnt be safe. And if anyone knows of a good breeder site, that would be lovely. If you could help me asap, his birthday is in a week, but i wanted to get it for him, for his late birthday present. Please please help! Its a needed member in a little family.


Even the most gentle of toddlers may kill a bunny. When my sister was seven, she wanted a bunny more than anything and she even did research on them. We got her a bunny. She took good care of it for the first few months, but then lost interest. The bunny nearly died of starvation because she wouldn't clean after it. Here is some info on the cost of a bunny from binkybunny.com



HOUSING = $150
(Average if using cubes or pens)
Most cages that are sold "for rabbits" are usually much too small for an adult rabbit, not to mention they can be double the average price above. According to the House Rabbit Society, cages/pens should be at least four times the size of your bunny - more if confined for large amounts of time each day. (Rabbits should get a LEAST three hours a day of free exercise time)

Remember flooring too for your bunny! Even if you use a pen, you'll still want to have some sort of water proof flooring like sheet vinyl or chloroplast to make cleaning up easy.


FOOD & WATER DISHES = $12
($6 each)
Avoid the plastic cheap light-weight bowls. Rabbits will accidentally AND intentionally overturn those. NOTE: Replace plastic water bottles annually.



See the litterboxes we sell!

BASIC LITTER BOX ($6) & SCOOP($3) = $9

Litter boxes can go up in price dramatically with screens, covers and protective edge attachments (for the diggers!). Also, at some point, they do become smelly even when cleaned regularly, so you will have to eventually replace it.

I recommend a solid scoop since rabbit litter is not the kind that can be sifted (Never use clay, dusty,clumping type litters for rabbits)


Available at BinkyBunny

HAY RACK = $10

You can get some really neat fancy ones that keep the hay from getting everywhere, or buy ones that are more basic, metal or wood, but still work great for a hungry bunny!



Mini Haven at BinkyBunny

HIDEY HOUSE = $12

Rabbits, being prey animals, like to to have hidey houses. Options include:

Make it from safe woods (redwood is toxic to bunnies)
Get a plastic storage tub and cut TWO entry/exit holes in it. Be sure to sand off any sharp edges
Purchase a hidey box from a pet store/rabbit store
Plain old (non-dyed) cardboard can work too.
If you use a pen, don't place a flat topped hidey house near the edge of an xpen (doubles an escape launch pad)


See our "Quiet Time Beds"


SOFT BEDDING = $15
Don't put your bunny on wire flooring as this can cause sore hocks. Make sure to have a flat surface and soft bedding in any cage/pen for a place to lounge. This can be anything from soft bedding from a petstore, a throw blanket, or a yard or two of fleese from a fabric store.

NOTE: Some materials can shed fibers and cause serious digestive problems. Pull on the the material to check if fibers come loose easily. Also some bunnies may eat the material. You will need to switch to another type of bedding if that is the case. (trial and error)



Check out BinkyBunny Toys

TOYS = $15

Rabbits do play, and good rabbit toys cater to the "prey behaviors of bunnies. Foraging, chewing, and exploring are top on the list. It's best to buy a few toys and alternate them to prevent boredom. For some inexpensive homemade options check out our Bunny Toy Test.

This will be more of a frequent replacement - may not be monthly, but at least every 2-3 months.


NAIL CARE = $13.50

Nail Clippers = 6.00 Syptic Powder = 7.50

Learn how to clip nails in Monthly Maintenance



See the hairbuster comb

BRUSH OR COMB = $6.00

It's important to keep rabbits groomed. A once a week brushing (or more during molts) helps prevent digestive issues.


CORD COVERS - $10

You have to get your cords up and out of the way or cover them. Rabbits will chew through them which can cause damage to your stuff, fire hazards and can also seriously hurt your bunny! There are many versions of cord covers. I use corrugated flexible tubing which you can find online or at your local hardware store. Learn how to Bunny Proof your Home


SMALL CARRIER = $25
Carrier styles and prices vary greatly! - From the basic (left) to fancy, colorful, and even air-conditioned. I advise against the cheap cardboard carriers as a determined rabbit will chew right threw those in just minutes.



One Time/Occasional TOTAL = $247.50




MONTHLY COSTS



Mini-bales at BinkyBunny

HAY = $15/month

Rabbits should have access to fresh hay available 24 hours a day. Hay provides the roughage/fiber that is needed to keep their digestive tract moving. Rabbits can’t cough up hairballs like cats, and can become seriously ill if their digestive system becomes sluggish or stops. Hay is vital for a healthy digestive system. Young rabbits under 7 months can have alfalfa. Adult rabbits should get grass hays, like Timothy, Orchard, Oat and/or mixtures. You can save $$ by buying in large quantities and storing hay properly. (Hay needs to breathe to prevent mold. A cardboardbox or large laundry bag are best. Plastic bins are okay if you get in and out of it alot -- you can also drill a few holes throughout to allow for some airflow.)



Veggie/Fruit List

GREENS/VEGGIES = $40/month

See Diet page for appropriate amounts (avg 1.5 cups minimum daily)
Greens should be slowly introduced at about 3 months old


PELLETS = $4.50/month
(Based on 10# bag that should last af few months)



Recommended Nutritional Value


Fiber 18% minimum (20 -25% best)

Fat 1 - 2% max,

Protein 12 - 14% max (long-haired breeds may need higher)

Calcium 1% max
It's important to choose a healthy pellet, not the cheapest.
Avoid pellets that have dried fruit, cereal, seeds & nuts!

LITTER = $20/month

Some of my favorite litters include Aspen Supreme, Yesterdays News and Carefresh (carefresh is a soft litter - perfect for bunnies, like Rexes that are prone to sore hocks

Stay away from clumping & dusty cat litters, corn based, and pine shavings as these can cause serious health risks. (compressed pine pellets are okay)

Bargain Tip: Wood stove pellets are usually cheap and a great alternative to some of the more expensive litter brands.


PET FRIENDLY CLEANING SOLUTIONS = $2/month

Unlike other free range animals, rabbits are many times limited to a particular space, so it is very important to use to rinse well even with pet friendly cleaners.

Home solution: White Vinegar/Water (50/50) is wonderful in combating urine stains and odor. Rabbits urine can have a strong amonia smell and the vinegar mix combats these very well! However, since vinegar is very acidic, you will need an industrial plastic bottle otherwise you may find that an ordinary spray botte's nozzle may stop working. I find using both the vinegar mix and Nature's Miracle works best in preventing "remarking".

Monthly TOTAL = $81.50



ADDITIONAL COSTS NOT INCLUDED IN COST CALCULATIONS







VET CARE

The likelyhood of any pet needing vetcare in their lifetime is high. Rabbits are no exception. And it can be very expensive.(Check out this forum discussion about some actual vet costs members had to deal with).

Remember, you are paying for the vet, not the pet. Not to mention that you need to make sure your vet is rabbit-savvy. You may be suprised to learn that rabbits are actually considered an "exotic". A rabbit-savvy vet will have the extra schooling for "exotics" to treat rabbits. The exotic title is due in part to the the fact that rabbits react differently to anethesia than predator animals, like cats and dogs. Also some treatments and antiobiotics that would be safe for a cat are dog, can be deadly to rabbits. Dental issues are also common, especially in dwarf breeds, and this can be very expensive over time with regular check-ups, tooth trims, and/or surgeries. This equals into hundreds to even thousands of dollars.

Rabbit's hide illness very well, and by the time you notice something is wrong, it can be serious. Waiting to bring your bunny to the vet, due to lack of funds, can put your bunny at serious risk. I recommend getting pet insurance (VPI covers rabbits $12/mnth). Be sure to save a few hundred dollars for emergency care.

There are also credit cards, like "Care Credit", that can only be spent on health care and vet care. Not all vets take these, but many do - check with yours. For me this system works out well, as I can put the vet bill on the credit card, file a claim with the insurance, which normally pays out by the time my credit card is due. Every little bit helps.

Bargain Tip: Adopt a bunny from a rabbit rescue or animal shelter. Most are already spayed/neutered ($150 savings!) and have had a vet check-up and/or sometimes will give you a coupon for a free checkup .

LIFESAVER NOTE: PLEASE get Emergency Vet references and figure out who is available around you that is ALSO an EMERGENCY vet. BEFORE an emergency ever happens. It can be harder to find rabbit-savvy Emergency vets and rabbits can go downhill very quickly. You don't want to be spending precious time trying to do the search when your bunny may be fighting for its life. Get a list of vet references, talk to them personally, and keep phone numbers and directions nearby so you can just focus on getting there in times of urgency.


TIME

The value of exercise, love and attention is priceless. Unlike cats or dogs who will verbally announce their dissatisfaction, a dissatisfied rabbit may act out or just sit in his cage all day. Silence does not equal satisfaction. Rabbits need freedom, exercise and attention everyday.


TREATS

Treats are definitely not a necessity, and you do have to be careful with how much you give a rabbit, but given in moderation, it's a great way to bond with your bunny. Plus, c'mon how many people don't give treats to their animal companions. It's a human thing! Just be sure to look for the healthiest possible. Fresh fruit and herbs are best, and be sure to check the ingredients of store bought treats to make sure they are not too high in fat and sugar.

So if this didn't scare ya off, you might just be ready for the "cute" high.

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Old 11-01-2010, 08:36 AM
NuggetBunner NuggetBunner is offline
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Another note-- even if your children play carefully with animals, a bunny may not play carefully with your children. Most bunnies struggle when being picked up and they can kick with such force that they'll break their own spines and will certainly scratch whomever is picking them up. Some bunnies bite when going through puberty or even into adulthood, and as the mommy of a very grumpy buck (who can't be neutered yet due to medical reasons), I can tell you that bunny bites HURT. A LOT.

Rabbits are not docile pieces of fluff who will just sit quietly in your lap, and they are definitely not pets for children. They are highly opinionated, vindictive, and stubborn, and it takes a lot of time and work to bond with a bunny enough that it will trust you fully and allow you to (sometimes) pick it up and snuggle with it.

That said, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my bunny, but I am 23 years old and all of my spare time is spent bonding with him and taking care of him. He's also somewhat pricey...so far it's been $320 in vet bills and he hasn't even been fixed yet.
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Old 11-01-2010, 04:32 PM
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A spay alone cost me 237.00$. That was not including 2 checkup's, bloodwork, and post-op care (she stopped eating and required pain relief and Critical Care) so if I added all my receipts together it probably would have cost me 400$. That was also 3 1/2 years ago!
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