The Easter Bunny

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The first documented use of the bunny as a symbol of Easter appears in Germany in the 1500s. Not surprisingly, it was also the Germans who made the first edible Easter Bunnies in the 1800s. They were not made of chocolate, but of pastry and sugar.

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It is because of this Easter bunny symbol, that the domestic rabbit has been subjected to years of suffering and abuse. So many rabbits bought over the Easter period end up neglected once the novelty of this new pet wears off. While often purchased for children, parents overlook the fact that they are the ones who must be regarded as the primary care givers, not the children. This includes regular daily exercise out of the rabbits habitat, daily grooming, a varied diet that includes, a high fibre pellet, hay and fresh vegetables and chew items to keep the rabbit’s constantly growing teeth worn down.

Contrary to popular belief, the rabbit is not a low-maintenance pet and definitely not a very good “starter” pet for families with small children. Children may be naturally drawn to bunnies as they look so toy-like, but real live bunnies can be easily injured by an over excited child. Toddlers and small children are likely to be too rough, too loud and too unpredictable in their movements to suit the rabbit. A well cared for rabbit has a life span of seven to ten years, something most parents fail to put into practical terms. What parents don’t realise is that their little child is going to be a teenager by the time that this rabbit is grown. By this time they will have different interests, thus leaving the rabbit potentially neglected.

So if you and your child find that cute fuzzy face in the pet shop irresistible, ask yourselves, if you are prepared to love and care for this rabbit for a decade or more. If the answer is yes, then you will find the rewards of rabbit companionship well worth the effort. If your answer is no, rather buy your child a stuffed toy rabbit. Let’s make Easter a joyful time for our long-eared friends.

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