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Easter is a popular time of year to buy a rabbit but it pays to do some research first...

With spring on its way and the weather warming up, Easter is a popular time of year to buy a rabbit.  The association with 'The Easter Bunny' means that they are often purchased as gifts, only to be given up or abandoned soon after, leaving rescue centres across the country struggling to cope with the sudden influx of unwanted rabbits.

Think before you buy

A rabbit is not a toy or a garden ornament.  It is a living, breathing creature with emotions, desires and a very real need for companionship.  Rabbits need to be kept in neutered pairs or as indoor, free range house rabbits - part of the family.  The traditional image of a lone rabbit in a hutch at the foot of the garden is outdated and socially unacceptable.

The cute dwarf, loppy eared rabbit you can't resist in the pet shop has a very real risk of genetic dental disease, which can cost you thousands of pounds.  Rabbits can live for 10 years or more - will your 7 year old child still be interested in a rabbit when he or she is a teenager?  These are just some of the things to consider before buying a rabbit.

Forewarned is forearmed

In the long run, it pays to do a little research.  Rabbits make wonderful pets when they are properly cared for and when their emotional needs are met.  Give your rabbit what it needs and it will give you unconditional love and a lot of entertainment in return.

Helping your child to understand rabbits and what is really going on in their heads is the first step to happy ownership.  There is a fantastic book called Be Bold for Bunnies which is written from a rabbit's viewpoint and helps children and adults understand why rabbits behave the way they do, why they need a particular diet, the importance of healthcare and much, much more.

Proceeds from the book sales go to Bunnies in Baskets, a registered charity providing training and support to therapy rabbits visiting hospitals, care homes, schools and community events.

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