What you should know before you buy the bunnyComments 6 | 1
April 02, 2010 11:49 AM
It might be tempting to have a live bunny in the Easter basket this year, but those buying Peter Cottontails need to know how to take care of their furry friends, sellers say.
Here is some advice from a rabbit breeder and pet store owner before you buy the bunny.
Think before you buy
“Don’t buy it for Easter because Easter’s here,” said Frank Kowalczyk, co-owner of Otto’s Pet Center in Lincolnton.
A bunny buy should happen because a person is ready for the responsibility of a pet. A rabbit can live for five years, he said.
“It’s a serious commitment,” Kowalczyk said.
Make sure the bunny is at least 8 weeks old, said Sonya Somerville, who co-owns Hippity Hop Parties and More.Com with her daughter Shauna. State law requires that a bunny is at least 8 weeks old, and a baby bunny younger than that can develop health problems because they still need their mother’s milk, Somerville said.
The main source of food for rabbits is pellets.
“Bunnies do not eat lettuce,” Somerville said. “It will give them diarrhea and they will die.”
Bunnies can have treats like carrots and old-fashioned oats, but their main diet should be pellets, she said.
“You cannot cage the bunnies together,” Somerville said. “One bunny is fine by itself.”
Bunnies put in the same cage will fight, even if they are the same sex.
The more attention bunnies receive, the calmer and tamer they’ll be, Somerville said.
Rabbits are social creatures and need to interact.
“You can’t ignore a rabbit like you can a cat,” Kowalczyk said. “They do need attention.”
Handle with care
Bunnies aren’t recommended for children that don’t know how to handle animals gently, Somerville said.
Kowalczyk said he wouldn’t recommend them for very small children.
“You have to pick a rabbit up carefully,” Kowalczyk said.
You can reach Amanda Memrick at 704-869-1839.