Consider responsibilities before buying Easter pets

Every Easter season, families flock to pet and home improvement stores to purchase a lively, colorful alternative to chocolate rabbits and baskets of candy – bunnies, ducklings and chicks.

Sadly, the majority of these animals become anything but a family pet or farm animal. According to the Humane Society of America, an estimated 30 percent of these Easter pets die while another 60-70 percent are abandoned or turned over to shelters.

If you do not plan to acquire one of these animals for the long haul – that means cleaning and feeding daily and also seeking proper medical treatment when needed – be a responsible adult and opt for the chocolate rabbit. On top of the dangers to the animals, bunnies, ducklings and chicks come with unexpected needs, expenses and dangers that aren’t for the typical family. For example, chicks and ducklings can carry salmonella, which is highly contagious to children

Consider these other facts:

Rabbits – Rabbits live about seven to 10 years and often do not do well in households with young children. They do not like to be lifted off the ground and are delicate. They also like to chew and dig. If you get multiple rabbits, it’s important to have them all spayed and neutered before introductions. Furthermore, multiple rabbits in a house don’t always get along and can fight. Weekly expenses can be as high as $20 between hay and fresh veggies, excluding occasional expenses such as treats, toys, litter box filler, pellets, etc.

Ducks – Ducks live an average eight to 15 years and are very social, so having more than one duck might be necessary if you do not have extra time to spend with them. While ducklings need to be kept in an indoor pen/cage for the first few weeks, older ducks require plenty of space and shelter to keep them safe from predators.

Chickens – Chickens live about five to eight years. They obsessively scratch, peck and dig holes in the soil. Roosters are very noisy, which is something to consider as well.

Pets are part of the family but like any family member, they require responsibility. If you are not planning on being a responsible pet owner and teaching your child to do the same, save your money and spend it on candy this Easter.

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Posted by on Mar 28 2013. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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