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Proper care for Easter pets

Published 7:00am Friday, April 25, 2014

Every year around Easter, I notice trucks lining the highways and parking lots with cages of baby animals, usually with some innocuous phrase scrawled out on cardboard — “EASTER BUNNIES FOR SALE” or “BABY CHICKS AVAILABLE HERE”.

With a truckload of baby bunnies, who wouldn’t swoon?

“Yes sir, I’ll take… hmm… awww… ALL-OF-THEM. That’s right, I want all of your bunny rabbits. Every. Single. One.”

I promise those pets will make for some adorable pictures on Easter morning.

But what happens after that?

What happens after you’ve posted all the heart-melting pictures to your favorite social media site?

Baby animals grow up, as do all things; and as they grow, they become a substantial responsibility — one that’s easily overlooked when poring over their “adorably tiny cuteness.”

Nevertheless, if you are up to the task, there may be an Easter pet that’s perfect for you.

I do not recommend adopting baby chicks unless you live on a farm and have the facilities to raise chickens; this applies to ducklings, as well, since they require ample room to roam. Be aware that both fowl can carry salmonella and be dangerous to children.

Rabbits, however, make great indoor pets when cared for properly.

If you’ve recently acquired an Easter bunny, here are a few things to know:

1. Pet rabbits can live up to 10 years and require as much care as dogs or cats.

2. It is best to keep them away from small children since rabbits are fragile animals and can break their own spines when struggling.

3. They have very specific dietary and veterinary needs and should be supplied with unlimited hay, in addition to pellets and lots of water.

For more information on rabbit care, please visit www.aspca.org.

Although, I’d recommend using the time and money to sponsor a local shelter animal instead, as this offsets the cost of food and veterinary care for animals in need.

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