|Lifespan:||Medium (8 to 12 years)|
They're furry, cute, and often thought to be a perfect pet for children--but rabbits are actually better suited for adults than kids. Younger children, especially, will want to cuddle and hold their pet, but rabbits aren't usually suited or open to such interaction. They are a natural prey animal, easily startled, and it's imperative that these fragile animals are properly held. Also, since they are at the bottom of the food chain, you should proceed with caution if you already have another pet, especially a larger one like a cat or dog. So, if you're thinking about getting your child a pet rabbit for Easter, for example, make sure you are making an informed decision--many rabbits (especially around that time of year) become neglected and abandoned when they cannot be properly cared for.
While it may be tempting to keep your rabbit's cage outdoors, it's probably best to keep your furry friend in the house, allowing you to interact and bond with your pet. The larger the cage is, the better--aim for at least four times the size of your rabbit. Also, it's very important that your rabbit gets out of its cage for daily, supervised exercise, so rabbit-proof your house accordingly (they love to chew!) Rabbits generally keep themselves very clean, and baths are rarely recommended or needed for these water-fearing animals. Regular brushing and nail trimming, however, is important. Also, be on the alert for a variety of health conditions, including eye infections, obesity, digestive disorders, respiratory problems, and parasites (ask your vet how to go about treating them--many flea and mite solutions are not safe for rabbits). Make sure to get your rabbit spayed or neutered, and regularly check with your veterinarian with any other questions you have about the health or care of your pet.
For more information about rabbit ownership and care, check out Rabbit.org.