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Easter and baby animals are synonymous. But pet expert Peggy Frezon has a few cautions for a healthy and happy Easter.
Floppy-eared rabbits and soft baby chicks are soooo adorable, and practically impossible to resist at Easter time. However, bringing a new pet into the home for the holiday may not be such a great idea.
Typical Easter animals aren’t well suited for everyone. Also, holiday impulse buys lead to many pets being returned or abandoned after the excitement wears off. Here are some things to know about Easter pets, and a few alternatives.
1. Bunny Rabbit
I’ve owned rabbits, and they were sweet and friendly. If you truly want a pet rabbit, know that they need a fairly large cage, regular cleaning and daily attention. Rabbits aren’t a great match for young children, as they are fidgety and may kick or scratch. Bunny Buddies recommends keeping pet rabbits inside, since those locked away in hutches outside are more likely to become ignored.
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2. Baby Chick
If you live on a farm or in an area that allows farm animals, then raising chickens could be for you. But most others shouldn’t bring baby chicks home for Easter. Just think: what are you going to do with that cute little fluff ball when it becomes a large, messy chicken?
In addition, the Center for Infectious Diseases warns that many chicks carry salmonella bacteria, which is dangerous especially to children.
I always wanted a pet duck. I had this idea of keeping it in a plastic kiddie swimming pool in my yard. But I’m glad I never got one, because I really knew nothing about keeping a duck. Ducks need room to roam and swim. They need to be kept safe from neighborhood dogs and other predators. They’re messy. And like chicks, they can carry the salmonella bacteria.
4. Stuffed Toy
So if you’ve done all your research and decided that a bunny, chick or duckling is not right for you this Easter, what can you do? For young children (okay, adults like them too!) why not substitute a plush pet? A floppy bunny or fluffy chick toy will look almost as cute, and be a lot less work!
5. Sponsored Animal
Live animals still can be a part of your Easter. You usually get a certificate when you sponsor an animal, and you can pop that into the Easter basket. Sponsoring helps pay for the food and veterinary care of animals in need. For a donation of only $25, you can sponsor a pet through Best Friends Animal Society. Or check with your local zoo or animal shelter.
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Although not as inherently cute as a bunny, a gift of seeds was another way my mom taught me about new life. Watching them grow always helped me connect to the Easter season.
Happy Easter from me and Kelly!
Peggy Frezon, freelance writer and pet lover, has owned dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, hermit crabs, turtles and fish. Visit here twice monthly to read helpful tips on caring for your pets and check out her blog.