It’s almost Easter Weekend and you might be thinking how cute it would be to have a baby bunny or tiny chick in the Easter basket for the kids. It might sound cute, but it’s a commitment.
Every year children wake up on Easter to baskets full of candy, cards, toys, and cash. For some kids there might also be something alive!
Veterinarian Dr. Beckey Holifield of Crystal Springs said that buying a pet for a holiday surprise can be risky.
“The first thing I want people to realize is that animals are not disposable. They are real life animals and you’re making a life commitment, a 10-15 year commitment once you get these pets,” said Dr. Holifield.
Once these animals are brought into a home they need housing, food, exercise and the proper care. They won’t stay small and in the Easter basket forever.
Holifield said that while they’re cute and furry not all animals enjoy being handled. For instance a rabbit, while it can be domesticated, it does not naturally like to be held. This can be a process to make them a “pet.” There are also diseases and illnesses that you can catch from a pet. Animals can carry viruses like salmonella that are easily transmitted by hand to mouth contact.
But say you’re not interested in a bunny, you’ve got your eye set on a colorful chick. You can find them in an assortment of colors like pink, blue, or purple, but that dye might not be the best thing for these little balls of fur.
“Hopefully most of those who are dying them are going through a more human way of doing it. Dying them is not the most humane thing in the world,” said Dr. Holifield.
It might look cute, Dr. Holifield does not recommend the practice.
While a new furry friend might sound like a great idea, if you aren’t ready for the commitment of a live animal, it’s probably safer for everyone to stick to a stuffed one.