As Easter approaches, so do the annual commentaries about concerns with people buying "Easter bunnies" (the real variety, not the chocolate version) without knowing what they are getting into. It’s a big problem because a lot of spontaneous Easter bunny purchases end up abandoned at humane societies (or worse) after a few months.

In general, rabbits can be great pets. However, they have special management needs, and they can live for a relatively long time (years), so people need to think about whether a rabbit is the right pet for them, and whether they can (or will) look after it properly for the duration of its life.

Rabbits are pretty low risk in terms of zoonotic disease transmission. There are a few concerns but these are typically quite manageable with pretty basic hygiene measures. Knowing how to properly handle a rabbit is very important to prevent scratches (and bites) to the handler, and potentially serious injuries to the rabbit. For more information and a video about safe rabbit handling, see the previous Worms & Germs post entitled "Safe Rabbit Handling – For You And Your Rabbit".

Easter may be as good a time as any to get a rabbit – if it’s not a spontaneous decision and you’ve really put some serious thought into it. Part of that process needs to include finding out about ways to reduce the risk of illness and injury associated with rabbits. This type of information can be found in the rabbit information sheets on the Worms & Germs Resources page.