This year might be the year you head home on easter with a baby bunny or little chick, but make sure you’re ready for that kind of commitment. Dr. Beckey Holifield is a Veterinarian in Crystal Springs and says that while it might be a cute idea, people need to remember that they are not stuffed animals.
“They are not made to just come sit in the basket and then just throw around in the backyard,” Holifield said.
Holifield added that parents should also be cautious and ensure that the rabbit or chicks don’t scratch the children.
“It’s not as common in this area, but there are some diseases you can carry back and forth,” Holifield said. “The biggest problem would be parasites. Children don’t realize that they don’t need to put their hands in their mouth after they handle an animal.”
Holifield also cautions that if you decide to dye a chick or a duck pink or green, you need to make sure that the dye is natural and will not harm the animal.
“Doing it the proper way and using the right product to dye them is not as bad, but it’s still misleading because the kids are wanting something cute, ‘look I have a pink or a purple duck,’ and then next week it’s white again and they are all upset. So, they need to understand what they are getting as well.”
Holifield said that parents and grandparents should do their own research on the products that they will be using to dye the chicks or ducks to make sure that they will be safe and then look up the proper way to dye the animal as well so that they will not drown by dunking them in the dye.
Above all, Holifield said that people need to consider the animals before buying them on the spur of the moment for a cute addition to the Easter basket.
“Know what you’re getting into,” Holifield said. “Know that it is a commitment to that animal. It is not just a weekend pet that is cute for Easter. Know that you are doing a lifetime commitment for that animal for the housing and the welfare of it. That you are going to treat it with care, the same way that you would want to be treated.”