That cute little chick or the cuddly fuzzy bunny are living beings who will grow up to be adult chickens and rabbits. So, before making your Easter gift purchase, consider this:
Chicks – there are zoning laws and chickens are considered livestock. They are difficult to house train. Baby chicks need a heat source, a special diet, and water presented safely so they don’t drown. Chickens come in various sizes and when full grown will weigh between one pound (Banties) and ten pounds (Giant Jerseys).
Pet chickens have an average life span of 15 years so the commitment doesn’t end after the cute chick is no longer yellow.
Bunnies – first, they’re destructive. If you keep them indoors, they pull up carpet, gnaw on baseboards, chew on power cords, rip up books and nibble on clothing. They also urinate and leave droppings everywhere, even if you give them their own litter box (the urine has a very strong odor and leaves a chalky residue). They can be mean to humans and other animals in the house and they bite. I know this, because I have owned rabbits and recently rabbit sat for a friend whose bunny bit me several times. Rabbits are NOT low-maintenance – cages require daily cleaning, they must eat special pellets, and they need hay, fresh vegetables and fruit every day. They are not especially affectionate but are very social so they require a lot of interaction with humans.
Rabbits live between five and fifteen years depending upon the breed. All rabbits MUST be spayed or neutered by a registered veterinarian and they may require vaccinations depending upon where you live.
If you still want a rabbit, and are willing to commit to caring for them their entire lifetime, please adopt from a shelter or rabbit rescue group. There are thousands of homeless rabbits in the phoenix area alone. To adopt a bunny in the Phoenix area, contact:
Chocolate – if you walk on all fours and have fur, the caffeine-like ingredient in chocolate, Theobromine could kill you!
Here is some information that will help determine what course of action should be taken if they should your furry family member does get into the chocolate:
Know that the higher the cocoa content, the more toxic the chocolate becomes to your animals.
1 ounce of Milk Chocolate is toxic per 1 pound of body weight
1 ounce of Semisweet Chocolate is toxic per 3 pounds of body weight
1 ounce of Baker’s Chocolate is toxic per 9 pounds of body weight
2 ounces of Baker’s Chocolate can put your 15 pound dog at great risk, while 2 ounces of Milk Chocolate will usually cause simple digestive problems.
The clinical signs of chocolate toxicity are:
Increased heart rate
If you pet does ingest any chocolate and exhibits any of these signs, contact one of the poison control hotlines listed here, then get your pet to a vet.
So, be sure to have your kids keep all chocolate bunnies and eggs away from your pets, and buy them stuffed bunnies and chicks!
Here’s hoping your whole family has a safe Easter.
NOTE: The “doggit” in the photo is my Grand dog, Bodi, and he does not like the bunny ears.