The DOs and DON’Ts of buying pets for your kids

As some of you may have seen from the endless social media updates (mainly of me moaning), we have adopted rabbits.  Two boy lop ear beauties called Biscuit and Blue.  It was love at first sight.  For me, not the kids.  Coco was crying and wanted to go home.  Raffy was chasing chickens.  So I made the call – we were buying the rabbits – and this is how we became official pet owners (if you don’t already count the feral kids).

Now I pretty much entirely blame my mum for this decision.  You see, we had a pet rabbit as a kid called Rosie, who I faintly remember, but over the years my mum has spoon fed me magical memories of what it was like living with a pet.  “Rosie was sooooo friendly,” my mum would say.  “She was soooooo gorgeous,” she would continue.  Allowing my slightly over-excited mind to conjure up images of, what might as well have been, the Easter rabbit hopping gently around our garden nibbling grass and occasionally coming in for snuggles.  I can confirm Ladies and Gents that the reality is somewhat different.  So for any mad parents currently contemplating buying a pet, allow me to set the record straight.

Here are a few helpful hints to consider:

Sensible/sane people DON’T BUY A PET BECAUSE IT’S CUTE

Sensible/sane people know THE KIDS DON’T CARE

Us lot: we were blinded by optimism, as per.  I’m pretty good at dishing out rational advice to friends, but when it comes to my own family I tend to just hope for the best and wing it.  Now the kids are still showing some mild interest, but the initial excitement of saying good morning to the rabbits and giving them their dinner has bottomed out faster than their testosterone levels (sorry again boys!) As most people would predict, mum and dad (aka dumb and dumber) have been lumbered with all the fun stuff like shovelling rabbit shit and remaining on fox watch for half the day – fun times!


BUT despite the fact I will now ALWAYS retain the scent of Eau de Hay and my jeans now host grass and mud stains alongside the usual baked beans and bananas, I actually love the rabbits and the life that comes with them.  The few hours before dinner when the kids are normally climbing the walls and kicking the crap out of each other, they’re now on rabbit watch, playing in the garden instead.  The rabbits actually give us a purpose and encourage us all to get some fresh air and exercise, rather than relying on Nick Jr to get us through the witching hour.  The kids, despite not giving a hoot on a day-to-day level, become proud when they talk about their pets and Coco is convinced it’s just a matter of days before the producers from “My Pet and Me” come knocking.  Raffy is now known as Darla (the over zealous pet fanatic in Finding Nemo) but the hope is that, rather than killing the rabbits, they will help him to become more gentle and I’m happy to report it’s far so good!

So for any parents considering buying a pet for their kid, my advice would be do it!  Just try not to get caught up in the cuteness and think it through first.

Gemma x



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