Fuzzy, warm, and cuddly! That’s why bunnies are popular pets among kids and kids-at-heart.
Rabbits, in general, make fine pets. But not all breeds are good with children. Even with their (mostly) easygoing temperament and friendly demeanor, some rabbits are just not the ideal ones to have with kids.
Let’s list some factors you should consider when bringing in a new pet.
Factors to Consider When Choosing A Child-Friendly Rabbit
All 49 bunny breeds are unique and amusing in their own way. But not all are child-friendly.
So, here are the factors to consider when choosing a companion rabbit for your child:
Small children and rabbits…doesn’t sound like a pretty combination.
Unless your child is a bit older (7 years and up), and you’ve got a lot of time overseeing both, perhaps you should wait a few years more.
There’s also the risk of both your loves having an injury.
Your startled bun might scratch your kid, or your kid could accidentally mishandle your bun resulting in leg/back injury.
But it’s up to you and your family. Some families are having a great time living with a rabbit.
As for the rabbit’s age, it’s best if you get a rabbit that’s at least old enough to be neutered or spayed. Hormonal surges can cause bad temperaments, random peeing and even aggressive behavior. A neutered bun is a happier pet, plus they’re easier to litter train.
When it comes to size, should you get a smaller or bigger breed for your child?
A general rule of thumb is that giant rabbit breeds are more friendly and laid-back and less flighty and nervous than smaller ones.
Most people think that because the smallest breeds are tiny, they would be easy to take care of.
On the contrary, the smallest ones are wildly active. They are also usually the ones who aren’t friendly with small kids, not because of their size but because of their temperament.
Because a child gets attached easily, you should also take note of the rabbit’s lifespan.
Get your child a companion rabbit with a long lifespan and a delightful personality. This way, everyone’s happy.
Note: Giant breeds usually have a 4-6 year lifespan.
Now, below is a list of all the child-friendly breeds of rabbits arranged according to size.
Top 8 Most Child-Friendly Rabbit Breeds
Dwarf and Small Rabbits
As I’ve mentioned earlier, due to their small size, dwarf and small rabbits are perfect pets for older children:
Dutch rabbits weigh around 3-3.5 pounds (11”-14” body length). What’s unique about them is their dark head with white stripes starting from their nose toward the face.
Plus, they also have a white band all over their middle.
Dutch rabbits capture a fur parent’s hearts with their tranquil nature and striking intelligence–young and old alike.
Because they can be quite the hoppers, you need to help them get their bodies moving by playing with them or just letting them roam around your garden.
- Holland Lop
Here’s a rabbit that could become the next fur baby in your household. They’re obedient. And like the Dutch rabbits, they’re also intelligent and crave human attention!
Therefore, get ready to entertain them!
Holland lops weigh just around 2.5-4.5 pounds. Their coats can be a variety of colors, from grey to white to brown.
But make sure to regularly check their teeth (if they have overgrown teeth), their coat (if it has feces or urine), among others.
Note from Every Bunny Welcome: our Holland Lop joined our family when our youngest was 7, so smaller buns can make good pets for young kids. Just keep an eye on kids who aren’t familiar with bunnies – picking them up should be discouraged as they can be dropped (and badly injured).
Lionheads are cute and captivating–in terms of their weight (up to 3.75 pounds, 8-10 inches long) and appearance.
Their unique long wooled coat (2-3 inches; available in various colors) around their neck and ears, similar to that of the lion, is what sets them apart.
This coat is also present around their face and hind legs. So, they need regular brushing.
Like the previous child-friendly rabbits above, it’s also possible to train Lionheads. They’re well-mannered but can be quite aggressive at times.
- Mini Rex
Mini Rex’s (3-4.25 lbs., 10.5”-12.5” long), like the Lionheads, have their own way of standing out. They don’t have a mane, but they do have short but plush fur.
Because of their short underfur (or guard hairs), they are more sensitive to cold weather temps.
When you opt for this breed, ensure that you give them a nice warm spot inside the house or, if kept in outdoor housing, more insulation by adding straw or placing their cage in a heated space.
Aside from extra warmth, a Mini Rex also needs you to provide him with a resting board.
Rex rabbits are more prone to calluses around their footpads. This is because they lose fur in this area quicker than other breeds.
- Mini Lops
Mini lops are like a smaller version of French Lop. They weigh up to 6.5 pounds.
While their fur can be several shades of colors, their huge ears that flop down are the ones unique to them and other lop rabbits.
Aside from these attractive features, they are also soft-hearted and are drawn to people.
But here’s the kicker: Expect them to be devoted to you and be sensitive to your feelings.
When it comes to caring for them, you should be more attentive to their flopped ears as they could be susceptible to ear mites and other infections.
If you’ve got a space for a little one in your home, consider a Havana rabbit.
Here are the reasons why:
They are short and compact and weigh around 4.5-6.4 pounds. Havanas can have silky black, blue, or chocolate coats.
They are bright and not aggressive. Thus, capable of being house-trained and will do well in positive reward-based training.
They also have lots of energy! So, be ready to be creative when it comes to creating or buying toys for them. Also, make sure you have enough space for them to hop around.
Crossed between Chinchilla and Himalayan, the Californian rabbit is quite an energetic rabbit. They may be shy at first, but if you spend enough time with them, you’ll get to know their personality.
Californian rabbits weigh around 8-10 pounds. Looking like a siamese cat, they’re white except the ears, nose, feet, and tail area.
Due to their dense coat, you can take care of them either indoors or outdoors. When you put them outside–check their coats regularly for fly eggs, especially during summer.
- French Lops
French lops are enormous, but they’re also quite a lovely companion because they’re affectionate and have a mellow and laid-back personality.
So, it isn’t surprising that they are one of the favorites as a companion rabbit.
On the downside, due to their weight (at least 11 lbs), they are more likely to have a skin problem called sore hocks. It’s best if you have a resting board ready for them.
French lops also need time to roam around. But you don’t have to keep them outside. Bring them inside after giving them time to jump around.
And due to their size–you need to have a larger cage, nesting boxes, etc.
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