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Why you should think twice before adding an 'Easter pet' to the family

Posted at 4:23 PM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 17:23:45-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — With Easter coming, it might be tempting to add a bunny or another 'Easter pet; to the family, but you may want to think twice.

Baby chicks, bunnies, and ducklings might seem like a great way to get into the Easter spirit, but that sentiment won't last long.

Bobby Allcorn, Wildlife biologist, Texas Parks and Wildlife, "They're going to grow. They won't be that small, little chick forever."

"They are cute while they are little and tiny and about three months from now, people are like, 'Oh my gosh. These are real animals,'" Dr. Lori Teller, Clinical Associate Professor, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences said.

In fact, Dr. Lori Teller says most people end up returning these pets about three months after the holiday because people are not prepared.

"It's a good thing to plan out what that's going to look like. Build your chicken coup or build your rabbit hutch. Have the appropriate things in place and ready to go if you truly want these as a pet," Dr. Teller said.

They'll need day-to-day care and vet checks, just like any other pet. Some of these pets, mainly baby chicks, can carry diseases that are contagious to people, like salmonella.

Keep in mind, these pets can live about 10 years, so it's a serious commitment.

"Make sure you have enough space for them. Rabbits, ducklings, they all need a decent amount of space to survive and thrive especially chicks and ducklings. They need to be outside a little bit more as well," Allcorn said.

If you are still invested in getting one of these pets, Dr. Teller recommends talking to your vet and waiting until after the holiday.

"Rabbits and chicks can make great pets but Easter spur of the moment is not the best time to get them," Dr. Teller said.

If you find yourself with one of these pets that you don't want anymore, do not let it out into the wild. Instead, talk to a vet, rescue, or try returning them to the place you got from.