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Guide to Pet Rabbit in Grass

Guide to Owning a Rabbit

Rabbits are sociable, intelligent and loving animals. They love companionship and bond well with humans, making them rewarding pets. There’s a huge variety of breeds you can choose from, including tiny dwarf rabbits and the Flemish giant! Despite their reputation as a children’s pet, rabbits need to be looked after responsibly, and can live over 10 years. Here’s our quick guide to keeping your rabbit a happy bunny.

Companionship

In the wild, rabbits live in large groups with complex social structures. They are intelligent creatures that love companionship, so it’s really important to make sure your rabbit isn’t kept alone. If they are on their own, you need to make sure they get plenty of daily interaction with you, although nothing beats another rabbit for friendship.

Housing your Rabbit

Indoor Rabbits

If you’re keeping your rabbit in a cage, it’s really important that it’s large enough for them to exercise properly. Your rabbit should be able to jump, explore, hide and run, so you’ll need a large hutch with multiple levels. The bedding should be specially made for rabbits, and should also be dust extracted. Keep lots of hay and straw handy, as this provides warm insulation and gives your rabbit somewhere to burrow into.

Rabbits can be easily litter trained, which means they are very happy as house pets. You’ll need to make sure you rabbit proof your house, which includes covering wires, removing anything dangerous to them and keeping plants out of reach. You may want to have an indoor run for times when you’re not in the house. Rabbits are sociable animals, and will love the freedom and companionship that comes with being a house rabbit.

Pet Rabbit Sat in Straw

Outdoor Rabbits

If you’re keeping your rabbits outside, you’ll need a large hutch that gives them the room to jump, explore, hide and run. It should be raised off the ground to keep your rabbit warm, well insulated and weather protected. If you have grass, you’ll want to give your rabbit plenty of access to this, perhaps with a large outdoor run. Make sure that wherever your rabbit is, that they are well protected from natural predators such as foxes. Foxes can dig, so never leave rabbits in a run overnight. They should be secured inside a wooden hutch with solid doors and walls.

Feeding your Rabbit

The majority of your rabbit's diet should be hay. Rabbit’s teeth never stop growing, and gnawing on hay throughout the day helps stop their teeth overgrowing. It’s also really important for keeping their digestive system moving, which is essential for their health. In addition to hay, feed your rabbit dry nuggets to provide them with essential nutrients. You can supplement this with limited amounts of fresh vegetables such as cabbage, carrots and cauliflower leaves.

owning a rabbit guide

Keeping your Rabbit Healthy

Neutering

It’s important to neuter both male and female rabbits. Womb cancers are almost guaranteed in female rabbits that haven’t been neutered, and male rabbits can develop unpleasant behaviours such as urine spraying and aggressiveness if left un-neutered. Speak to your vet about the best option when it comes to neutering your rabbit.

Essential Vaccinations

Every year your rabbit will have to be vaccinated against two fatal diseases. These are Myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD). When you get your rabbit, it’s important to speak to your vet about planning these vaccinations.

Other Health Issues

As rabbits are prey animals, they don’t show obvious signs of serious illness until it’s usually too late. It’s really important to handle and interact with your rabbit regularly so you can detect changes in their behaviour early on. You’ll also need to check that their bottom area is clean daily, as urine or droppings in this area can cause Fly Strike, which is fatal.

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