Phone 02920 869928 to book your FREE Bunny Healthcheck with our nurses.
Did You Know?
At least 80% of rabbits are not being fed correctly and unfortunately a poor diet is the most common reason for rabbits becoming ill
30% of pet rabbits are obese
75% of rabbits seen by vets are diagnosed with dental problems
Owning and caring for a rabbit is great fun and very rewarding, but it is a big commitment in terms of care and finances. The following information will set out all the things you need to know in order to keep your bunny happy and healthy.
Rabbits are very active and they need lots of space, including safe spaces to hide, lots of space to hop about, play and explore in, and separate areas to toilet in.
Rabbits need a secure living environment large enough to exercise and stand up fully on their back legs without their ears touching the roof. The hutch needs to be well ventilated and draught free with lots of bedding to stay warm. A toilet area should be provided that is separate from the living area and the housing needs to be regularly cleaned.
Rabbits need constant access to safe places to hide and daily exercise and play outside of the hutch to satisfy their intelligent and inquisitive nature.
The right diet is important for maintaining a rabbit’s health – fibre is key!
Fresh clean water must be provided and checked at least twice a day, and prevented from freezing in winter.
Good quality hay or grass should make up the bulk of your rabbit’s diet and should be constantly available – at least one fresh bundle of hay as big as they are EVERY DAY!
An adult sized handful of safe leafy greens should be given every day – these include: herbs (parsley, mint, basil, etc), vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage, rocket, carrot tops, etc) and weeds (dandelion , leaves, etc).
Pellets should be fed in moderation. You should only feed your rabbits 25g (about a tablespoon full) of pellets per Kg bodyweight. Healthy treats such as carrots and apples should only be fed occasionally.
Rabbits need access to all the things they require (e.g. space, food, water, safe hiding places, companion rabbits, toilet areas and toys) at all times. Rabbits should be offered safe toys to chew and chance to play with other rabbits and people – rabbits are highly social and will become lonely and bored without these interactions
Be observant of your rabbit. If it exhibits any behavior changes such as eating less or not wishing to interact as normal, bring it down for a consultation with our vet.
Rabbits are very social creatures and need appropriate company. Rabbits should be kept with at least one other rabbit. Introduce any new rabbits slowly and under supervision. All rabbits should be neutered to prevent breeding and reduce the likelihood of fighting. Handle your rabbit regularly and gently from an early age so it can learn you are its friend and companion.
Neutering is very important for all rabbits as it reduces the likelihood of fighting and prevents uterine cancer (very common in female rabbits). The correct diet (see above) will help to prevent gut and teeth diseases. Rabbits need to be checked daily for signs of illness/injury. In warm weather especially it is important to check the fur around the bottom daily for feaces or urine which can attract flies and cause potentially fatal fly strike – make an appointment to see our vets if you have any concerns.
Your rabbit should have veterinary checkups at least annually just like your dog or cat. Rabbits should all be vaccinated against the fatal diseases VHD and myxomatosis and should be wormed regularly as directed by the vet.
Bunnies can be microchipped by our vets or nurses in case they escape or get lost.
It is advisable to get your rabbit insured – rabbits can cost just as much as dogs or cats if they become ill or need ongoing veterinary care.
Scallywags for Rabbits
You can also join our Scallywags Health Plan, to spread and reduce the cost of preventative care, and receive discounts on vet’s fees if your rabbit becomes poorly.