Our Top 5 Tips For Taking On A Rabbit
With Easter coming up and Peter Rabbit appearing in cinemas, you may be tempted to adopt a bunny as a cute companion. But did you know that rabbits are actually very sensitive creatures with specific and complex care needs?
Here is our list of the top 5 things to consider before taking on a rabbit:
1 – Lifespan
A healthy, happy domestic rabbit can live for 8-12 years!
This gives them a similar life expectancy as some larger dog breeds, and they need an equal amount of care and attention too.
Bear this in mind when considering adopting rabbits as pets for children and whether they will still be able to care for them 10 years on.
We only recommend taking on a rabbit if the whole family is committed to their care.
2 – Companionship
Rabbits are extremely social animals and if kept alone, they can become bored, anxious and depressed, so we always recommend keeping them in pairs.
It is advisable to get two rabbits from the same litter, as introducing two bunnies can be a long and difficult process, but it can be done! Each rabbit will have their own personality, so it is never guaranteed that any two rabbits will get along, either.
3 – Stimulation
To keep your rabbits mentally and physically healthy, it is important to provide enrichment such as a variety of hides, digging areas, toys, gnaws, and hidden hay/food items to fulfil their natural behavioural instincts.
As well as their hutch and bed area, rabbits should have access to an area to run around in, with approximately enough space for them to do three long hops in a straight line.
4 – Medical Care
Much like cats and dogs, rabbits should have annual health checks and vaccinations to protect them from harmful, but preventable diseases: Myxomatisis and RHD (both One and Two).
It is also important to routinely treat for parasites with products for flystrike and worms.
Rabbits also have open rooted teeth, which means they will constantly grow. To keep them at a reasonable length, they will need materials such as wood and hay that they can nibble on.
5 – Diet
Rabbits are grazers by nature and need to eat small amounts frequently or they can become unwell.
Their diet should consist of around 80-90% grass and hay, 5-15% fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs and only 5% should be a formulated rabbit food.
Rabbits have very sensitive digestive systems and any sudden changes to their food can give them stomach upsets.
Rabbits can be rewarding pets to keep and can make a wonderful addition to a family, but it is important to take the time to understand their needs before making the commitment to take a pair on. Too often rabbits are left without proper care and attention because owners do not appreciate what is involved.
Please take the time to do your research before taking on any new animal, so that they can lead a long, happy, healthy life by your side.
If you have new rabbits please do call us today on 01435 864422 and speak to a member of our team to register them with us and arrange for a check up.