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The Highcroft Blog

The Rabbit List

Friday, April 10, 2015

Rabbits need a lot of time and commitment. They have been known to live up to at least 10 years old and can cost as much as a cat or dog to keep. Despite being the third most popular pets in the UK, rabbits are still one of the most neglected domestic animals. If you are considering buying or adopting a rabbit, please consider the following bunny care checklist:

  • Hutch and living space – according to the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund, rabbit hutches should be a minimum of 6ft x 2ft x 2ft with an attached run of at least 8ft. Your bunny must be able to easily stand on their hind legs without being hindered. So make sure you have enough space in your garden for your bunny’s home. Be sure to provide toys inside the hutch to avoid boredom.

  • Company – rabbits are highly sociable animals and prefer to have a companion. Ideally, house a neutered male and neutered female together. Guinea Pigs and other small furries don’t make the best friends for rabbits however.

  • Core Diet – hay and grass is an essential food for rabbits to optimise dental health and should make up the majority of their diet. If also feeding commercial pellets, 1-2 tablespoons a day (depending on the breed) is plenty. Of course, make sure fresh water is available at all times.

  • Greens – your rabbit’s diet should also be supplemented with leafy greens and herbs as a nice treat.

  • Vaccinations – like cats and dogs, rabbits also need an annual vaccination against Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD).

  • Flystrike protection – flystrike is when flies lay their eggs on your pet, which if left undected can hatch in to maggots and literally eat your rabbit alive. Preventative fly repellents such as Rearguard® are available from your vet.

  • Neutering – Up to 95% of female rabbits develop uterine cancer before the age of 4 years. Neutering before this age is the only way to prevent this. Neutering male rabbits will prevent testicular cancer, prostatic disease and unwanted sexual behaviour.

  • Pet insurance – many insurance companies now offer policies for rabbits. Veterinary treatment can be very costly if your rabbit becomes seriously unwell so we recommend taking out insurance straight away.

Don’t forget, we offer free new rabbit health checks as well as free nurse clinics for bunnies. Our Exotic Species team also includes experts in rabbit medicine, so your bunny is in great hands here at Highcroft.


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