Rabbits are one of the most popular pets kept in this country, this is due to their amazing character and intelligence. Rabbits are very social animals and love attention from their human friends and also from other rabbits. We would always recommend that male rabbits are neutered as it can help with hormonal behaviour. We would also recommend vaccinating your rabbit against Myxomatosis and rVHD too, especially if the rabbit is going to be housed outside.
Rabbits come in many different breeds and sizes, ranging from small breeds like Netherland Dwarfs that are less than a foot long, to large breeds like Continental Giants that can reach sizes of three foot from nose to tail.
80% of your rabbits diet is hay, as they are fibrevores. Hay aids proper digestion, reduces the chances of them becoming bloated and also keeps their teeth trim. Rabbits teeth grow constantly so if they don't have hay to chew on their teeth could become overgrown. They should always have hay available as they will graze on it all day, this should make up about 80%. We feed our rabbits on two types of hay and also selective rabbit pellets which is a nutritionally complete pellet and reduces the chances of them picking out the bits they like and leaving the bits they don't. You can also put the pellets inside a Kong or a ball to keep meal times fun and enriching, as rabbits are extremely intelligent and love a challenge! You can start introducing fresh vegetables from 16 weeks of age, it should always be a gradual introduction and should not replace their usual diet.
FUN FACT: Rabbits can move their ears 180 degrees and can pinpoint exactly where a sound is coming from.
Rabbits require enough space within their enclosure to make three hops from end to end. We have a number of hutches and runs available as well as indoor cages, please speak to a member of staff if you're unsure what type of home to offer your rabbit and we'll be happy to help. Rabbits require time outside of their hutch or enclosure too so they can use their energy and have some more fun.
When keeping your rabbit indoors be aware that they are chewers and to always supervise your rabbit when it is out of its enclosure to ensure no accidents happen. We also sell a number of 'bitter sprays' that you can spray onto things in your house to deter the rabbit from chewing on them alongside a number of wooden toys to keep your rabbit busy. Rabbits enjoy throwing their toys around, so a mix of lighter toys as well as heavier wooden ones is advised. Variety is keep to a happy rabbit and toys should be switched around and changed a few times a week so they don't get bored of them.
Rabbits are burrowers by nature and should be provided with plenty of bedding to get warm and dig into, you should also use plenty of straw to keep them warm. They will also need a few places to hide away and a covered area to sleep so they can feel safe, as they are a natural prey animal and can get nervous in wide open spaces.
Rabbits tend not to enjoy being picked straight away as they are prey animals. Always support the rear end of your rabbit and hold them close to your body to make them feel secure. A good way to bond with your rabbit is brushing them, in the wild grooming is a very social activity and if introduced early enough can really help strengthen the bond between you and your new pet. We have plenty of different types of brushes in store to choose from and a member of staff will be happy to advise you on the best one for your rabbit.
It is important to regularly health check your rabbits. Their eyes should be bright and they should be alert. They should be able to move freely with no limps and their faeces should be well formed pellets. If you notice your rabbit has diarrhea, we recommend stopping their normal food and vegetables for 48 hours and giving them just dry hay. If they get worse or their diarrhea continues after this then you should seek veterinary advise. You can call your local store for further advise. You should check that their teeth and nails don't become overgrown, we sell a variety of mineral blocks and wooden chews in store and hay will help to keep their teeth short. If their teeth do become overgrown we advise a trip to the vet. Giving them access to rough surfaces such as concrete will help to keep their nails short, we also sell nail clippers and files.
If you have any questions about the pet you have just purchased then please feel free to give the store you purchased them from a call.
We hope that you enjoy your newest companion and that you have many happy years together.
Fruit and vegetables (especially fruit) should be given sparingly as they have very sensitive tummies. 80% of their diet should be hay.