One of the most neglected pets in the UK; rabbits are often taken to animal rescue centres once the novelty of a new pet has passed, so if you would like to give an abandoned rabbit a new home, your local rescue shelter is always a good place to start.
Rabbits can live anywhere from 6 – 15 years so they should be considered a long-term commitment much like a dog or cat. If you are getting a rabbit for your teenage child, the lifespan should be taken into consideration as you may well end up looking after the rabbit if your child moves away to study!
Is your rabbit going to live indoors or out? This is something you will need to decide before choosing your pet. Outdoor rabbits require a large rabbit hutch with an enclosed sleeping area, a secure exercise run, and plenty of fresh bedding. The positioning of an outdoor rabbit hutch is vital; the area should be free from draughts, out of direct sunlight and easily accessible for daily cleaning.
The lucky rabbits that get to live indoors also require a rabbit hutch, which they can retreat to when feeling vulnerable or tired. If your rabbit is going to be free roaming, then you might want to consider litter tray training (it really is possible!), and make sure that all electrical cables and wires are secured – rabbits love to chew!
Diet & Rabbit Food
While bugs bunny might survive on carrots your own rabbits will not, and so you need to provide a balanced diet of fresh hay, fresh green vegetables, specially prepared rabbit food mix, and fresh water. Most rabbits do enjoy carrots, but as they are high in sugar this should be kept to a weekly treat rather than part of their staple diet.
Rabbits are relatively ‘hardy’ creatures and providing they have a comfortable habitat and a balanced nutritious diet, they should thrive. Pets that enjoy company, rabbits are generally much happier if they live in small groups.
Spaying and neutering rabbits is highly recommended, not only to prevent the obvious, but it also eliminates aggressive hormone-related behaviours. As with all pets, if your rabbit does not look well it is always best to head straight for the vets.
Truly wonderful pets, rabbits are warm and loving creatures - and they just look for the same in return!