Owning a rabbit is a huge commitment. Refresh your knowledge of responsible rabbit ownership with our complete guide.
Care for your rabbit
With so many things to remember, staying on top of your rabbit’s care routine can be a challenge.
The vast majority of rabbit owners do a great job of keeping their pet healthy and happy, but if you feel you need a little helping hand, read on for our advice.
Maintaining the right diet
Just like humans, rabbits have very specific needs when it comes to their nutrition. Choosing a high-quality, balanced diet and knowing how much they should eat is crucial in maintaining their weight, preventing further health issues and making sure their body gets all the nutrients it needs.
Read our complete guide to your rabbit’s nutritional needs to find out if they’re eating correctly.
Pet-proofing the home and garden
Whether they live indoors or out, rabbits can be very curious and keen to explore their environment. While they find different sights, smells and sounds highly stimulating, they’re not always aware that their inquisitive nature can land them in trouble.
Here are some ideas for pet-proofing your home and garden:
- Keep medications, cleaning products and other hazardous chemicals in high cupboards, well out of reach.
- Use a cable tidy to clear away loose cables and wires, or hide them behind furniture to prevent chewing.
- Make sure you have secure fencing around your garden without any gaps a rabbit could wriggle through. Speak to your vet for advice on rabbit-proofing your garden.
- Be mindful of the plants in your garden as some can be toxic to rabbits.
- Fence off any ponds and water features to prevent drowning.
Microchipping isn’t yet common in rabbits, nor is it a legal requirement, but it’s still a strongly recommended part of being a rabbit owner, particularly as they don’t wear collars.
A microchip contains a unique code that links to your pet’s details, including their owner’s name, address and phone number, and means they’re instantly identifiable when scanned by a vet, rescue centre or warden. This is often the only way to return lost or stolen rabbits back to their owner.
As well as having your rabbit chipped, keeping your details up to date on the central database is crucial. Learn more about the process and the benefits in our microchipping advice.
Exercise for rabbits
Regular exercise is important for any rabbit’s health, no matter their breed, age or size. Daily exercise in a large run will give them plenty of time to hop, jump and explore their surroundings. Placing a variety of toys, tunnels and cardboard boxes in their run will also help stimulate their mind while they exercise.
Your rabbit’s exercise needs will depend on their breed, age and any health issues they have. Speak to your vet or nurse for their recommendations on how often to let your rabbit use their run and how long for.
Regular trips to the vet provide many benefits for your rabbit. At every visit, your vet will give your pet a full nose-to-tail health check to look out for any signs of illness. This is also a great opportunity for you to ask questions about your pet’s ongoing care, including their nutritional needs, exercise requirements and preventative care.
Your rabbit’s needs will change as they get older, and booking routine appointments with a vet or nurse is the best way to understand how to adapt your regime. This includes booster vaccinations, dental checks, and even blood and urine tests in older rabbits, to keep them happy and healthy for years to come.
Taking your rabbit to the vet regularly will also help prevent future health issues that could affect your rabbit’s quality of life and lead to expensive vet bills.
Read some of our top reasons to visit your vet.
Not only does grooming help keep your rabbit’s fur in great condition, it also allows you to give them a full nose-to-tail check with the added benefit of strengthening your bond.