Important things to remember when considering adopting a Rabbit

Posted by The Kennelgate Team on 7th March 2017 to News Articles

Things to consider before adopting a rabbit If you are thinking about re-homing or purchasing a new rabbit to your family, please be aware that rabbits are a long term commitment and can be a lot more hard work to look after than people first realise. Yes they are cute, and children will instantly fall in love with them – but sadly each year thousands of unwanted rabbits are taken to rescue centres.

Rabbits can make great pets, if you have the time and space to look after them properly. Before making the big decision here are a few things to consider.

Rabbits are not ideal as a first time pet…

They require daily social interaction, lots of space, a healthy specific diet, daily cleaning, regular vet checkups, vaccinations and lots of care and attention. Because they need so much care, we would never suggest that they would be an ideal first time pet – especially for young children who may loose interest.

Rabbits are a long term commitment; they can live for 10 years or more. If you adopt a rabbit when your child is 8 years old – will they still be interested caring for the rabbit when they are eighteen? Providing the right care for a rabbit is a long term care commitment and financial commitment.

Rabbit in the Garden

Rabbits are very social animals

Rabbits require a lot of social interaction, if left without appropriate company as well as stimulating toys and treats they can suffer. Rabbits should ideally be kept in pairs or a small group. The ideal pairing would be a male and a female, but male pairings and female pairings will get along too. If you’re planning on introducing unfamiliar rabbits then you should do this on neutral territory and over a period of time. If you’re thinking about having a male and a female pairing then you should make sure they are both neutered, or you’ll be knee deep in bunnies in no time. Neutering is important as it prevents unwanted pregnancies, can reduce fighting, and in females prevents uterine cancer. Speak to your vet for advice about neutering.

When handling your rabbits, where ever possible you should interactive with them at ground level, this helps limit any distress to the rabbit. Try not to approach them from above, but on the same level and when holding your rabbits ensure that all four legs and their bottom is supported at all times.

Rabbit Housing

Did you know that a wild rabbit’s territory is about the size of 30 tennis courts? Rabbits will love to hop, dig, graze and this means that they require space. Rabbits can become very easily bored and frustrated, so follow these simple steps to ensure that your rabbits have a happy living environment.

Double hutch and double run

Finding the right home

A traditional hutch should only be seen as the rabbits “bedroom” and a place to shelter from bad weather. The hutch should be permanently attached to a larger run or secure exercise area with your garden. We stock a range of high quality hutches, which will provide shelter from the weather and any unwanted guests that may enter your garden. Your rabbits will want some time away from it all; ensure they have plenty of fresh bedding which should be changed on a daily basis.

If you will be keeping your rabbits indoors, please make sure that you thoroughly rabbit-proof everything! Wires and furniture can act as a very tempting treat for a rabbit!

Rabbits Healthy Diet Did you know that rabbits are herbivores, these herbivores need Timothy Hay and LOTS of it! Hay is so beneficial to them so it’s very worrying when some rabbit owners don’t realise how much they actually need timothy hay within their diet. Hay is packed full of fibre which is essential for your herbivores digestive system.

Burgess Timothy Hay

Rabbits need to eat a pile of Timothy Hay that is roughly equivalent to their size, and they need it every single day. Your herbivore should have access to Timothy hay at all times so they can chew on it as much as they like. It's also wonderful stuff for keeping them entertained, stuffing it into willow balls, tunnels... you can watch them for hours re-arranging their home to be just how they like it... before it all gets eaten of course! As well as feeding a high quality nugget based food such as Burgess Excel Adult Rabbit Nuggets with Mint.