Rabbits are a popular choice for a pet, living either outdoors in a hutch or in the house as a house rabbit. Regardless of where you choose to house your rabbit, there are a few basic tips to learn to give your rabbit a fun and healthy life.
As with any other pet, you rabbit should get a good amount of exercise for better health. If you choose to have your rabbit living outdoors, ensure its hutch is large enough for it to move around and explore. Investing in an outdoor run is a good idea as this gives your rabbit the benefit of a little more running space. Ideally, rabbits should have at least four hours of good exercise per day for good health. House rabbits will love to roam around and explore the environment, make sure you give them enough space to do so. House rabbits will also need some training and a tray should be available for them to encourage litter training.
Rabbits need to live in a clean environment to prevent serious health problems such as fly strike. Soiled and wet bedding should be removed and replaced daily to give your rabbit a warm and comfortable space. House rabbits will require an indoor cage with towels, sawdust and shavings as well as their litter tray being cleaned out on a regular basis. During the warmer summer months, clear out and scrub your rabbit’s house clean to reduce flies and bacteria. In colder times of the year, move outdoor hutches into garages, sheds or outhouses so your rabbit has a little extra warmth.
Diets and Nutrition
A healthy diet is essential for good pet health. Rabbits require a large amount of fibre to aid their digestion and also to keep their teeth healthy. Grass and hay not only make great bedding, but your rabbit will also be able to eat it for a healthy digestion. Complete rabbit food is available from a range of pet shops that will ensure your rabbit gets all the nutrients it requires. Ensure you give your rabbit the right amount of food to avoid obesity and other related health problems too. As with all pets, fresh water needs to available at all times to maintain a good level of health.
As with all pets, it’s important to provide your furry friend with vaccinations from nasty diseases and infections that can have potentially fatal effects. Here in the UK, it’s advised that your rabbit is vaccinated from Myxomatosis as well as Viral Haemorrhagic Disease. Your vet will be able to advice you on vaccinations required and booster immunisations too to ensure your rabbit remains protected and in good health.
Known for their two front teeth, rabbit’s teeth grow continuously, meaning they require lots of fibre to keep wearing them down. If teeth become too long, it can result in serious health conditions. Symptoms to look out for are a loss of appetite and drooling. It’s essential your rabbit has access to fresh hay or grass that will help them keep their teeth at a healthy length.
Rabbits can become aggressive and develop mood swings if they are left unneutered, therefore many pet owners choose to opt for neutering. This ensures your rabbit can enjoy a happy life free from hampering aggression and bad moods. It’s also essential to have your rabbit neutered by the vet if it will be living in a group as this will avoid any unwanted litters.
Socialising and Company
To avoid boredom and loneliness, rabbits should be socialised with either humans if they live indoors or rabbits if they are hutched outdoors. For good pet health as well as encouraging your rabbit to socialise with you, regular grooming and stroking is recommended to ensure it becomes accustomed to handling and socialising with people.
For more pet health information, the Pet Health Information website offers care and advice tips for a wide range of animals. Visit www.pethealthinfo.org.uk for more information.