Rabbits are becoming more popular as pets and although they can be great companions, and have endearing characters, they can also be quite complex. The care which they sometimes require can be very intense and costly. The veterinary profession understands their needs more so today than ever before. Insurance is strongly recommended to rabbit owners to take away the worry of finances in such times.
In the past rabbits where often seen in small hutches at the end of a garden living on their own. Today we now know that this was not ideal at all.
A large amount of space is needed. Ideally rabbits should be allowed the free run of an enclosed garden with a good area to shelter in from the weather. Many of the hutches that are on the market are still too small and rabbits can become distressed if housed in too small a space. Physically this can also be damaging to their joints if not allowed to freely move around. Many people also have happy house rabbits these days but the space they are in needs to be considered from a safety aspect too– remember rabbits can chew through a wire very quickly!
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Rabbits are also very social animals and they need to be housed in at least in pairs. Bonding rabbits from a young age is easier. Introducing them at an older age can be difficult especially if one rabbit is already well established within the environment. There are rescue centres that will bond your rabbits for you and give you advice and tips to aid you through the process. If you have ever had two or more rabbits living together you will understand the bond between them is lovely and lasts forever.
Like many of the staff members here rabbits are sweet toothed. Many of the pet shop brand treats are extremely high in sugar which can lead to obesity and teeth problems. Logically if we think about the diet that wild rabbits eat, domestic rabbits are no different. They need plenty of roughage consisting of grass and hay. Treats can be a small amount of vegetables and they only need an egg cup amount of dry food a day as a supplement to the diet. Too many of us are still offering a bowl full which again can lead to obesity. Rabbits are grazers and if your rabbit is off his food veterinary advice should be sought immediately.
The Rabbit Welfare Association is a great source of information https://rabbitawarenessweek.co.uk/rabbit-welfare/
At Emscote vets we are extremely lucky to have vets with the knowledge and nurses with the passion for rabbits which enables you as owners to give the best care possible.
During the month of June we are offering free nurse checkups for rabbits and offering 10% off neutering. For more information or to book an appointment then please telephone the surgery on 01926 496422.