Why do rabbits make good pets?

Rabbits are one of the best loved and most popular small pets as they love being petted and stroked – they become tame with careful handling, and this has made them a firm favourite with both children and adults alike.

What are the most commonly kept rabbits?

There are many different breeds of rabbit available, which vary greatly in size and colour, and have an average lifespan of seven years.

What are rabbits like in their natural habitat?

Naturally, rabbits live in large groups and are very sociable. As a general rule, two females will live happily together as will a male and a female (although the male would need to be neutered) – in most cases two males will fight. If you would like to keep two males together they’ll need to be neutered and it’s best to keep litter mates or two that have been introduced from an early age.

You can choose to keep a single rabbit, just bear in mind that it will require lots of regular contact from you, and lots of lovely petting sessions.

How do I keep my rabbit?

Rabbits are most commonly housed outside in a wooden hutch, although many are now being kept as ‘house pets’ – but wherever you choose to keep your pet, you should provide as much space as possible. We recommend woodshavings throughout the base of the hutch or living space to provide an absorbent layer, with straw in the sleeping area. In addition to the hutch or living space, we always recommend a suitable run to give your rabbit a larger exercise area and access to grass.

How do I look after my rabbit?

All small mammals need regular care and attention, daily feeding (we recommend specialist rabbit food which contains essential vitamins and minerals and a good handful of hay), fresh water, and cleaning at least once a week. You can also introduce raw vegetables when they are a little older and completely settled – carrots and broccoli are good to start with – but avoid lettuce as it doesn’t contain any nutrients.

How do I handle my rabbit?

When you take your rabbit home you should allow it to settle into its new environment, so it’s best to leave it alone for the first two days before trying to handle it. When you do start to handle your rabbit, always bear in mind that he or she may be frightened, so keep the noise to a minimum and handle carefully. Like some humans, rabbits can be scared of heights and may not enjoy being held, but they love being stroked! And it’s always best to start handling whilst sitting on the floor to prevent dropping or jumping injuries.

What equipment and supplies will I need?

For accommodation you’ll need a large hutch with woodshavings for the floor and straw for the bedding – and you should also provide a run so that your rabbit can exercise.

You’ll need a ceramic dish for food (we recommend specialist rabbit food which contains essential vitamins and minerals), a water bottle for fresh water, and a hayrack for your hay.  Your rabbit also needs essential minerals so you’ll need to provide a salt lick and mineral stone for them, and wood gnaws are a good idea to give them something to chew on that isn’t your slippers!  And like humans, rabbits love treats so be sure to have some handy.

Don’t forget your disinfectant for weekly cleaning of the hutch and food dish, and a bottle brush for the water bottle.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to have a reference book handy to make sure you’re providing everything your rabbit needs.

Did you know?

Did you know that when you buy a rabbit from us, you will receive an information pack and a 10% discount on your rabbit’s first vaccination?

In association with Highcliff Veterinary Practice, Hadleigh, Brantham, Cliff Lane Ipswich, Ellenbrook Green Ipswich – please ask for further information.