Basic rabbit care is so important

Keep your pet rabbits happy and healthy by understanding their needs.
Keep your pet rabbits happy and healthy by understanding their needs.
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Rabbits need to be kept in suitable accommodation tall enough to allow them to stand up on their hind legs and big enough to allow them to move around freely.

The minimum hutch size is 183cm by 90cm with a height of 90cm. Larger units are always preferable. An ideal solution for larger groups is a robust shed set up with different levels and tunnels where the rabbits can explore and hide. The hutch or shed usually links to a large secure run on grass so that the rabbits can graze and exhibit their natural behaviour.

Appropriate rabbit bedding should always be provided and must be changed regularly.

Rabbits need checking twice a day and all droppings should be cleared daily. The hutch or shed needs a full clean at least once a week to minimise the risk of infections or parasites.

Rabbits are best fed on hay or grass with suitable fruit and veg.

Hay should be provided in a raised rack to prevent the rabbits from soiling their food.

Rabbits need fresh water from a clip-on bottle and this should be changed daily. Dried foods such as high fibre nuggets, which help to maintain digestive health, are widely available from pet food suppliers. These are normally only used as a supplement to fresh foods.

Rabbits are social animals and happiest kept in pairs or larger groups. When keeping mixed sexes together they must be neutered to avoid unwanted babies.

It is essential that rabbits are vaccinated against Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease. Unvaccinated rabbits are very vulnerable.

Rabbits need plenty of challenges to avoid boredom. Toilet roll tubes can be stuffed with hay to keep rabbits entertained. Cardboard boxes with holes cut in the sides make great hiding places. Commercial rabbit toys are available from many pet supply companies and these can help to keep your rabbits stimulated.