Looking After Your Rabbit
Rabbits are highly socialable and should be kept with another suitable rabbit. They are herbivores and have adapted to digest a low-quality, high-fibre diet which consists mainly of grass. They spend most of the time eating and at least 80% of their diet should consist of grass and hay with approximately 15 % of their diet being a variety of leafy greens, vegetables and herbs and only 5% of their diet should be pellet food.
Rabbits need to be checked daily and handled as often as possible to keep them tame.
They need to be kept in an environment which allows them to exercise freely, forage,hide and dig. It must be safe from predators and secure to prevent them burrowing out or escaping. A large hutch with run attached or a converted garden shed is ideal for an outdoor rabbit. The hutch should be kept clean and have hay, water and food available.
Signs to look for that indicate illness:
- Not passing faeces
- Loss of weight
- Depression – your rabbit is more subdued than normal
- Diarrhoea/urine soaking into back legs
- Skin problems – these can be best identified as the rabbit is handled and groomed
- Loss of appetite – your rabbit should immediately be examined by a vet, as this could indicate a potentially life-threatening blockage in the guts
Rabbit owners are advised to regularly check their pet’s nails and teeth. Nails may require clipping and teeth can become overgrown and may require dental attention. We recommend you check your rabbit regularly for fly eggs or maggots especially in warm weather. There are products which can be used to help prevent fly strike.
Please contact the surgery for advice if you have any concerns about your rabbit.
- Rabbits should be vaccinated against Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic disease. These vaccinations are given as a combined annual vaccination.
- Rabbits should be regularly wormed and can have regular flea prevention. These products are covered with our Pet Health scheme for rabbits.
- Rabbits can be neutered (castration or spay) from five to six months of age for females and from around three months old for males.