Need to Knows About Owning A Rabbit
Rabbits For Sale Tring!! A rabbit’s diet should be made up of good quality pellets, fresh hay, oat hay, water and fresh vegetables. Anything beyond that is a “treat” and should be given in limited quantities.
It is essential a rabbit eats their own body size in good quality hay every day. Hay helps maintain healthy digestion and wears your rabbits teeth down naturally. Rabbits teeth grow continuously throughout their life and need to be worn down and kept at the correct length by eating the right amount of hay, grass and leafy green plants. If your rabbit doesn't eat the right sorts of food they can suffer from serious dental disease.
An adult-sized handful of suitable fresh greens morning and evening is ideal. Safe greens include cabbage, kale, broccoli, spinach & mint. Carrots and apples are best fed on the odd occasion as they are high in sugar. Do not feed your rabbit lawnmower clippings or muesli type food as this can cause digestive disease and painful dental problems.
A tablespoon of rabbit nuggets once daily will ensure your rabbit has a well balanced diet. (This should be twice daily if your rabbit weighs over 3.5kg).
Your rabbits will need fresh clean drinking water at all times. Check their water supply at least twice a day and make sure it doesn't freeze during the winter months. Without access to water they can become seriously ill.
Feeding Your Rabbit
Rabbits are sociable animals and normally prefer to live with another rabbit. A rabbit left alone can develop abnormal behaviour and may suffer if left without company and nothing to do for long periods of time. Its best to keep your rabbit with at least one other friendly rabbit unless advised otherwise by a veterinarian. A neutered male and a neutered female are a good combination.
Handling your rabbits regularly will earn their trust and they will learn to see you as a friend and companion. Handle them every day from an early age making sure you are always very gentle. Rabbits that receive little or rough handling from an early age may find human contact distressing. They can also be injured if handled incorrectly or dropped so children should always be supervised and must never be allowed to pick up a rabbit by themselves.
To hold your rabbits correctly, you should pick them up gently but firmly, making sure that one hand supports their back and behind at all times and they feel secure by having all four feet held against your body. Never pick a rabbit up by its ears or by the scruff of its neck.
If your rabbit seems nervous it is best to start building their confidence by sitting on the ground and offering them a healthy treat. Start stroking them gently and eventually they will associate you with tasty food and realise you are not a threat. This is when you can try to slowly pick up your rabbit and build your bond with them.
How to Handle A Rabbit
Rabbits are active animals and need a lot of space whether they are kept inside or outside. They need to be able to stand fully upright on their back legs, hop, run, jump, dig and fully stretch out when lying down.
A shelter is somewhere for your rabbit to hide, rest and feel safe from things that scare them. This needs to be enough space for your rabbits to be together or apart if they wish. Rabbits are very intelligent animals and may suffer if they do not have enough to do and become bored.
A rabbits home should be well ventilated, draught free, safe from predators and protected from extreme hot and cold weather. Living in a damp, hot, dirty or poorly ventilated environment can cause rabbits to suffer and become ill.
In the wild, rabbits have a home territory the size of 30 tennis courts so give them as much space as you can. A large run on a grassy area helps ensure rabbits get enough exercise. Ideally, their run should be attached to the hutch so that the rabbits can exercise whenever they want.
In the winter move the hutch into an outhouse or car-free garage as exhaust fumes can be fatal. You can also bring them into a safe place in your home for comfort away from the cold weather. In hot weather, move the hutch and run into a shaded area as rabbits can suffer from heatstroke.
Housing Your Rabbit
Your rabbits home will need cleaning at least once a day to provide good health and keep them free from illness and disease. Remove any wet or dirty shavings and bedding. Any uneaten fresh food must also be removed to prevent it going mouldy and you will need to clean the food and water containers before refilling them.
Clean the hutch more thoroughly once a week to keep it safe and hygienic and be sure to completely strip it out monthly. This will include scrubbing thoroughly inside and out and only allow your rabbits back in once it is completely dry.
Be sure to check your rabbits for signs of illness or injury daily. Healthy rabbits are alert with bright eyes, dry nostrils and clean, shiny coats. If you notice any signs such as Diarrhoea, significant weight change (in either direction) over a short period, loss of appetite or drinking much more or less than normal be sure to contact your veterinarian.
Rabbits must be vaccinated against two killer diseases, Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease and Myxomatosis, usually yearly. Speak to your local veterinarian about when to get these vaccinations.
Fly strike is caused by flies laying their eggs on dirty fur. These hatch into maggots, which eat into the flesh and can kill a rabbit in a few hours. You can reduce the risk by cleaning out your rabbits home regularly. Be sure to check under your rabbits tails every day in the summer.
Keeping Your Rabbit Healthy
Outdoor hutch/ indoor cage
Run or pen for the garden
Straw for bedding
Hay or dried grass for food
Water bottle and bottle brush
Ceramic food bowl
Litter tray and litter
Toys and treats
Pet safe disinfectant
Pet safe fly repellent
Rabbit care book
It is important to commit to your pet and understand the responsibility it will bring. If for any reason you do find yourself in a position you can no longer care for your pet please let us know as we will try to re-home them through our store.
Pets Are For LIFE!
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the content of this webpage is correct, Gosford Pets cannot be held responsible for results of action taken without the advice of a professional veterinarian.