Here at Brentknoll Vets we've noticed that Rabbits are becoming an increasingly popular choice of pet, which is why they now have a whole week dedicated to caring for them and their needs.
At Brentknoll Vets in Worcester, we regularly see Rabbit owners who are confused about caring for their bunny as information about their care is never as well documented as it is for Cats and Dogs. So here's a guide to Rabbit care from Brenknoll....
Happy bunnies need happy homes
In the wild, rabbits have lots of space to hop around and it’s important that the accommodation you choose for your rabbit meets it's needs in order to keep him/her happy. A pet Rabbit is reliant on you it's owner, to provide it with the mental and physical stimulation it requires.
Although pet rabbits are bred for captivity and are more accustomed to being restricted to smaller areas, they are naturally built to spend their time chasing around a field eating grass. This is why it's so important that they have adequate space to move around in, otherwise it can lead to serious health problems.
As well as problems with their health, a lack of space and mental stimulation can lead to a very bored and unhappy bunny. Unhappy bunnies often display a variety of negative behaviours including over grooming, chewing their cages/hutches and lethargy.
Rabbits don't just eat carrots you know!
Bugs Bunny may have fooled us all into believing that Rabbits only eat carrots but in real life they require a much more varied diet.
Like horses, sheep and cows, rabbits are natural grazers and in the wild they spend much of the day munching on grass. The constant nibbling on grass or hay keeps the rabbit busy and it's also great for their teeth. Wild rabbits would supplement their diet with dark green leafy weeds and small amounts of fruit and vegetables so it's a good idea to do the same with your pet Rabbits.
Rabbit grooming parlour
Grooming your rabbit is an important part of bunny ownership; it helps to keep their coat clean and free from tangles, and it helps your bunny get used to being handled whilst allowing you to give him/her regular checks for changes in their bodies and potential health problems.
Rabbits are generally clean animals and regularly groom themselves, but we still recommend that short haired rabbits are brushed twice weekly and longhaired breed daily. We wouldn't recommend bathing your Rabbit but muddy feet and heavily soiled spots can be wiped with a damp cloth.
Protect your Rabbit today!
Rabbits are highly at risk of contracting one of two possibly fatal infectious diseases: myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD) but don't panic, the good news is that there are vaccinations to protect your rabbit against both diseases.
Flystrike is a killer.... know your enemy
Flystrike is a condition that typically affects rabbits during the warm spring and summer months, this is when flies are more active and looking for somewhere to lay their eggs, unfortunately for rabbits they make an attractive choice for flies. Flystrike occurs when flies lay their eggs on the rabbit, typically around their rear end, the eggs hatch into maggots that then begin to feed on the rabbit’s. Sadly, flystrike causes serious pain and suffering and it usually fatal if left untreated.
Breeding like Rabbits?
There are many benefits to neutering for your rabbit; It can help them live a longer, healthier life ad neutering reduces the risk of cancer and urinary tract infections. Rabbits that are neutered often make better pets, especially for young children as they are often calmer and easier to handle once neutered. Caring for a neutered rabbit is usually easier as many can successfully be litter trained and have less of an urge to spray.
To learn more about Rabbit Awareness week check out their fantastic website here