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. Read More...
Most rabbit owners house them outdoors in a hutch with access to a grass run (like the one pictured below) although more bunny owners are bucking the traditions and opting to house their rabbits indoors. Some rabbits will learn to use a litter tray which is vital if housing your rabbit indoors; However, all rabbits love to chew and can cause damage to walls, furniture or wiring if left unsupervised which isn't great.
If you keep your rabbit outside, it is important to provide them with warm, dry housing that is well sheltered from the wind and rain; in the colder months it should shelter them from the cold and shield them from the blazing sun in the summer months. The Rabbit Welfare Association recommend a hutch size of at least 8ft x 4ft. Check out this recent campaign called 'a hutch is not enough'.
Your rabbit’s hutch needs a thick covering of bedding on the floor which can be made of paper, hay or straw. Your rabbit also needs food bowls, a litter tray and a good sized water bottle, this is important as rabbits must have access to fresh water 24 hours a day.
If you have any questions about your rabbit or you are thinking about getting a rabbit and would like some advice, just contact Brentknoll Vets on 01905 355938.
Check out the rest the Brentknoll Vet Rabbit Care Guide here