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Rabbits

Two adorable rabbitsRabbits are tame and friendly animals and are a very good pet for older children. Traditionally rabbits are kept in a hutch outdoors, but are becoming increasingly popular as house pets. Being sociable animals and enjoying the company of other rabbits, it is nice to keep two or more. However, if you plan to keep more than one rabbit, it is a good idea to have them neutered.

 

Housing

For rabbits living outdoors, you should provide a hutch which is sturdy and waterproof. Place it in a sheltered position or in a shed, at least 25cm off the floor. This prevents rising damp and problems with vermin.
For indoor rabbits, it is important for them to have as large a cage as possible in which they can comfortably stand on their hind legs. These are similar to hamster cages, but a lot larger. Keep the cage in a cool room out of direct sunlight.

At PAWS we stock a variety of rabbit runs for outdoor use. A rabbit run provides your pet with a change of scenery and the chance to run around on the grass. Remember to keep your rabbit run in a sheltered spot and out of the heat of the sun on warmer days.

 

TOP TIP: Indoor rabbits can be house trained as they often naturally use the same spot for toileting. This means they can be kept clean and trained to use a litter tray. A small litter tray can also be added to the hutch for outdoor rabbits.

A deluxe rabbit hutchBedding

The floor of a hutch or cage should have a covering of wood shavings. The sleeping area of the hutch should also have a large amount of hay or straw in which the rabbit can lie down. PAWS stocks everything you need to make your rabbit’s home as comfy as possible!
The hutch or cage needs regular cleaning. Rabbits go to the toilet regularly and you will need to clean out this area daily. Once a week, you should give your rabbit cage or hutch a thorough clean with a pet friendly disinfectant and replace shavings and bedding with a fresh supply.

 

TOP TIP: Outdoor rabbits need to be protected from the elements. A hutch cover, blanket or old piece of carpet adds extra protection on a cold winter’s night!

 

 

Feeding

A rabbit feedingPAWS stocks food that will maintain a healthy diet for your rabbit – a mix of grains, flakes and pellets. We recommend Excel Rabbit nuggets. These are good for the digestion, and the hardness of the nugget keeps the rabbit’s teeth worn down. These are available for the different age stages of your rabbit from junior, adult, to senior and are also available in a ‘light’ version.

It is important to provide your rabbit with a good supply of hay to nibble on as they enjoy grazing and it helps with their digestion. Rabbits also enjoy fresh food such as kale, greens, broccoli, carrots and apples, but give these in moderation and always wash them beforehand. Your rabbit should always have access to fresh, clean water and this is best done by providing a gravity-fed bottle.

 

 

TOP TIP: A gnawing block, kept in the rabbit hutch or cage will help to keep your rabbit’s teeth from growing too long.

 

Handling

Boy holding a rabbitYou need to use both hands to pick up your pet rabbit properly, with one hand taking the majority of weight under the bottom. If rabbits don’t feel secure when you pick them up, they can get jumpy, so keep them close to your body whenever handling.