Bunnies deserve better

Did you know that after cats and dogs, rabbits are the most popular pet in the UK? However, they are also subject to a lot of misconceptions about what they need to be happy and healthy.  Sadly, they are amongst the most neglected animals RSPCA officers come across.  A lot of this neglect could be avoided by knowing exactly what a bunny needs before committing to taking one on.

What bunnies need:

🐰 Rabbits need other rabbits – they are very social animals who live in complex groups in the wild. It’s best to keep bunnies in pairs and of course to be neutered.  Doe’s (female rabbits) can develop womb cancer if not spayed and both bucks (male) and doe’s can be very territorial.  Neutering helps stop this.

🐰 Give your rabbit your time – As well as interacting with other bunnies, rabbit require your attention too. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t like being picked up.  Getting down to their level and allowing your pet to explore around you will help with confidence.  You need to spend time with your rabbit every day.

🐰 Rabbits need space – This needs to be secure, safe and fun! Rabbits love to jump, run and ‘binky’ when happy. They should be able to stand on    their back legs and their ears not touch the roof of their accommodation.  They needs toys, access to clean water and hiding places.  Rabbits can also be litter trained which means they can live in your house like other domestic pets. Litter training also means cleaning housing is easier.

🐰 Their teeth never stop growing – In the wild, rabbits are always nibbling and chewing.  Mimicking their natural diet as much as possible will ensure your pet has a healthy gut. The majority of a rabbits diet should be good quality hay/grass. This can be supplemented with commercial pellets, leafy veg and herbs.  High sugar fruits and veg eg apples and carrots should be seen as treats.

🐰 Rabbits need protection – There are 2 diseases who can vaccinate your rabbit against namely Myxomatosis & VHD (which has 2 strains) We’ve already mentioned teeth but they can cause sever problems if they don’t align and could result in extraction.  Monitoring your rabbit will help guard against fly strike.  This occurs particularly in warm weather (but can happen any time) Flies lay eggs on soiled fur which become maggots and have the potential to kill your pet if left untreated.

Help with the cost of neutering

We provide financial assistance to anyone living in our area toward the cost of neutering.  For rabbits, we offer a £20 money off voucher that can be used at your vet.  We don’t means test our only criteria is that you live in our branch area.  It’s simple and easy to apply.

If you would like more information on bunnies, RSPCA England & Wales have more welfare and advice guidance available.

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