We discuss some of the most important points when it comes to owning a rabbit. If you have any additional concerns, please contact any of our three locations. You may also wish to take a look at our Nurse Clinics.
Rabbits are the third most popular pet in the UK and they can make fantastic pets. However, they do require a lot more care and attention than people think and unfortunately, without this, they can often become ill and neglected.
Rabbits are extremely social animals and are best kept in mixed sex, neutered pairs, but can be successfully bonded into groups. They can become close to humans and enjoy interacting with owners. House rabbits form a particularly close bond with the owner as they are free to roam and approach you when they are comfortable and feel safe.
Things to consider before getting a rabbit:
- Cost: although the initial cost of buying or re-homing a rabbit is relatively cheap, the cost for all the extras can soon mount up. This includes buying or making the enclosure, rabbit proofing the garden and house, vets fees (neutering, vaccinations, worming), food and equipment, and insurance
- Time: rabbits can live between 8-12 years (depending on the breed) so it is important to ensure you and your family members are committed for the whole of their lifespan. The estimated time taken to really care for a rabbit should be around an hour per day to include feeding, watering, health checking, cleaning, grooming, and interacting/playing with them. A five minute check and putting some food in the hutch is not enough
- Not necessarily the best pet for children: rabbits do not generally enjoy being picked up, especially by inexperienced children. Even small breeds of rabbits can still bite and kick with their powerful hind legs. Daily handling can improve this but children must be supervised by an adult.
- All rabbits have different personalities and the bond with their owners can be enhanced by the correct care and attention given by yourself and family members. Rabbit behaviour can change with time and patience but remember rabbits are prey animals and often feel scared, so a relaxed and safe environment is needed.