Give your rabbit space and shelter

Rabbits make wonderful pets for those who understand and can provide for their needs. Your bunnies’ environment is crucial to their health and well-being, so demonstrate your love for them by providing the very best home.

PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing said: “Sadly, our 2022 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report highlighted that the welfare needs of many of our pet rabbits are not being met.

When we asked rabbit owners to identify which image most closely resembled their pet’s living space, 19 per cent of owners selected images of small hutches with little or no run space, meaning that an estimated 190,000 rabbits are living in inadequate housing conditions.

“This year’s Rabbit Awareness Week is all about their environment.

Creating the perfect home

It’s important to remember that rabbits have freedom to roam in the wild, and while our pets don’t share that lifestyle, they shouldn’t have to miss out on space, exercise, fun, and a varied, interesting life.

The 2022 PAW Report found that 46 per cent of pet rabbits spend between 11 and 23 hours a day in their hutch – this needs to change.

Whether they live indoors or out, rabbits need safe spaces to rest, with room to exercise, hop, and play.

Your rabbits’ hutch should be roomy enough so that they can lie down, stretch out and stand on their back legs without their ears touching the top, and should be long enough for them to run around in.

However, their hutch is not enough, they need exercise space too.

Safe and secure
For outdoor enclosures, make sure their run is escape proof and fitted with secure, sturdy walls or fencing to protect against threats like cats, foxes or other wild animals – including wild rabbits who could potentially pass on dangerous diseases.

Remember to provide shelter so they can hide away when they need to.

For indoor enclosures, make sure hazards in your house are kept well out of their reach.

Rabbits love to chew, so be especially cautious of wires and cables, house plants, cleaning products, and small ornaments. If you have other pets, remember to keep animals that rabbits would naturally fear as predators well out of the way.

Whether you have an indoor or outdoor enclosure, all rabbits should have an area where they can rest and sleep as well as space where they can hop, dig, play, eat and just be rabbits!

You’ll also need to think about providing them with plenty of entertainment such as toys, tubes, hides, tunnels, cardboard boxes, hay racks, and even bunny safe plants.

Bunny companions
We forget that rabbits are social animals so companionship is essential.

Ideally, pet rabbits should always be kept in neutered pairs or more – the minimum amount of space that two rabbits need is 3m x 2m x 1m (10ft x 6ft x 3ft), so it’s important to factor this in when deciding if rabbits are the right pet for you.

I’d strongly suggest getting a roommate for your bunny.

They are less likely to become stressed, anxious, or aggressive.

 

 


 

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