Pet Care Information
Rabbits make good pets. They are clean, placid and intelligent. Rabbits can be kept as pets where it is impractical to keep other animals such as dogs and cats. A rabbit makes little or no noise and if properly looked after, they will not smell.
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Useful items for your rabbit
Use this handy list to help you select the necessary items to care for your rabbit:
- Hutch Cleaner
- Lucerne Hay / Straw
- Guinea Pig & Rabbit Meal
- Food Bowl
- Water Bottle
- Water Guard
- Litter Tray & Litter
- Vitamin Supplement
- Worm Syrup
- Salt Lick & Hanger
- Chew Treats
- Harness & Lead
- Nail Clippers
Rabbits are normally kept in an outdoor weatherproof hutch. The hutch should have a weatherproof box in which lucerne hay can be placed as bedding. It should also have an area for the rabbit to play, feed and rest outdoors. This is normally a wire run to give the rabbit access to grass. In bad weather your rabbit should be placed under cover. If you would like to keep your rabbit indoors, a different hutch would be used. They have a full plastic base with a wire top. Easy access and easy cleaning are paramount in choosing a good hutch. Indoor hutches are ideal to use in hot weather.
Rabbits should be provided with a fresh daily supply of Guinea Pig & Rabbit Meal. A water bottle will provide your rabbit with a fresh supply of water that cannot be spilt. We encourage the use of large water bottles, particularly in summer, to keep their water cooler.
Vegetables can also be fed as a supplement to your rabbit’s diet. Your rabbit will enjoy carrots, celery, apples, broccoli, lettuce, bread and thistles. Fresh grass can also be given, but remember that Guinea Pig and Rabbit Meal should be the staple diet and the green matter a supplement. A salt lick hung in the cage will provide minerals in your rabbit’s diet.
Good hygiene is the basis for good health. The hutch, whether it be indoors or outdoors, should be cleaned at least weekly and all bedding replaced.
Myxomatosis: This is a viral infection that affects rabbits. It is spread by biting insects such as mosquitoes. The best control is good hygiene. No vaccine can be administered to rabbits to protect against or treat this infection.
Rabbit Calicivirus Disease(RCD): This is also a viral infection that is spread by the same means as Myxomatosis. RCD affects European rabbits and therefore pet rabbits are susceptible to this disease. Other animals will not be affected. Maternal antibodies can be passed by the mother to their young and offer temporary immunity against RCD. Young rabbits should be vaccinated at 10 weeks of age when most of their maternal antibodies have disappeared. Annual vaccinations will provide protection for the life of your rabbit. Vaccines are available from your vet.
If your rabbit looks unwell it should be taken to your vet.
If you decide to breed your rabbits you will need a cage for each adult rabbit to control breeding. The gestation period for rabbits is 30 days and it is possible the doe (female) may fall pregnant the same day she has the litter. You should therefore make sure the buck (male) is back in his own cage well before the due date.
Allow your doe a good break between litters, to get her back in to condition. We recommend breeding your doe no more than 3 times a year. The offspring from each litter are normally sold between 6 and 8 weeks of age.
It is possible to house train rabbits to use a litter tray and even walk on a rabbit harness and lead! Ask our staff for more information.