Make yours a happy bunny
Three in four of the UK’s two million pet rabbits are poorly cared for, according to a recent report by the RSPCA.
Vets and rabbit specialists fear that owners are feeding their rabbits a poor diet, housing them in cramped hutches and failing to keep them up to date with necessary vaccinations. Part of the problem appears to be that myths and misinformation about these small animals are confusing many a responsible owner.
TV vet Matt Brash says: ‘We know that many owners are very attentive to their rabbits but don’t always fully understand their complex needs.
‘Along with diet, behaviour, environment, companionship and healthcare, regular vaccinations for rabbits are necessary for them to live long, happy and healthy lives,’ he says.
Regular vaccinations protect rabbits from two painful and potentially fatal diseases: Myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD).
So, what else can you do to improve the wellbeing of your rabbit? Here are some tips:
• Provide him with lots of hay, grass and healthy high fibre snacks – such as fruit and veg – and use a variety of dispensers to make accessing food more challenging. This will keep your pet busy and stimulated.
• A sizeable and interesting environment with lots of hiding places and toys to interact with will keep him emotionally and physically fit.
• Rabbits are happiest in company and ideally should live in pairs or groups – the best combination being a neutered male with a spayed female.
• Regularly check that your bunny has a clean and dry nose, ears, tail and bottom, and look out for any snuffles or patches of red, sore skin that may indicate a problem.
• Understanding your rabbit can enrich his life as well as yours, so make time to get to know him.