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Looking after your pet rabbit


Tuesday February 4th 2014

As with any pet, owning a rabbit is not something to take lightly. You'll need to think about all aspects of its welfare.

With around 1.7 million rabbits kept as pets in the UK, they are popular animals, so if you're thinking about bringing one (or two!) of them into your home, we've put together some basic tips for looking after your new pet.

Space

Rabbits like plenty of space, so if you were thinking of putting your new pet in a small hutch, think again.

Charity Blue Cross says that the minimum hutch size for two small rabbits is 150cm x 60cm floor space, by 60cm tall. For two large rabbits this should be at least 185cm x 90cm floor space, by 90cm tall.

If you have a large garden, think about setting up a Wendy House with a large run attached or a fenced area where your rabbit can exercise.

Bedding

The best bedding to go for is clean, bagged straw which is available in all pet shops. According to the British Rabbit Council, rabbits should have their bedding changed completely once a week. Remember that rabbits like to use one or more corners as a toilet area so you will need to clean corners out more frequently.

Food

It is important to give your rabbit a balanced diet. You should make sure that hay and grass are always available for your pet to eat, but also think about muesli mixes and greens like broccoli and kale.

Five quick facts about rabbits

Rabbits usually live for 8-12 years, but some may live for longer.

Rabbits came originally from south west Europe and north west Africa.

Rabbits have an excellent sense of smell, hearing and vision.

Rabbits are social animals that enjoy the company of other animals.

Rabbits are intelligent - did you know they can be taught to respond to commands?

Copyright Press Association 2014

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