Rabbits make wonderful pets for those who understand and can provide for their needs. Your rabbit’s environment is critical to their health and well-being, so show your love for them by providing the best home.
PDSA’s Veterinary Nurse Nina Downing said: “Unfortunately, the PDSA’s 2022 Animal Welfare (PAW) report highlighted that the welfare needs of many of our pet rabbits were not being met. When we asked rabbit owners to identify a picture that most closely resembles their animals’ living space For pets, 19 percent of owners chose small cages with little or no running space, meaning that an estimated 190,000 rabbits live in inadequate housing conditions.
“Rabbit Awareness Week this year is all about their environment. We’ve partnered with Burgess and other animal charities to raise awareness of rabbits and help pet owners understand that providing the right home will help achieve health, happiness and safety.
Create the perfect home
“It is important to remember that rabbits are free to roam in the wild, and although our pets do not share this lifestyle, they should not miss out on space, exercise, fun and a varied and interesting life.
The 2022 PAW report found that 46 percent of pet rabbits spend between 11 and 23 hours a day in their cage – and this needs to change. Whether they live indoors or outside, rabbits need safe spaces to rest, along with plenty of room to exercise, jump and play!
“Your rabbit’s cage should be roomy enough that they can lie down, stretch and stand on their hind legs without their ears touching the top, and it should be long enough to run in. However, their cage is not enough, they need exercise space too .
Safe and secure
“For outdoor enclosures, make sure the run is escape-proof and provided with secure, sturdy walls or fencing to protect against threats such as cats, foxes or other wild animals – including hares that can transmit dangerous diseases. Remember to provide them with shelter so they can hide.” when they need to.
“For indoor enclosures, you will want to make sure that any potential hazards in your home remain out of the reach of curious rabbits. Rabbits love to chew, so be especially wary of wires, cables, house plants, cleaning products, and small trinkets. If you have other pets, remember to keep Animals that rabbits naturally fear predators out of the way.
Whether you have an indoor or outdoor barn, all rabbits should have an area where they can rest and sleep as well as an area where they can jump, dig, play, eat and just be rabbits! You will also want to consider providing them with plenty of entertainment such as toys, tubes, skins, tunnels, cardboard boxes, hay racks, and even rabbit-safe plants.
We often forget that rabbits are social animals by nature that live in colonies in the wild, so companionship is essential to their well-being, for safety and reassurance. Ideally, pet rabbits should always be kept in one or more caged pairs – the minimum space a rabbit would need is 3m x 2m x 1m (10ft x 6ft x 3ft), so it is important to take this into account When deciding if rabbits are a suitable pet for you.
“As much as we love our pet rabbits, they need a friend of their own kind, so I highly suggest getting a roommate for your rabbit if they live alone. They are less likely to be stressed, anxious or aggressive!”
PDSA is the UK’s largest veterinary charity providing a vital service to pets across the UK whose owners are struggling to afford treatment for their sick and injured pets. For many vulnerable pets, PDSA is there to help when their owners have nowhere else to turn. Support from People Postcode lottery players helps us reach more pet owners with tips and vital information. www.pdsa.org.uk
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