Rabbits are the UK’s third most popular pet, but these small creatures are often very much misunderstood. All too often, people believe that all they need to do to keep their rabbit happy and healthy is to feed it once a day and keep it in a clean hutch and nothing could be further from the truth.
To make sure your rabbit leads a happy and healthy life follow these tips.
In the wild rabbits are naturally social, living in groups with other rabbits. Keeping a rabbit alone in isolation is not a good idea and the best practice is to keep your rabbits in neutered, opposite sex pairs. Keeping un-neutered rabbits together WILL result in babies and keeping a same sex pair together can lead to fighting.
Throw away the rabbit’s feeding bowl (and if there is muesli in there throw that away too). Rabbits are not designed to eat out of bowls; they are grazers in the wild and you should allow them to mimic this behaviour. Hay should make up the bulk of your rabbits diet and you should feed roughly the same amount as his body size each day. Place it in the hutch and allow him to forage. To encouraging foraging even more you can hide tasty treats inside the hay, including leafy greens or specialist rabbit snacks.
3. Mental stimulation
Allow your rabbit to test his brain matter by getting creative with his food. You can stuff a willow ball with hay and watch him forage and play as he eats. You could also hang veg from a price of string, encouraging him to extend his hind legs to reach up for it.
4. Encourage digging
Create a digging area for your bunny and watch him play. Section off a piece of your garden and fill with soil. Hide carrots and other green veg in the soil. Your rabbit will enjoy having a good old dig and will be encouraged to find tasty treats buried beneath the surface.
5. Creative toys
General bits and pieces from the home make great rabbit toys. Get a big cardboard box and cut a hole in each end to make a tunnel / hiding hole. Get cardboard tubes from shops that sell carpets (they will be throwing them away) and let your rabbit hide in a network of tubes and tunnels.
Rabbits really are fun pets and the owner can get as much pleasure out of these enrichment tips as the pet itself. As a caring owner you will want to make your pet’s life as happy and as fulfilling as possible and following these tips is a great way to do this.