Things to consider before you get a rabbit
Please watch this short video - it gives a good introduction to the housing and lifestyle rabbits need.
Did you know..?
- Rabbits need to live in pairs or groups, like in the wild - Read why here
- They need to be neutered and annually vaccinated
- Their housing should be a lot bigger than we see in pet shops - View examples
- They need lots of exercise
- Their main food should be hay - Read why
- They need a varied diet and shouldn't eat muesli style mixed food - Read what do rabbits eat?
- They live 10-12 years
- Rabbits don't make good pets for children - Read why
- They're expensive pets - buying the actual rabbit is the cheap bit! - See example prices
Before you commit to buying bunnies, ask yourself the following:
- Are you able to provide the correct housing (The Rabbit Welfare Association recommends at least 6ft x 2ft for two average size bunnies) See What size hutch and run?
- Do you have the space your rabbits to exercise? And how much exercise time can you give the rabbits each day? See Exercise - how much? and What size hutch and run?
- Can you afford to keep them? See How much does a rabbit cost?
- Are you aware that rabbits can live up to 10 - 12 years? Have you thought about the long-term and can you commit to this responsibility?
- Are you willing to accept that as an adult you are the one responsible for the upkeep of the rabbit not a child?
- Have you checked you (and your family) don't have allergies to rabbits?
- Are you prepared to interact with and exercise your rabbits each day?
- Who will look after your rabbits while you're on holiday?
- Do you have children or pets that might not get on with rabbits?
- Are you registered with a vet and do you have the means to get a sick animal there?
- Are you prepared to vaccinate your rabbits annually and can you afford to?
- How much interaction can you give your rabbits? Lack of interaction can make them depressed, withdrawn or aggressive.
These are just a few questions that you need to ask yourself, any other questions that you may have yourself you can ask at rescues for free advice. Pet shops don't always have qualified staff so you're best off asking rescues or rabbit-savvy vets.
Before buying your rabbit's hutch/ alternative housing, speak to a rescue - they will advise you on sizes as many pet shop ones are too small. This will prevent you from buying the wrong ones and having to get a different one before adopting.
When you get a rabbit, find a rabbit-savvy vet; not all vets specialise in rabbits so look for an exotics vet who will be more experienced with rabbits. Always find a good vet before your rabbit gets ill so you don't have to waste time searching for one if your rabbit is sick. You can ask local rabbit rescues which vet they'd recommend.