General Information - Rabbits
A rabbit’s lifespan is up to 8 years for standard rabbits and up to 12 years for dwarf breeds. They can grow to approximately 8″ long for dwarf rabbits, 12″ or longer for standard rabbits.
Rabbits like company; however, two males together may fight. The best combination is two females from the same family. Male rabbits can be neutered by a veterinarian and then can be housed together or with female rabbits.
Rabbits do not need to be groomed or bathed since they are very clean animals and will do their own grooming. However, brushing rabbits with a soft, wire brush will help with any tangles and help with bonding.
Lifting & Handling: Rabbits should not be handled roughly since they are easily excited. They should NEVER be handled by their ears! When picking a rabbit up, place one hand under the rump and back legs, and the other under the chest and front legs. Do not let the back legs kick wildly while being held because they can easily get spinal injury.
Rabbits can be de-sexed as easily as cats, so this option allows them to be kept together without the risk of over population.
Provide your rabbit with free choice of alfalfa hay daily, hay provides the necessary roughage needed to support a healthy digestive system. In addition, a bowl of rabbit pellets should be available. Chopped fruits, carrots, and dark green veggies may be given daily. Take care not to overfeed these fresh foods. They have high moisture content and too much can cause diarrhoea.
Treat sticks & chews – These hard and crunchy treats are yummy and keep your pet’s teeth trimmed. Always keep one in the habitat.
Change and fill your rabbit’s water bottle with clean water every day.
Things to watch for to ensure your rabbit stays healthy
- Blood in the urine
- Overgrown front teeth
- Bare patches in the fur
- Nails overgrown
- Sores on feet
- Lethargic behaviour
- Weight loss; not eating or drinking normally
- Sneezing; discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth
If you notice any of the signs described above, please consult your Veterinarian as soon as possible. (Blue & White Vet – 02 6651 2477)
Rabbits should be kept in a large hutch; adult rabbits need at least one square foot of cage floor space per pound of body weight. Their bed should be 2-5cm thick, straw or shredded newspaper or a combination of both. The hutch should be kept in a cool, low humidity area, out of direct sunlight.