Pet Care

  • Please find our poster here for downloading for use in Veterinary Practices and Rescues
We have found that rabbits are typically kept in small, cramped hutches with little space to move around; far from ideal. Below you'll find advice on the best way to provide the right environment for your bunnies to live happily!

Wild rabbits live in interconnected underground chambers called a warren, with access to fresh grazing, plenty of dart holes and options of where to go. In 2010, we designed the connection kit to connect hutches to rabbit runs. The connection kit could handle gradients and changes in direction, and went some way to improving rabbit welfare.

Exercise is a key issue for rabbits and their skeletal frames suffer if they are unable to achieve an adequate amount. A wild rabbit would run about 5 miles a day! Exercise keeps pets warm and well. We recommend your bunny has 24 hour access to running space. 

The rabbit is not the ideal children's pet as their first instinct is to hide and not to be caught. They can scratch and bite if frightened and they prefer their feet on the ground. However, by creating the right environment for them, we found they could relax and became more sociable with their owners.

Rabbits and guinea pigs need to eat grass and hay. Grass is a natural abrasive and files down the ever growing teeth of rabbits. It is also full of protein and fibre making it a very complete food. At least 80% of the diet should be grass and hay. We've designed our products to be easily transportable in order to assist with the constant need for new grass.

 

Rabbits need two ways to go; as a prey animal they are uncomfortable with cul-de-sacs. Their first need is to flee danger and having options to move and hide successfully is very important for them. We therefore recommend a dart hole in every system. This can be basic such as a buried section of pipe (giving the impression of going underground*) or a pipe sleeve, to more sophisticated options such as the Hay Hutch or Top Box.

All dart holes and sleeping areas need two exits for the rabbits and guinea pigs to feel relaxed which is why our resting areas are linked twice.

Rabbits aren't keen on being handled, they feel safest on the ground and as a prey animal regard being picked up as being captured for dinner! The independence that Runaround offers increases their self confidence. When you do need to lift your rabbit the doors will be useful to restrict him to one area and then you can gently lift him out.

Rabbits need company and are ideally kept in neutered, bonded pairs, a doe and a buck. When introducing rabbits Runaround is helpful. You can have tunnels running side by side, make junctions to create 'chatting walls' where they can socialise with each other even if they are housed separately. It is a good early introduction before you start putting them together for small periods. For rabbits that can't be housed together this can offer the best way of having a social life.
 
In unpredictable weather a Runaround allows your pet to seek shelter and shade when necessary. In winter try to position away from direct wind but in reach of daytime sunshine. Snow covering over canvas shaded tunnels should be left on as an insulator when it is very cold.

Rabbits are natural diggers so it is a good idea to offer a dig box or alternatively lay a tunnel over soft ground where you can dig a trench and place a mesh floor inside attached to the tunnel above making a secure but fun dig area. Frequently moving the run alleviates boredom and can reduce this habit.

Rabbits benefit from a free run in which they can exhibit more easily all their natural moves such as the twisted jump in the air (binky). When supervised this is a lovey thing to do and rabbits often return to their Runarounds through the same door they exited from. They scent the exits so know where to return to.

 

 

For lots of excellent information on rabbit care go to Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund. By joining this fund you can help rabbits and receive up to date information on many aspects of rabbit well being and health. 

 


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