Registered Charity 225575

Halifax, Huddersfield & District Branch

Re-homing Rabbits

Typically, rabbits live for 8-12 years, but some may live for longer. Owning and caring for a rabbit is great fun and very rewarding, but it is a big responsibility and a long-term commitment in terms of care and finances. The biology and behaviour of pet rabbits is very similar to that of wild rabbits.

Rabbits are highly social and need keeping with at least one other friendly rabbit, unless advised otherwise by a vet/qualified animal behaviourist. A good combination is a neutered male and female.

Rabbits are active, needing opportunities to hop/run/jump/dig/stand fully upright on their back legs/stretch out fully when lying down. Rabbits are intelligent and inquisitive. If they’re bored, they may suffer so they'll need daily exercise opportunities to stay fit and healthy.
They require large enclosures with lots of enrichment and a secure hiding/bed area with enough bedding to keep them warm.

Rabbits require fresh clean drinking water and good quality hay and/or grass, always available.  If giving pellets, follow manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid muesli-style foods as they are associated with health problems. Rabbits' teeth grow continuously, needing wearing down and keeping at the correct length/shape by eating grass/hay/leafy green plants. Root vegetables (e.g. carrots) or fruit can be given in small amounts as treats. Rabbits produce two dropping types – hard dry pellets, and softer moist pellets they eat directly from their bottom and are dietary essentials.

In warm weather the fur/skin around bottom/tail areas should be checked twice daily. Urine staining/droppings stuck attract flies, causing flystrike (often fatal).  

Their front teeth/nails should be checked at least weekly as these grow quickly. Only vets should correct overgrown/misaligned teeth. Rabbits should have treatment for external/internal parasites (e.g. fleas/worms) and vaccination against myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD), as advised by your vet.