Caring for Rabbits
Rabbits can make wonderful pets but there is more to keeping a rabbit than people may expect. Here we take a look at the basic welfare and diet that a pet rabbit will need.
Rabbits need space to display their natural behaviours; a small hutch is just not enough. Rabbits like to run, jump and dig. They enjoy foraging for food and will stand up on their hind legs.
They will need a large, secure enclosure that gives them the space to display these behaviours. A hutch within an enclosed run is ideal, so they have a safe space to sleep and an area to exercise and forage.
Pet rabbits love to dig and chew so ensuring they have something to chew and providing something for them to dig in may help avoid any escapes from their run.
As a prey animal they are naturally shy and prefer to be on ground level and away from loud noises or sudden movements. Providing them with places to hide and explore will keep them entertained.
Rabbits are social animals too and studies have shown that rabbits value companionship as much as food. They can suffer from stress and loneliness if kept alone. Keep two rabbits that are neutered together and they will be much happier.
Regular vaccinations and vet checks will help keep your rabbit happy and healthy. Rabbits don’t often show when they are unwell so regular care and routine can help you to spot any signs of illness.
A rabbit’s diet should be made up of 85% grass or hay, 10% leafy green vegetables and herbs, and 5% pellets or nuggets for a balanced diet.
Grass or hay provides a long fibre which is vital to their digestive health, as well as behavioural and dental health. They can never have too much hay in their diet.
Fruits and the orange part of carrots are generally high in sugar so should be counted as a treat and fed no more than once or twice a week.
Rabbits love to chew, so as well as providing them with the correct diet they will also need something to chew. Apple, willow, hazel and blackthorn branches are a good healthy treat.
Did you know Turmeric Golden Paste for Pets, TurmerAid and TurmerItch for Horses are suitable for rabbits too?
Turmeric can help optimise the gut microbiotica and can improve gut health. It also contains antioxidants that can help combat oxidative stress and impacts on a number of bodily processes.
These include muscle recovery and joint health, inflammatory responses, metabolism along with supporting the gut wall and gut-based immune responses.
Essential oils found in turmeric can also help improve overall wellbeing and promote a healthy skin and coat
Feeding a small amount daily can help support the natural processes of a rabbit, including:
- Overall wellbeing
- The effects of ageing
- Support muscle function
- Joint and bone health
- Skin and coat condition
- Help keep them free of parasites
All the ingredients incorporated into the relevant Golden Paste Products have been reviewed for suitability for feeding to the rabbit, both as a beneficial ingredient and as a safe one.
Golden Paste for Pets – ¼ teaspoon daily
TurmerAid – 1.5 grams daily
TurmerItch for Horses – 1.5 gram per day