Those of you with rabbits will no doubt already know that Saturday May 9th marks the start of Rabbit Awareness Week 2015 – an annual focus on all things leporine created by coalition of experts, organisations and welfare charities from the rabbit community.
To mark the occasion, many vets, rescue centres and pet stores across the UK are holding special events; ranging from free health checks to food sampling and rabbit education workshops. You can find out what’s happening near where you live HERE.
One Small Hop – What Will You Change?
The RAW focus for 2015 is ‘One small hop – what will you change?’ A rabbit’s quality of life can be greatly improved by making just a few small actions, and RAW suggest that all rabbit owners consider making at least one on-going change this May, such as:
- Ensuring that good quality hay / grass makes up the vast majority of the diet
- Providing permanent access to a large run
- Choosing a hutch that allows your rabbit to make at least three continuous hops from one end to the other, and which is tall enough for him / her to stand on the back legs without the ears touching the roof
- Encouraging foraging, to mirror natural behaviour – hiding food under straw and inside toys for example
- Cleaning the toilet area every day, and the whole hutch at least once a week
- Providing company – rabbits are very sociable animals and should be kept in friendly pairs or family groups. Of course, neutering is advisable if your pairings are not same-sex and you do not wish your rabbits to breed! Contrary to popular thinking, rabbits and guinea pigs should not be kept together – the different needs and characteristics of each species are not compatible, and can thus cause stress
- Interact regularly with your rabbit, ideally at ground level where they feel safest
- Vaccinate your rabbit against the potentially fatal diseases Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease
- Check your rabbit regularly for fleas, ticks and evidence of flystrike. The latter is a nasty condition, caused by flies laying their eggs around the rabbit’s bottom. Maggots then hatch and feed on the animal and the situation can quickly become life threatening
Thanks as always,
The Ralph Site
Please note: The Ralph Site is not affiliated with the third-party organisations in any of the links shared here, and the views, ideas and suggestions expressed in this and other blogs are simply shared with the intention of helping you, our friends, take care of the special animals in your lives.