The annual Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is the bunny event of the year – and for 2020, it’s happening online. Created to improve the lives of rabbits in the UK, RAW will (virtually) bring together leading rabbit welfare experts and veterinary professionals from across the UK, along with welfare charities and organisations that work to help improve standards of rabbit care.
Holly Ackroyd, senior brand manager at Burgess Pet Care, which organises RAW, says: “Instead of the traditional in-store RAW events at vet practices, rescue centres and pet shops, we’re are now asking everyone to help spread rabbit awareness online. To champion this, on our social media pages we’re hosting two weeks of livestreams, Q&As, ‘how to’ guides and virtual events from Burgess, RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund), Blue Cross, Ceva Animal Health, Wood Green, RSPCA, PDSA and more.”
What’s on? Virtual Rabbit Awareness Festival – 10 to 23 of August
- Find out more about the various events and activities via the RAW website >>
- From a really useful Rabbit Size-O-Meter and cute Hayley and Binky pictures to colour in, to a handy bunny care guide and more, DOWNLOAD YOUR RAW PACK >>
This year’s event is focusing on the 5 Welfare Needs of Rabbits – but what are they?
In the wild, rabbits feed on high levels of fibrous grasses. Their digestive systems are designed to be kept in constant motion to get the most out of this diet .
WHAT’S UP DOC? Bugs Bunny has a lot to answer for. Root vegetables aren’t a natural part of a rabbit’s diet and giving carrots to them should be avoided. Rabbits need a constant supply of hay or fresh grass to nibble on – in fact, 90 per cent of their daily diet should be made up of the stuff. An endless supply of hay and grass are essential for bunnies to maintain their digestive and dental health.
- Find out more about feeding your rabbits the right diet here >>
Rabbits need plenty of space and enrichment tools in order to be happy. They need to be safe from bad weather and predators.
CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER Pet rabbits’ perspective on the world is very close to that of their wild relatives. Because they are a prey species, they’re in a constant state of alert against predators and potential dangers. This explains why many bunnies don’t like being picked up and may nip if you try. To them, your hands moving down towards them may resemble a bird of prey swooping down to snatch them.
- Find out more about handling your rabbits safely here >>
- Check out our tips on creating an ideal home for your buns here >>
- Discover how to rabbit-proof your garden here >>
- Create the perfect habitat for your indoor bunnies >>
Rabbits need to be able to display their natural behaviours just as they would in the wild in order to be happy .
SECRET AGENTS Rabbits communicate using a secret code – sort of. Their body movements are so subtle that you have to watch very carefully indeed to notice what they’re telling you. For example, bunnies clench their facial muscles and change their body position when they’re feeling worried.
- Find out how more about how rabbits communicate here >>
Rabbits are sociable animals and without both rabbit and human company they can quickly become depressed.
WOULD LIKE TO MEET A single bunny is a lonely bunny. Rabbits are happiest in the company of their own species. The best combination is a neutered male and neutered female.
- Find out more about introducing a new bunny buddy here >>
There’s nothing more important than doing your best to make sure your rabbits stay happy and healthy.
HAPPY HOPPERS When a bunny is feeling really good, they’ll perform a binky – a joyful hop in the air, twist of the body and kicking of their adorable little bunny feet.
- Find out how to keep a close eye on your bunnies’ health here >>
Have you signed up to the Excel Bunny Base group yet? It’s a safe Facebook community for rabbit guardians that are looking for advice and friendly discussions from likeminded owners – and there are lots of cute bunny photos and videos!
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Sources: rabbitawarenessweek.co.uk, bluecross.org.uk