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The five things every bunny owner needs to know
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The five things every bunny owner needs to know

If you love your rabbits then you’ll want to ensure they have everything they need to enjoy a happy, healthy life. As part of this year’s annual Rabbit Awareness Week, we’re focusing on five key areas: Diet, Environment, Behaviour, Companionship and Health, which every bunny owner needs to be aware of.

In this blog we provide an overview of each topic, with links for more detailed information, available on the Rabbit Awareness Week website. With lots of fun graphics, gorgeous pictures and amazing facts, it’s a fabulous resource for bunny owners of all ages!

1. Diet

Rabbits need constant access to grass and high-quality feeding hay. In the wild, rabbits feed on high levels of fibrous grasses and their digestive systems are designed to be kept in constant motion, which enables them to get the most out of this type of diet.

Fibre from feeding hay and fresh grass is really important for:

  • Digestive health – it keeps a rabbit’s gut moving, reducing the risk of gut stasis and bloat
  • Dental health – Rabbits’ teeth continually grow and chewing good quality feeding hay will help wear them down and prevent dental disease
  • Behavioural Health – In the wild rabbits spend 70% of their time foraging, so they need access to hay and grass to be able to express their natural behaviour

If you’re caring for pet rabbits, you can’t go wrong if you follow the Excel 5 Step Feeding Plan, developed with veterinary experts to help ensure your bunnies get a balanced diet.

Excel Feeding Hay + Excel Tasty Nuggets + Excel Nature Snacks + Fresh greens + Fresh water

Find lots more information and expert advice on diet here 

This year, Rabbit Awareness Week’s campaign is Move Away from Muesli. Find out why this is so important and how you can get involved here 

2. Environment

Rabbits need plenty of space – think garden shed, rather than cramped hutch – in housing that’s protected from the elements and is safe from predators or loud noises that could scare them. They also need a spacious, secure exercise area permanently attached to it. Their home needs to be tall enough for them to be able to stand up fully without their ears touching the roof and to lie fully outstretched in any direction, to take a number of consecutive hops, and to run, jump, explore and forage and do all the things that come naturally to bunnies.

Check out these fun interactive graphics on creating the perfect rabbit environment here

3. Behaviour

Rabbits need to be able to display the natural behaviours that they would in the wild in order to be happy. Here are some basics things that can help them do just that:

  • Water – Always ensure fresh clean water is available for your rabbits
  • Food – Access to their body size in hay and a small bowl of nuggets daily
  • Space – Large housing with spaces to hide and access to a run that’s big enough for them to run around in
  • Companions – Rabbits should always be kept in at least pairs
  • Enrichment – Toys and activities

Find lots more behaviour advice and top tips here

4. Companionship

Rabbits are sociable animals and solo bunnies can quickly become depressed. Although they enjoy spending time with their owners, rabbits naturally prefer the company of their own kind and should be kept with at least one bunny buddy.

Find out more about the companionship needs of rabbits here 

Want to introduce your bunny to a new companion? Find out what’s involved here

5. Health

There’s nothing more important than doing your best to make sure your rabbits stay healthy and, as a bunny owner, you probably have lots of questions. What are the most common health problems in rabbits? How often should I take them to the vet? What should I do if I notice a change in my rabbits’ behaviour? What is gut stasis? What is fly strike? How do I help my rabbits stay in trim?

You can find the answers to these questions and others here

Did you know? Rabbit Awareness Week is organised each year by a coalition of partners, including Burgess Pet Care, various vet bodies and charities including the RSPCA, RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund), PDSA, Blue Cross and Wood Green – ­The Animals Charity. The partners all have one thing in common – putting animal welfare at the heart of everything we do. Each year, Rabbit Awareness Week focuses on highlighting one key welfare issue to help improve the lives of UK rabbits.

Request a RAW pack, which includes a care guide, poster to colour and a 20% off voucher for Burgess Excel rabbit food here

If you found this interesting, you might like:

What’s on your rabbit’s wish list? Help your rabbits live an active and fulfilling life

Happy bunnies? What your rabbits need to be contented cottontails

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