Looking to adopt or purchase a pet rabbit? You’ve come to the right place! That’s why we’ve put together some information under a Sydney pet vets guide to great rabbit care.
At Fox Valley Animal Hospital we all agree that rabbits make wonderful pets. They are adorable and full of personality. But before you swoop into your local shelter to pick out a cutie, there are a few things you should know to ensure a rabbit is the right pet for you and your family.
Caring for your pet rabbit: A Sydney pet vet guide
All pets come with additional financial commitments. Pet rabbits are no different.
Some of the common rabbit costs include:
- The initial cost of adoption or fee from the licensed breeder
- Ongoing food bills
- The all important veterinary treatment such as regular vaccinations and health checks
- Appropriate housing and rabbit-proofing of your home
- Bowls, toys (yes, rabbits need enrichment, too!) and bedding
- And not to forget de-sexing.
Rabbits can live up to 10 years, so making sure you can make that kind of regular financial commitment is important.
Housing your pet rabbit
Any good Sydney pet vet will tell you all small animals want a place to feel safe, warm and secure. Regardless of whether your pet rabbit is going to be an indoor pet or free range outside, they’ll need a secure, safe place to sleep.
When purchasing a hutch take into consideration the size of your rabbit when fully grown. They should be able to stretch out completely and stand up.
Your rabbit will need a snug sleeping space, and an area to forage and relax. Rabbits are very social animals so the location of the hutch should be within the family environment. That way, your rabbit can feel a part of the action.
If your bunny will have free range in your house or unit it is important to protect any electric cables as rabbits love to chew.
Be aware pet rabbits are not good at judging heights and can easily fall. And when it comes to manners, your bunny will nibble on furniture and anything else that takes their fancy. For safety purposes, you should supervise your pet rabbit while indoors to prevent injury to themselves.
If you need specific advice on how to ace bunny proofing, as a Sydney pet vet clinic, our door is always open. Give us a call on (02) 9489 4805 or feel free to pop in to chat to one of the friendly vet nurses at our Wahroonga pet vet clinic.
Environmental enrichment and rabbit play time
Pet rabbits love to play! Providing toys will stop boredom that can lead to chewing.
Cardboard castles, toilet rolls, old phone books and plastic plant pots all make great toys. Treat balls filled with their favourite food gives hours of entertainment.
Pet rabbits also like to play hide and seek. Boxes to hide in and tunnels to run through. The games are endless and you can get really creative!
Lots of pet rabbit rescue centres will start the process of litter training your rabbit. The key is to be consistent and persistent.
Need extra advice? We’re the Sydney pet vet you need! Please contact Fox Valley Animal Hospital and Hayley, our rabbit loving vet nurse, can advise you on the best way to go about this.
Pet rabbit nutrition
This plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy pet rabbit. Your rabbit’s diet needs to be made up of fibre in the form of hay or grass. They must have unlimited access to this at all times. Good quality pellets that have been scientifically tailored to provide the necessary nutrition are available.
Supplement this diet with fresh veggies and greens can also be offered.
Treatment from your Sydney pet vet
Rabbits need a Calici Vaccination every year and regular health checks at your favourite Sydney pet vet (that’s us in case you were wondering!).
It’s also advised to de-sex your pet rabbit as this will prevent unwanted pregnancies. And make for a much calmer and less dominant pet. De-sexed rabbits will happily live together and form close social bonds.
The final word on rabbits as pets
Pet rabbits make great companions. They can be gentle and cuddly but also very cheeky. The rewards of owning a rabbit are endless, but you need time and dedication to provide a good “furrever” home.
If you have done your research and feel confident you can properly care for a bunny please adopt from a rescue organisation and don’t buy from a pet shop. As we always say at Fox Valley Animal Hospital “adopt, don’t shop!”
Fox Valley Animal Hospital takes great pride in caring for all creatures, great and small. We have vet nurses who have considerable knowledge about rabbit husbandry and can help you with any questions you may have.
Looking at making the leap to pet rabbit ownership? Join the Sydney pet vet community that loves all kinds of pocket pets, Wahroonga’s Fox Valley Animal Hospital. Give us a call for your first check-up on (02) 9489 4805