When you are thinking about getting a rabbit there are things you need to know about and consider. This page will hopefully help.
Qu. Can you afford the time it will take to give this new pet all the proper love and attention it will need and deserve?
Qu. If you go on holiday do you know someone reliable and capable who you can ask to look after your bunny whilst you are away? If you have trouble finding someone we do offer a rabbit holiday boarding service.
Qu. Rabbits live from between 5 - 10 years, are you prepared to look after them for this period of time? Alot of rabbits end up in rescue centres due to people getting fed up or their children growing up and losing interest. Please take this in to account.
I often get asked will my rabbit get lonely? Do I need to get a pair?
As long as you give your rabbit lots of attention on a daily basis they should not get lonely as they love human interaction. However alot of people prefer to have two rabbits living together and to be honest rabbits do like to have company. If you decide to have two you will need to buy a large enough hutch to accomodate them both.
Keeping 2 does together...
Does get on perfectly well together but you will probably find that when they are between 6-14 mths they will go through a teenage maturing stage where they will be mounting each other to show dominance, they may nest build and become fidgity and sometimes aggresive.
If you want to stop this happening you would need to get them both spayed at around 6 mths old. I strongly recommend that you do this anyway as there are health issues to consider. An extremely high percentage of does from the age of 1yr have a high chance of getting uterine infections and other problems associated with their uterus which can often lead to death if not discovered in time.
Keeping a buck and doe together...
A buck and doe will live very happily together but you will obviously need to get the buck neutered when he is about 16wks old to prevent him mating the doe. The doe will be fully mature from about 5-6mths and she will probably start to feel broody and may then pester the buck for a mating. She should definately be spayed at this point, which as I say above should be done anyway to prevent any health issues occurring.
It is not advisable to keep 2 bucks together as they could fight. However it can work in some instances.
If you are keeping your rabbit outside you need to make sure you buy a hutch of an appropriate size and position your hutch in a sheltered spot out of direct sunlight and protected from the wind and rain. I would also recommend you place it on a hard surface eg. paving slabs to prevent it from rotting. For the Dwarf rabbits I breed I would recommend you buy a hutch that is at least 5ft wide and the double storey hutches are fantastic as they give your rabbit double the amount of space to run about in, but the hutch dosn't take up any more ground space. You can also normally buy a run to attach to it. If you are having 2 rabbits obviously you should buy as big a hutch as you can afford and are able to fit in your garden to give them maximum living space.
During the winter you must keep your rabbit protected from the frost and other ailments by covering the hutch with a warm/waterproof cover or made to measure hutch cover. There are further guidelines in our care guide.
It is becoming very popular to have a house rabbit instead of or aswell as a cat or dog.
If you plan to keep your rabbit indoors you will need to buy an indoor cage with a litter tray. Rabbits can adjust well to indoor life and can even be litter trained. This is often easier with a neutered rabbit.
I suggest the best idea is not to keep them on shavings and straw as this will end up all over your house, but instead to use a 'Vet bed' which is washable. You can obtain these in most pet shops or online.
A rabbit must feel safe, if you give them too much freedom they may become a bit scatty. You must make your house 'rabbit proof' as rabbits will chew anything. You must cover your electric wires or move them out of reach along with any furniture you wouldn't want nibbled.
You can purchase books to give you advice on keeping rabbits and house rabbits. The Fur & Feather Magazine Bookshop sell a variety of books: http://www.furandfeather.co.uk/shop.htm or online with Amazon is a good place to look.
There are also alot of house rabbit websites and forums on the internet which you may also find helpful.
You will need to purchase all the correct equipment:
Hutch Garden Run
Food Bowl Water Bottle
Water Bottle Springs (not essential) Hay Rack
Food (I highly recommend) Vet Bed (For indoor cages)
Hay (to feed your rabbit) Straw (for bedding)
Wood Shavings ( for floor of hutch) Bedding (good for litter trays)
Wood Pellet litter (good for litter trays) Litter Tray