Sunderland, Hartlepool and South Tyneside Branch

Rabbit Awareness Week: 18-26 June

banner_rabbitsIt’s that time of year when we get barmy about bunnies! Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) takes place between 18 – 26 June 2016 and we’re looking to raise awareness of these fantastic animals.

This will be the 10th annual RAW, and we’re looking forward to celebrating the nation’s 4th most-owned pet by raising awareness of rabbits’ welfare needs.

Many people assume that rabbits are easy to look after. They make great family pets but they do have specific dietary and health needs that all rabbit owners need to know about.

Five tips to look after a happy, healthy rabbit:

  • Rabbits need space. Rabbits may need a hutch for shelter and sleep but they will need ample space to stretch, run and jump. Rabbits are intelligent and active – if they’re bored, they could suffer both physically and mentally.
  • It takes around 10 hours a week to look after them. With feeding, health checking, cleaning, grooming and interacting, you should expect to devote plenty of time for your furry friend.
  • Rabbits’ teeth grow continuously throughout their life. They need to be worn down and kept at the correct length and shape by eating grass, hay and leafy green plants.
  • Watch for signs of stress. Signs that a rabbit may be suffering from stress or fear can include hiding, chewing cage bars, over-grooming, altered feeding or toileting habits, over-drinking or playing with the water bottle, sitting hunched, reluctance to move, and repeated circling of his/her enclosure. Seek veterinary assistance if you spot any of those signs.
  • Pair up! Rabbits are naturally sociable and normally prefer to be with another rabbit. A rabbit left on his/her own can develop abnormal behaviour and may suffer if left without company and nothing to do for long periods of time.

If you’re interested in rehoming a rabbit, take a look at the RSPCA rehoming page and for more advice on rabbit health, take a look at our Rabbit advice page.