Try these rabbit enrichment tips from STAR Vets
May 14, 2021
Did you get a new rabbit during lockdown? Are you wondering how to give it the best life, now that your life is gearing up again? Enriching your rabbit’s life is pretty simple when you know how. STAR Vets’ nursing team is sharing their top tips for a happy & healthy bunny.
Before we dive in, have you registered your new rabbit with us yet? Once registered, our team can give you more in-depth advice and take care of your rabbit’s health care needs.
Seven way to enrich your rabbit’s life
1. Cognitive enrichment for rabbits
Rabbits need mental stimulation and the ability to express natural behaviours to ward off boredom and stress. We love homemade rabbit enrichment ideas such as toys from cardboard boxes, paper bags, old towels, and flower pots. How about a rabbit tunnel made out of ready-made tubes, or a rabbit digging box using a container of soil? You can also buy rabbit enrichment toys online.
2. The perfect companion
Pet rabbits should ideally be kept in pairs. If you have concerns about a pair leading to baby rabbits, please talk to us about neutering.
3. Human interaction
Regular human interaction and being handled from a young age will help your rabbit develop into a confident, friendly adult pet. Carve out some time each day to spend with them.
4. Food enrichment for rabbits
A nutritional, fibrous diet will aid your rabbit’s digestive health, avoid dental problems, and make them happy – our nurses can advise on this. Using food to encourage natural behaviours will enrich your rabbit’s life too. Make hay-filled toilet roll tubes, hanging food parcels, and foraging trays.
Did you know that rabbits need sunlight to make vitamin D, which helps them get more calcium from their food? Allow plenty of time in a secure outdoor run each day (not during the hottest hours).
6. ‘Hutch goals’
Rabbits love a cosy, safe hutch, accompanied by a run that’s big enough to complete at least three full hops and stand up comfortably in. Stairs and obstacles will provide challenges too.
7. Grooming & cleaning
Regular hutch cleaning, grooming, and keeping fur clean & dry are essential for avoiding ‘fly strike’, which can be fatal. Grooming can also make your rabbit happy. Check for ear mites & fleas while you’re at it, both are easily treated so just ask our team.
8. Disease protection for rabbits in Derbyshire
Rabbits need annual vaccinations for protection against life-threatening diseases Myxomatosis and Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease. Rabbit Awareness Week 2021 in June is all about raising awareness around RVHD2, a more deadly variant of RVHD1. Is your new rabbit vaccinated yet?
We offer a full range of veterinary services for rabbits at our Appleby Magna practice. Why not register your new rabbit with us today?