There are an estimated 1.5 million rabbits in the UK, making these little furballs one of the most popular pets in the country. And it’s not hard to see why.
Rabbits make fantastic pets owing to their social and inquisitive nature. They have distinctive personalities and can form strong bonds with their owners.
However, as with all animals, rabbits can be susceptible to a range of illnesses or injuries which can result in trips to the vet – and in some cases, may require surgery.
You’ll want to try to avoid your bunny getting any major injuries because rabbits can be difficult to operate on due to their small organs and delicate bones. However, by selecting an experienced veterinarian, there is no reason your pet won’t make a full and speedy recovery.
How can you keep your rabbit healthy and injury free?
The best way to avoid costly veterinary bills is to keep your pet rabbit healthy and injury free. A healthy domestic rabbit will typically live for 8 – 12 years but some may survive even longer.
Here are some key tips on how to keep your rabbit healthy and happy:
Get vaccinated – Whilst this won’t guarantee total protection, regularly vaccinating your rabbit against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD) is strongly recommended. Vets also suggest having rabbits neutered to lessen the risk of potentially fatal disease and behavioural issues.
Feed fibre – Feed your rabbit a high-fibre diet and ensure fresh water is always available. Fibre-enriched foods, such as hay and root vegetables, keep a rabbit’s gut moving reducing the risk of stomach problems such as bloating.
Get groomed – Groom your rabbit, especially during moulting season. Not only will it keep your rabbit looking beautiful, it reduces the risk of your pet swallowing excess hair which can cause serious digestion issues. It will also help reinforce the bond between you and your pet. Brushing your rabbit can help highlight any hidden injuries, cuts or grazes.
Adequate activity – All rabbits require exercise and stimulation to maintain their physical and emotional wellbeing. Whilst outdoor exercise is preferable, make sure it is within a safe and secure environment away from predators. Watch out for any potential hazards that might cause injuries and always supervise them whilst they stretch their legs.
Get Social – Rabbits are sociable, not solitary animals. As such, it’s recommended that rabbits are kept in pairs or groups to prevent them from getting lonely.
Do you need insurance to cover your rabbit?
Should your beloved bunny require medical attention, there are several companies that offer pet insurance to cover any potential accidents or injuries. For ease, you can use an online comparison site to quickly liken policies and find the best one for you.
Once you’ve chosen an insurance provider, you’ll typically be given the choice of two policy types:
• Lifetime – covers your rabbit’s lifespan
• Annual – runs and renews over a 12-month period
As with all insurance policies, make sure to read all the terms and conditions. Many policies have a list of exclusions so it’s worth reading them carefully to avoid being caught out.