Please consider contacting your local animal rescue/rehoming centre first
Never acquire rabbits solely as pets for a child. Rabbits are rarely cuddly and may bite and scratch if they feel frightened or insecure. Rabbits can also be easily injured if handled inappropriately. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and similar legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland, a child under the age of 16 cannot have legal responsibility for an animal’s welfare – it is the responsibility of the child’s parents or carers to ensure that the animals’ needs are met.
Make sure any rabbits you acquire are lively, alert and not showing any signs of illness or injury
If rabbits have been carefully and gently handled from a young age (10 days onwards) they are more likely to be comfortable with handling as they grow older.
Consider the cost of veterinary care such as annual vaccinations against RVHD1&2 and Myxomatosis, neutering and unexpected illnesses or injuries.
If your rabbits stops eating or is withdrawn you should see a rabbit savvy vet immediately.
“Starter kits” are not suitable for rabbits Be prepared to buy or build suitable accommodation – this may cost more than £300. Rabbits need an enclosure measuring at least 3m x 2m x 1m high (10ft x 6ft x 3ft high) which comprises of a shelter with attached run, this will allow them to stretch up fully on their hind legs. Rabbits should have permanent access to all areas of their accommodation. Larger breeds or bigger groups of rabbits will need more space than this.
Indoor rabbits can be trained to use a litter tray and live indoors
As well as a large safe exercise area, rabbits should have items and objects that they can explore and interact with
Rabbits are highly social animals and should be kept with another (neutered) friendly rabbit
Your rabbit will need constant access to good quality dust-free hay to eat and for bedding
Microchip your rabbit as this provides a safe and permanent method of identification
Register your new pet with a vet as soon as possible and book them in for regular health checks
Be aware that rabbits with lop ears and short noses are more likely to have expensive dental and other health problems.