Domestic rabbits are becoming more popular pets and can be kept as house pets or outside in a suitable hutch. Generally they are social animals and like human company. They can easily be toilet trained to use a litter tray or to use a cat door!
There are a number of important factors to be aware of when keeping a pet rabbit as they are quite different to a cat or dog.
Rabbits teeth grow continuously and they wear down during eating. The correct diet high in fibre is vital to ensure adequate wear and prevent dental problems. Signs of dental problems include dribbling of saliva, reluctance to eat, weight loss, lack of grooming and discharge from the eye.
Rabbits can be kept as indoor pets. They can be toilet trained to use a litter tray. This can be initially achieved by putting some of their droppings in the litter tray to encourage them to use it. Wood or paper-based litter should be used. Rabbits will also readily use a cat flap to gain indoor/outdoor access. Remember that rabbits will chew so it is important that they do not have access to power cords etc. An old telephone book is a good chewing aid for them.
Outdoor rabbits must have a suitable hutch which provides protection from the elements as well as being elevated off the ground. It should have a waterproof roof. It is important to avoid extreme temperatures as heat stress and heat stroke occur easily. Fly and mosquito control should be considered in the summer months to minimise fly strike and transmission of myxomatosis.
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