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Vets are hoping this years’ Rabbit Awareness Week, which runs until the May 17, will encourage owners of almost 1m rabbits to get their pet vaccinated.
In the UK up to 75 per cent of 1-1.3m pet rabbits are not vaccinated, meaning up to 975,000 rabbits are at risk from diseases including Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD).
Now, as part of Rabbit Awareness Week, Vets4Pets is providing rabbit owners with hints and tips on how to help keep their pets healthy and happy.
“Keeping your rabbit fit and healthy is vital to ensure a long, happy and fulfilling life,” said Huw Stacey, head of clinical services at Vets4Pets.
“In the wild, rabbits have plenty to keep them occupied, from foraging to territorial defence.
“Pet rabbits, on the other hand, often lack stimulation, which can lead to behavioural problems and poor health. Much like humans, they need to be kept physically and mentally active.
“This could include providing tunnels, tree stumps, suitable toys, a digging box, hiding places such as cardboard boxes and placing food in various places to encourage natural foraging.
“Of course vaccinating your rabbit and providing it with regular boosters is the best way to help avoid the fatal VHD disease and the potentially fatal Myxomatosis.”
Primary vaccinations are up by nine per cent in the last three years, but boosters are down slightly meaning the older the rabbit the more likely it is of not being vaccinated.
“Our five tip guide is aimed at helping owners care for their pet rabbits and provide them with a stimulating and healthy lifestyle,” added Huw.
“Further information on caring for pet rabbits can be found on the Rabbit Week section of our website.” www.vets4pets.com/pet-advice/rabbit-awareness-week/
Vets4Pets pet rabbit tips - in association with Rabbit Awareness Week
Rabbits are known as ‘fibrevores’ as fibre is absolutely essential for their dental, digestive and emotional health. Good quality hay and/or grass should make up the majority of a rabbits’ diet and should be available at all times.
Pet rabbits need to have enough space to stretch, run about and forage. It is important that your rabbit has enough space for them to stretch their legs!
Nowadays, we have a far greater understanding of what rabbits need to keep them happy and healthy. It is also important to remember that the way a rabbit behaves will depend on their age, personality and past experiences.
Rabbits are very social animals and they can suffer without appropriate company.
Keeping your rabbit fit and healthy is vital to ensure a long, happy and fulfilling life. Good care, appropriate feeding and other measures such as vaccinations, flystrike prevention and microchipping are key.