PetPlanet.co.uk Rabbit House Sizing Advice
PetPlanet.co.uk want our customers (and their rabbits) to get the best out of their choice of rabbit house and run. With this in mind we have provided below some helpful information from RSPCA and BVA. It is essential for the welfare and happiness of your rabbit that it have enough room to exercise and play.
From the RSPCA...
- Provide your rabbit with a secure living environment that is large enough for it to exercise in and stand up fully on its back legs.
- You should provide both a large exercise area and a secure shelter where your rabbit can rest, feel safe and is protected from predators and extremes of weather and temperature. Ensure all areas of your rabbit’s environment are well ventilated, dry and draught-free.
- Make sure your rabbit has constant access to safe hiding places where it can escape if it feels afraid.
- Allow your rabbit to exercise regularly.
- Provide enough bedding to keep your rabbit warm. Bedding should be safe for your rabbit to eat, e.g. dust-free straw or hay.
- Give your rabbit regular access to a suitable place where it can go to the toilet, separate to where it eats and sleeps.
- Clean the housing and toilet areas regularly.
- If you are going away, try to find someone to care for, and meet all your rabbit’s welfare needs within its familiar home. If boarding your rabbit, try to ease the move by keeping grouped rabbits together and taking familiar items, such as toys, along too.
- When you transport your rabbit make sure it is comfortable and safe at all times. Putting familiar smelling items in the carrier and the new environment can help make your rabbit feel at ease.
- Ensure the size and temperature of any place you leave your rabbit (including your vehicle) is appropriate.
- Make sure that where your rabbit lives is safe, secure and free from hazards.
From the BVA...
"If a pet rabbit is being kept outside it is essential to provide it with a large home. When selecting a hutch there is quite a lot to be considered. First, it is essential to know the adult size to which the rabbit will grow. As a rough guide, the hutch should allow an adult rabbit to sit up on its hind legs and to stretch out.
Ideally, the hutch should be divided into two sections to include a secure and secluded sleeping compartment. All doors must be well fitting with sturdy locks that fasten securely.
The hutch must be weatherproof and regularly maintained using a non-toxic wood preserving treatment. The roof should also be weatherproof and slope backward to allow rain to drain off.
Strong wire mesh must be used on the front of the living quarters. Check that there are no rough edges on which the rabbit could injure itself. A thick piece of canvas can be attached to the roof and lowered over the front of the cage at night, keeping the rabbit warm and cosy.
The hutch should be lined using a thick layer of newspaper with sawdust or wood shavings on top for extra warmth; hay can be placed in the sleeping compartment.
The siting of the hutch is important. The hutch should ideally be raised off the ground, as this will protect the cage and its occupant from damp, and also from vermin.
Although rabbits are hardy creatures that can withstand fairly low temperatures, the hutch should be positioned away from draughts and extremes of temperature and, preferably near to the house. In the winter the rabbit hutch can be placed in a well ventilated airy garage or shed. Remember rabbits can suffer from being too hot or too cold."