A hutch is not enough, Rabbits under the weather

This year it seems the weather has gone crazy. It’s impossible to know what to wear because one minute it’s bright and sunny, then suddenly the heavens open. It’s inconvenient for us, but it can be a massive problem for pet rabbits living outside.

According to the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF), rabbit owners are facing a daily dilemma. When they go out, should they put their rabbits in a run and risk exposing them to a downpour, or leave them in the hutch – leaving them cramped and with no space for exercising. Every responsible owner knows this isn’t good for rabbits for too long.

A hutch is not enough, Rabbits under the weather
“The real solution is to have the hutch and run permanently attached to each other and set them up properly in the first place so you don’t have to try and guess what the weather’s going to do”, said Alan Wilson of the charity. “Extreme weather conditions are a good opportunity to check you’ve got the placement right. After rain, check whether the hutch (which should stay dry and warm) has got wet. If it has you need to move it - you’ll see where the prevailing wind has pushed the rain in. Equally, on a really sunny day, check the shadows and make sure the run and hutch get some protection – especially at mid-day. It may become clear that the hutch needs to be moved through the year in order to be in the optimum position to be warm in winter and shady and cool in the summer. The RWAF also encourages owners to keep the hutch and run as close to possible to the house or the part of the garden that is passed regularly as part of a daily routine. This makes it easy to keep a good check on how your rabbits are doing.”

If you’re worried about how best to look after your rabbit, you can always check the RWAF’s website and quarterly magazine for up to the minute advice on looking after your pet rabbits. They provide tips such as providing a water bowl as well as a bottle in the summer, and the dangers of Flystrike, a deadly condition for rabbits that peaks in the summer.

For advice on how to keep rabbits go to: www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/making-it-right.htm

“We urge anyone with pet rabbits to join us,” said Alan. “Our quarterly magazine is full of advice and features and is worth the subscription alone. You’ll also be helping us to spread the word and give other rabbits the life they deserve.”