Diet key to health of your pet rab­bit

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Student Life -

PETS at Home in Burscough is sup­port­ing Rab­bit Aware­ness Week this week by con­tin­u­ing its ban on sell­ing rab­bit muesli, an ini­tia­tive that has been in place since April 2013.

As a re­sult of in­dus­try re­search, Pets at Home stopped sell­ing rab­bit muesli in all of its stores, in­clud­ing Burscough, calling on other re­tail­ers to fol­low its lead.

Rab­bit Aware­ness Week (RAW) is an an­nual event, where ex­perts such as vets, pet re­tail­ers, wel­fare char­i­ties and man­u­fac­tur­ers work to­gether to ed­u­cate peo­ple on how to give owned rab­bits the best care pos­si­ble.

This year’s theme is Move Away from Muesli, which is rais­ing aware­ness around the dan­gers of se­lec­tive feed­ing, en­cour­ag­ing own­ers to use a high-qual­ity, hay-based diet.

Sarah Yould, store man­ager at Pets at Home Burscough, said: “Rab­bits fed on a muesli diet are more likely to suf­fer from den­tal and di­ges­tive prob­lems, and these health is­sues can have a detri­men­tal ef­fect on rab­bits – so we haven’t sold rab­bit muesli at Pets at Home for five years now.

“It’s great that RAW is con­tin­u­ing to draw at­ten­tion to this is­sue and we hope that Move Away from Muesli helps make a real dif­fer­ence to the wel­fare of all rab­bits, by en­sur­ing they are fed the right diet to keep them healthy and happy.”

Ear­lier this year, Pets at Home sus­pended the sale and adop­tion of rab­bits dur­ing the Easter bank hol­i­day.

Pets at Home has also shared a list of con­sid­er­a­tions for prospec­tive rab­bit own­ers:

Rab­bits are so­cia­ble crea­tures that can make won­der­ful pets for ex­pe­ri­enced pet own­ers, and are nat­u­rally social, in­tel­li­gent and in­quis­i­tive an­i­mals.

Rab­bits can be­come friendly and con­fi­dent around peo­ple if gen­tly han­dled from a young age.

Hous­ing will take up a sig­nif­i­cant area of your house and gar­den – you’ll need to make sure they have a large area at home.

Ini­tial set-up costs for their hutch and ac­ces­sories can be expensive at first.

Rab­bits have very dis­tinc­tive per­son­al­i­ties and, once tamed, love spend­ing time with you and other com­pat­i­ble rab­bits (rab­bits should ideally live in pairs).

Rab­bits can en­rich your chil­dren’s learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment, help­ing them un­der­stand more about the nat­u­ral world. They make suit­able pets for older chil­dren, with adult supervision.

Rab­bits take time to clean out, feed and health check ev­ery day.

Own­ers must con­sider the costs of vet bills, bed­ding and food costs through­out the rab­bits’ lives and must be able to com­mit to these on-go­ing costs.

Rab­bits must also be vac­ci­nated and neutered. It’s worth not­ing that un­neutered rab­bits can be­come ag­gres­sive when they ma­ture and are prone to can­cer of the re­pro­duc­tive tract – so neu­ter­ing is not just to avoid un­wanted ba­bies.

A de­ci­sion to get a rab­bit should not be taken lightly; rab­bits can live up to 12 years so are a longterm com­mit­ment

Rab­bits pre­fer the com­pany of other rab­bits – the tem­per­a­ment of any other pets you cur­rently have, such as cats and dogs, should be con­sid­ered when wel­com­ing a rab­bit into your home.

Rab­bits shouldn’t be housed with guinea pigs as they have op­pos­ing di­ets and com­mu­ni­cate in dif­fer­ent ways.

A de­ci­sion to get a rab­bit should not be taken lightly: they can live up to 12 years

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