Owning and caring for rabbits can be great fun and very rewarding, but it’s a big responsibility and a long-term commitment in terms of care and cost. If you own or are responsible for rabbits, even on a temporary basis, you are required by law to care for them properly.
The biology and behaviour of pet rabbits is very similar to that of wild rabbits. This means they have very complex needs and although traditionally thought of as good pets for children, this is not the case as they are not easy to look after well. Typically, rabbits live for 8-12 years, but some may live for longer.
There is no one ‘perfect’ way to care for all rabbits because every rabbit and every situation is different. It’s up to you how you look after your rabbits, but you must take reasonable steps to ensure that you meet all their needs. Under the Animal Welfare Act, pet owners are legally obliged to care for their pets properly – as most owners already do – by providing the following five basic welfare needs:
If you are going away, try to find someone to care for, and meet all your rabbits’ welfare needs within their familiar home. If boarding your rabbits, try to ease the move by keeping paired/grouped rabbits together and leave them with familiar-smelling items, such as toys.