Common Mistakes when Keeping Rabbits
Guide for Rabbit Owners: Seven of the typical Mistakes
Rabbit owners, who believe that they have an easy to handle creature as a pet, should know that it’s not the case: Many mistakes can be made in the keeping of these mammals.
- Rabbits are acquired for children: Young children, in particular, do not have the necessary knowledge and the important sensitivity in dealing with the animals. On the one hand, they tend to grasp the delicately built creature too firmly, on the other hand, they like to take the rabbit in their arms. Both can cause damage such as broken bones and fear.
- They lack enrichment opportunities: The intelligent and active rabbits need an environment that enables them to live out their natural and species-specific behaviour as they stretch out, stand on their hind legs, hobble, dig and much more. They need incentives for physical and mental stimulation. If this is not the case, they can suffer from boredom.
- Rabbits are kept individually: Rabbits are very social animals. The need for company is deeply rooted in them: they live in the wild in large groups, searching for food, looking for predators and warning each other. A life without at least one social partner and attention from the keeper can lead to boredom and moping with destructive behaviour, hyperactivity or withdrawal as a result.
- Not enough attention is paid to their health: Rabbits can hide diseases very well; in a group they must prove to be strong. However, as they can fall ill with many diseases, it will have fatal consequences for them if their owners do not carry out regular health checks on them or pay attention to deviations.
- Rabbits are kept awake: Their active time is at dawn and dusk. In between, they must rest or sleep to relax.
- They do not receive adequate nutrition: Fresh water and hay and/or grass must be available at all times. A lack of water leads on a long-term basis leads to dehydration and death. Hay and/or grass are extremely important for rubbing their constantly growing teeth to a healthy level and keeping their intestines going.
- Rabbits are not properly cared for: Appropriate care includes taking care of the coat and nails. Especially for rabbits, with a dense and constantly growing coat (Angora rabbits) regular care is very important. In case of insufficient care, the coat becomes matted. In addition, the rabbit will swallow a lot of fur during cleaning, which can lead to stomach problems. If claws are not kept short enough, the animals can no longer hobble or jump properly, and the claws can tear painfully.