PRE-PURCHASE rabbit basics, before you buy …

If everyone followed the points listed below there would be no need for any rabbit rescues to exist ever again!  The points may seem obvious, but they are the most common issues that we in rabbit rescue come across day in and day out.  If you can think of any more, do get in touch! 

The following are the pre-purchase rabbit basics that everyone should know before buying or planning to buy a rabbit.

  • Do not buy a rabbit on impulse.
  • Do not breed from your rabbit.
  • Have the sex checked professionally, especially if keeping two together.
  • Never buy a rabbit as a gift for someone.
  • Have your rabbit neutered.
  • Keep up to date with the vaccinations.  Currently there is the combined RHD/myxomatosis annual vaccination and also the RHD2 vaccination which is currently recommended every 6 months but may be extended to cover a year once more information about its use has been examined.


  • Rabbits rarely make good pets for young children.
  • They are the most complicated and often the most expensive small pet you can keep.
  • Most rabbits do not like being handled.
  • Rabbits can inflict a very nasty scratch, especially to a young child.
  • Some rabbits growl and may bite, and some spray urine at you if they are not neutered.
  • A rabbit’s hutch must be permanently attached to a safe run, and both should be cleaned daily.
  • Cost of annual vaccination including both the combined and the RHD2 vaccination is usually around £80 per rabbit.
  • Rabbits do not make good companions for guinea pigs and can molest them.
  • Rabbits dig holes in your lawn and eat your plants.
  • Children usually get bored with a pet rabbit within a month.
  • Rabbits need mental stimulation, so you should provide toys such as soft toys, cardboard boxes, plastic plant pots, kitchen tissue inner rolls, wicker and straw baskets.
  • Baby rabbits are not what they seem – you will not know their true nature for good or bad until they are 5 – 6 months old, regardless of how they are handled or how often they are handled.
  • Most rabbits should be kept in neutered compatible pairs for companionship.
  • Rabbits need as minimum a large htuch with run attached permanently, sited on paving slabs or similar to prevent them digging out or foxes digging in.

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