The show-jumping bunnies are always a huge attraction at the annual London Pet Show and this year is no different.

But there’s a serious side to RAW (9-17 May) and the theme this year is ‘Room For Rabbits’ – focusing on rabbit’s living conditions; which research shows are all too often totally inadequate and can be detrimental to their welfare. Have a look at last year’s blog we did for RAW for more on looking after your rabbit

Free rabbit health checks at vets

Following RAW’s biggest year ever in 2014, vets across Ireland have pledged to offer free health checks throughout the month of May, rather than just the week of RAW. So hop to it – make sure your local vet is offering this service before you go though (only UK vets involved in the scheme are currently on the RAW website).

Irish Bunny stats

A survey carried out by RAW partners found that 70 percent of Republic of Ireland rabbit owners do not have a digging area for their pets, a housing requirement vital for their mental and physical health.

It was also revealed that over 30 percent of Irish respondents said they received very little information about how to care for their rabbits when they first took them home.

Bunny business

The RAW website has some great information and advice on how to keep a happy, healthy rabbit:

The right home for your rabbit: why a hutch is not enough and should only be viewed as your rabbits’ ‘bedroom’. The hutch should be permanently attached to a much larger run or exercise area, so your rabbits can decide when they go outside to stretch their legs.

Getting a good night’s sleep (the rabbit that is!)
: rabbits are very sociable creatures and like to live and sleep in groups; so try and keep your bunnies in pairs at least.

Keep them clean: rabbits are meticulously clean and constantly groom themselves but they can’t clean their own house unfortunately – you need to clean their home frequently and make sure there’s adequate ventilation so as not to attract flies (in warmer weather there is a risk of flystrike – a devastating condition caused by the green bottle fly).

Play Time:
Willow balls or toilet roll tubes stuffed with good quality dust-free hay are mentally stimulating and encourage natural foraging behaviour whilst being a form of exercise.

Create a rabbit paddock: if you have the luxury of a large garden!

See more on the Rabbit Awareness Week website: