Housing Your Rabbit
How to give your rabbit the home it deserves
Unless you live in a stately home, it’s unlikely that you can offer your rabbit the kind of home environment they would have in the wild! So when you choose how to house your rabbit, it’s important to remember that even if your space is limited, your pet must be able to hop around as well as keep warm, dry and well fed.
More about housing your rabbit
When you choose how to house your rabbits, it’s important to remember they should always be kept in pairs and that means their house needs to comfortably accommodate both of them. As a minimum, the recommendation is any hutch should be 6ft by 2ft – and it must be at least 2ft high so your rabbits can stand on their hind legs if they want to.
It’s not only the hutch you need to think about though, rabbits need to be able to run around and explore their environment. So if you’re unable to give them free, safe access to your garden, you need to provide them with an enclosed run area, ideally on grass and attached to the hutch so they have free access. The minimum size of your run should be 8ft x 6ft x 3ft. Some people even convert a garden shed and attach a full height run which means very happy rabbits!
These are the minimum requirements; if you’re able to then your rabbits would love to have an even bigger space to explore!
When thinking about where to position your hutch, keep in mind it needs to be protected from the weather - both cold and hot, dry and wet. It should be sheltered from wind and rain, but not so close to another building that the heat radiates from this in the summer and heats up the hutch. Consider erecting a sunshade in the summer and it’s important to place it out of direct sunlight. There must always be areas where your rabbits can retreat to in the shade.
For their bedding, straw or hay is ideal – but make sure it is soft and dust free. Your rabbits will eat hay (which is a good thing!) but make sure it’s always fresh and topped up. What’s important is that their bedding area is warm, dry and not exposed to any drafts.
Some rabbits love living indoors, but the same guidelines apply as to how much space they have to roam. If you plan to use a specific room, make sure it meets the minimum size guidelines. They need to have a cosy place to sleep, somewhere they can retreat to for some quiet time. Many rabbits also take very well to litter trays.
It’s important to make sure they’re not in the main areas of the house, with lots of noise and activity as some rabbits can get very stressed by this. Make sure you rabbit-proof your house as well; rabbits love nothing more than chewing, and electrical wires pose a very real threat to them!
As well as hutch and run size, bedding and space, consider what your rabbits might like to play with. Rabbits are very inquisitive by nature and love nothing more than chewing a new toy, or throwing things around!