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Owning a rabbit

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Rabbits are now the third most popular pet animal in the UK. There has been a gradual change in attitude from the rabbit as a pet confined to a hutch at the bottom of the garden to one which is as much a part of the family as a dog or cat.

Pet shops have been the traditional places to buy pet rabbits but, unfortunately, they are not always the best places. Rabbits in pet shops are often stressed and, as a result, are susceptible to disease and it is usually better to buy a rabbit direct from the breeder. A list of registered rabbit breeders is available from Pet Plan or the British Rabbit Council. For non-pedigree rabbits contact your local animal welfare charity, or look at the advertisement board in your veterinary practice, newspapers and your local post office or newsagents shop.

Owning a rabbit, like any pet, is a big responsibility. Before you bring a rabbit home you need to make sure you have an appropriate place to keep it and know how to look after a rabbit. There are many important aspects to rabbit care and many of the factsheets here will provide the information you need to know.