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Many Rabbit Owners Do Not Know How to Care for Their Pets, say Experts

16 May 2016

UK - Rabbits need custard creams for a shiny coat, guinea pigs cannot be transported at more than 30 miles per hour and rabbits shouldn’t eat grass before six months of age. Those are just some of the pieces of misinformation that vets told Supreme Petfoods they had heard from their clients.

It’s spurred on the company to produce a Rabbit Revolution Toolkit to help vet practices and pet shops keep pet owners informed about the best way to care for their pet.

The information came to light at the British Small Animal Veterinary (BSAVA) Congress in Birmingham, attended by over 6,500 vets and vet nurses this April. Delegates visiting Supreme’s stand were asked to vote on some common misconceptions about keeping rabbits. The number one concern was identified as being that people didn’t appreciate the need to give their rabbits sufficient hay, every day, voted for by 26% of vets and nurses.

Around one in five also said that pet owners don’t understand that rabbits are social animals and need an appropriate companion. Cartoon characters might have something to do with the fact that many rabbit owners also don’t appreciate that carrots and fruit are not healthy foods for rabbits.

Other rabbit ‘myths’ that dismayed vets shared included that juice should be added to a rabbit’s water bottle and that six years of age was an amazingly long lifespan for a rabbit (average life expectancy is actually 8-12 years, with the oldest rabbit recorded as living till 17 years old).

Supreme Petfoods is hoping that both pet shops and vet practices will get behind its Rabbit Revolution campaign in the next few weeks and have produced a range of eye catching posters that champion the main pet care issues, such as correct feeding, providing enough space and companionship.

Claire Hamblion, Supreme Marketing Manager said a Rabbit Revolution is clearly long overdue: “It seems there is a long way to go before we really see the big improvements in rabbit welfare and care that are desperately needed. It’s very sad to hear that some pet owners still have a lot to learn about caring for their pet and we want to do everything we can to provide the information that is so sorely needed.”

For information about caring for rabbits and other small pets go to or ask your vet or pet shop for advice. During the Rabbit Revolution in May and June participating vets and pet shops while be handing out free samples of healthy rabbit food while stocks last and providing information about caring for rabbits and other small pets.

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