The Art of Keeping Pets Cool on a Hot Summer’s Day

The sun is blazing and the heat is on in East Renfrewshire. While we humans have various ways to beat the heat, our furry friends often need a little extra help staying cool when the mercury soars. Fear not, pet parents, for we’ve got you covered with some cool tips to keep your beloved companions comfortable and safe on those scorching summer days.

If your pet is not coping well in the heat, contact our team at Rouken Glen Vets for advice.

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The Art of Keeping Pets Cool

Whilst most of us look forward to a hot summer in East Renfrewshire, it can get too hot for our pets and affect their health. Here’s our advice on how to keep your pet’s cool:

  1. Hydration: Keep water bowls filled up, ensuring your pet stays refreshed and revitalised.
  2. Cool Spaces: Create cool havens indoors, avoid hotspots like porches & conservatories.
  3. Shady Retreats: Offer shady spots for your pet to relax in away from the sun’s glare.
  4. Outdoor Comfort: Design outdoor areas & enclosures with shade and consider bringing pets indoors on very hot days.
  5. Heat-Free Zones: Keep pets away from outdoor hot spots like greenhouses & sheds.
  6. Cool Runnings: Plan outdoor activities for cooler times of the day to prevent overheating.
  7. Car Safety: Never leave pets in hot cars, ensuring they’re always safe and cool by your side.
  8. Water Watch: Supervise pets around water features, ensuring they play safely.
  9. Vigilant Monitoring: Watch for signs of heatstroke like panting & vomiting, and act quickly.
  10. Emergency Care: Seek vet help immediately if your pet shows signs of overheating.

If you would like any further advice or your pet is struggling in the heat, contact our team at Rouken Glen Vets.

Contact us for advice

Now, for some more pet tips & treats!

Dogs:

Treat your dog to a splash in the paddling pool or set up a shady spot with a wet towel or cooling mat for them to lie on. Frozen treats like doggy ice lollies made from pet-safe ingredients (such as strawberries) are also a paw-some way to keep your canine companion cool and satisfied.

Got a favourite doggy ice-cream hot spot in East Renfrewshire? Let our followers know on Facebook!

Cats:

Provide plenty of fresh water for your cat to drink, add ice cubes to keep it cold. Create a cat-friendly chill zone indoors with closed curtains, a fan, cooling floor tiles or even a damp cloth straight from the freezer. When trying something new, introduce it slowly and monitor your cat’s response.

Rabbits & Small Furry Pets:

Fluffy furballs like rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters can quickly overheat and need cool retreats. Our vet nurses in Giffnock suggest frozen water bottles wrapped in towels or a ceramic tile that’s been chilled in the fridge make excellent cooling spots. For rabbits, you can lightly mist their ears with cool water, but don’t leave them too wet & cold.

Remember, pet parents – when it comes to keeping your pets cool on a hot day, a little extra TLC goes a long way. So, break out the frozen goodies, set up the shade, and let’s keep our pet pals happy!

For more heat-related pet advice, contact our experienced team at Rouken Glen Vets.

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Is my rabbit overweight? Try this simple test

Just like in humans, an unhealthy weight and body composition in rabbits can lead to range of health problems. Our vet Richard Black, shares a simple test you can do at home to check whether your rabbit could be carrying more body fat than is healthy. Richard also explains below, why Rouken Glen Vets’ nursing team are the perfect people to help you confirm and combat this.

Book a rabbit weight review with a nurse

Why excess body fat is a problem for rabbits

Vet Richard Black, explains why it’s important to make sure your rabbit isn’t carrying too much body fat as this can cause health problems, such as:

  • Behavioural changes
  • Dental issues
  • Digestive disorders
  • Heart & respiratory issues
  • Heat stress in hot weather
  • Increased risk of flystrike (from not being able to reach their bottom to clean it)
  • Lethargy
  • Mobility issues, joint strain and arthritis
  • Reduced quality of life and a decreased lifespan
  • Reproductive complications
  • Skin conditions
  • Splayed legs
  • Urinary problems

Try this simple test on your rabbit

Richard suggests trying this at home if your rabbit is happy for you to do it:

  1. Spine: Run your fingers lightly along the spine; if it feels softly rounded, that’s ideal. If the bones are too prominent or sharp, your rabbit could be under-weight. If the spine is difficult to feel, there is probably too much body fat.
  2. Ribs: Feel along your rabbit’s sides with both hands; being able to feel their ribs under a slight layer of fat is ideal. If the ribs are difficult to feel, your rabbit may be overweight.
  3. From Above: A pear-shaped body with a slimmer waist and shoulders is ideal. A rectangular or boxy shape suggests excess fat.
  4. From The Side: A gentle upward curve towards the chest and shoulders is ideal. A straight line from the belly to the chest indicates excess fat.

If you think your rabbit could be carrying too much body fat, book a weight review with Rouken Glen Vets’ nursing team soon.

How Rouken Glen Vets’ nurses can help

Richard recommends talking to our veterinary nursing team in Giffnock as they are highly experienced in caring for rabbits and helping owners manage their pet’s weight. Our nurses will first confirm if your rabbit is overweight and what their ideal weight and body composition should be. Then, from tailored diet and exercise plans to regular weigh-ins and support, you can count on our veterinary nurses to help you help your rabbit reach new goals.

By addressing these issues sooner rather than later, you can help prevent and manage obesity in your rabbit, and promote better health and longevity.

Book a rabbit weight review today

Vets in Giffnock share the health risks of parasites in small pets

While pet rodents like mice, rats, and hamsters may be small in size, they can still be susceptible to internal parasites like tapeworms and pinworms. Our vets in Giffnock want owners of small furry pets to be aware of these potential health threats and be able to spot the signs of worms at home.

Ask us about small pet parasite treatments

Before we dive in, did you know that April is National Pet Month? Share a photo or video of your tiny companion on our Facebook page and let’s celebrate the joy of pet ownership together!

Understanding tapeworms and pinworms

  • Tapeworms are common in rodents and are typically transmitted through the ingestion of infected fleas or lice. Once ingested, tapeworm larvae develop into adult worms in the rodent’s intestines, where they can grow and produce eggs, perpetuating the cycle of infection.
  • Pinworms are small, thread-like parasites that can also infect the intestines of rodents, often through the ingestion of contaminated food or bedding.

Five signs of tapeworm and pinworm infestations:

Vet Richard Black at our Giffnock vet practice shares that detecting tapeworms and pinworms in pet mice, rats, and hamsters can be challenging, as these parasites may not always produce noticeable symptoms. However, there are some signs that may indicate a worm infestation in your furry friend:

  1. Weight loss despite having a normal appetite.
  2. Visible worm segments (in the case of tapeworms) that look like small, rice-like pieces in your pet’s faeces or around their bottom area.
  3. Itching and irritation around the bottom area, leading to excessive grooming or scratching.
  4. Appearing lethargic or less active than usual.
  5. A rough, dull coat could indicate an underlying health issue, including a worm infestation.

Preventing and treating worm infestations

Richard advises pet owners that preventing worm infestations in pet rodents begins with good hygiene and sanitation practices. By keeping your pet’s cage clean, and providing fresh bedding and food regularly, you can minimise the risk of exposure to parasites. Additionally, Richard recommends that you should avoid feeding your pet rodents wild-caught insects or uncooked grains, as these may carry tapeworm eggs or pinworm larvae.

If you suspect your pet mouse, rat, or hamster may have tapeworms or pinworms, get in touch with our Giffnock team promptly. Richard or another of our vets can perform a thorough examination and recommend appropriate treatment options, which may include deworming medications or other interventions to help eliminate the parasites. Additionally, our vets can offer guidance on preventive measures to reduce the risk of future infestations in your small furry pets.

Remember, early detection and intervention are key to managing worm infestations in pet rodents. By staying vigilant and seeking veterinary care at the first sign of trouble, you can help protect your tiny companions from the harmful effects of internal parasites.

Ask us about small pet parasite treatments

Before you go, pop over to our Facebook page and share a photo or video of your small furry pets to celebrate National Pet Month!

Get Rouken Glen Vets’ guide to edible gardens for small furries

What better way to celebrate the arrival of spring in East Renfrewshire than by growing an edible garden for your small furry pets? Whether you have rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils or other small pets, cultivating an edible garden not only provides them with fresh and nutritious treats but can also offers a rewarding and interactive experience for both pet and owner.

In this article, Rouken Glen Vets’ nursing team share the benefits of growing an edible garden for your pet, as well as tips on which foods to plant and what you’ll need to get started. Plus, download our step-by-step guide on how to:

Grow an Edible Garden for Small Furry Pets

Choosing the right edible garden

When it comes to edible gardens for small pets, there are two ways you can go. Rouken Glen Vets’ team of nurses think you’ll probably end up wanting to build both!

Option 1 – Grow an edible garden for you to harvest

Creating an area in your East Renfrewshire garden to grow your own fruit & vegetables that can supplement your pet’s diet is a win-win on many levels; home-grown foods are super fresh and full of essential nutrients, they are free from chemicals (when you don’t user chemical fertiliser or pesticides), often cheaper than buying from the shop, and there’s no plastic wrappers to throw away. Plus, gardening can be fun and rewarding!

Our nurses can recommend several common vegetables that you can grow in your garden which are suitable for rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and gerbils. These include:

  • Carrots: Rich in vitamin A and provide essential nutrients for these small pets.
  • Lettuce: Leafy greens (e.g. romaine, green leaf & red leaf lettuce) are safe in moderation.
  • Kale: High in vitamins and minerals; give in moderation due to its calcium content.
  • Spinach: Give in moderation due to its oxalic acid content.
  • Broccoli: Rich in vitamins & minerals, including vitamin C, give in small amounts as a treat.
  • Bell Peppers: Provide essential nutrients such as vitamin C, can be fed raw or cooked.
  • Cucumber: Low in calories and provides essential hydration for these small pets.
  • Zucchini: Low in calories, provides essential vitamins & minerals, can be fed raw or cooked.

When feeding fresh vegetables from your garden to rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and gerbils, it’s essential to wash them thoroughly and provide them in appropriate portion sizes. Introduce new foods gradually and monitor your pet for any adverse reactions. Additionally, talk to our Giffnock nurses about providing a balanced diet tailored for your small pet – get in touch.

Option 2 – Grow an edible garden for your pet to forage in

You can create an interactive and enriching experience for your pet by building an edible garden they can forage in, which will mimic their natural wild behaviours.

The materials you will need will depend on the type of small furry pet you have. For rabbits and guinea pigs you’ll need a large plant pot or trough that can be moved in and out of their hutch easily, or placed in an outdoor run that isn’t accessible all the time. For hamsters and gerbils, you’ll need a second cage (we suggest checking online for second hand ones) that you can place a pet-safe plastic tray inside. It’s wise not to give your pet access to their garden all the time so they don’t eat everything in one sitting!

It’s Gardening Time!

You’ll need to remember that ‘gardening time’ for your small furry pet will be messy – they will dig, rip up, throw things out and basically undo all your hard work, but they’ll have so much fun doing it! You could make this a weekend fun activity and have a few trays or troughs growing at the same time that you can swap in and out, doing a little maintenance and replanting along the way!

To get you started, Rouken Glen Vets’ team of nurses have shared some examples of edibles you can grow, sow, or throw into your planter or tray:

  • For rabbits: Mint, parsley, basil, dill, and carrot tops.
  • For guinea pigs: Bell peppers, strawberries, cilantro, and kale.
  • For hamsters: Dandelion leaves, sunflower seeds, and small amounts of broccoli.
  • For gerbils: Blueberries, cilantro, and small amounts of apple.

For a list of the materials you will need and additional seeds you can buy, plus instructions on how to build your pet’s very own edible garden, download our ‘how to’ guide:

Grow an Edible Garden for Small Furry Pets

Good foods for dental health: advice for rabbit owners in East Renfrewshire

Did you know that your pet rabbit’s teeth will continually grow for their entire life? To maintain your furry friend’s oral health, it is essential that you provide them with the correct nutrition that supports natural wear and tear. In this article, Vet Richard Black explores the foods that Rouken Glen Vets recommends to help keep your rabbit’s teeth healthy and strong.

Book a dental exam for your rabbit

Foods that are good for rabbit oral health

Vet Richard Black wants to help rabbit owners in East Renfrewshire understand exactly which foods, and things you can probably find in your garden, will really help to maintain your rabbit’s dental health.

The importance of hay

According to Richard, hay is the cornerstone of a rabbit’s diet and plays a vital role in maintaining dental health. The fibre in hay encourages constant chewing, which naturally grinds down your rabbit’s teeth. Richard recommends offering a variety of hays like timothy, meadow, or orchard grass to keep their diet interesting and ensure they receive essential nutrients.

Fresh leafy greens

Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and romaine lettuce are not only packed with vitamins and minerals but also provide the necessary crunch to help wear down your rabbit’s teeth. These greens should be a daily part of your pet’s diet. You should avoid ice-berg lettuce as these can make rabbits feel unwell.

Fresh herbs

Richard wants rabbit owners to get excited about herbs like parsley, coriander, and dill, as these serve as tasty additions to your rabbit’s diet while promoting healthy teeth. The act of nibbling on herbs encourages natural dental maintenance.

Twigs and branches

These might not seem the obvious choice, but Richard recommends incorporating safe twigs and branches from fruit-bearing trees like apple, willow, or pear into your rabbit’s environment. These act as natural toothbrushes, providing both dental and enrichment benefits.

Rabbit pellets

High-quality rabbit pellets can be part of your rabbit’s diet, but they should not be the primary focus. Choose pellets that are rich in fibre and low in calcium, as an excess of calcium can lead to urinary tract issues.

Fresh vegetables

Fresh vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, and celery can be given in moderation as occasional treats. They offer both dental exercise and nutritional value.

Richard wants rabbit owners in East Renfrewshire to be aware: whilst some calcium is essential for rabbits, an excess can lead to urinary problems and kidney stones. Therefore, it’s important to avoid high-calcium foods like alfalfa hay (sometimes called Lucerne hay), which is suitable for young rabbits but not for adults. Also, remember that fresh, clean water is essential for all aspects of your rabbit’s health.

Maintaining your rabbit’s dental health is not just about providing the right foods; it’s also about ensuring a well-balanced diet. Contact our rabbit vets at Rouken Glen Vets to discuss your rabbit’s nutritional needs and don’t hesitate to contact us on 0141 620 2580 to book a dental exam for them.

Book a dental exam for your rabbit

How to tell if your rabbits are too cold this winter

Vet Richard Black has prepared the following advice for rabbit owners in East Renfrewshire on how to keep their hopping house mates happy this winter, including tips for keeping them warm and comfortable.

Share this advice with other rabbit owners by sharing our article on your socials. Don’t hesitate to call us on 0141 620 2580 if you would like some individual advice tailored to your rabbit from our team.

Contact our team for personalised winter rabbit advice

7 signs your rabbit is feeling the cold

  1. Shivering: If you notice your rabbit shivering or trembling, it’s a clear sign they are feeling cold. Shivering is a natural response to cold temperatures as the body tries to generate heat.
  2. Huddling: Rabbits will huddle together or curl up into a ball to conserve body heat when they’re cold. If you see your rabbit doing this frequently, it’s a sign they are trying to stay warm.
  3. Cold ears and feet: Richard recommends touching your rabbit’s ears and feet – if they feel cold to the touch, it’s a sign your rabbit is too cold. Cold extremities can indicate poor circulation and discomfort.
  4. Reduced activity: Cold temperatures can make rabbits lethargic. If your rabbit becomes less active or seems sluggish, it may be because they are cold.
  5. Seeking warmth: If your rabbit is actively seeking warm spots in their enclosure, such as cuddling next to a heated water bottle or seeking shelter, it’s a clear indication they are trying to stay warm.
  6. Hunched posture: Rabbits tend to adopt a hunched posture with their body close to the ground when they are feeling cold, advises Richard. This is another way to minimise heat loss.
  7. Change in eating and drinking habbits: When rabbits are too cold, they may eat and drink less because their body is conserving energy to stay warm. Richard stresses that it’s very important to monitor your rabbit’s food and water consumption; eating less or not at all can quickly become a rabbit emergency and dehydration can also affect their digestion. Call us on 0141 620 2580 if you are concerned.

How to keep your rabbit warm this winter

Richard advises that there are several ways you can help your rabbit cope with the cold weather including:

  • Move your rabbit’s hutch or cage inside your home if possible, or perhaps into a garage or shed to avoid the coldest of the weather in East Renfrewshire.
  • Ensure their enclosure is well insulated, especially their sleeping area. You can also wrap your rabbit’s home in blankets or a duvet, ensuring it’s remains well-ventilated.
  • Extra straw and hay will help to provide warmth and insulation in your rabbit’s enclosure.
  • Microwaveable heat pads and well-wrapped hot water bottles can be useful when the temperature really drops but caution should be taken when using these. You may want to place these on the outside of your rabbit’s housing to avoid them chewing through the casing.
  • Limit outdoor play during very cold weather and ensure your rabbit has access to sheltered areas during their limited playtime.
  • Your rabbit may need more calories during colder months to help them generate heat – our team can advise on this. Contact us on 0141 620 2580 to discuss your rabbit’s winter nutritional needs.

It is crucial to strike a healthy balance between providing warmth but also the necessary ventilation. Regularly monitoring your rabbits for signs of cold and making adjustments to their environment as needed will help to keep your rabbit healthy, happy and snuggly warm this winter.

Share this advice with other rabbit owners on your socials and let’s help bunnies across East Renfrewshire have a happy and healthy winter.

Contact our team for personalised advice

Essential 2024 transportation advice for small furry pets

Small furry pets do not often need to travel. However, for the rare occasions they might do, small furry pet owners can be left confused and unsure on how to safely get their pet from A to B.

Below, the experienced team at Rouken Glen Vets have summarised the reasons for travelling, and how best to travel with your small furry pet.

If you have any questions after reading this advice, contact us on 0141 620 2580 or pop over to our Facebook page to ask.

To help you understand how to travel safely with your small pet, whether that’s in a car or on public transport, you can download our helpful guide here.

Download our small furry travel tick list

When would my small furry pet need to travel?

Visiting us at Rouken Glen Vets

Our vets in Giffnock recommend vaccinating your rabbits against myxomatosis and VHD1/VHD2. This needs to be completed at our clinic so knowing how to safely travel with your pet is essential. Other small furry pets may also need veterinary attention from time to time, so practicing safe travel is necessary in keeping their stress-levels down during their outings.

Contact us to book a rabbit vaccination or small pet check-up

Moving to a new home

You may have no plans to move yet, but as our pets are part of our family for a few years, it is worth planning for the long term when it comes to desensitising them to pet travel.

Grooming appointments

Certain long-haired breeds may need regular appointments to be groomed. This will benefit their overall health and wellbeing. Travelling to these appointments can be practiced, ensuring your pet is used to their pet carrier – learn about the best type of carrier and how to travel safely in our guide.

Pet sitting

If you are planning a holiday, you will have thought about pet care. Sometimes, you can get pet sitters to attend to your small furry pet in your home. However, you may need to transport your pet to somebody else’s house if you are using a family member or a friend.

Transporting your pet

There are some essentials to follow when travelling with your small furry pet. The team at Rouken Glen Vets have summarised this into a handy PDF for you to download – great to keep on your phone in case you or a friend need to transport your small furry pet quickly.

The team at Rouken Glen Vets understand that every small furry pet is unique. Try to be observant of their behaviour and needs during travel. If they become extremely stressed then call us on 0141 620 2580 for guidance on how to reduce your pet’s anxiety during travel.

We hope our advice proves helpful for you and your small furry pet and before you go, remember to…

Download our small furry travel tick list

Small furries – should you buy new or spruce up their home for Christmas?

Attention small furry pet owners! We have the perfect idea for a Christmas present for your pets – why not treat them to a fun new enclosure? Our team at Rouken Glen Vets have put together their top tips for either buying new or repurposing their old enclosure.

Download our cage cleaning tips to go alongside your pet’s new cage. Why not share them with other owners to make sure more small furry pets’ cages are clean and comfortable this Christmas?

Download our top Habitat Cleaning Tips

Should I buy new or recycle?

Making the decision to buy your pet a new cage vs. recycling their current cage needs to be based on a number of different factors:

Pet’s size and space needed

Has your pet outgrown their current enclosure? Do they need more room to exercise? Does your type of pet need hiding spots, tunnels, various levels? Can you include plenty of enrichment options in their current setup?

Hygiene

Does your pet’s old enclosure smell despite cleaning? Is it difficult to keep clean?

Your pet’s safety

Does your pet’s current enclosure have sharp edges or loose bars? Is their outdoor home still watertight? Is the wood starting to rot? All of these are hazards to your pet.

You also need to consider your budget. New enclosures can be costly, along with the accessories that you need to go with them. Research your pet’s needs and what options are available. Our nursing team will be able to advise – why not get in touch with any questions you have, or ask us on our Facebook page: roukenglenvets/

Reusing my pet’s old enclosure

If after considering the advice above, you determine that your pet’s current enclosure can be reused, then brilliant! Below are the top tips from Richard when it comes to preparing your pet’s “new” home.

  • Cleaning: first things first, get some rubber gloves. Then, download our Habitat Cleaning Guide and use the monthly advice for a big one-off clean.
  • Make repairs: once cleaned, it’s time to make any repairs you need to your pet’s enclosure. Double check latches, platforms and their supports and loose bars.
  • Decorating: If you are planning on painting your pet’s enclosure, make sure you opt for a paint that is animal friendly and non-toxic. You will need to allow plenty of time for the paint to dry and air out.
  • Bedding: Pad out the bottom of the enclosure with a suitable bedding material for your pet, before adding nesting boxes or nesting materials.
  • Enrichment: Once you’ve sorted the layout of your pet’s sleeping area, it’s time to start setting up the enrichment toys for your pet. New toys, tunnels, platforms and hiding spots can help keep your pet entertained and fight off boredom.
  • Food and water: Make sure your new chosen feed bowls and water bottles are working correctly and are placed at the right height for your pet.
  • Hygiene: Regularly cleaning to remove odours and prevent bacterial growth is essential to keep your pet healthy – our Habitat Cleaning Guide offers advice for daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning tasks.

Ultimately, the decision between buying a new cage and sprucing up the old one depends on your pet’s needs, your budget, and the condition of the current cage. Prioritising your pet’s safety, comfort, and wellbeing when making your choice is essential.

Get in touch with the team at Rouken Glen Vets, or you can help other owners of small furry pets by asking us questions on our Facebook page.

Before you go,

Download our Habitat Cleaning Tips

Heart problems in rabbits – can they be avoided?

If your bunny’s heart is not functioning as it should, then the rest of their body will become affected. Our Veterinary Surgeon Richard Black has put together information on the most common heart conditions that can affect rabbits and also tips on how you can improve their heart health below.

We’re hoping to raise awareness amongst East Renfrewshire rabbit owners, so please do share our article on your social media pages.

Book a rabbit check-up

Our vets have also put together a factsheet to help you Spot Rabbit Heart Problems at Home

Common heart conditions in rabbits

Rouken Glen Vets wants to spread awareness of what conditions can potentially affect your rabbit. Have a read of the points below and if you have concerns about your own pet, book an appointment with our experienced team of rabbit loving vets at our Giffnock surgery.

Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is a type of heart disease that can lead to impaired heart function. It more commonly affects larger rabbit breeds, but all are susceptible. Richard advises that early diagnosis and treatment is key to keeping your rabbit’s quality of life – book a rabbit health check now.

Congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure in rabbits occurs when the left ventricle of the heart is malfunctioning. This means the heart is then unable to pump blood effectively, leading to a build-up in fluid.

Hypertension

Hypertension is when your rabbit’s blood pressure becomes elevated which then puts stress on their organs. According to Richard, stress is the major contributing factor which is why at Rouken Glen Vets we treat all our rabbit patients in quiet and calm consultation rooms.

Symptoms of heart conditions in rabbits

Symptoms of heart problems can be difficult to spot in rabbits, especially as they hide signs of pain and illness or purpose – a natural instinct to protect themselves from predators in the wild. You may be able to spot some signs at home. Take a look at our Rabbit Heart Symptoms Fact Sheet.

If you notice any of the symptoms in our fact sheet in your pet, contact us immediately on 0141 620 2580 as your rabbit may need emergency treatment.

How you can help to keep your rabbit healthy

Regular check-ups at Rouken Glen Vets

Routine examinations with our rabbit vets will help to provide early diagnosis for many heart conditions.

Proper hydration and a balanced diet

It is essential your rabbit has access to clean, fresh water constantly. They also need a constant diet of good quality hay and fresh vegetables. Rabbit pellets and fruit should be limited in your rabbit’s diet and avoid excessive treats which could lead to obesity.

Exercise and weight control

To prevent obesity, alongside a balanced diet you need to ensure you rabbit has plenty of space and opportunities to exercise. As naturally active mammals, physical activity will get their blood pumping and keep their heart healthy. You also need to provide enrichment – use toys and play tunnels to stimulate your bunny’s brain.

A healthy living environment

Keep their living space as stress-free as possible to reduce the risk of hypertension. Also, reduce their exposure to air pollutants and avoid smoking around your rabbit.

Social interaction

Rabbits thrive in companionship. They are naturally social animals so a bonded companion will help promote their overall wellbeing.

Monitoring your rabbit for any changes in their health is essential in ensuring they receive prompt treatment if they do become unwell. Breathing rates and behaviour will help indicate if they need to see Rouken Glen Vets’ team of experienced rabbit vets. Contact us on 0141 620 2580 and remember to share this article with other rabbit owners in East Renfrewshire.

Before you go, download our:

Heart Disease Symptoms Fact Sheet

Is a new baby bunny on the way? Here’s everything you’ll need!

As exciting as it is to be bringing home a new baby bunny, it is essential as an owner that you research and start to undertake some care tasks prior to their arrival. Remember to register your baby rabbit with Rouken Glen Vets and book their very first health check so our team can help you give them the best start in life.

Book your rabbit’s first check-up

What to do before bringing a rabbit home

Once your bunny arrives you will need to ensure you provide them with a nutritious diet, accessible fresh water, rabbit enrichment activities, exercise and veterinary care to keep them in tip top condition. Below is a list of things to start doing before your rabbit joins your family.

1) Research rabbit care

Early research can help you make informed decisions on their basic needs. These are housing, diet, enrichment and veterinary care. Our vets and nurses are highly experienced when it comes to rabbit care so make sure to register your new pet with our Giffnock practice straight away.

2) Making introductions

Deciding early on with your family how you will introduce your new baby bunny will help to reduce stress when the moment actually arrives. As bunnies can be easily overwhelmed, make sure all introductions are slow and calm. As a responsible owner, it is imperative you monitor children when handling your new family pet – rough handling can cause stress and harm to your bunny, plus they might nip someone out of fear.

It’s also wise to plan ahead when it comes to introducing a new bunny to an existing pet rabbit. It is best to let your new addition get settled in first and then introduce them slowly (so long as one of them is neutered) to the ‘OB’ (original bunny). You’ll need to do this through a barrier so that they can’t fight and let them get used to each other over time. You shouldn’t force them to be friends as not all rabbits will get along.

For advice on when is best to neuter a baby rabbit, contact Rouken Glen Vets’ friendly team on 0141 620 2580.

3) Create a safe living space for them

Your new baby bunny will need a safe space away from potential hazards. These include (but are not limited to) wiring, toxic plants and other pets. Their housing must also be large enough for water and food dishes, toys, plenty of bedding, a litter box, and room to hop around and explore.

4) Plan their diet

A full and nutritious diet must be followed to ensure your baby bunny consumes all the minerals and vitamins they need. This should be made up of good quality grass hay and a quality junior rabbit food (pellets) with a concentration of approximately 16% protein.

Fresh foods must be introduced slowly; try to stick to similar fresh fruit and vegetables to what your baby bunny’s mother was fed if you can find this out? Once you have registered with Rouken Glen Vets, you can ask our nursing team endless questions on the best rabbit diet!

Register your new rabbit online now so you can book their first vet check.

Once your bunny is home

It is essential to spend time with your baby bunny as soon as they arrive home. This is a big part of building a strong, healthy relationship with your new pet. Provide plenty of opportunities for regular, gentle handling, playtime and cuddles.

Also ensuring they receive their vaccinations and health checks will help to keep them in top condition as they mature. To chat to our rabbit-loving team about your bunny’s first veterinary appointment, contact us on 0141 620 2580.

Following Rouken Glen Vets’ above advice will ensure your new arrival will thrive in their new family. Our experienced team of vets and nurses are always here to answer any questions you may have about rabbit ownership so contact us today.

Book your rabbit’s first appointment

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