Wat zijn de gevaren voor konijnen en hoe voorkom je ze? - Pawsource

What are the dangers for rabbits and how do you prevent them?

Are you also a rabbit lover like me? These soft and fluffy friends bring so much joy to our lives with their playful nature and cute little noses. But unfortunately there are also many dangers that threaten these fragile little creatures and it is our responsibility as caretakers to make sure they stay safe and healthy.

In this blog I am going to tell you about the different dangers rabbits face, and give you practical tips on how to avoid these dangers. Whether you're a new rabbit parent or have been caring for these furry friends for years, I hope you'll find valuable information here that you can use to improve the lives of your rabbits.

Let's get started and work together for a safer and healthier future for our beloved rabbits!

Why is it important to understand the dangers to rabbits?

As rabbit lovers, we want to do everything we can to keep our furry friends safe and healthy. Therefore, it is essential to understand the dangers rabbits face so that we can act proactively to reduce these risks.

First, rabbits are fragile creatures that can be easily threatened by a variety of factors. They are prey animals and are often prey to predators such as foxes, cats and birds. In addition, they can contract diseases and get parasites, and they are sensitive to extreme temperatures and climate changes. Understanding these hazards can help us anticipate potential problems and minimize the risks.

Second, by understanding the dangers, we can be better prepared to intervene when necessary. Recognizing the warning signs that a rabbit is ill or injured allows us to act quickly to protect their health. In addition, we can take measures to protect our rabbits from predators and other risks, such as securing their environment and providing safe housing.

Finally, by being aware of the dangers to rabbits, we can raise awareness about the responsibility we have as their caretakers. Rabbits depend on us for their well-being and safety, and it's up to us to make sure they receive the best care possible.

1. Dangers to rabbits

Predators and prey animals

As prey animals, rabbits are naturally vulnerable to predators. Predators such as foxes, cats, dogs, birds and snakes see rabbits as easy prey and are always looking for a meal. As a rabbit owner, it is our responsibility to make sure our rabbits are safe from these predators.

There are several ways to protect our rabbits from predators. One of the most effective methods is to create a safe environment for our rabbits, for example by keeping them indoors or by using a sturdy and safe outdoor run. It is also important to make sure that the run or pen is properly sealed and that there are no holes or cracks for predators to get through. It can also help to equip the run with nets, mesh or other barriers to keep predators away.

Poisonous plants and food

Rabbits are herbivores by nature and have a sensitive digestive system. Although they like to nibble on grass, hay, fruits and vegetables, there are some plants and foods that can be toxic to rabbits. It is important to know about these poisonous plants and foods and to prevent our rabbits from nibbling on them.

One of the poisonous plants for rabbits is the yew, a common shrub in gardens and parks. The needles and seeds of the yew contain a toxin that can be deadly to rabbits. Other poisonous plants include azaleas, daffodils, hyacinths, lilies, and oleanders. It is therefore important to ensure that these plants are not near our rabbits and that they cannot nibble on any leaves or flowers that may fall into their run.

In addition to plants, there are also some foods that can be toxic to rabbits. Chocolate, avocados and nuts are some examples of foods that can be harmful to our rabbits. There are also certain fruits and vegetables that should only be given in small amounts, such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, apple and pear. It is important to limit these foods and always check that they are fresh and free of chemicals or pesticides.

Diseases and parasites

Like any other pet, rabbits can get sick and become infected with parasites. It is important to recognize the signs of illness and parasitic infections in our rabbits to seek treatment as soon as possible. By regularly checking the health of our rabbits and taking preventive measures, we can reduce the risk of diseases and parasites.

One of the most common diseases in rabbits is myxomatosis. This disease is spread by mosquitoes and can cause swelling and inflammation of the eyes, nose and mouth, as well as fever and difficulty breathing. There is no treatment for myxomatosis, but it can be prevented by vaccinating rabbits. Other diseases that can occur in rabbits are E. cuniculi, pasteurellosis and coccidiosis. It is important to recognize the symptoms of these diseases and to consult a veterinarian immediately for treatment.

In addition to diseases, rabbits can also be infected with parasites such as fleas, ticks and mites. These parasites can cause itching, skin irritation and even anemia. To prevent parasitic infections, it is important to regularly check the fur of our rabbits and treat them with suitable anti-parasitic agents.

In addition, it is important to keep a close eye on the hygiene around the rabbit accommodation. A dirty environment can lead to the growth of bacteria and fungi that can cause health problems. It is therefore important to regularly clean and disinfect the rabbit accommodation to reduce the risk of infections.

2. How to avoid the dangers to rabbits

Housing and living environment

A safe and healthy living environment is essential for the well-being of our rabbits. Both indoors and outdoors, we must therefore ensure that our rabbits have enough space, hiding places and nutritious food to stay healthy and happy.

If you're keeping rabbits indoors, it's important to give them plenty of room to move around. A cage or hutch should be large enough for your rabbit to move, stand and lie down freely. In addition, rabbits need a place where they can retreat and rest. Therefore, provide a suitable hiding place such as a rabbit house or a box in which they can hide.

Also keep in mind that indoor rabbits are sensitive to dust, smoke and other airborne irritants. Therefore, provide a clean and well-ventilated environment to protect their health.

If you're keeping rabbits outdoors, it's important to protect them from the elements and predators. Provide a sturdy and safe outdoor run with sufficient space, shelters and shelter from sun, rain and wind. A rabbit hutch should be large enough for your rabbit to stand up, turn around and lie down in, as well as provide shelter from the elements. Keep in mind that outdoor rabbits are also susceptible to parasites and disease, so make sure you have regular inspections and treatments.

Nutrition and diet

Proper nutrition is critical to the health and well-being of our rabbits. To make sure they get the right nutrients, we need to be aware of what they can and can't eat and how much food they need.

Rabbits are herbivores and need a diet rich in fiber, such as hay and grass. Hay should always be available and make up at least 80% of their diet. It is important to choose good quality hay that smells fresh and is free of dust, mold and vermin.

In addition to hay, rabbits also need fruit and vegetables. Feed them daily small portions of vegetables such as carrots, endive, spinach and broccoli. Be careful with fruit, because it contains a lot of sugar. Only give fruit as a treat and in small amounts.

It is important to limit commercial rabbit food. This food can contain too many fats and sugars, which can lead to obesity and health problems. Feed the food as a supplement to the diet, not as a substitute for hay and vegetables.

Make sure your rabbits always have access to fresh water. Change the water daily and make sure the water is served in a sturdy, unbreakable bowl.

Be careful with foods and plants that can be poisonous to rabbits. Some fruits and vegetables are poisonous, as are certain plants and flowers. Consult a veterinarian or online resources to learn which foods are safe for your rabbits.

Remember that overfeeding and improper nutrition can lead to health problems such as obesity, digestive disorders and dental problems. Keep an eye on your rabbits' diet and only feed them foods that are suitable for their specific needs.

Medical care and prevention

It is important to keep a close eye on your rabbit's health in order to treat any health problems as soon as possible. Regular check-ups at the vet can help detect diseases and conditions at an early stage.


One of the most important ways to keep your rabbit healthy is to make sure he is up to date on his vaccinations. Rabbits should be vaccinated against myxomatosis and RHD (rabbit hemorrhagic disease), two serious diseases that can kill rabbits and are spread by insects and contaminated materials.

Deworming and parasite control

Rabbits can also be affected by internal and external parasites, including fleas, ticks and mites. Regular worming and administration of parasite control is critical to prevent your rabbit from getting sick.

Spayed or neutered

Spaying or neutering your rabbit can also help prevent certain health problems. For example, in female rabbits, the occurrence of uterine cancer can be prevented by spaying, and in male rabbits, castration can reduce aggressive behavior and territorial tendencies.

Health issues

If you notice any changes in your rabbit's behavior or appetite, or if it shows signs of illness such as diarrhea, vomiting, or difficulty breathing, contact your vet immediately. Other health problems commonly seen in rabbits include dental problems and digestive problems, both of which can be caused by improper nutrition or a lack of fiber in their diet.

3. How do you care for rabbits with specific needs?

Older rabbits

Older rabbits, like humans, have an increased risk of certain conditions and health problems. It is therefore important to pay extra attention to the health and well-being of your older rabbit.

Older rabbits often have more problems with their teeth and therefore need a diet that is high in fiber and low in sugar. It is also important to have your rabbit's teeth checked regularly by a veterinarian. In addition, older rabbits often have more difficulty absorbing nutrients, so make sure they get enough vitamins and minerals.

Another common condition in older rabbits is arthritis, an inflammation of the joints. This can lead to stiffness, pain and reduced mobility. Provide a soft and comfortable living environment for your senior rabbit and consider a trip to the vet for pain relief.

Older rabbits are also more likely to suffer from kidney problems and urinary tract infections. Therefore, pay close attention to the urinary tract and feed your rabbit a diet that keeps the kidneys healthy. Make sure your senior rabbit always has access to clean drinking water.

If you notice any changes in your older rabbit's behavior, eating habits or health, always consult a vet. With proper care and attention, you can ensure that your senior rabbit lives a healthy and happy life for many years to come.

Pregnant or lactating rabbits

Pregnant or lactating rabbits require special care to ensure their health and that of their young. Here are some important considerations for caring for pregnant and lactating rabbits.

Firstly, it is crucial to provide a good diet for pregnant or lactating rabbits. They have higher energy and nutrient requirements, so make sure they have access to a diet that contains plenty of high-quality protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Also make sure they have plenty of fresh water as they need more water to hydrate and produce milk.

It is also important to keep the living environment of pregnant and lactating rabbits comfortable and stress-free. This may mean creating a quiet and secluded place where they can give birth and care for their young. Make sure this area is clean and well ventilated, but not drafty.

During the delivery and nursing period, you should closely monitor the health of the mother. If you notice that the mother is not producing enough milk or that the young are too weak to nurse, contact a vet for advice. Watch for signs of illness or infection in the mother, such as loss of appetite, lethargy, or fever. If you notice these symptoms, see a vet immediately.

It is also important to vaccinate the young of pregnant or lactating rabbits against deadly diseases such as myxomatosis and VHD (Viral Haemorrhagic Disease). Ask your vet about this and follow their recommendations.

4. Frequently Asked Questions

Are all plants dangerous to rabbits?

No, not all plants are dangerous to rabbits. Some plants are even suitable for their diet. It is important to know which plants are and are not safe for rabbits to eat.

How often should I have my rabbit vaccinated?

Rabbits must be vaccinated annually against myxomatosis and Rabbit Viral Hemorrhagic Disease (RVHD). Always consult a vet for advice on when and how often to vaccinate your rabbit.

What should I do if my rabbit shows symptoms of a disease?

If your rabbit is showing symptoms of an illness, you should contact a vet as soon as possible. Prompt medical attention can be life-saving for rabbits.

Is it safe to let my rabbit loose in the garden?

It is safe to let your rabbit loose in the garden as long as the garden is safe for your rabbit. Make sure there are no poisonous plants and no openings for your rabbit to crawl through. Always keep an eye on your rabbit and don't leave it outside if predators are around.

How often should I clean my rabbit's cage?

You should clean your rabbit's cage at least once a week. Remove faeces and urine from the cage every day and replace the litter regularly.

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