What points should I check when buying a rabbit for my daughter?

child and rabbitTry to obtain a young rabbit, around two months old, so that it can be tamed easily and will become used to being picked up without struggling. Most importantly, check the teeth at the front of the mouth. These should meet evenly, and must not overlap. Otherwise, they will need to be cut back regularly through the rabbit’s life, as they will continue to grow. Never breed from rabbits with this problem, as it appears to be inherited.

Look in the ears, to ensure there is no sign of crusty deposits here, which would indicate ear mites. Both the eyes and nose should be free from any obvious discharge, which would stain the surrounding fur. The vent area must also be clean, and here you can check the sex of the rabbit. The gap between the anal and genital opening is significantly longer in male rabbits. They can be more difficult to handle as they grow older.

Ask about the rabbit’s diet, and avoid making sudden changes at any stage. Rabbits generally are very susceptible to serious digestive upsets that can be triggered by changes in their food. Finally, check as to whether your new pet has been vaccinated against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease, both of which can be fatal.