Survey of the Husbandry, Health, and Welfare of Norwegian Pet Rabbits



nutrition, disease, prevention, welfare, survey, rabbit


The domestic rabbit is a commonly kept pet in many countries, including Norway. This study aimed to survey the current health and welfare of pet rabbits in Norway based on recommendations for rabbit keeping put forth by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute. An online questionnaire consisting of 65 questions was shared online. Data collection lasted from March to May of 2021 and yielded 513 responses from pet rabbit owners representing all Norwegian counties. Forty-five percent of the rabbits were female, 53.6% were male and most of the rabbits (76.0%) were neutered. Almost all rabbits (97.5%) had permanent access to hay. Complete pelleted feed was the most fed concentrate (n=492, 95.9%). Almost all rabbits (96.9%) were reported to be healthy at the current moment. Of the surveyed disease conditions, constipation (19.7%), diarrhoea (12.3%), and reduced appetite (17.9%) were the most common. Dental disease was reported in 29 rabbits (5.7%). The veterinarian was a source of information for 49.1% of rabbit owners. Most rabbits (86.2%) were kept in a living space above the recommended 200x300 cm. Although keeping conditions were reported to be of a high standard, pet rabbits were still suffering from preventable husbandry-related diseases. Education of rabbit owners is an important task of the veterinarian and should focus especially on feeding habits, and owner recognition of rabbit behaviour and diseases.




How to Cite

Kristensen, A. U. ., Zsinka, B., Lang, Z., & Hetényi, N. (2023). Survey of the Husbandry, Health, and Welfare of Norwegian Pet Rabbits. Journal of Advanced Veterinary Research, 13(5), 767-775. Retrieved from



Original Research