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The loss of a beloved pet can be made worse for rabbit owners by a commonly held attitude of "well, it was only a rabbit"...

Many people find it very hard to cope with the loss of a beloved pet.  This can be made worse for rabbit owners by a commonly held attitude of "well, it was only a rabbit" which makes it difficult for owners to talk about their grief and receive support.  Whatever the object of our affection, the feelings of grief are the same and the loss of a rabbit can be as traumatic as the death of a family member.

Finding support

The RWAF run a support helpline for bereaved rabbit owners and you may find it helpful to talk to someone who truly understands what you are going through.  It can also help to join a rabbit forum and talk to other rabbit owners who will be very sympathetic and supportive.

It may help to take comfort in the fact that you have given your rabbit a wonderful life which he or she might not otherwise have had.  Many rabbits die alone in hutches through neglect, sometimes in great pain, or through predator attack.

Moving on

Some people want to move on straight away and get another rabbit, while others feel that they need to grieve and would be betraying the departed rabbit by welcoming another rabbit into their home.  It can take months to start to get over the loss so don't feel rushed and only move on when you are ready.

If your rabbit was part of a bonded pair your remaining rabbit will also be grieving and feeling lonely.  The best thing for them is to move on and find love with a new partner, however, don't feel rushed into this - if you are not ready then simply spend lots of time with your remaining rabbit until you feel ready to move on.

Practical arrangements

If your rabbit has had to be euthanised by your vet, they will offer cremation.  If your rabbit dies at home then you could take it to a pet crematorium or, if you have a large enough garden, you may wish to pick a spot for your rabbit's grave and bury it yourself.

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