Are you considering adopting a rabbit and wondering how to create the perfect living space for your new furry friend? Look no further! In this guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about setting up a rabbit enclosure that prioritizes comfort, safety, and well-being. Let's get started!

Understanding Rabbit Housing Requirements

Before delving into the specifics of housing, it's crucial to grasp the essential requirements for rabbit accommodation. Contrary to popular belief, traditional hutches are often inadequate for rabbits' needs due to their limited space and poor insulation. Ideally, rabbits should be housed in pairs, with a minimum space of 3m x 2m by 1m high. The sheltered area should provide ample room for movement, with dimensions of at least 1.8m x 0.6m x 0.6m high. Additionally, access to a secure outdoor run is essential for allowing rabbits to exhibit their natural behaviors, especially considering their crepuscular nature.

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Choosing Suitable Housing

When selecting housing for your rabbit, prioritize factors such as insulation, ventilation, and ease of cleaning. While pet shop hutches may seem convenient, they often lack the necessary durability and weatherproofing required for Ireland's climate. Instead, consider alternatives such as sheds or large dog kennels with attached runs. These options provide ample space and protection from the elements, ensuring your rabbit's comfort year-round. 

Rabbit Enclosure


Suitable options to buy would be a shed or a large dog kennel with an attached run. We currently use a caravan for our rabbits but we have to take extra care during the summer months by keeping windows open and extra shades. Ideally something with a window where you can add a seated area as they are prey animals they do like to sit at to keep an eye on their surroundings. 


Exploring Rabbit Run Options

As with housing, the size and security of rabbit runs are paramount. Opt for spacious, predator-proof enclosures that allow your rabbit unrestricted access 24/7. While pet shop runs may seem appealing, they often fall short in terms of size and sturdiness. Consider investing in customizable setups, such as interconnected cages and movable runs, to provide your rabbit with ample space to roam and graze. Discover our recommended rabbit run options for maximum security and mobility from


omlet rabbit runs
customer photo from

My current run setup is 3 different cages connected by pipes. We have a large run and small run from and another cage from We use the pipes from do sell pipes and connectors also but we haven't tried these yet. We also have the shelters from omlet. Omlet also sell a hutch which we do not recommend as it is too small. We did buy it to use as an outdoor shelter but they never used it. My cat now using it and so I do recommend it for cats.

The large run is too heavy to move daily but the other two we move every morning as they will get through a lot of grass a day. I like these two companies' products as they are not timber and will hopefully last longer. They were not cheap but we have had them a number of years with no issues so far. I did buy them prior to brexit so do check if there are extra fees if they are going to be shipped form the UK.

run from
customer photo from

Another option would be an avery type of run. These can be made with predator proof wire and a roof or some sides. I do not know of any specific company that offers this in Ireland but if you contact a local carpenter or if you may have someone in your family who can help construct one. When looking for options online it is usually best to avoid searching ‘rabbit run’ as these will be too small. Search ‘large pet enclosure’, 'Averies' or 'Cat run' to find suitable options. 

Preparing for Seasonal Changes

Whether bracing for winter chills or summer heatwaves, it's essential to prepare your rabbit's enclosure for seasonal variations. Insulate housing units to retain warmth during winter months, ensuring adequate ventilation to prevent humidity buildup. In summer, prioritize cooling measures such as shade covers and airflow optimization to protect rabbits from heat stress. By proactively addressing seasonal challenges, you can create a comfortable and safe environment for your rabbit year-round.

Keeping your rabbit warm in the winter

Provided that they have a dry warm enclosure then rabbits can live outdoors in the winter. Don’t wait until winter to winter proof the enclosure. Ensure the housing is insulated and has decent ventilation. Straw is the best bedding for the winter, but hay will still need to be provided for the rabbits to eat daily. 

Keeping your rabbit cool in the summer

Most people worry about their rabbits in the winter but very hot weather can be worse for rabbits than cold. When planning your housing ensure you have a way to cool down the shed or kennel you are keeping your rabbits in. Adding a predator proof wire panel for the door will allow you to leave it open to allow air in on the hottest days. Also adding plenty of shading with tarps on the windows and the runs. We use waterproof covers from on our large rabbit run. These are mainly used to deal with the wind and rain we get a lot of in the west of Ireland but they work for shade too.

As you embark on the journey of rabbit ownership, remember that their housing plays a crucial role in their overall well-being. By prioritizing spaciousness, durability, and climate suitability, you can create an enclosure that meets your rabbit's needs and enhances their quality of life. If you're unsure about the best setup for your rabbit or have questions about rabbit care, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're here to provide guidance and support every step of the way.

About Rescue Animals Ireland

Rescue Animals Ireland aims to provide valuable resources and educational materials on responsible pet ownership, animal welfare, and the benefits of adopting from shelters. It also aims to raise awareness about the importance of adopting rather than buying pets, emphasizing the positive impact it has on both animals and their new owners.