Foster Carer Portal


Foster Carer Guide

How to care for your foster rabbit

On a daily basis:

Check the rabbit's health

  • Check that the rabbit is eating, drinking & pooping
  • Check eyes, ears and teeth
  • Check nails, trim as required
  • Monitor behaviour
  • Monitor body condition

Complete daily chores

  • Provide food and water
  • Remove waste and add litter to the litter tray
  • Groom the rabbit to remove fur
  • Clean and refill food and water bowls
  • Clean and tidy living areas

Give love, affection, training

  • Interact with the rabbit
  • Pick up the foster rabbit
  • Train the rabbit to come to you for a treat
  • Let the rabbit free roam indoors (!) for at least 30 minutes*
  • Optional: Let the rabbit free roam outdoors**

*   Except for the first 7-10 days when the foster rabbit should stay in the playpen so it recognises it as its home base.

** Only occasionally and under supervision, if outdoor conditions and weather permit and there is no reported calicivirus or myxamatosis outbreak in your area.


Get your rabbit ready

  • Take the rabbit to the vet if needed (or request a Bunny Runner)
  • Provide paperwork from the vet to The Rabbit Sanctuary 
  • Advertise the rabbit on our RFA Facebook page (or ask us to do it for you)

Educate yourself

  • Attend our online training sessions when offered
  • Read our training material provided in our Foster Carer Portal

Communicate with us

  • Join our Foster Carer Facebook Group
  • Respond to emails or test messages
  • Contact us if you have questions or need support
  • Alert us if you are concerned about your rabbit's health or behaviour

Useful videos:

How to safely pick up a rabbit

How to groom a rabbit

How to basket handle a rabbit

How to cut your bunny's nails

How to clip nails of a jumpy bunny

How to clip a dark bunny's nails



  • UNLIMITED Oaten hay and grass hay (e.g. Timothy)
  • Lucerne hay in tiny amounts (as treat)
  • Fresh grass
  • 1-2 table spoons pellets twice a day


  • Vegetables and fruits (no exceptions)
  • Seeds
  • Salt licks
  • Items labelled rabbit and guinea mixes

Why can't I feed veggies and fruit? I have fed rabbits these before and had no issues.

We are aware that many rabbits will have no adverse reactions to eating certain veggies and fruits. However, due to the sensitive nature of the rabbit’s gut, especially in stressful situations (such as coming into rescue), incorrect feeding can result in bloat, soft stool and risk stasis and calcium build up in the long term. Too many times we have had preventable emergency situations that have resulted in $1000 vet bills for a bunny for an over night stay. Removing veggies and fruits means that we can be sure our rabbits are on a consistent diet and reduces the risk of these things happening. 

Please kindly respect our wishes and keep the diet to what is mentioned above.

Things to monitor for in your daily health checks



Rabbit eats and drinks regularly

Rabbit poops regularly

Rabbit is bright and alert, moves around


Rabbit doesn't eat, and refuses even treats when tempted

Rabbit doesn't poop

Rabbit hides in unusual spot, appears lethargic

Rabbit grinds teeth

Possible cause:

Gut stasis



Fur around the mouth is dry. No discharge.


Fur around the mouth is wet. Bald patches around the mouth or chin.

Possible cause:

Overgrown back molars

Misaligned incisors



Bright and clear. No discharge.


Cloudy appearance


Discharge present or rabbit is squinting.

Possible cause:

E. Cunniculi


Scratched eyeball



No discharge.

Breathing doesn't sound congested.


Wet or milky discharge.

Sounds congested when breathing

Rabbit is sneezing a lot

Possible cause:


Respiratory infection



Good body weight (should not be able to feel ribs or spine easily)

Fur well kept

Skin healthy, pink and crust free

Bottom area is clean


Rabbit feels skinny

Clumpy or matted fur that's dull in colour

Bottom area appears dirty and genitals swollen

Possible cause:

Rabbit unable to groom itself or poor hygiene from previous location

Malnutrition, incorrect diet


Urinary tract disease



Even sphere shape

Consistent size and good amount

Dry and crumbles when squashed

Brown or gold in colour


Uneven shape (long or pointy)

Very moist and leaves residue, might be mushy

Small amount

Very dark in colour

Presence of mucous or pellets are chained together

Click here for more information.

Possible cause:


Incorrect diet

Gut stasis


Underlying illness

If you recognise any abnormal symptoms please contact the Bunny Tracker for your region immediately. If you don't hear back within 1 hour call Anna or text Kim Cooney. Include your name, your rabbit's name, main symptoms, location (+ and photos where appropriate).