Dear PDSA Vet,

I want to get a pair of outdoor rabbits and wanted to know what kind of hutch I need to buy? Charlotte

Dear Charlotte, it’s great to hear that you are getting a pair of rabbits, as they are really sociable creatures and should always be housed with other bunnies. Rabbits need a large weather-proof sleeping area that’s raised off the ground and enclosed, so they can hide in their safe place. Their hutch should be big enough to allow them to lie down and stretch out comfortably in all directions, tall enough for them to stand up on their back legs without their ears touching the top, and long enough to allow at least three hops. Your rabbits will need access to an outdoor run that is attached to their hutch, so they can come and go as they please. So, the combined run and hutch should be as a minimum, for a pair of rabbits, (3m) 10ft by (2m) 6ft by (1m) 3ft high. For more information on caring for rabbits, visit

Dear PDSA Vet,

My dog isn’t eating and I’m really worried – what could be wrong? Stephen

Dear Stephen, if a pet stops eating completely, it’s unusual and might be due to a health problem, so you should get your dog checked by your vet as soon as possible. There are many reasons why dogs stop eating due to ill health so your vet will do a thorough examination of your dog. There may be changes in your home which could have upset your dog, which have put them off eating, discuss this with your vet or vet nurse to get their advice.

If your vet says your dog is well, and there is no apparent cause for your dog refusing to eat then make sure you provide them with a ‘complete’ dog food and nothing else. If they are healthy, they may have learned that if they refuse their dog food they will eventually be fed a tasty treat, like chicken or turkey, instead.

Dear PDSA Vet,

I bought two brother rats, only it turned out one was a girl and had baby rats! Can I get her neutered to prevent more litters? Faye

Dear Faye, we don’t usually recommend neutering rats, as it’s a case of weighing up the risks and benefits when we consider an operation like this as anaesthetics in small rodents can be risky. We usually advise keeping rats in same sex pairs or groups, as you originally intended!

As you’ve accidentally ended up with a mixed pair, I’d advise getting in touch with your vet for advice on neutering.

Male or female rats can be neutered, but castrating the male rat is less invasive and would be better as the anaesthetic would be shorter and the operation less complicated, but bear in mind that your male rat can still be fertile for up to 6 weeks after his castration operation.

In the meantime, make sure you keep them separate to prevent any further mating. Rats are sociable animals so long term separation wouldn’t be recommended.