Rabbits are adorable creatures, and they make great pets, as well. They can become part of the family, just like dogs and cats. However, they are sensitive animals, making them best suited to teenagers and adults. Little kids can also enjoy having them as pets, as long as there’s parental supervision.
Did you know that there are many different breeds of rabbits? Within each bread, a rabbit’s behavior or character can vary greatly, and it is usually based on how each of them is handled and raised. Therefore, if you are considering to have a pet rabbit, the first thing you need to be aware of are the breeds of pet rabbits.
Before you go to the pet shop to get your pet rabbit, you need to consider first the characteristics of some common pet rabbit breeds. This will help you in deciding which will best suit your needs. To help you, here are the different pet rabbit breeds you can choose from.
The Lionhead rabbit is called as such because of its wooly mane and long coat around its face. It is a medium-to-small-sized rabbit, and it is one of the newer breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Association.
Lionhead rabbits are usually even-tempered. However, they require more effort when it comes to grooming because their longer coat needs to be brushed regularly to prevent fur mats from developing. Aside from that, brushing the coat is important to prevent the rabbit from ingesting too much hair when you groom it, which can lead to gastrointestinal stasis.
The Dutch Rabbit
The Dutch rabbit breed is medium-sized and is characteristically black and white. But there are also different color variations that have been bred over time. It has a docile personality, making them a great choice for those families with kids.
The English Spot
The English spot rabbit is one of the oldest breeds, and it was first bred in England in the 1800s. It has a glossy white fur with black spots, giving it a distinguishing look. This pet rabbit breed can be curious, and can also have high-energy, depending on the individual rabbit.
The Holland Lop
The Holland Lop is a medium- to a large-sized rabbit, and it also has a mini variation. This rabbit breed is originally from the Netherlands. It has down-facing ears that predispose them to ear infections. Therefore, if you choose to have this pet rabbit breed, you need to bring them to veterinarians regularly and monitor them for excessive scratching. Aside from that, head tilt is also important.
The Flemish Giant
The Flemish Giant rabbit breed is originally from Belgium. It has a calm personality, and it is also the largest among all rabbit breeds. However, this pet rabbit breed is predisposed to developing foot problems. Therefore, if you choose it as your pet, you need to provide care and deep paper bedding. They also need lots of exercise outside the cage to prevent the development of foot ulcers.
The Angora rabbit breed originated from Turkey. It was initially bred for its soft wool that is used in clothing. Today, the coat of the Angora rabbit is great for cuddling. However, it is a high maintenance breed, and it requires regular brushing and grooming to prevent mats and excessive hair ingestion. Just like the Lionhead breed, the Angora can also be prone to gastrointestinal stasis.
Basic Care for Pet Rabbits
After knowing the different breeds of rabbits that can be pets in your home, we are also happy to give you some tips on how to care for pet rabbits. Here are some of the basic things to consider to keep your pet rabbit healthy and happy.
- Diet: Food for your pet rabbits should primarily be grass-based hays and a small amount of rabbit pellets, about two tablespoons a day. One of the most important supplements to a rabbit’s diet is fresh greens. It should include leafy greens like green leaf lettuces and romaine lettuces. Try to limit darker greens like spinach, kale, and collards because these contain too much calcium and oxalates, which can contribute to forming bladder stones. Avoid feeding them excessive amounts of fruits and sugar-containing foods, as well, because these can contribute to dental disease.
- Handling: Keep in mind that rabbits can be jumpy, especially if they are small. Therefore, you need to handle them with care. There are also some rabbits that do not like to be held at all. But you can just pat them or scratch them gently from time to time. When picking up rabbits, make sure that you hold them close to your body, and support their hind ends well. It’s because they can kick and break their backs easily if they are not supported.
- Cage: The size of your pet rabbit’s cage should be determined by its size. The bigger the cage, the better it is for your pet. Make sure that it has plenty of room to roam around, play, and hide. It’s also better to choose a cage that has solid or slatted plastic floors than those wire-bottomed ones because they can cause foot ulcers. Your pet will also need a water bottle, a plastic litter box, and a playhouse where it can hide when it feels tired or shy.
- Toys: Like dogs and cats, rabbits also love to play with different kinds of toys. Just make sure that those toys are safe to hide in or chew on. They can also play with hard, plastic cat toys or other toys that can be hung from their cage for swatting or reaching.
- Grooming: Rabbits are naturally very clean. Therefore, they do not need baths like other animals. You just need to trim their nails every six weeks and brush their coats at least once a week or more if it has long fur.
Rabbits are indeed great pets because they are adorable and playful, as well. They are also easy to take care of. So, which of the pet rabbits breed we shared do you want to have soon?