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FOR AGES 3 YEARS TO 18 YEARS
A pet rabbit can be a delightful companion and adorable to look at, and as an owner, you will surely want it to live as long as possible.
If you are thinking of having a pet rabbit, it would be helpful for you to know certain facts about them, like their life expectancy, rabbit's health, and health problems. Once you know all about these things, you will be able to take good care of your pet and help it live longer.
Pet rabbits require low maintenance and a moderate amount of care compared to other popular pets like dogs. Certain breeds, like long-haired rabbits, need daily grooming and exercise too. Give your house rabbit proper food, mental stimulation, a bit of socialization, and make it do some exercise daily. You will see that these things will help it live a long and healthy life, almost like some dog breeds.
Once you finish reading through this article about rabbits, why not discover the answer to how long do cats grow, and Angora rabbit facts, here on Kidadl?
If you take good care of your rabbit's health, it can have a lifespan of about 7-10 years and may even be a few more years old. In particular cases, pet rabbits survive till they are 18 years old. Several factors affect their average lifespan.
How long will a rabbit live? The lifespan of a rabbit depends on its breed and size. Miniature or dwarf rabbit breeds live longer than giant/larger breeds. Smaller rabbits like the mini lop or a little bunny live long lives, but large breeds like French lop and Flemish giants tend to live shorter lives.
Also, certain breeds of domestic rabbits suffer from specific health problems that reduce their life expectancy. Some dwarf rabbits tend to have short faces, making them more prone to dental diseases, blockages in tear ducts, and the like. Certain breeds are more likely to develop cancer, as the Dutch rabbit. Giant rabbit breeds are at a higher risk of getting heart diseases and arthritis.
There are as many as more than 300 domestic rabbit breeds, out of which Holland lop, mini rex, mini lop, English angora, and Netherland dwarf rabbits live longer. The American rabbit, the lionhead rabbit, and the harlequin rabbit are also healthy and have a longer life expectancy.
The rabbit lifespan does not entirely depend on the breed and size only. Some other factors affect the rabbit's lifespan indoors. It is possible that with your care and nutritious diet, a larger breed can live a long life and may even outlive a dwarf breed.
Diet is one of the essential lifespan factors for your pet rabbit as it needs vitamins, minerals, and fiber in specific amounts to stay healthy. The central part of a rabbit's diet consists of hay or grass and vegetables as herbivores.
They also need to chew on them to grind down their teeth; otherwise, the teeth will grow longer with their age. You can add leafy greens like cabbage, lettuce, celery leaves, and even broccoli to their diet to increase the dose of nutrients. Also, give fruits or other treats in moderation so that they live a healthy life.
If you feed them pellets from the store, go for healthy brands containing high fiber and cut down on pellet quantity as much as you can. Only one teaspoon of nuggets or pellets every day is sufficient. Food consisting of pellets only throughout the day does not contain adequate nutrition. Also, give food in small portions, several times a day.
Do not feed lawn clippings as they ferment rapidly and may cause digestive problems in your rabbit. Avoid muesli as it may cause dental issues. Also, avoid food containing high fat or sugar quantity like carrots or root vegetables. Introduce new food very slowly to prevent stomach upset. Give your pet rabbits fresh, cool water throughout the day, along with a healthy diet.
Make sure your bunny gets exercise regularly so that they don't gain weight and stay healthy. You can set the bunny free in your backyard or indoors, where it can scamper around. It is not true that rabbits live inside homes only.
However, wherever it might go, you should be there to supervise that the rabbit does not start chewing on carpets, papers, open wires, and other unsuitable things. They have this habit of nibbling and chewing on things, so keep important items away from them. Giving them toys or other objects will motivate them to play and be active. This will reduce the chances of your bunny becoming overweight and developing certain diseases.
Pets like rabbits need mental stimulation, and they like to socialize too. You can buy them some chew toys, throw in a few cardboard boxes or buy another companion for your pet. You can also buy a neutered male rabbit and spayed female rabbits of the same age so that they can become friends quickly.
Neutered or spayed rabbits have a longer life than non-neutered ones.
Take your pet rabbits to the vet if you notice any abnormality. Also, they will get to socialize with other rabbits over there, which will put them in a good mood.
If you have any other pets or young kids at your place, your bunny will feel happy. But the kids and other animals should not be very aggressive around the rabbit. Do not keep pet rabbits alone for a long time as they feel stressed. Over time, your other pets will accept the rabbits and get along well if they do not at first. The rabbits will also have some company.
Rabbits bond nicely with children but are fragile. So, try to watch the rabbits when children are handling them. While picking up or cuddling a bunny, children may accidentally cause injury to them, squeeze them too tightly, or drop them.
Rabbits can scratch or bite if they get scared when handled roughly. So, please pick them up carefully with both hands, especially when they are young. Make sure to sit down so that they do not fall. Hold them close to your chest or keep them on your lap so that they can rest themselves comfortably and feel secure.
Rabbits can get infested with parasites, and if you do not get it treated on time, it can affect your rabbit's health and shorten its lifespan considerably. So, get help from your vet if you suspect any parasitic problem and do not ignore any abnormal symptoms in your rabbit.
Give your rabbit things to nibble or chew on throughout the day. Otherwise, their teeth will keep growing, and they will develop pain in the gums and other dental problems. This is why they keep on gnawing things to grind their teeth.
Predators like dogs and cats have an instinct to hunt down rabbits, so take care to keep the pet rabbits safe by keeping them indoors and away from stray dogs or cats.
Do not leave your bunny alone with your pet dogs or cats, even if they initially seem to get along well. Also, your rabbits may get stressed and scared of barking dogs. In the case of rabbits kept with other pets like cats or dogs, you need to be vigilant so that they do not harm the rabbits.
Two male rabbits will fight less with each other if they bond at a young age. Females and males may also fight and get severely injured; giving them time to get used to each other is necessary.
To keep your pet rabbits safe and sound from predators like dogs, cats, and more, build them a waterproof hutch of wood. It will protect them from bad weather; metal hutches become very hot at times. Create two sections in the hutch, a dark and dry resting place with bedding with soft hay and another space for exercising. This section should be lit and spacious to accommodate a toilet area also.
If you have a bunny, it will grow with time. Hence, the hutch should have good ventilation. Avoid wiring on the floor.
Domestic rabbits can get respiratory diseases, skin diseases, fleas, and the like if they stay inside dirty enclosures. Be sure to clean the bunny hutch regularly and change the soiled bedding or leftover hay. Also, remember to wash your hands properly after these activities to avoid infection or a germ attack.
Some other diseases are fatal for rabbits, like myxomatosis and calicivirus. These diseases are generally deadly for a pet or house rabbit. Myxomatosis usually spreads from wild rabbits to pet rabbits. The disease spreads through mosquitoes, so try to prevent mosquitoes from biting your pet. To prevent calicivirus, you can vaccinate your rabbit against this disease every six months.
Do not place the rabbit's hutch in direct sunlight if it is hot. Rabbits frequently fall sick due to the effects of a heatwave if kept outside.
A rabbit may develop diseases like reproductive organ cancer, too. Female rabbits can suffer from cancer of the mammary glands and uterus, while male rabbits can develop testicular cancer. Getting them spayed or neutered can reduce the risks of these diseases. Also, periodic health check-ups will help avoid severe illnesses as they will receive treatment in time.
Contact the vet if you see symptoms like hiding, aggression, excessive chewing, over-drinking, the repeated circling of the hutch or enclosure. It indicates that the rabbit may be in pain or suffering from other problems.
Outdoor Rabbit Vs. Indoor Rabbit Lifespan
There are differences between domestic and wild rabbits, mainly in terms of lifespan, diet, and nature.
Pet rabbits have a longer life span than wild rabbits. Generally, wild rabbit lives for one or two years only, while their domestic counterparts live as long as ten years or more.
So, the outdoor rabbits' lifespan is comparatively less. Wild rabbits have to scavenge for food, get frequently attacked by predators, and be exposed to diseases. These are why wild rabbits do not live as long as pet rabbits.
Wild rabbits mostly eat young leaves from plants or bushes, grass, weeds, and bark of trees or other plant products that they may find in the forests. Pet rabbits have several healthy choices, depending on what you give them, and most importantly, they have safety from predators.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created many interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how long do pet rabbits live, then why not take a look at how long do cats grow or angora rabbit Facts.
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