Want to bring home cute dwarf rabbits as pets? This PetPonder article tells you how to care for these gorgeously cute pets.
Dwarf rabbits are the smallest breed of domestic rabbits. They are extremely popular house pets in America. If you too are thinking of bringing home these cute, cuddly, docile creatures, then you need a few things to provide them with proper care.
Dwarf Rabbits Information
These animals are also known as the Netherland dwarf rabbits as they originated in Europe. The earliest breeds of dwarf rabbits were found in Holland and thus were christened as ‘Netherland’ dwarf rabbit. By 1969, the Netherland dwarfs became a recognized breed in America.
Netherland dwarfs are very small in size that makes them even more attractive as a pet. They look similar to the Polish dwarf rabbits, but weigh merely 2 to 2½ lbs. This makes them the smallest of all bunnies, with short ears standing straight up and a short, dense, soft, and glossy fur. These beautiful and attractive physical features makes them one of the most popular pets in America.
You will find there are many different colors of dwarf rabbits. The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes about 24 of these. You can choose between blue, black, lilac, lynx, opal, otter, chocolate, silver matte, fawn, steel, and tan. You can even go in for white ruby-eyed or blue-eyed dwarf rabbits.
Dwarf Rabbits Care
Dwarf rabbits require a lot of care, attention and maintenance as they are very delicate animals. They are ideal pets if you provide the correct environment for them to live in. When you buy a dwarf rabbit as pet, you can let it run free in the house. But in case this is not a good option for you, buy a large-sized cage. They will love to hop around in their cage if the area is sufficient. You need to provide them with a litter box that contains wood stove pellets and even non-clumping cat litter. You can easily litter train dwarf rabbits just like a cat or dog. So, you need not worry about the poop around the house as they will use the litter tray when required.
You need to supply your pet with plenty of fresh hay all the time. You should purchase high quality orchard grass or hay for your dwarf bunny. You can even buy hay based pellets for your pet. When your dwarf rabbits are under six months of age, be sure you supply them with unlimited pellets. Those over six months of age should be given one-quarter cup of pellets every day.
You should include fresh, dark, leafy greens in their diet. You need to give them two cups of vegetables every day to keep them healthy. A small baby carrot or a piece of apple and banana is a lovely treat.
You need to give them plenty of toys to play with and entertain themselves. You need not shell out a lot of money from your pockets for the toys. Just use some old telephone directories, plastic baby keys, toilet paper roll for chewing and boxes to climb and chew on.
Even though you may have brought in a sufficiently large cage for your dwarf rabbits, you need to let them out of their cage or pen every day. You should allow them to stretch their limbs and exercise and run free for about 4 hours a day. But like all rabbit breeds for pets, they too love to chew. So, keep the wires and other chewable material out of their way.
The male rabbits are highly territorial and will fight with each other. So better keep the male rabbits, called bucks, female rabbits known as doe, and baby rabbits, which are called kits, separate. Females are not as territorial as the males and will eventually settle down with each other in the same cage. If you do not want a litter, it is always better to get your rabbits spayed or neutered. Not only will it prevent birth of unwanted kits, but also help maintain the health of your dwarf rabbits.
When you take your bunnies outdoors, be sure you protect them from predators like cats and dogs, which live in the neighborhood. You should be wary of even aerial predators like birds. Do not leave your pets out too long in the sun as they can suffer from heat stroke. This is very dangerous for their health and may lead to paralysis or death.
Dwarf Rabbits Life Span
The average life span of a dwarf rabbit is about 7 – 10 years.
Each individual dwarf rabbit is different and behaves according to its behavior. Dwarf rabbits are the third most popular pets in America after cats and dogs, only because they are very easygoing pets. You may see some temperamental problems in the buck, but neutering can alter their behavior. Many people ask are they good pets for children. If you teach your children to love and respect them, it will definitely prove to be an ideal pet for a child. Dwarf rabbits are very sociable animals who crave attention. You need to give your pet plenty of time and attention to receive all its love. Respect the animal and you will get love in return.