Dutch rabbits are known to be one of the most popular pets in the world. Despite what the name suggests, this breed has its roots in England. But then, some say that it belongs to Holland, and it was in the 1864 that the species got introduced to the fauna of England. But I believe, what matters more for most people would be keeping these cuddly, furry little rabbits as a loving part of their family.
Being of a gentle temperament, and an easygoing nature, the main characteristic feature that distinguishes this species from other rabbits, is its color pattern which includes black, blue, chocolate, pale gray, brown gray, steel gray, yellow and tortoiseshell. Among these, the black/white and blue/white are the most popular. Other physical characteristics include a well-rounded body and head, ears that are erect and well-furred, and an overall compact look.
The fur of the animal is dense, short and lustrous. It is important to know that identifying a true Dutch rabbit is to observe the maintenance of the pattern of white and colored fur of the animal. For instance, the front of the face, and the front part of the body are white, and so are the paws. The colored part include the cheeks, ears, belly, and the saddle line that runs to the tail and down the back legs. On an average, an adult can weigh 3 1/2 and 5 1/2 pounds.
Dutch Rabbits Life Span
On an average, a Dutch rabbit when kept with adequate care and attention, can live up to 5-8 years.
- A 4 ft x 18 in x 18 in cage is considered good enough for keeping this animal. It is also recommended not to keep the cage on the ground, nor at a place that is exposed to afternoon sun or direct ground. Needless to mention, adequate bedding is necessary during winters.
- Fresh hay, fresh fruit and vegetables, accompanied by a continuous supply of clean water, must form the main diet for this animal. Experts advice to add fruits or vegetables (one at a time) while feeding the rabbit, for this animal has a delicate digestive system. Some vegetables may cause diarrhea, and must be excluded from the diet. An earthenware bowl is a better choice as a feeding dish over plastic ones.
- Handling is an essential part of keeping a pet, and not all animals can be handled in the same manner. For instance, in case of a Dutch rabbit, beginners must be extra cautious while handling the animal. While lifting up the rabbit, it is best to support its hind feet with one hand, while grasping the loose skin over the shoulders with the other. The animal must be carried in such a way that its weight is supported between your forearm and abdomen. And if the rabbit is new, then hide its face under the elbow. This helps in reducing the animal's anxiety, especially if it is introduced to a new place. One must never pick a rabbit, or any animal for that matter, by its ears.
- Periodic trimming of the Dutch rabbit's claws is also an important part of keeping your pet well-groomed. It also keeps it from inflicting any injury to you with its sharp claws. Some people prefer wearing arm protectors while handling the animal.
- Without enough exercise, I believe, no pet lives well in captivity. So the same goes even with a Dutch rabbit. And the best way to ensure that your pet is getting enough workout is by letting it free on the lawn. However, ensure that the space is secured, and is free of other pets such as dogs and cats, and their feces.
The Dutch rabbit is the most active during the morning and at night, and prefers sleeping during the day time. So you know when is the right time to have some fun with your furry friend