What Are Dwarf Rabbits?
Dwarf rabbits are the smallest species of domestic rabbits. Dwarf rabbits vary in size from about one and a half pounds to three and a half pounds. They are small and round with short, pointy ears that stick straight up. There are several different breeds of dwarf rabbits including Britannia, Petite and Dwarf Hutot but the most popular breed is the Netherland Dwarf rabbit. These are the most popular because they come in a wide variety of colors and they are the most common type that is sold in the United States.
The dwarf rabbit is thought to have originated in Europe and has become a popular pet for many families across the globe. They have all of the same characteristics as the larger domestic rabbits but they are just smaller in size. Their large head with a tiny furry body make them adorable and great to play with. There are new breeds being developed every year as people try to interbreed these rabbits to create a new type of dwarf rabbit.
Do They Make Good Pets?
Dwarf rabbits do make good pets and are actually the third most popular pet sold in the United States. They are more intelligent than most people believe them to be. They are able to be litter box trained and they are easy to maintain. They are also able to understand their name and can be taught simple commands. They are popular because they are easy to care for, eat very little and they are small in size. They come in a wide variety of colors like orange, tan, chocolate, chestnut and teal.
If you are considering purchasing a dwarf rabbit be very careful to purchase it from a reputable dealer. There are many out there who are selling unhealthy dwarf rabbits that will most likely only die after a short while with you. Ask for references from people they sold to or find a friend or neighbor who recently purchased one and find out where they bought their rabbit from. A healthy, well taken care of rabbit can live to be up to ten years old.
What Do Dwarf Rabbits Eat?
These types of rabbits are very inexpensive to feed because they only eat one half a cup of food a day. They can eat special dry rabbit food that is sold at most stores and this should be enough to keep them healthy. You can also feed your rabbit fresh fruits like bananas and apples because they love to eat them. Rabbits always need to have a fresh water supply readily available to them in order to keep them hydrated and healthy. A water bowl should be kept in their cage or a water bottle attached to the side of the cage is even better because it allows you to keep more water on hand.
Dwarf rabbits have very small stomachs and that can sometimes make them very sensitive to some types of food, so you need to be very careful about what you feed them. They should never be overfed because this will cause severe diarrhea or even death. Rabbits also cannot tolerate nuts of any kind, so they should definitely be kept out of their diet. Most rabbits like lettuce and cabbage but for a dwarf rabbit these foods need to be avoided because they can damage their sensitive stomachs.
What Can You Keep Them In?
A dwarf rabbit can either be kept in a cage outside or they can be kept inside. Since they can be litter trained they do make good indoor pets and many people are choosing to let them run loose inside their home. If you have a cage for your rabbit, they should have plenty of room to roam around. Since these rabbits are very small, it does not take a large cage to give them room but a medium size cage should be good enough. The bottom of the cage should be filled with wood chips to protect their feet from the wires of the cage and to allow the dropping to go in. Their cage should be cleaned out frequently and no less than once a week.
Rabbits also need a lot of exercise, so you will want to be sure to give them a lot of toys to play with. They should have ramps and other things to climb on. You can use empty boxes or empty toilet paper rolls for them to play with. This is an inexpensive way to give them the toys they need to have. If you leave your rabbit free to roam through your home, you should still be sure that there are adequate toys available for them to play with and on. Rabbits are also chewers, so their cage should be full of things that the rabbits can chew on to keeps his teeth healthy.
Can You Breed Dwarf Rabbits?
Some people choose to breed dwarf rabbits but this can be a very difficult thing to do. Some types of rabbits have trouble breeding with each other and they can cause several different types of diseases to happen in the rabbit. These diseases can cause the rabbit to die in just a few short days and there are very little if any remedies available to help keep the rabbit from dying. It is estimated that only about fifty percent of baby dwarf rabbits born survive past the first few weeks. If you are going to begin breeding dwarf rabbits, you will want to do extensive research so they you will be able to effectively breed healthy rabbits.
Dwarf rabbits can begin to start breeding at about five to six months of age and should definitely breed for the first time before they reach the age of one year old. At this time their pelvic bone will fuse together and if they do not have babies before they are one then they will probably not be able to have them at all. A rabbit can continue to breed until she reaches the age of about three years old and then she is usually no longer able to successfully breed. The typical litter size of dwarf rabbits is between two and four babies depending on many different factors.
How Should You Prepare for a Dwarf Rabbit?
If you are considering purchasing a dwarf rabbit for you home, there are several steps that you can take before you buy the rabbits. You will first want to find a reputable dealer who sells healthy and well-bred dwarf rabbits. You will also want to fully educate yourself in how to care for rabbits, be sure to gather information on how to litter train your rabbit if this is something you are interested in doing. You should understand just what is expected from you in order to take care of your rabbit before you purchase one.
You will also want to have the cage ready before you bring the dwarf rabbit home. You should have extra food and wood chippings so that you can properly take care of your rabbit from the time you bring it home. Since exercise is so important to your rabbit, you should have some toys available for it to play with from the day you bring it home. Most large retail stores or pet stores will sell all of the things you need to take care of your dwarf rabbits.