Facts About Dwarf Rabbits

F

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.

Last Updated on

About the author

Avatar
Anthony Jorgensen

32 comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Great article! Though it’s always important to note that a rabbits diet is more based around hay than the pellets. My rabbits have thrived with ample Timothy hay or orchard grass. Also a rabbit will binge on sugary fruits, especially bananas. I'd never give mine more than a generous table spoon of a sweet fruit like banana. Trust me, rabbit will thank you.

  • You speak of having a rabbit indoors but do not mention one thing of rabbit proofing your home like electric wires, house plants that can be poison to them. Do research of foods like high quality versus junk food and treats that have high amounts of sugars and corn. Pellets should be given small amounts. They should always have hey a more natural food. And why breed when shelters are fool of them and yes rabbits are not for everyone.

  • Perhaps you should do some research on rabbits before posting such bs. Fyi, rabbits should not eat most pellets sold in pet stores due to nutritional deficiencies. They should, however have an unlimited supply of timothy hay. No rabbit should be ever kept in a medium sized cage. They need room to hop. Cages in pet stores are not large enough for any rabbit to spend their lives in… last but not least, rabbits should never use wood shavings as it is very hard on their respiratory system. It is way too dusty.

    Please refrain from ever sharing this nonsense with anybody again because it is highly inaccurate!

  • Thanks for the helpful information. We had a litter of two kits born this week so we hope that they continue to grow and remain healthy.

  • A lot of the information from this site is very accurate, the only thing I really don't see as true is the feeding of lettuce and nuts. Rabbits cannot have very large amounts anything, just like people, but they can eat romaine lettuce and some nuts (not all) without trouble. They cannot have iceberg, lettuce though. Also, it might seem silly, but they can't have soda! I left a cup out one night by my rabbit without thinking twice, and I wound up spending the whole night rubbing his upset belly. Rabbits cannot burp, so he had to wait through the discomforting air to pass through his little digestive tract, causing a lot of noise and discomfort.

  • I have to agree with some of the commenters below! You need to do your research on bunnies before disseminating incorrect information about rabbits. For instance, no one uses wire-bottom cages to house their rabbits anymore because that is unethical and painful for bunnies and other small animals. Lining it with wood chips isn't a good enough solution. While it's okay to feed them fruits, it's not healthy for them to have it on a regular basis since they contain too much sugar. They need a lot of hay instead! And you need to be careful what kinds of pellets you feed them. This article contains a lot of information on breeding, but in general it's not a good idea to buy from breeders, pet stores, or sellers. Currently, there are too many people breeding rabbits and we have more bunnies than shelters can afford to keep alive. Please adopt! And if you haven't already, it is highly recommended that you get them spayed or neutered. It's healthier for them as well. When it comes to well-researched information on rabbit care, I really recommend house rabbit society: http://www.rabbit.org

  • Never was it mentioned that rabbits need Timothy hay available at ALL times. Also, rabbits do need vegetables to function, but lettuce isn't appropriate for a rabbit of any size. Dark leafy greens should be provided for all rabbits. Also, rabbits should NEVER be left outside. They are very sensitive to harsh weather and can die of overheating very quickly. Rabbits chew. If your rabbit is left inside it has to be bunny proofed. Wires covered and all plants away from reach as some are toxic.

  • We have a dwarf bunny named Rosa, she is a character! She trained herself to use the cat litter box within days. She's mainly free to mingle w us & her feline siblings but it's a challenge due to her chewing. I've tried various chew toys yet she still prefers any or all chords, digging in between couch cushions & chewing wood furniture… I'm in an upstairs apt. I recommend penning off a yard area so they can get their burrow fix…

  • This should be banned. Do not listen to this. Dwarf rabbits are like normal rabbits except they are 10 times more delicate. They are not low care at all. The diet they describe is extremely bad and should not be fed. This will kill them. They need fresh timothy hay always and the pellets should be very limited. Fruits should only be fed in a thumb sized amount daily and they must have certain veggies every day. Wood chippings are terrible and wire cages are even worse. Your rabbit can and will die if you follow these terrible instructions. Litter train your rabbit! It is not optional. This is bad and I'm sorry for your rabbit. Lettuce is suitable for any rabbit regardless of its size as long as it's dark leaf and cabbage is okay in small amounts. They do not eat very little they eat a lot and they need chew toys. Water bowls are better than bottles! You can't really over feed rabbits because they choose what they eat. If you feed them very little they will die and if you somehow over feed it it will most likely not get diarrhea and not die.

  • This is absolutely horrible advice. I've kept rabbits for over thirty years and much of what's written here is utter rubbish. Rabbits cannot and should not be fed just pellets. That's just plain wrong. I collect branches from various trees and shrubs from wild areas nearby. Rabbits need to chew on sticks or they will definitely find something else to chew on — namely your furniture and any cords within reach. They need hay and water **all the time and in unlimited quantities**. They need a source of salt and other minerals. Additionally, I make dry biscuits for our rabbits from various seeds and whole grains (no wheat, no soy). They should NOT be fed lettuces except very rarely as there is little nutritional value in it — which is true for humans as well. Cabbages (broccoli, cauliflower, etc., in addition to standard head cabbages) can be given but will result in the need to change their litter more often, the exception being kale, which does not have this effect.

    Our rabbits are always clean and healthy. Their teeth stay in prime condition throughout their lives.

    Giving advice about breeding in an article meant to be for house pets is really irresponsible at best. Breeding is not encouraged.

    I truly have to question this author's gall in writing and publishing an article based on zero personal knowledge with rabbits.

  • We are on our 2nd, male, dwarf rabbit. Our first was such a joy & a delightful family member that we decided to try again. Even though the 1st was an intact male, he was kind and gentle. He had a tender heart! I strongly recommend a dwarf. They are easy to take care of & give back more love than you can imagine!

  • Poorly researched article. Wood Chips should NEVER be used with any animal. The cedar ones especially can cause nose and lung infections and inflammations and splinters can cause blood infections. Pellets are not a good food for bunnies and should be no more than about 5% of what they eat. Pellets can help with teeth but are not food. Hay, Timothy hay being preferred, should be the food of choice as it assists with prevention of urinary tract infections.

  • I have 2 dwarf bunnies, super fun to have. One is pure black and the other WAS white with black spots. My question is, why would the BLACK and white, LONG hair one change color to GREY and white SHORT hair? Is this something to worry about? Nothing else has changed and the black one hasn’t changed at all.

Anthony Jorgensen

Avatar