Can be considered any rabbit, which is kept as a member of the family, regardless of breed and size. However, most often by “mean dwarf animals, bred specifically to become pets. It is a mistake to think that keeping a rabbit at home is much easier than a cat or a dog. Eared pets require care and affection, and the attentive owner needs to arm themselves with knowledge about caring for a new friend. In this article, you will learn about the conditions of maintenance of a pet.
Rabbit breeds are classified:
- by weight bodies (large, medium and small)
- along the length of wool (long-haired, normal and short-haired).
Animals differ not only in appearance but also in character. Some breeds are quite capricious and can give a lot of trouble to the novice owner. We will consider the most popular breed of dwarf rabbits.
- Angora Dwarf Rabbit – longhair. In appearance, the animals of this breed resemble a clump of fluff, from which their ears barely lookout. Even muzzle is covered with long hair (up to 20 mm). These rabbits require constant labor-intensive care: wool must be combed every 3-4 days, and during the molt period – daily, otherwise the fallen lumps will have to be cut off. Angora rabbits are not large, up to 1600 g. This breed is recommended for those who already have experience in keeping rabbits.
- Lionhead Rabbit originally from Belgium. Representatives of this breed are owners of a luxurious mane adorning the neck, with short hair on the body. On lion-headed rabbits, it is worthwhile to stop your choice for those who want to have a long-haired animal but are not ready to spend a lot of time on fur care. The weight of adult animals is 1000-1600 g, the colors are various. Lionhead rabbits have a calm nature, love affection, get along with children.
- Fox Pygmy Rabbit, unlike lion-headed, almost completely covered with thick and long (up to 7 mm) hair, only a smooth face. The average weight of 1200 g, the most common colors – red or brown, but there are many. Forepaws are disproportionately short. Rabbits of this breed are both aggressive and phlegmatic. Fox rabbits should not be chosen as pets for children, and they require careful care.
- Hermelin – completely white, normal hair. These rabbits have small ears, a short neck – features that give them the appearance of a charming toy. The animals are small, the weight does not exceed 1500 g, but usually less than a kilogram. Gremlins poorly tolerate heat, and this must be taken into account when choosing a place for a cage or an aviary. The rest of the unpretentious, but very capricious, novice rabbit owners with such pets will not be easy.
- Rex (Royal Dwarf) – short-haired, very soft to the touch, fur “plush”, like a chinchilla. The variety of colors is impressive: the animals can be of any color, both plain and with spots. Representatives of this breed are more susceptible to other skin diseases because they have reduced the protective function of the skin. Weight up to 1500 g, a characteristic feature – whiskers are almost undeveloped. Most individuals have a balanced character, even phlegmatic.
- Color Dwarf Rabbit – one of the most popular breeds in Russia. Normally woolen, average weight is 1000 g. Unpretentiousness, a variety of colors (there are up to 60 variations), playful and active temper – those qualities due to which novices or families with children can choose on this breed. Sometimes during puberty males are aggressive, but by the age of 1-1.5 years, most animals again become affectionate and friendly.
- Dwarf ram – fold rabbit. The length of the ears is measured in the same way as the wingspan of a bird: from the tip of one ear to the tip of the other in a horizontal position, is 21-28 cm. Fold lambs are larger than other breeds, and their weight reaches 3000 g. They have a very accommodating and affectionate character, unpretentious. Ideal pets for children.
- Dutch dwarf rabbit – the owner of an unusual color: the back half of the body and the head has the same color as the eyes, the rest of the coat is white. Normally woolen, weight reaches 2200 g. Playful and affectionate, able to get along with other pets.
- Those who want to get an eared pet with an unusual color, should look at such breeds as moth fire, dwarf hare and dwarf butterfly.
So, in the house will soon be a new pet. What to take care in the first place? Rabbits contain at room temperature, in a dry room without drafts. At the same time, it should be possible to air the room: fresh air has a beneficial effect on the animal’s state of health and prevents the appearance of an unpleasant smell. Dirt, dust, direct sunlight will inevitably harm the health of the rabbit.
Rabbit can live in a cage or aviary, but so that the animal could run and play, it needs to be let out daily for a walk around the apartment.
To make the pet feel safe, he houses needed – analog of the hole, where you can climb entirely. Getting a rabbit out of the shelter is undesirable: the animal must know that there is a place where you can hide or rest, and where no one will touch it.
- Min Cell Size- 70×40 cm. It should be spacious enough for the rabbit to move freely on it. The optimal height is the height of a rabbit standing on its hind legs, and the length is three jumps, width is two.
- For apartment poorly fit cells with solid walls: they are bulky, they are difficult to move. Comfortable cages with wood and metal rods. Wood is a safe and beautiful material. The only drawback is that the rabbit will surely nibble the cage, and it will quickly lose its aesthetic appearance. The animal will be comfortable in a metal mesh cage. If it is equipped with a plastic pallet, cleaning will be a matter of a few minutes.
- Open cell top will allow the pet to feel freer, but in this case, the height of the walls must be such that the rabbit cannot jump over them.
- Cell bottom regardless of the material covered with litter. From sitting on a hard surface, rabbits develop pododermatitis – painful sores on paws.
- In the corner set the toilet tray. Rabbits get used to going to the toilet in the same place no worse than cats, although it will take more time to train. The presence of the tray simplifies cleaning the cage.
- On the cell wall, fix the drinker (nipple drinker suitable for rodents). Bowls for food or also fixed on the wall, or put on the floor. For rabbits, you need to choose a ceramic or metal feeders with a flat bottom., heavy enough that the animal does not turn them over.
- The cell is placed in a quiet and bright place., away from direct sunlight. The sun may be a small corner of the cage, then the rabbit at any time can go out to warm up or again to hide in the shade. A curious pet will be happy if the cage is installed on an elevation, which will provide a good overview. Rabbit with interest will observe what is happening in the apartment.
- If there is a cat or dog in the house, they should not have free access to the cage. Joint games with other animals are possible only under the supervision of the owner. The predator sniffing the cage will be very disturbing to the rabbit, which by nature is a victim.
- In the cage put the house shelter. The rabbit, which has nowhere to hide, is subjected to stress.
A rabbit cage in order to avoid unpleasant smell clean at least three times a week. The bottom is covered with hay, straw, or wood filler. Newspapers or paper should not be used: wet bedding is a common cause of paw diseases; fine sawdust is also dangerous for animals since the ingress of wood dust on the mucous membranes provokes allergies and conjunctivitis. You also need to check that the filler does not contain fragrances or chemical additives.
To clean the cage, it is undesirable to use household chemicals. Remains of detergent can be dangerous for the animal. If the cage is cleaned regularly, it is enough to wash it with warm water. Substantial contamination is removed using table vinegar.
If the rabbit is accustomed to go to the tray, the filler is completely changed twice a week.
- Dirty aviary (cell). To get rid of the smell, for 7-10 days they arrange cleaning every day, then they treat the particularly polluted areas with vinegar and air the room.
- Undocumented male. Rabbits, like many other animals, mark the territory, and it is impossible to wean them from it. Castration solves the odor problem. In addition, neutered (sterilized) rabbits become calmer and friendlier.
- Animal disease. If all the rules of pet care are observed, but there is an unpleasant smell in the cage – this is a reason to contact a veterinarian. The perhaps eared pet is sick.
- For the health of the rabbit is an essential balanced diet. The animals are fed grass and hay, cereals, fresh vegetables and full-feed specialized feed.
- Rabbits eat up to 30 times a day, feed should always be available. At the same time, it is necessary to immediately remove from the cage not eaten remnants of food, which can deteriorate, so that the pet does not poison itself.
- Succulent feed (vegetables, fruits, grass) are not suitable for rabbits under the age of 3 months. Kids give hay and mixed fodder.
- Rabbits happy to eat meadow herbs. Having decided to pamper your pet, you need to check that poisonous plants are not caught in the collected grass. Grass for animals torn away from the roads.
- Cereals and legumes pre-soaked or boiled.
- For grinding teeth animals offer solid feed: young twigs of aspen, apple, willow, birch. A useful delicacy will be dried pieces of bread.
- Mineral Supplements (bone meal, chalk) give all the animals, with the exception of those who receive complete feed.
- Rabbits who regularly run around the apartment and get enough exercise, you can not walk. But walks in the fresh air will bring joy to both the owner and the pet. Before making sure that there are no dogs, debris, poisonous plants nearby, the animal is allowed to walk in the park or a secluded meadow. Even the calmest the rabbit must be on a harness or leash: frightened by something, the animal can run away, and it will not be easy to catch him on the street.
- Once in 3 weeks the rabbit is cut its claws. Use a forceps or claw cutter to cut off the tip of a claw 1-2 mm long so as not to touch the blood vessels (they are clearly visible to the lumen). If the animal has bled, the claw is washed with hydrogen peroxide.
- Do I need to wash the rabbit? Veterinarians claim that bathing is a great stress for animals and is contraindicated for a variety of reasons.
- Water treatments violate the skin’s natural protective lubricant. As a result, the coat becomes dull, falls, the animal feels itchy.
- Bathing often becomes cause colds.
- Stress, which the animal experiences can become deadly.
- Rabbits monitor the purity of the wool on their own, carefully licking. With proper care no need to wash.
But there are situations when you can not avoid swimming. For example, if the eared pet is very dirty, overheated, or has diarrhea. How can it not harm your pet?
- Wash the rabbit in the sink or basin more convenient and easier than in the bath.
- Prepare room temperature water or a few degrees warmer.
- Whenever possible the animal is better not to wet the whole, and wash only contaminated sites.
- Detergents better not to use. If you can not do without them, buy special shampoo for rabbits. It is necessary to rinse the wool very carefully so that the animal will not poison itself after licking.
- Water the animal safer not from the shower, but the bucket or mugs.
- The head, especially the ears and nose, you can’t wet.
- You need an assistant to keep a rabbit. A scared animal can break out and hurt yourself.
- Important avoid drafts. All windows and doors should be tightly closed.
- Wool thoroughly with a towel.. Until the animal is dehydrated, it is undesirable to let it go to the floor, it is better to leave it on the sofa or pick it up.
- For drying wool do not use hair dryer: noise scares animals, and tender skin is easy to burn.
Timely vaccinations will help animals to avoid diseases that are difficult to treat in rabbits and often lead to death. Veterinarians recommend, first of all, vaccinating pets from myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic disease (VHD). In some cases, without vaccination can not do:
- the rabbit will participate in the exhibition;
- planned trip abroad;
- the pet remains on overexposure in zoo hostel
- insurance on a pet.
The first vaccination is preferably carried out in the spring. The age of the rabbit is not less than a month. Vaccination is repeated after a month, and then 5-6 months after the primary. Revaccination is required twice a year, in early spring and autumn, when outbreaks of myxomatosis occur in order for the animal to maintain a stable immunity. Insects spread the virus, so protecting the rabbit is most important during the period of their high activity.
Viral hemorrhagic disease (VHD).
The first time rabbits are vaccinated at the age of 6 weeks and older, while the bodyweight of the animal must be more than 500 g. The second time the vaccine is administered after three months. Revaccination is required every six months or once a year, depending on the epizootological situation. The most commonly used vaccines are Rabbiwak-V and Cunivak RHD.
There are also multiple vaccines that stimulate the production of antibodies to two diseases at once. A veterinarian should advise on their use in each case.
Rabbits are also vaccinated against pasteurellosis, paratyphoid fever, pasteurellosis, and rabies, but these diseases are not so widespread. Vaccination is indicated for animals from nurseries., where there are many animals and the risk of transmission is higher.
Rabbits can give the owner a lot of positive emotions and joyful moments. If properly maintained and cared for, animals live up to 15 years. But, deciding to get an eared friend, do not forget: a cute and funny appearance does not make a rabbit a toy. It is a living being that needs love, affection, and attention.