Among pets, a dog or a cat has long surprised no one. As well as fish, parrots, turtles. In the past few centuries, a representative such as the domestic rabbit has joined this zoo. These incredibly cute and clean animals quickly win the hearts of pet lovers.
They do not scratch furniture, like cats, do not make noise at night, like hamsters, and do not bite shoes, like dogs (although they also feed the inexplicable affection to the wires). Also, rabbit fur is delightful to the touch, so they are so nice to iron, and also, they get along very quickly with other animals that are at home.
The growing popularity of domestic rabbits is also much promoted by the presence of a considerable number of different dwarf breeds explicitly bred for keeping at home. Individuals of such breeds, as can be seen in many photos, are distinguished by their small size (and do not need large cages), external beauty, and somewhat quieter character.
However, to care for a rabbit at home, you need to know its habits, requirements, food habits, choose the right place for the cage and many other little things that are very important for the daily life of this pet.
Dwarf rabbit types.
Now about the breeds of domestic rabbits. As mentioned above, they are all relatively small, which is very important for an apartment. Keeping an animal like a “white giant” or “Californian” at home would be much more difficult and dangerous. However, among the dwarfs, some rocks are more or less preferred for home conditions, especially in the case of the inexperience of future owners. First, we will focus on those with whom there is a minimum of problems when keeping a house in a cage.
Dwarf lop-eared ram.
The name “lop-eared ram” comes from the ears, which in this breed are a pendant, and not standing, like all the others. For the rest, they have some differences from other dwarfs – large eyes with a bulge between them, medium length hair, overall build is stocky.
The only possible disadvantage of keeping the house will be the relatively large size of the animal. By weight, they can even exceed 2 kg. However, these are the dimensions of an average cat, so they will not take up much space anyway.
In the second place by desirability for the maintenance of the house is these calm dwarfs. Yes, the main feature characteristic of this breed is their extremely phlegmatic nature. Yes, they may not be so active in playing with children at home, but on the other hand, they can endure more patiently the antics of those. And for adults and just the perfect partner who can lie down on his hands, and sleep peacefully, without disturbing the owner (as well as not letting him up).
The homeland of this tranquil breed in France. Breeders of this particular country-bred this breed (and with the reproduction of ready-made hybrids, rabbits have no problems). Due to strikingly beautiful and soft fur (similar to chinchilla fur), they are sometimes very proudly called the “Royal dwarf breed”. The shape of the body in Rex elongated, with a pointed head. Ears are relatively short, erect. With the right care, these stolid beauties can live 7-8 years, or even more.
However, some pet rabbit lovers do not like the above breeds. Or too big, or too calm, or too … Well, in general, there is always a reason, even banal “interesting” or “want”, to try any animal that is more difficult for home care. And about such a little more “extreme” rocks further and will be discussed.
Of the “difficult” breeds, the most accommodating is the colored rabbit. This breed comes from Holland, where it was bred in the second and third decades of the last century. The constitution, at tiny sizes, is rather strong, with wool of short or medium length. Ears are upright, about 5 cm long.
Justifying its name, individuals of this breed are very diverse in their colors. There are rabbits of red, blue, lilac, black, red, white, yellow and many other colors. There is even the color of “chinchilla”, so the choice is wide.
Characters among colored rabbits also vary widely. Among them are friendly, and calm, and eccentric, and even quite harmful individuals, who adore unexpectedly biting or kicking the host. Therefore, you should be careful with them and carefully look at the selected pet. The life of this breed, on average, is about 5-6 years.
Hermelin or ermine rabbit.
This breed was bred back in 1918, but they became known as ermine relatively recently. Moreover, such a name could not be used to describe their fur, so similar to the valuable ermine fur. By the constitution, they resemble colored rabbits, although they live a little longer, on average, about seven years.
These cute crumbs with their amazingly soft and beautiful fur are quite insidious creatures. Why? Yes, because behind the angelic appearance there is a rather capricious character. Unpredictability is one of the main features inherent in the germelins, and it is because of her that one should be more careful with them. They look like yard cats – they can come up and rub against their legs, and they can throw themselves and scratch or bite those same legs.
The most exotic among the dwarfs, the Angora rabbit is also the biggest challenge for keeping the house. There are two reasons for this. The first – an unusually quick-tempered and capricious.
This imbalance leads to the fact that, in the presence of these animals in the house, it is rarely possible to relax. But, in addition to this, they have one more unpleasant feature, already referring to the appearance. Angora they are named for their amazingly long (up to 20 cm) and thick wool, which requires careful care. These two reasons and lead to the fact that the maintenance of the Angora rabbits at home – the problem for these extreme.
Maintenance at home.
In terms of care, each of the above breeds, of course, has its characteristics, but the common points for them are very similar, due to the related structure of the body of these animals. The first thing that future owners should know is rabbits that dwarfs, that ordinary one is very clean animals, and the cage of these pets needs regular cleaning. On the other hand, this leads to the fact that animals “walk” strictly in the same place, so it is straightforward to accustom them to a tray in a cage (although “misses” sometimes happen, and you have to be morally prepared).
The same cleanliness leads to the fact that the domestic rabbit in the cage must have a clean drinking bowl with clean water. And they should always be such. Otherwise, no thirst will force a pet to drink polluted water.
And the last point concerning the hygiene of rabbits. These animals need to trim their claws regularly (at least once a month) and, in the case of long-haired breeds, comb the hair. The latter is especially crucial for Angora dwarfs, although other domestic breeds with any long hair also need this procedure.
The cage in which the pet will live should be no less than 70 by 40 cm, and preferably larger. The place for the house should be chosen rather carefully. There should not be drafts, direct sunlight, as well as – high humidity. All these moments associated with the wrong location of the house can lead to diseases of the pet. The optimum temperature for most breeds is about 20 ° C.
An essential point when keeping rabbits is walking. A sedentary lifestyle within the cage is fatal for them; it can shorten their lifespan by 2-3 years, and sometimes even more. Therefore, every day it is necessary to provide animals with exercise, at least within the apartment, and, in the presence of vaccinations and a leash, also on the street. You need to remember that rabbits love to gnaw the wires, so they should be removed. Shoes, unlike dogs, they are not highly respected, because by nature, after all, not predators.
The menu of domestic rabbits should consist of several specific items that will provide the animal with good health:
- Specialized feed for ornamental rabbits. Volume per day – 2-3 tbsp .;
- Hay is extremely important. 2-3 bundles per week;
- In the cage there should always be a branch of apple, birch, pear, or oak, so that the animals can calmly grind off the constantly growing front incisors. Also in special stores sold mineral stones, which are used for the same purpose. In no case can not be placed in the cage of the branches of conifers – it is harmful for ornamental species.
- Periodically useful treats thoroughly washed herbs (from the forbidden – euphorbia, lilies of the valley, buttercup and henbane).
- Sometimes you can give some vegetables and fruits, but only as a supplement, and not as a substitute for the main meal.
Among products contraindicated in rabbits:
- white cabbage, which contributes to the manifestation of diarrhea;
- old potatoes, which is a source of solanine;
- beet containing many herbicides.
These moments do not carry any practical load, but they are important for those who want their pet to be not only healthy and beautiful but also affectionate. Even wayward Angoraans and Hermelins can melt with love care, regular caress, and caring treatment. If there are children, they should be explained that animals are not toys, but living beings that can also be hurt. As for the rest, it is enough to follow the above recommendations so that the domestic rabbit pleases the hosts with his health and caress.