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Small Rabbit Breeds

Many people purchase a rabbit as a pet without understanding the specific needs of this animal.

Before you decide to purchase a pet rabbit, you may want to research on the different breeds of rabbits. Small rabbit breeds have specific housing, diet and grooming needs. It is best to make yourself aware of these before you get one home. Small rabbit breeds make excellent pets. You may want small rabbit breeds either as a pet or to breed commercially. If so, you may want to research on this list of small rabbit breeds- Florida White, Dwarf Hotot, Himalayan, Holland Lop, Mini Lop, Mini Rex, Havana, Dutch, Jersey Wooly, Silver, Tan and so on. Most of these small rabbit breeds would weigh anywhere between two to six pounds as an adult.

The smallest rabbit breeds include the Britannia petite, Polish, Netherlands dwarf, and American Fuzzy lop. They weigh in at about two pounds.

  • You can buy any of these small pet rabbit breeds from registered rabbit breeders, adoption homes or at pet stores and pet fairs.
  • Once you have zeroed in on your pet from the list of small rabbit breeds, it is time to make your pet rabbit feel at home.
  • Small rabbit breeds will usually end up as bait in a multiple pet home. If you have a dog or cat at home, do consider the risks of bringing in a pet rabbit. Traditional outdoor accommodation called a hutch is great for multiple rabbits. However, note that indoors is the best place to house a young one. Small breeds of rabbits find extreme weather conditions too dangerous to survive. A rabbit cage with twill mesh and good ground support should be used to house small breeds of rabbits.

    A wire cage will not suffice if your dog decides to get your pet rabbit. Whether you decide to house small rabbit breeds indoors or outdoors, ensure that there is enough natural light and ventilation. Maintain hygiene by cleaning the cage regularly and avoid the build up of ammonia fumes from their urine. There should be enough space for your pet to stand on its hind legs and move about without restriction.
  • Healthy diet for small pet rabbit breeds should include their natural food – meadow grass or hay. Grass consists of fiber, protein and grass and fulfills their dietary needs. It can also keep common dental and gastrointestinal problems at bay. Green foods and root crops are also good for their health. Hay is known to provide roughage, which in turn decreases the chances of intestinal blockages, hairballs and other rabbit health problems. So Hay must be included in Rabit food.Many domesticated small rabbit breeds may also be fed rabbit pellets. Fresh water should be available at all times. Rabbits self-groom and a little care on your part will ensure a clean pet. Regular brushing during shedding months can take care of clumpy fur especially in small rabbit breeds like the American Fuzzy Lop. If your pet belongs to small rabbit breeds with long coat, you may have to clip it regularly. It is also best to trim the nails of your indoor rabbit.
  • Inside a house, small rabbit breeds can be litter trained. Usually a litter box inside the cage or in the house should help. However, be prepared to scoop the poop or urine around the house immediately since it has a strong odor. The natural instinct of your pet rabbit may lead it to spray urine as a territory marker. Spaying or neutering your pet should take care of this problem. In female rabbits, spaying can also reduce the risk of uterine cancer.
  • Chewing and digging are again natural instincts for any breed of rabbits, even the small rabbit breeds. Small rabbit breeds can cause worry by getting into tight spots and then be unable to extricate themselves. You may have to remove houseplants, tape or cover wires and cables, tape the edges of furniture legs, rugs or carpets and keep tiny objects off the ground.
  • Rabbits are active, social pets and your pet needs all the exercise it can get. Let them out of the cage regularly, play with them and provide toys and treats to keep them occupied. Small rabbit breeds are friendly and require attention, so do not neglect them. While they may make a great companion for a little child, small rabbit breeds are fragile and easily frightened. A stressed rabbit can bite or scratch your child to protect itself. Make sure that an adult is always watching when your child plays or holds the pet.
  • Indoor rabbits can live up to ten years or more. A regular health check at the vet is essential for small rabbit breeds. Note that finding a vet for your pet rabbit’s needs may be difficult and expensive.
  • However, with proper rabbit care these furry pets can be wonderful companions.
  Submitted on December 15, 2010