If you're considering getting a pet rabbit, there are plenty of choices for best pet rabbits out there. Before you buy the first thing that hops with long ears, consider what size of rabbit you want. All rabbits start out small, but not all of them stay that way. In fact, some can get quite large.
While the large ones can make excellent pets, so can the small ones. For some people the eventual size of the rabbit is a factor when choosing the best pet rabbits. Here are some helpful tips when choosing a pet rabbit.
Some rabbits don't get larger than 4 pounds at maturity, while others top out around 5 pounds, 7 pounds, 10 pounds or more. What size of rabbit do you feel confident handling? Can you pick up and carry a 20 pound sack of flour easily? What if it was wiggling and had sharp toenails?
Ideally, you want to have someone show you the proper way to pick up and carry a rabbit so you can do so easily when necessary. You also want to make sure you don't end up with claw marks raked across your arm or belly if possible. Anyone who has rabbits will get scratched once in awhile, but learning proper handling will keep it to a minimum.
While each individual rabbit has its own personality, some personality trends are dominant in a breed. Some breeds are known for being more relaxed and laid back, some are curious and still others are excitable and energetic. While it may sound fun to have an excitable rabbit, they should be cared for by people who are already very experienced with rabbits.
The breeds usually considered excitable include the Checkered Giant, the Silver, the Rhinelander, the English Spot, the Dwarf Hotot, the Netherland Dwarf and the Britannia Petite. Of course, handling each rabbit as received when young may also play a part in how calm they are, but in general, these rabbits are full of energy and may be challenging to a new rabbit owner.
Relaxed breeds make pretty good pets for most people. You'll find a lot of the larger breeds in this group. Like large dogs, large rabbits tend to be more laid back. Some of the breeds in this group include the Himalayan, the angoras, Dutch, Palomino, the larger lop breeds, Flemish Giant, Silver Fox, Satin, Californian, Cinnamon, Lilac and so on. They can learn to enjoy lying on your feet while you watch television or sprawling on your lap at times.
Most of the commercial meat breeds fall into this category, but if they are not used to being handled, it may take them a long time to lower their stress levels, if they ever do. With any breed, ask how much they have been handled before you buy. Himalayans and Dutch, especially, are known for their laid back personality and are often used with children for 4H projects and pets because of their easy going temperament.
Curious breeds fall somewhere between the other two groups. These rabbits like to explore and may be more active than the relaxed breeds. Rabbits in this group may include the Mini Rex, Florida White, American Fuzzy Lop, Holland Lop, and New Zealand.
Every rabbit will molt once or twice a year. When they do, be prepared for more fur than you've ever seen in your pet's cage, on the carpet, on you, and so on. There are four basic types of fur with rabbits.
Rex fur is extra short, which intensifies the color. The hairs stand straight up from the body and the rabbit feels like it is covered in velvet. This fur is found on Rex and Mini Rex.
Wool is the opposite. Fibers may be up to 4 or 5 inches long and very fine. Angora rabbits are often raised for their soft wool that can be spun into yarn. Rabbits with wool often require a lot more grooming and should not be kept in bedding, as the bedding tangles in the wool.
Angoras are perfect for people who love to brush their pets. They can be shorn with a pair of scissors in the summer when it gets hot, as angora wool is seven times warmer than sheep's wool.
Flyback fur is fur that snaps back into place if you run your hand against its growth. Most rabbits have this type of fur.
Rollback fur gently rolls back into place when you run your hand the opposite way.
You should consider all these characteristics in choosing your own best pet rabbits.
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