How Long do Rabbits Live?
If you're thinking about investing in a rabbit for a pet, you probably have lots of questions. One of the first questions many people ask is how long do rabbits live. This lets the new pet owner know how long of a commitment they are making when they take in a new pet.
Rabbits will live longer if kept indoors and cared for properly. Spaying or neutering can also help by preventing cancers in the reproductive tract. There are some things that can definitely shorten a rabbit's lifespan, like stress from predators, fear and a stressful environment. Rabbits have been known to startle and actually break their own backs.
Rabbits can live from three to 10 years, depending on these circumstances, their genetics, and what type of care they have received.
Guessing the lifespan of a rabbit by breed usually isn't very accurate, though the giant breeds do tend to have shorter lifespans than smaller rabbits, rather like larger dogs don't live as long as smaller ones do.
Some breeds are more prone to health issues than others. Dwarf Hotots, for example, may develop digestive problems.
Angora breeds are more prone to woolblock, which is when a large hairball forms in their stomach. Unlike cats, they can't spit it up, so it is very important to prevent them if possible.
Always find out as much as you can about the breeds you are interested in before you buy. Talk to experienced breeders to find out the ups and downs with their breed of choice.
Having a good rabbit vet handy can also help your pet live a longer, happier life. Not all vets know much about rabbits, so ask around. If you can get a recommendation for one, you'll be much farther ahead than if you need to search for one when your pet has a medical issue.
To give your pet the longest, happiest life possible, get them spayed or neutered and keep them indoors. Feed them the best pellets and hay you can buy in a measured amount so they don't get overweight. Give them plenty of supervised exercise daily. When they are not supervised, keep them in a secure cage or safe area where they cannot harm anything in that space or themselves.
Keep them away from other animals that may stress them out. If you have a dog or cat that is mild tempered, introduce them to your rabbit slowly so the rabbit doesn't get upset. Sometimes they can become great friends; sometimes it is best to keep them apart at all times. When you pick up your rabbit, do it properly so they don't injure themselves.
By learning as much as you can about rabbit care, you can do a lot to help your pet live a long, happy life.
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