How long do rabbits live? 0 68

How long do rabbits live
How long do rabbits live as pets?
How long do rabbits live?

If you’re thinking of getting a rabbit as a pet then you may be wondering: “how long do rabbits live?”. Like any pet, before committing to care for them, you’ll want to know how long you’re likely to have your pet bunny.

That’s why we’re going to take a look at the rabbit life span, what factors can affect it and find out how long pet rabbits live…

How long do rabbits live?

How long do rabbits live in the wild?

Let’s start by having a look at the lifespan of a wild rabbit.

The truth is that many wild rabbits could potentially live as long as pet rabbits… if they lived in the same conditions. This isn’t the case though. Wild rabbits live in an environment where they have to deal with predators and danger every day.

Many wild rabbits are attacked and killed by other animals, such as foxes. And one of the biggest dangers for wild rabbits is traffic on the roads; a lot of them are hit by passing cars. All of this means that wild rabbits generally only live for 1 or 2 years.

How long do rabbits live when kept as pets?

Most people wonder how long rabbits live because they want to keep a rabbit as a pet. If this applies to you then it’s important to remember that much of how long a rabbit lives is down to how well it is cared for.

If you take good care of your pet then it is of course likely to live for longer than if it was neglected. It’s worth saying that when we talk about ‘neglect’ we don’t just mean being cruel or ignoring your pet. Neglect can also include feeding your bunny things that it shouldn’t eat, such as chocolate or bread.

If a pet rabbit is well cared for, and kept indoors, it’s likely to live for 8-12 years. There have been rabbits that have lived for as long as 18 years. This is a pretty long life for a small animal; as long as some dogs. A rabbit is therefore a long term commitment and you need to be prepared for that.

What factors affect how long a pet rabbit lives?

As well, as the care your rabbit receives, there are other things that can also have an effect on how long a rabbit lives.

It’s important to remember that each bunny is an individual though. Just like not all humans live the number of years you would expect, not all rabbits do either. Some rabbits have a shorter life than expected; others live a lot longer than their owners think they will.

Here are some of the things that can affect how long a rabbit lives…

How big is the bunny?

The size of a rabbit can have an effect on how long it lives. In the majority of cases, smaller rabbits have a longer lifespan than big ones. This doesn’t mean that your bumper bunny will die quickly though; there have been plenty of exceptions to the rule and many large rabbits live for more than 8 years.

House rabbit or not a house rabbit?

It’s very easy to house train a rabbit and if you can keep your pet indoors then its life may be extended.

One of the main reasons why outdoor rabbits tend to have a shorter life than indoor rabbits is predators. If your bunny is playing outdoors it could be attacked by a fox or a dog.

Rabbits that live outdoors can also be affected by bad weather and by infections that are in the air. If you can keep you rabbit in the house it makes sense to do so.

Spaying and neutering

You may be reluctant to have your pet spayed or neutered, but you could be doing them a huge favour if you get it done.

One of the benefits of spaying and neutering is that it can help your rabbit to live longer. This is especially the case if your rabbit is a girl. Female rabbits are prone to developing cancer if they are not spayed.

Remember though: all of these points refer to the general rabbit population and each individual rabbit is different. Not every small rabbit outlives a big one and not every female bunny that isn’t spayed develops cancer.

The best way for you to ensure that your rabbit lives as long as possible is to make sure that you care for it well. You should also get to know your rabbit so that you can tell if something is wrong. Sometimes it doesn’t take long for a sick rabbit to become very ill. You can help to stop this from happening by taking you rabbit to a vet as soon as you think there is a problem. Doing this can make the difference between a rabbit dying young and it living a long and happy life.

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3 surprising behaviours of pet rats 0 688

Pet rat behaviour

Rats have been given a bad name by decades of bad press. Far from the dirty, disease-filled pests that are portrayed on our screens, these sociable, clean animals have a few surprising perks to owning them.

These sociable, friendly pets are highly trainable animals who show affection for their owners and have many cute little quirks that make them great companions. They also have a very strange way of showing they’re happy!

With that in mind, here are three surprising behaviours of pet rats.

1. They are incredibly playful animals

This one will be no surprise to those who will have seen the boxing, chasing and excited jumps with their own eyes, but many are unaware that rats spend lots of time playing with each other and their owners. One scientific study actually showed that rats giggle when they are tickled. It’s highly recommended that you fill your pet rat’s cage with lots of enrichment toys and interact with them daily. Many owners report that their pet rats love being chased or to wrestle their hands!

2. They are incredibly social animals and love to show affection

Rats are incredibly social creatures. While of course every animal has its own personality and there are exceptions to the rule, they need to live with at least one other rat and most enjoy lots of daily interaction with their owners. It is not a rare sight to see pet rats snuggled up in the laps, pockets and sleeves of their humans. They will also nibble and lick them, as they would other rats, in a show of affection.

3. They boggle their eyes when they are happy

Surprising when first witnessed, one of the most peculiar aspects of rats is the way they display their contentment. While cats purr and dogs wag their tails, when a rat is very happy or relaxed they will brux and boggle – which is a sort of teeth grinding and very fast bulging of the eyes.

Rats are brilliant pets for all ages and there are many positives that come from owning these friendly, misunderstood animals.

What can degus eat? 0 1069

What can degus eat

When they’re living in the wild, degus focus on dietary fibre. It makes up about 60% of their diet, with the other 40% consisting of natural vegetation. But when they’re kept as pets, you’ll need to keep a close eye on what you feed your degu.

Good quality hay

For the most part, your degu’s diet should consist of good quality hay. There are lots of brands that will suffice, but two of particularly good quality are Timothy Hay and Meadow Hay. Keep an eye on the colour: if it’s pink or white, you should throw this hay away as it’s growing mould. If it’s green, it can cause bloating. Occasionally, you can mix some Alfalfa hay in with your regular hay. It’s high in protein, so great in small doses.

You can top up your degu’s bowl with a little bit of guinea pig or degu-specific food, but don’t go overboard. It’s important that your degu doesn’t start ignoring the hay because it’s got a range of health benefits, including the maintenance of a healthy gut and strong teeth. Around 10g of degu food a day should do the trick.

Human food in moderation

The good news is you can feed your degu some of your human food! Give them to your degu in moderation though, as they can cause gas and bloating. On rotation, you can feed them the following foods around once or twice a week:

• Asparagus
• Carrot tops
• Dandelion leaves
• Broccoli
• Cauliflower
• Fresh herbs
• Brussels sprouts
• Celery
• Cabbage
• Courgette
• Green beans
• Beetroot
• Dried herbs
• Pumpkin
• Butternut squash
• Marigold flowers
• Radish

Some sugary foods can be an occasional treat for your degu. In excess, they carry the risk of diabetes, so we’d only recommend doing this once a month.

• Apple
• Cherry tomatoes
• Peas
• Sweet potato
• Carrots
• Cucumber
• Sweetcorn or corn on the cob

When it’s treat time for your degu, give them a tiny amount (one or two) of:

• Sunflower seeds
• Peanuts
• Pumpkin seeds
• Whole nuts

As a general rule, the main thing to avoid giving your degu is fruit not listed here, rabbit food, hamster food or anything with molasses.

Just like us, degus love food – whether it’s good or bad for them. Bookmark this page to make sure you give your degu a balanced diet, and happy feeding!

Learn more about caring for your degu and other pet care advice here: http://www.nichepets.com/category/mammals/degus/