Types of Rabbits 0 67

Three different types of rabbit

If you think all rabbits are the same, then we have news for you… there are more than fifty different types of rabbits, and within each rabbit breed there are different varieties.

Types of rabbits
Three different types of rabbit

Rabbits come in lots of shapes and sizes, in different colours and with different lengths of fur. If you are thinking of getting a rabbit as a pet, then it’s helpful to know the different breeds you can choose from.

And remember: no matter what breed you choose, rabbits are not an “easy option” pet. They need to be fed, groomed and cleaned regularly. They’re also very social animals, so you should be willing and able to give your pet plenty of attention.

If you still feel that a rabbit is the right pet for you, here are a few of the types of rabbits available.

Five popular types of rabbits

Lionhead rabbits

This is one of the more unusual types of rabbit; it’s also one of the newest, having only been recognised as a breed in 2002.

Lionhead rabbits get their name from looking a little like a lion with a mane. They are small and grow to an ideal weight of around 3.5lbs (1.59kg). If you take care of a Lionhead rabbit in the right way it should live for between seven and nine years on average.

Lionheads are often popular as show rabbits but they can also make excellent pets. However, you need to be careful about the particular rabbit you choose – depending on how their breeding line has been produced, Lionheads can be a type of rabbit with an unpredictable temperament. If you choose carefully though, your Lionhead should be playful and friendly, even if it is timid at first while it gets to know you.

It’s worth noting that Lionhead rabbits are often prone to dental disease and the development of hairballs causing digestive problems.

Polish rabbits

You may be surprised to learn that the name ‘Polish’ has nothing to do with where this type of rabbit comes from, it’s based on the smooth and shiny appearance of the rabbit’s fur.

The Polish rabbit was actually established in England, by breeding wild rabbits with Dutch rabbits. Today’s Polish rabbits still have a touch of the wild rabbit look about them in their body shape.

Many of the original Polish rabbits were albino and it’s still fairly common to see the albino type of this rabbit.

The good news about Polish rabbits is that their fur is short. This means that they need less grooming and are less likely to get hairballs.

One thing to be aware of is that this type of rabbit tends to be highly strung, so it’s not always easy to get to know them. That being said, if you do get to know a Polish rabbit then you will find them to be playful and intelligent.

If you’re looking for a rabbit that’s not too big then a Polish rabbit is a good choice, as it only grows to around 2.5lbs (1.1kg). This type of rabbit lives for around six to eight years; possibly longer if the bunny is spayed or neutered.

Dutch rabbits

Dutch rabbits are one of the most popular types of rabbit to keep as a pet. Of all the types of rabbits, they are some of the most laid back and sociable. This makes them easy to train.

They are also pretty cool to look at with their striking bands of colour and white! The breed originated in The Netherlands, but was developed in England.

If you have a Dutch rabbit, and care for it in the right way, it should live for between five and eight years. It’s worth remembering that, as with most types of rabbits, it is possible for individual bunnies to live for more than ten years. You can expect Dutch rabbits it to grow to between 3.5lbs (1.59kg) and 5.5 lbs (2.49 kg).

Dwarf lop rabbits

Dwarf lop rabbits are very popular as pets. They are very cute and have a laid back and friendly attitude.

These rabbits are easy to recognise by their lop (drooping) ears and squat little faces. Dwarf lops are really easy to house train so if you want a house rabbit, this breed is a good choice.

One thing worth knowing is that dwarf lop rabbits are not as small as you might expect given their name! They can grow to an average of 6.5lbs (3kg).

It’s also worth noting that dwarf lop rabbits should be groomed three times a week; every day when they are moulting.

If you are thinking of buying a dwarf lop rabbit then you should ask about its background. They are prone to dental disease so it’s a good idea to try and buy or adopt one that does not come from a line with this problem.

Flemish Giant rabbits

So far we have looked at small and medium types of rabbits, but we could not finish our guide without taking a look at this giant bunny!

Flemish Giants can grow as big as between 14lbs (6.36kg) and 20lbs (9.09kg).

It’s important to handle and get to know this type of rabbit from an early age as handling can become difficult otherwise.

Flemish Giants are actually quite easy to get to know as they are gentle and laid back. They are also less lively than other rabbit types.

It’s important to remember that you need plenty of space to have a Flemish Giant in your life. It’s recommended that these rabbits have an area of at least 5 sq ft (.50 Sq Meters); although bigger is better.

These are just a few of the most popular types of rabbits to keep as pets. We have looked at some of the ways in which different breeds behave – but remember: each rabbit is different. Just like humans, every bunny is an individual and you need to spend time getting to know them.

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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/