The lifespan of a domestic rabbit varies, and depends on a series of factors, including housing, hazards and care. Before getting a rabbit, learn as much as you can about rabbit care and rabbit behaviour. Similar to cats and dogs, with proper care and attention, your small companion can be with you for a long time.
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In general, the average pet rabbit can live to be eight to 12 years of age, although some rabbits reach the age of 15 years. Smaller rabbit breeds, such as the dwarf rabbit, live longer than large and giant rabbit breeds, such as the German Lop and British Giant, which have an average lifespan of five to six years. If you have a purebred rabbit, it will most likely live a bit shorter than a mixed breed.
Neutering or Spaying
Neutering or spaying your rabbit can lengthen its life because you eliminate the risk of certain diseases. An unadjusted female rabbit is at a high risk for various reproductive cancers, such as ovarian, uterine and mammarian cancer. Have your rabbit spayed so these cancers become a non-issue. Neutering a male rabbit eliminates the possibility of testicular cancer and it also reduces your rabbit's aggression and makes it less prone to marking its territory with urine.
According to Zooh Corner, indoor rabbits live five to eight years longer than outdoor rabbits. If you keep your rabbit outdoors, it is exposed to weather temperatures, which may be extreme at times. Predators, such as cats and coyotes, are another hazard to outdoor rabbits. Keeping your rabbit indoors allows more interaction and you are more likely to notice if something is wrong with your rabbit. Indoor rabbits are not obsolete from hazards. Some houseplants, insecticides and cleaning solutions can be poisonous to your rabbit; electrical wires and cables, within easy access, can hurt or kill your rabbit if it nibbles on them.
Proper care is essential to your rabbit's life. Place your rabbit in a clean cage with a litter box in it. Provide a healthy diet. Vegetables, such as romaine lettuce, collard greens, endive and parsley, are dominant in a rabbit's diet. To promote your rabbit's digestive health, have hay readily available for it. Commercial pellets can also be included in a healthy rabbit diet. Fresh water must be available to your rabbit at all times. Take your rabbit to the veterinarian once a year for checkups to help maintain its health.
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- House Rabbit Society: How Long Does A Rabbit Life?
- Rabit Rehome: Caring for Large/Giant Rabbit Breeds
- House Rabbit Society: Spaying and Neutering
- Zooh Corner: House Rabbits - Why It's Better for You and Your Bunny
- House Rabbit Society: Outdoor and Indoor Hazards to Companion Rabbits
- Per Finder: How to Care for Domestic Rabbits