What are the best breeds of rabbits for first-time owners?
May 22, 2020
First-time pet rabbit owner? The right breed of pet rabbit is less troublesome in regular households.
It is fun to own a pet rabbit if you commit to taking the responsibility of a pet regardless of breed or species.
I will introduce you to all the basics of owning a pet rabbit, as well as the best breed of rabbits for first-time owners.
Rabbits are cuddly pets, but also rabbits are not recommended as beginner pets.
If you have never owned any pet, I would suggest you get something like a dog or a cat. Can you guess why I said that?
Although rabbits are small pets regardless of their breed, there is some maintenance for owning pet rabbits.
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- Are rabbits high maintenance?
- Which rabbit breed is best for me?
- So which pet rabbit breed do I think is best for first time owners?
Are rabbits high maintenance?
Any species of pet comes with maintenance. There is nothing such as high maintenance or low maintenance for owning pets.
Rabbits as pets need some sustenance, which is typical for owning any pet animals.
Any person before buying a pet rabbit must consider the maintenance and learn a lot about rabbit care before owning a pet rabbit.
Being ignorant about the responsibility of a pet rabbit will only endanger this small cute house pet.
So what are the responsibilities you have to commit to as a rabbit guardian?
There are several initial costs for owning a pet rabbit. Fortunately, most of these costs are for one time only.
Let’s begin with:
Clean habitat for rabbits.
One cannot ignore the importance of preparing a clean habitat for rabbits. Regardless of the breed you own, you need a clean environment with a running space for your pet rabbits.
A giant breed of rabbit indeed needs a bigger running space, likewise the smaller rabbits. Rabbits need time outside their cage. I never vote for raising rabbits inside an enclosure.
My favorite way to raise rabbits is indoors and in a free-range environment.
If you cannot do that, then prepare a rabbit cage with a running space. Limit the running area using a playpen.
And the floor of the cage must have bedding or any kind of mat to prevent rabbits from having sore hocks.
So initially you have to pay for buying these three items:
- A rabbit cage or hutch;
- Playpen for rabbits;
- Flooring for rabbit hutch;
- Litter box for rabbits;
- Chew toys for pet rabbits.
You must be wondering why your rabbits need a litter box?
Rabbits need to be potty trained.
Without potty training, all breeds of rabbit will litter within the cage. Usually, rabbits prefer to excrete in a specific corner of their enclosure. But potty training will make the cleaning job easier for you as a guardian.
So potty training pet rabbits is essential to maintain a clean habitat for them.
If they scatter their feces all around, and the guardian avoids cleaning the cage for a long time, the dirty habitat will become an unhealthy environment for the pet rabbits.
To maintain a clean habitat, a guardian has to train pet rabbits to use a litter box. The process of training rabbits to use a litter box takes around a fortnight to a month.
RELATED: How to potty train rabbits?
Once a rabbit is potty trained, maintaining freshness in the habitat will be a lot easier for the guardian, as well as you will have a healthy, happy rabbit regardless of their breed.
The health of the rabbit also depends on the type of food you feed your rabbits.
Balanced diet for rabbits:
If one thing is common in all types of rabbits, then that is the diet they must have. Understand that rabbits have a very delicate digestive system.
They need a lot of fibers in their diet to sustain good health.
All rabbit breeds’ diet must look like this:
- 80%-90% – Hay;
- 10%-20% – Fresh greens and vegetables;
- 5%-10% – Pellets.
Regardless of which species of pet you have, they will need food. And all animals have food that they must avoid.
However, cats and dogs or other domestic pets do not have a delicate stomach like rabbits.
Anything slightly out of the ordinary in their diet can cause fatality for rabbits. Rabbits get sick very quickly, or they avoid showing signs of sickness.
Not showing any signs of sickness may result in the demise of your pet rabbit even before you can recognize what went wrong.
To prevent rabbits from certain viral diseases, pet rabbits need vaccinations.
Vaccinating pet rabbits.
I cannot say if it is necessary for pet rabbits at your location to get shots injected. Shots for rabbits are not routine in some continents.
But if a viral disease is common in wild rabbits in your location, then it is likely the vaccine for those viruses is available at your nearest vet.
So it is one initial cost after adopting a pet rabbit. It is a crucial one because if the viral disease is widespread in the wild rabbits near your place, your pet rabbits are vulnerable without the vaccines.
Regardless of what type of rabbit breed you own, your rabbit will need that shot to prevent themselves.
Hence, you will have to take your rabbit to a veterinarian after adopting the rabbit and inquire whether vaccines are available or not.
There is another time you have to visit the veterinarian for your pet rabbits.
To spay or neuter your pet rabbits.
Desexing pet rabbits is essential to maintain the excellent health of your rabbits.
All types of rabbit breeds need desexing. Especially a female rabbit that needs desexing to prevent them from uterine cancer.
Female rabbits are prone to uterine tumors, which grow bigger as the rabbit grows older. At a particular stage, the uterine tumor causes uterine cancer in pet rabbits.
On the other hand, neutering a male rabbit will stop them from marking territory. As a result, a male rabbit will not spray urine anymore around the running space.
It is essential to neuter/spay pet rabbits before potty training them.
Which rabbit breed is best for me?
As you already know by now, rabbits are not a beginner-friendly pet. But yet if you are confident enough to be a responsible and excellent rabbit guardian, then the rabbit is the right pet for you.
Rabbits are cuddly pets and social animals.
Regardless of which rabbit breed you adopt, you have to decide to keep that rabbit for at least the next eight to ten years.
Do you think it is going to be difficult?
If you are confused that ten years is a very long commitment to have a pet, then no breed of rabbit is right for you.
Nevertheless, if you insist on getting your pet rabbit, I can say that dwarf rabbits breed or any breed of lop-eared rabbit is not for you.
Let me explain why I think dwarf rabbits are not beginner-friendly pets.
Dwarf rabbits have an unusual shape of teeth. You may not know, but rabbits have a chewing habit. This chewing habit helps them to wear off their teeth.
Why do they need to wear their teeth?
Rabbits incisors grow continuously throughout their life. To keep their teeth in the right size and shape rabbits chew on hay all day long.
But due to the unusual size and shape of dwarf rabbits teeth, some teeth grow even after the dwarf rabbit chews on hay throughout their lifetime.
Thus that can be a big problem for first-time rabbit owners. Unusually long teeth will be excruciating for dwarf rabbits and need medical attention.
And did you know that rabbit veterinarian costs more than a regular vet?
So I guess as a beginner pet rabbit owner, you might not want to adopt dwarf rabbits. Not adopting dwarf rabbit breeds will prevent you from the expenses of visiting a veterinary several times a year.
Likewise, several other breeds of rabbits I suggest first-time rabbit owners to avoid is due to medical issues as well.
Lop-eared rabbit breeds.
This breed of rabbits has needed medical attention often due to their ears.
The name of the breed suggests that the ears of this kind of rabbit are loppy.
Other types of rabbit breeds have erect ears. But due to the position of their ears of dwarf rabbit breeds are prone to infections.
You may not have to visit a vet often, but infected ears most of the time are not valid for rabbits. Furthermore, frequently looking after ears and treating infections may become disturbing for a rabbit guardian.
Long-haired rabbit breeds.
Long-haired rabbit breeds are not recommended for first-time owners because these rabbits may shed more hair than other rabbits. Similarly, long-haired rabbits need more grooming than any other rabbit breeds.
Are you ready to have a pet for the first time with all the maintenance that comes along with it?
Pet rabbits need maintenance like any other pet. Unlike other pets, rabbits do not need a lot of care, yet there are some things to consider before bringing a pet rabbit home.
So which pet rabbit breed do I think is best for first time owners?
Many websites will list a bunch of rabbits and point out the top 15 lists of beginner-friendly pet rabbits.
I find it odd, but many of those lists have mentioned long-haired and lop-eared breed of rabbits.
Which I think is not the right beginner-friendly pet rabbit breeds.
My first pet rabbit is a breed of Rex rabbits.
Thus I think rex rabbit is the best breed of rabbit for first-time owners.
Rex rabbits have soft fur, which points outwards instead of against their skin. Rex rabbits do not grow very large, and they do not have any issues with their teeth as long as you provide rex rabbits adequate hay, and a few chew toys, these breeds of rabbit will have no problems with wearing off their teeth.
As well as rex rabbits do not have loppy ears. As long as they are in a clean environment, they will not have any ear infections.
Mini rex rabbits.
Mini rex rabbits are similar to rex rabbits and the most common house rabbits today. Having a mini rex rabbit is not much different from having a rex rabbit. It is up to you which breed of rabbit you choose as your beginner pet.
New Zealand Red rabbit.
This breed of rabbits has short fur and is an excellent beginner-friendly rabbit. They look gorgeous for their red coat and don’t require much grooming due to the short length of their hairs. These rabbits are small in size and perfect as indoor pets.
Fauve de Bourgogne Rabbit.
Can you guess what the name of this breed of rabbit suggests about them? Well, this breed of rabbits originate from France and one of the oldest types of rabbit.
I think it is an excellent beginner-friendly rabbit breed because it has medium length fur, and the color is gorgeous.
However, these rabbits are not so common outside of France. If you get a hold of such rabbits in your location, do not hesitate to adopt one because these rabbits are beginner-friendly and a rare breed of rabbit.
Any rabbit guardian will get used to the maintenance of having pet rabbits. I always say owning a pet animal is similar to having a newborn in the family.
The difference is that the newborn will grow and learn to do most things by themselves, but a pet animal will never be capable of doing most things by themselves.
If you are in a rabbit shelter looking forward to adopting a rabbit. I believe the best choice is to adopt a pair of rabbits.
A pair of rabbits that have a bonding between them is the best option for anyone to bring home as pets.
Also, I always tell people to adopt older rabbits from the shelter. Adult rabbits often miss our sights, or people think adult rabbits need more veterinary care. Thus they avoid adopting adult rabbits.
However, older rabbits can be excellent beginner-friendly pets too.
Older rabbits do not need much medical attention if they are fed a balanced diet and kept in a hygienic environment.
I know younger rabbits are attractive, but older rabbits will be happier to have a family to love until the last day of their life.