Care and maintenance of decorative rabbits at home

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Decorative can be considered any rabbit, which is held as a member of the family, regardless of the breed and size. However, most often "decorative" meansdwarf animals, deduced specifically to become pets. It is a mistake to think that keeping a rabbit's house is much easier than a cat or a dog.Eared pets require care and affection, and the attentive owner needs to pre-arm himself with knowledge about caring for a new friend. In this article you will learn about the conditions of keeping a pet.

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Table of contents

  • How to choose the right kind of decorative rabbit?
  • Features of the dwarf rabbit at home
  • How to choose a cage for a pet?
  • Cleaning the cage
  • How to care for and keep an ornamental rabbit in an apartment
  • Vaccination

How to choose the right kind of decorative rabbit?

Species of ornamental rabbits are classified:

  • by weightbodies (large, medium and small)
  • along the length of the wool(long-haired, normal-haired and short-haired).

Animals differ not only in appearance, but also in character. Some breeds are rather capricious and can bring a lot of trouble to the newcomer. Consider

the most popular breeds of dwarf rabbits.

Angora Dwarf Rabbit- longhaired. In appearance, the animals of this breed resemble a lump of fluff, from which barely peep their ears. Long hair (up to 20 mm) is covered even with a muzzle. These rabbits require constant labor-intensive care: the hair needs to be combed every 3-4 days, and during moulting - every day, otherwise the lumps will have to be cut off. Angora rabbits are not large, until 1600. This breed is recommended for those who already have experience in keeping rabbits.

Angora Dwarf Rabbit

Lionheaded rabbitoriginally from Belgium. Representatives of this breed are owners of a luxurious mane that adorns the neck, while the hair on the body is short. On lion-headed rabbits it is worthwhile to choose those who want to have a long-haired animal, but are not ready to spend a lot of time on fur care. The weight of adult animals is 1000-1600 g, the colors are varied. Lionheaded rabbits have a calm character, love affection, get along with children.

Lionheaded rabbit

Fox dwarf rabbit, in contrast to the lion-headed, almost completely covered with a thick and long (up to 7 mm) wool, smooth only muzzle. The average weight of 1200 g, the most common colors - red or brown, but there are many. The front legs are disproportionately short. Rabbits of this breed are both aggressive and phlegmatic. Fox rabbits should not be chosen as pets for children, they require careful care.

Fox dwarf rabbit

Germelin- completely white, normal-looking. These rabbits have small ears, a short neck - features that give them the appearance of a charming toy. Small animals, weight does not exceed 1500 g, but usually less than a kilogram. Germelins do not tolerate heat, it should be taken into account when choosing a place for a cage or aviary. The rest are unpretentious, but very capricious, starting rabbit breeders with such pets will not be easy.

Rabbit Germelin

Rex (the royal dwarf) -short-haired, to the touch very soft, fur "plush like a chinchilla. The variety of colors is impressive: the animals can be any color, both monochromatic and spotted. Representatives of this breed are more prone to skin diseases than others, because they have a reduced protective function of the skin. Weight up to 1500 g, a characteristic feature - almost undeveloped mustache. Most individuals have a balanced character, even phlegmatic.

Dwarf Rabbit Rex

Color dwarf rabbit- one of the most popular breeds in Russia. Normal-wool, average weight - 1000 g. Unpretentiousness, a variety of colors (there are up to 60 variations), playful and active disposition are the qualities due to which this breed can be stopped by a choice of beginners or families with children. Sometimes during puberty, males are aggressive, but by the age of 1, years, most animals again become affectionate and friendly.

Dwarf sheep -lop-eared rabbit. The length of the ears is measured in the same way as the wingspan in the bird: from the tip of one ear to the tip of the other in a horizontal position, is 21-28 cm. Folding sheep are larger than other decorative rocks, their weight reaches 3000 g. Differ very compliant and affectionate character, unpretentious. Perfect pets for children.

Dwarf rabbit breeds ram

Dutch dwarf rabbit -the owner of an unusual color: the back half of the body and the head have a color that coincides with the color of the eyes, the rest of the coat is white. Normal-wool, weight reaches 2200 g. Playful and affectionate, they can get along with other pets.

Dutch dwarf rabbit

Those who want to acquire a long-eared favorite with unusual coloring, it is worth looking at such breeds asflint, pygmy hareanddwarf butterfly.

Rabbit dwarf butterfly

Species of dwarf rabbits are very diverse, among them everyone will be able to choose the animal for himself. Specialist rabbit breeders from nurseries or consultants in pet stores will answer questions about the content and care and will advise on what breed to stop those who first decided to get a decorative a rabbit.

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Features of the dwarf rabbit at home

So, a new pet will soon appear in the house. What to take care of first?Decorative rabbits are kept at room temperature, in a dry area without drafts. It should be possible to ventilate the room: fresh air has a beneficial effect on the health of the animal and prevents the appearance of an unpleasant odor. Dirt, dust, direct sunlight will inevitably harm the health of a rabbit.

Rabbitcan live in a cage or cage, but that the animal could run around and play, it should be released every day for a walk around the apartment.

Rabbits eagerly gnaw at everything that falls into sight. To the pet did not spoil things and not injured himself, you must remove all dangerous items in advance, paying special attention to the wires. Release the animal from the cage, you can not leave it unattended.

To make the pet feel safe, heneed a house- analogue burrow, where you can get whole. It is undesirable to get a rabbit out of the shelter: the animal must know that there is a place where you can hide or rest, and where no one will touch it.

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How to choose a cage for a pet?

  • Minimum cell size- 70X40 cm. It should be spacious enough for the rabbit to move freely around it. The optimal height is the growth of a rabbit standing on its hind legs, the length is three jumps, the width is two.
Cage for decorative rabbit
  • For an apartmentbad cells with monolithic walls: they are cumbersome, they are difficult to move. Convenientcells with rods of wood and metal. Wood is a safe and beautiful material, the only drawback is that the rabbit will necessarily gnaw the cage and it will quickly lose its aesthetic appearance. The animal will be comfortable in a cage made of metal mesh. If it is equipped with a plastic pallet, cleaning will become a matter of a few minutes.
  • Open top of the cagewill allow the pet to feel freer, but in this case, the height of the walls should be such that the rabbit can not jump over them.
  • The bottom of the cageregardless of the material covered with litter. From sitting on a hard surface, rabbits developpododermatitis - painful wounds on the paws.
Pododermatitis in rabbits
  • In the corner set the toilet tray. Rabbits get used to going to the toilet in the same place no worse than cats, although more time will be needed for training. The presence of a tray simplifies the cleaning of the cell.
Toilet tray
  • On the wall, the cells are fixed(suitable nipple drinking bowl for rodents). Bowls for feed are either fixed on the wall or placed on the floor.For rabbits you need to choose ceramic or metal feeders with a flat bottom, heavy enough that the animal did not turn them over.
  • The cage is placed in a quiet and bright place, away from direct sunlight. In the sun there may be a small angle of the cage, then the rabbit can at any time get out to warm up or again hide in the shade. A curious pet will be happy if the cage is set on a raised platform, which will provide a good view. Rabbit with interest will observe what is happening in the apartment.
  • If the house has a cat or a dog, they should not have free access to the cage.Joint games with other animals are possible only under the supervision of the host. The predator, sniffing the cage, will strongly disturb the rabbit, which by nature is a victim.
  • Put a shelter in a cage. Rabbit, which has nowhere to hide, is under stress.
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Cleaning the cage

The Rabbit Cageto avoid the appearance of an unpleasant smell cleaned at least 3 times a week. The bottom is covered with hay, straw or wood filler. Newspapers or paper can not be used: wet litter - a common cause of paw diseases; small sawdust is also dangerous for animals, since the ingress of wood dust on mucous membranes provokes allergies and conjunctivitis. Also, you need to check that the filler does not contain fragrances or chemical additives.

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Dwarf rabbit in a cage

To clean the cellit is undesirable to apply household chemicals. Remains of detergent can be dangerous for the animal. If cleaning in the cage is done regularly, it is enough to wash it with warm water. Strong soiling is removed with table vinegar.

If the rabbit is accustomed to walk into the tray,filler is completely changed twice a week.

What if the apartment has an unpleasant smell? First of all, find out the reason.
  1. Dirty aviary(cell). To get rid of the smell, within 7-10 days, the cleaning is arranged daily, then the especially polluted areas are treated with vinegar and the room is ventilated.
  2. An uncastrated male. Rabbits, like many other animals, mark territory, and we can not disaccustom them. Castration will solve the problem of smell. In addition, neutered (sterilized) rabbits become calmer and more friendly.
  3. Animal Disease. If all the rules for caring for the pet are observed, but there is an unpleasant smell in the cage - this is an excuse to contact the vet. Perhaps the eared pet is sick.
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How to care for and keep an ornamental rabbit in an apartment

  1. For rabbit health is very importantbalanced diet. The animals are fed with grass and hay, cereals, fresh vegetables and full-fledged specialized feeds.
  • Rabbits eat up to 30 times a day, the feed should always be available. At the same time, you need to immediately remove from the cage not eaten leftovers of feed, which can deteriorate so that the pet does not get poisoned.
  • Juicy foods (vegetables, fruits, herbs) are not suitable for rabbits under the age of 3 months. Babies are given hay and mixed fodder.
  • Rabbitshappy to eat meadow grasses. Deciding to pamper the pet, you need to check that in the collected grass did not get poisonous plants. Grass for animals is torn away from the roads.
  • Cereals and legumespre-soaked or boiled.
  • For teeth grindinganimals offer solid food: young aspen branches, apple, willow, birch. A useful treat will be dried pieces of bread.
  • Mineral additives(bone meal, chalk) is given to all animals, except for those that receive full-fat feed.
Rabbits can not be given dairy products, citrus fruits, meat, spicy, salty, sweet food, red cabbage. Any other cabbage and beets cause stomach upset. Legumes are given rarely, in small portions, in combination with other food.
  1. Rabbits who regularly run around the apartment and get enough physical activity, you can not walk. Butwalks in the fresh air will bring joy to both the owner and the pet. Preliminary convinced that there are no dogs, garbage, poisonous plants nearby, the animal is allowed to walk in the park or on a secluded clearing. Even the quietestrabbit should be on a harness or leash: frightened of anything, the animal can escape, and catch it on the street will not be easy.
  2. Once in 3 weeks, the rabbit is clipped. The tip of a claw 1-2 mm long is cut off by forceps or clawfish, so as not to touch the blood vessels (they are clearly visible in the lumen). If the animal has blood, the claw is washed with hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Do I need to wash a rabbit? Veterinarians say thatBathing is the strongest stress for animalsand is contraindicated for a variety of reasons.
  4. Water procedures violate the natural protective lubricant of the skin. As a result, the coat becomes dull, falls out, the animal feels itchy.
  5. Bathing often becomescause of colds.
  6. Stress, which the animal experiences, can become fatal.
  7. Rabbits follow the purity of the fur on their own, carefully licking. With proper carein washing there will be no necessity.

But there are situations when you can not avoid swimming. For example, if the eared pet is very dirty, overheated or suffers from diarrhea.How do you not cause the pet damage?

  • Wash the rabbit in the sinkor basin is more convenient and simpler than in a bath.
  • Prepareroom temperature wateror a few degrees warmer.
  • If possibleit is better not to wet the animal entirely, and wash only the contaminated areas.
  • Detergent is best not to use. If you can not do without them, buy a special shampoo for rabbits. Rinse the coat very carefully, so that later the animal, licking, not poisoned.
  • Watering the animal with waterIt's safer not from the shower, but from the bucketor circles.
Bathing dwarf rabbit
  • The head, especially the ears and nose,It is impossible to wet.
  • It will take an assistant to hold the rabbit. Frightened animalcan break free and cause injury.
  • Importantto avoid drafts. All windows and doors must be tightly closed.
  • Wool thoroughly wipe with a towel. While the animal completely does not dry, it is undesirable to let go to the floor, it is better to leave it on the couch or pick it up.
  • For drying wooldo not use a hairdryer: noise scares animals, and gentle skin is easy to burn.
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Vaccination

Timely vaccinations will help animals avoid diseases that rabbits do not respond well to and often lead to death. Veterinarians recommend first of all to vaccinate pets from myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic disease (VHD).In some cases, vaccination is indispensable:

  • the rabbit will beto participate in the exhibition;
  • is plannedtrip abroad;
  • the pet remains at a standstill inzoo
  • insurance registrationon a pet.

Myxomatosis.It is desirable to conduct the first vaccination in the spring. Age of rabbit - at least a month. Vaccination is repeated a month later, and then 5-6 months after the primary. Revaccination is required twice a year, early spring and autumn, when outbreaks of myxomatosis occur, so that the animal remains resistant immunity. The virus is spread by insects, so protecting the rabbit is most important in the period of their high activity.

In Russia, most veterinary clinics use the vaccines RABBIVAC-B and Cunivak Myxo.

Vaccination of decorative rabbits

Viral hemorrhagic disease (VHD).The first time rabbits are vaccinated at the age of 6 weeks and older, with the animal's body weight being more than 500 g. The second time the vaccine is administered after 3 months. Revaccination is required every six months or once a year, depending on the epizootic situation. The most commonly used vaccines are RABBIVAC-V and Cunivak RHD.

There are also complex vaccines that stimulate the production of antibodies to two diseases at once.A veterinarian should advise on their application in each specific case.

Rabbits are also vaccinated against pasteurellosis, paratyphoid, leafereleza and rabies, but these diseases are not so widespread.Vaccination is shown to animals from nurseries, where there are many animals and the risk of transmission is higher.

Vaccinations can not be done if the animal is ill or weakened. The females are not grafted during pregnancy and during the feeding of the young. Two weeks before the vaccination, the rabbit is given anthelmintic preparations, since the presence of parasites reduces the effectiveness of vaccination.

Decorative rabbits are able to give the owner a lot of positive emotions and joyful moments. If properly maintained and maintained,animals live up to 15 years. But, deciding to acquire a eared friend, do not forget: a cute and funny appearance does not make a rabbit a toy. This is a living being who needs love, affection and attention.

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