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An Overview Of the Lifespan Of Backyard Rabbits and Bunnies

By Tom Seest

How Long Do Domestic Rabbits Live In Captivity?

While domestic rabbits in captivity do not require vaccinations, they should still be vetted every year to ensure their health and well-being. Just like any other companion animal, rabbits can develop diseases and need close monitoring by their owners. Since these animals are adapted to live in the wild, they may hide symptoms of illness so as not to attract prey. This can make it difficult for people to spot early symptoms and seek proper medical attention. That’s why it’s especially important to pay attention to subtle changes in your rabbit’s behavior to detect any potential problems early on.
The yearly checkup is an opportunity for your rabbit to receive a comprehensive examination by a veterinarian. Besides performing routine fecal examinations, the vet will check for parasites and detect any signs of diseases in their bodies. The vet will also conduct blood tests and organ function tests to ensure their overall health. Those rabbits that are older and those with health issues may need more frequent checkups.
A recent study in England studied the morbidity and mortality statistics of domestic rabbits under the care of veterinarians. The study population consisted of 6349 rabbits that underwent veterinary care in 2013, using a database from VetCompass. The database provided complete data on age, sex, breed, and neuter status. Data on adult body weight were also available. The median age for males and females was 3.2 years and 3.1 years, respectively.
The digestive system of rabbits is quite unique. They have a special compartment between the large and small intestines called the cecum. This cecum ferments digestible fiber into cecotropes, which are known as night feces. The remaining undigested fiber is passed out in normal feces. This process is called coprophagy. In a healthy rabbit, it is essential to keep the cecum and intestines healthy. Otherwise, a rabbit’s intestines can get swollen, inflamed, or even damaged.
Vaccines for domestic rabbits are essential for the protection of the animal from deadly diseases. In the UK, rabbits must be vaccinated to protect them from Myxomatosis and Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease, two diseases that cause significant deaths. It’s important to get these vaccinations as soon as your rabbit reaches a certain age. Vaccinations may even be administered as young as five weeks of age, though they should be given at least two weeks apart.

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Do Rabbits Need a Proper Diet?

A proper diet for domestic rabbits can help them grow strong and healthy. Rabbits should be fed dark leafy greens daily, like romaine lettuce, watercress, cilantro, beet greens, or kale. They should also be fed pellets or hay, and occasionally fruits.
When choosing a pellet diet for your pet, it is best to give your rabbit a variety of fresh foods and limit the number of pellets. The pellets should be high in fiber and low in protein, which is important for your rabbit’s health. A high-protein diet can lead to obesity and other health problems. You should also avoid pellets with treats or additives, which can cause digestive problems.
Human foods are high in sugar, fat, and other foods that are harmful to rabbits. Apples, for example, are great for humans, but they contain too much sugar for your rabbit. Try to limit your rabbit’s intake of human foods, like breads and biscuits. Occasionally give them pieces of fruit and vegetables, but only a small handful at a time.
Fresh grass hay is the best diet for your pet rabbit. It helps their digestive system function properly and prevents hairballs, diarrhea, and obesity. You can buy high-quality hay at Petco or other pet stores. You can also purchase pellets and hay that are specifically designed for rabbits. However, make sure that you do not give your rabbit Alfalfa hay, as it is high in calcium and protein.
A domestic rabbit’s diet should closely mimic the diet of a wild rabbit. It should include plenty of hay, pellets, and greens, in smaller portions. Don’t change their diet abruptly, as this can cause digestive upset. This is especially dangerous for stressed rabbits. For best results, gradually introduce changes in their diet over a few weeks.
In addition to the right diet, rabbits need plenty of fresh water. You should replenish their water bowls every day. Make sure the water bowls are clean and free of dirt and mold. Tap water is fine for rabbits, but you can also use purified water. If you don’t have a purifier, just use water safe for humans.

This photo was taken by Karolina Grabowska and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-ceramic-rabbit-and-egg-4226899/.

Do Backyard Bunnies Need Space?

For domestic rabbits, space is a crucial element. While the average-sized domestic rabbit is only 32 square feet, larger rabbits require more space. You should give your rabbit a large enough cage for exercise and play, but not so big that it’s uncomfortable. The Pet Supply Guy provides an estimator or calculator that you can use online to calculate the rough amount of rabbit cage space you will need.
Domestic rabbits need a large, enclosed space in which to exercise and play. If your rabbit is caged in a small space, it will suffer from muscle atrophy and poor health. It could also develop aggressive behavior. In addition, some rabbits may prefer to spend most of their time inside their hutch. However, rabbits need to be able to exercise freely in the morning and at night. The Rabbit House provides a convenient sizing guide that allows you to plan your hutch or cage space requirements.
Rabbits are social animals and require space to socialize. Ideally, rabbits should live with a companion. A rabbit’s ideal companion will be another rabbit, as the two will form a strong bond. It’s also a good idea to provide undivided attention to your rabbit, including getting down on the floor to play with it.
Rabbits require plenty of space to move around, hide and dig. They also need a separate area to go potty. To make their environment more enjoyable, you can install a rabbit’s toilet in a separate enclosure. You can also provide them with a hay rack so they can get their fill of hay.
A rabbit’s space in a home is important, both for health and happiness. Rabbits do best in large enclosures, but they can also thrive in smaller spaces. You will need to provide plenty of bedding and space for them to run around and do their business. Providing them with a burrow and water is also essential.

This photo was taken by Karolina Grabowska and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-stuffed-toy-sitting-on-folded-blankets-4886928/.