The Dutch Dwarf Rabbit
Species: orictolagus cuniculus
As the name suggests, these cute small animas originated in Holland. They were bred as a result of crossing Polish red eyed rabbits with their wild relatives. A lot of color morphs have been acquired since then.
The Dwarf Dutch rabbit has got a heavily-set body, short legs and neck, very small ears (5.5 cm max). The rabbit has a big head and a short tail. The fur is thick, dense and glossy. There are a lot of various color morphs: Siamese, Japanese, Lynx, Thuringer, gray and many others. Red satin rabbits look beautiful and unusual. Pure white rabbits are considered to be crème de la crème. Adult rabbits weigh around 1.1 – 1.250 kg. The highest possible weight according to the standards is 1.5 kg.
Like all other pets, each rabbit has its own personality and traits. Dwarf Dutch rabbits quickly get used to their new home, can be handled and greet their owner by standing on their hind legs. When the rabbit becomes sexually mature and has no mate, it can get aggressive: bite or scratch. In order to avoid this behavior, it is best to spray it.
The personality of your rabbit will depend on how you treat it. If you don’t scare your pet, handle it often and treat it gently, it will respond with the same attitude.
First of all, rabbits need a spacious and safe cage. Also your rabbit will need a shelter to sleep and to hide in. The bottom of the cage has to be covered with bedding. For bedding you can use wood cuttings, straw, special absorbing pellets. Normally rabbits eliminate in the same location of the cage. You can put there a litter box that has to be cleaned as often as possible. It is best to put a cage in a quiet location away from the bright light.
The staple of all the rabbits’ diet is hay. It can be purchased in pet stores, but the best option is to prepare it yourself. The hay should be present at cage at all times in a special hay rack.
In summer you should give to your rabbit various kinds of grain and grass (dandelion, plantain, goosefoot, tormentil and burdock). Also your pet will need tree branches (birch, maple, willow). The grass has to be clean and has to be collected far from roads. You should never you’re your rabbit with grass that is wet from rain.
Rabbits love carrots, lettuce and cabbage leaves. Many breeders feed their rabbits with commercial dry mixes (there is a wide range available in any pet store). Fresh clean water should be in the cage all the time.
The rabbit has to be carefully observed all the time outside the cage.
Owners have to vaccinate their rabbits in a timely manner: that will help them to prevent possible diseases that can even lead to the animal’s death.
If your rabbit spends a lot of time in its shelter, loses appetite, becomes sluggish and lethargic, its coat becomes dull, it gets diarrhea or eye discharge – you should contact your vet as soon as possible. Don’t try to treat the rabbit on your own, sometimes diseases develop really fast and the animal can be cured only by professionals.