The Netherland Dwarf Rabbit
Species: orictolagus cuniculus
As the name suggests, this breed originated in Holland in the beginning of the 20th century. Its ancestors were small Polish rabbits. Now it is a popular breed of domestic rabbits all over Europe.
The ideal weight of the Netherlands Dwarf Rabbit is 1.5 kg, but sometimes it can reach even 3 kg. This species has strong hind legs, plump cheeks and vertical ears. The coat is glossy and soft. Many owners particularly like the color of the rabbit’s eyes: it varies from brown to blue and gray.
The classical coloration is black and white body and rings around the eyes. Also rabbits of this species have colored spots on their ears and hind legs (so called socks). This coloration looks like tuxedo, so rabbits look stylish. Currently there are 22 color morphs of the Netherland Dwarf Rabbit, e.g. light gray, brown, black, blue and the most exotic of all, tortoise shell color.
Netherlands Dwarf Rabbits are normally peaceful and docile. They get along with adults and children and are friendly towards all people. There have never been reports of any aggressive behavior. These rabbits are very curious and want to explore the area as much as they can. They are very agile and clever.
The Netherlands Dwarf Rabbits are low-maintenance pets and don’t require any complicated husbandry.
The cage should be spacious, at least 70x50 cm. It should contain a shelter for the rabbit to sleep in and a litter box. You should cover the bottom of the cage with straw.
A food bowl and a water bowl are necessary too. It is best to have several food bowls for different types of food. The water always has to be clean and fresh.
You will have to clean the cage every third day and change the litter every day. Dwarf rabbits like walking and running, so they should spend at least 2 hours outside the cage every day.
Once a month you should cut your rabbit’s claws. Also you will have to brush its coat and bathe the rabbit occasionally, so that its coat always looks good. Make sure that your pet rabbit always has some toys so that it doesn’t get bored.
The rabbit’s menu should be varied. At the same time they are easy to feed. Dwarf rabbits need small portions. Their menu should contain apples, cabbage, carrots, ready-made dry mixes.pet stores offer a wide range of well-balanced commercial feed for pet rabbits. But it is not recommended to feed rabbits only with dry commercial mixes. In spring and summer you can treat your rabbit with dandelion or nettle leaves. The greens should be carefully washed and dried.
Sometimes rabbits can be noisy, especially at nights.
The most common diseases are: heat stroke, injuries, digestive disorders, rachitis, respiratory system diseases, conjunctivitis, cold burns, pododermatitis, stomatitis, myxomatosis, listeriosis, rhinitis, dermatophytosis, staphylococcus, rabbit viral hemorhhagic disease.
Average life span of the Netherlands Dwarf Rabbit is 7-10 years.