How Long Do Rabbits Live As Pets?

Keeping rabbits as pets is a very rewarding experience for so many people all over the world as they are arguably the cleanest and probably the most cuddly pets anyone can keep. Rabbits are not loud or ferocious, nor do they require extensive walks around the block to keep them fit and exercise twice a day. On the contrary, they sit quietly on their owner’s lap, offering nothing but pure love and cuddly affection all the time but how long do rabbits live?

Sadly, most things that give us great pleasure, sometimes do not last as much as we want them to. In view of that fact, we explore the facts and answer the question – How long do rabbits live?

Here’s How Long Your Pet Rabbits Should Live

There are several factors that can be responsible for how long your rabbit would live or how soon it could die. On average, the lifespan of a healthy and well-nurtured rabbit can be anything between 8 to 12 years. Large breeds usually live for about 8 years while the smaller and medium breeds usually live longer than their large counterparts. In all, the lifespan of your pet rabbit mostly depends on how much care you give the furball.

Ways To Make Your Pet Rabbits Live Longer

Most pet owners, irrespective of which pet it is, always develop very sentimental attachments to their animal companions, and in cases of injury, illness, and inevitably death, such owners suffer a lot through the process. With all these in mind, pet owners usually try all they can to make the lives of their pets pleasant, so the bond shared with them can last longer.

There are several ways rabbit owners can help to extend the life of their cherished pets and we would explore some of them.

Do Some Research Before Getting A Rabbit

First off, before getting a pet rabbit, do some research about the particular breed that would be right for you, as well as fit your lifestyle, and while at it, you may also want to find out the peculiar health challenges associated with each breed before making your choice. This will help in taking good care of the pet rabbit.

Feed Them With The Right Foods

You should also carefully consider the type of food and diet that you intend to give your pet. Freshly cut hay or grass, and well-washed green leafy vegetables should form the main diet of your rabbit. If you choose to, occasional treats of fruits and carrots should be given once in a while albeit in small quantities. Feeding your rabbits commercial pelletized feeds should be the last resort if you do not have access to fresh natural foods for them.

How long do rabbits live

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Exercise

Getting your rabbits to exercise more should also be a priority if you want them to live long. If they are kept indoors in cages, bring them out at least once a day and let them hop around – you can put food and treats around sections of the room to encourage them to move around. Lack of adequate exercise is not good for pet rabbits, just as it is not good for their human owners.

Keep Them In A Conducive And Safe Habitat

The hutch or cage, where you intend to keep your pet should also be carefully chosen. Enough straw or bedding should be provided therein, and it should be cleaned out very regularly.

If you keep your Rabbit outdoors, it is very important to make their hutch/cage predator-proof. Animals and birds like foxes, cougars, bears, eagles, falcons, and the likes will prey on rabbits, causing you loss and grief.

Regular Health Check

Checking up on the overall health of your bunny is also very important if you want them to live long. Rabbits can hide symptoms of illness and diseases, therefore, it is your job as a responsible pet owner to check for changes in behavior and eating patterns, the lethargy of any kind, and generally anything that seems out of place in your pet. Regular or annual visits to your vet are also highly recommended to help your pet live a healthy and long life.

While at the vet, you should also have the dentition of your bunny checked – especially the two front teeth that tend to grow so long and disturb the rabbit’s ease of eating.

What Causes Deaths In Rabbits?

Having established and answered the question – of how long rabbits live, we can look into factors that can cause the cuddly fellows to die. Rabbits are very cuddly and furry companions and unfortunately, some of their owners don’t know that these delicate companions can die rather quickly if adequate care is not taken.

There are several factors and conditions that can kill your furry pets rather quickly, most times without giving the owners obvious clues. Certain diseases like rabbit calicivirus can kill your pets very quickly. Being the delicate pets that they are, a sudden fright or shock coming from screaming children, barking dogs, blaring loud sudden noise and others alike can get your pet killed quickly.

Exposing bunnies bought from the store to harsh weather conditions such as snow, hailstorm, etc can kill them. Improper handling of your pet rabbits by playful or inattentive children can also get them killed – they could be dropped or hop out of children’s hands, thereby breaking their spine or bones, which would ultimately lead to their death.

Read Also: Facts You Need to Know Before Getting Pet Goats

Also, exposing your rabbit to flies – especially those infested with germs can lead to the flies laying their eggs in them – which will in turn “eat out” the bunny from the inside as they mature. Household pets like certain breeds of large hunting dogs, cats, ferrets, etc, can easily trample on, frighten or prey on your bunny, leading to their death.

Rabbits can also ingest poison and/or pick up harmful substances – shattered glass, rug, human food, etc, as they hop from one corner of the house to the other, which may lead to their death. Bunnies that have aborted pregnancies may also lead to their death.

In conclusion, rabbits are fragile creatures and if you are keeping a rabbit as a pet, you need to keep it safe from any harm. This can be in the form of sharp objects, poisonous food, other animals, and even people who may not be able to take good care of them.

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