How To Take Care Of A Mini Lop Rabbit
How to Care for Mini Lop Rabbits
Mini lop rabbits are known for their sweet nature and hardy constitution, qualities that make them excellent pets. Mini lops, like all rabbits, need a clean hutch, a nutritious diet and gentle handling in order to thrive and be happy. If you want to know how to take good care of your mini lop, this article will help.
Providing Shelter and Food
Buy a rabbit cage or hutch.Mini lops are small creatures, but they like to have plenty of space to hop around. Look for a cage or hutch designed specifically for rabbits. It should be 3–4 feet (0.9–1.2 m) wide, 2 feet (0.6 m) deep and about 3 feet (0.9 m) high.The bottom and sides should be made of wire, not glass, because the bunny will need plenty of fresh air to flow through the cage.
- If you decide to go with an outdoor hutch, place it in a shady spot so that the rabbit doesn't overheat during the summer. You might need to heat the hutch during winter if the temperature drops low. It's also important to keep potential predators away. Foxes, dogs, cats, and birds of prey are all quite dangerous to a rabbit.
Line the cage with soft material.If you have a wire cage, first line it with wooden planks so that the rabbit's feet won't get caught, then cover the wood with hay or blankets. This way your rabbit will be able to build a soft, cozy nest.
- Use only hay that is approved for use in a bunny cage. Never use old hay or hay from a source you don't know and trust, and never use pine or cedar wood shavings. The fumes can hurt rabbits' internal organs.
Place a litter box in the cage.If you place a small litter box in the mini lop's cage, he will relieve himself in that same spot instead of going elsewhere, making cleanup much easier. However some rabbits may need to be trained. You can find a small, rabbit-sized litter box at pet stores. Line the litter box with newspaper, then place hay or newspaper pellets on top.
Rabbit-proof rooms where your rabbit will come out to play.Many owners of mini lops like to take their rabbits out to play. Limit your rabbit's play space to one area that has been thoroughly "rabbit-proofed" so that the mini lop won't get hurt. Remove electrical cords and wires, fragile or heavy items that could fall over, and other items you don't want nibbled.
Provide unlimited hay.Rabbits both nest in and eat loads of hay, so you should put lots of fresh hay in the cage every day. Timothy hay and brome hay are good choices for rabbit feed. There's no need to set the hay in a dish; just sprinkle it all around the cage.
Set out a dish of pellets and vegetables.Rabbit pellets contain essential nutrients like protein and fiber. When your mini lop is still a baby, give it unlimited pellets. Adult mini lops can get 1/8 cup of pellets for every 5 pounds of body weight. Throughout the rabbit's life, provide fresh vegetables to enhance its diet. 2 cups a day of spinach, collard greens, and turnip greens is the best choice, but you can also feed your rabbit the occasional carrot.
- You can also feed your rabbit a small amount of fruit, such as cut up apples, bananas and strawberries.
- Do not feed your rabbit the following vegetables, which can hurt its stomach: corn, tomatoes, cabbage, iceberg lettuce, potatoes, peas, onions, beets and rhubarb.
- Never feed your rabbit the following foods: seeds, grains, meat, chocolate, dairy, and any other cooked "human" food.
Provide rabbit chews.Rabbits' teeth grow continuously throughout their lives, and it's important to provide them with something to chew on so they won't get long and uncomfortable. You can buy rabbit chews at the pet store, and give your rabbit a new one every week or so.
Place a water bottle in the cage.Rabbits need access to plenty of fresh water. Buy a water bottle designed for a rabbit cage (it'll look similar to those used in hamster cages) or set out some water in a small dish. Make sure you change the water every day and clean out the dish frequently.Make sure you put the bottle low enough for the mini lop to reach.
Handling and Playing With Mini Lops
Pick up the mini lop gently.When you're handling a rabbit, the first rule to remember is that you shouldneverpick one up by the ears. A rabbit's ears are fragile and sensitive, and this could cause permanent damage. Instead, place one hand under his rear area and the other between his front legs. Bring the rabbit close to your chest and hold him there securely. When you're ready to put him down, crouch down and gently rest him on the floor.
- Do not drop your rabbit or let him jump to the floor from your arms. The impact could hurt his legs.
- Do not lift your rabbit from the scruff of his neck. Rabbits don't have extra skin there like cats do.
Pet your mini lop carefully.Mini lops are pretty sturdy as far as rabbits go, but they don't like being handled roughly. Pat your mini lop gently on the head, back and sides. Never toss him, push him or pull him by the legs, ears or tail. If your bunny is afraid, don't force him to play.
Give your mini lop plenty of exercise.Rabbits naturally love to hop around, and they need to be able to do so for a few hours every day to stay healthy. Take your bunny out of his cage and play with him every day. If you have an enclosed outdoor area, you can let the bunny play by himself, but don't let him out of your sight for too long.
- It is extremely dangerous to walk a rabbit on a lead! If a rabbit is scared, the lead can get wrapped around their neck. Rabbits can be scared to death as well. A lead is uncomfortable, scary and dangerous for your rabbit!
- Never let your bunny play outside the cage completely unattended. Keep cats, dogs, and other predators away.
Offer enriching toys.Don't let your bunny get bored in his cage. He needs interesting items to explore and chew on. Put a few cardboard boxes or old phone books in the cage for him to chew on. You can also play with your bunny using a soft cat toy or ball.
Consider getting two.Bunnies love to play together, and your mini lop will be happier with a friend. Be sure to get a second mini lop, and not another type of rabbit. And make sure both bunnies are spayed or neutered so you don't end up with a litter of babies on your hands.
Keeping Your Mini Lop Healthy
Keep the cage clean.A rabbit's cage or hutch should be cleaned out every week. Have a friend supervise your bunny or put it in a pen or carrier while you give the cage a thorough cleaning. Throw out the old hay and newspaper, wash the cage with hot, soapy water, dry it, and fill it with clean hay and newspaper.
- Clean out the pellet dish and water bottle every few days.
- Change the litter box every day.
Groom your mini lop.Bunnies don't like to be bathed, since they take care of that themselves. However, they do well with light brushing. Use a soft-bristled brush to take care of your bunny's fur every once in a while. Mini lops molt when they're adults, and when you see this happening, you can help remove the fur using a wire brush.
- If your rabbit gets dirty outside, you can wash him using rabbit shampoo. Never use human shampoo on a rabbit.
- If you notice your rabbit's nails getting too long, you may need to trim them.
Take him to the vet for regular checkups.It may be difficult to find a vet who will look at your rabbit, since some animal vets only treat cats and dogs. Look for an "exotic animal" vet if your local vet won't see your rabbit. Take him in for an annual checkup and any time you notice symptoms of illness, which could include the following:
- A runny nose or eye
- Refusal to eat
- Red urine
- High temperature
- A permanently tilted head
- Lumps or abscesses under the fur
QuestionWhat should I feed an adult female mini lop?
Doctor of Veterinary MedicineDoctor of Veterinary MedicineExpert Answer1/8 cups of pellets a day, a cup of greens, water and all the grass hay it can eat.Thanks!
QuestionCan a lop who does not like to held or petted change its ways?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDefinitely. I rescued an adult bun that scratched when you picked him up, and ran away from me. I started picking him up in a blanket, and spent ages gently stroking him, showing him I wasn't going to hurt him. It took some time, but he turned into the most loving rabbit I've ever had.Thanks!
QuestionCan I use baby shampoo on a mini lop rabbit?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo! Do not bathe a rabbit. White vinegar would do just fine to clean his bum. If you must bathe your rabbit, use rabbit shampoo; you can find it at a pet store. Do not use human base shampoo on any pets, including rabbits.Thanks!
QuestionI am just about to get a bunny and it will be alone quite a big part of the day. Can I keep it in a little house where it can sleep and hide inside a dog-x pen?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can, but if possible, consider getting two bunnies so that they can keep each other company since you won't be there that much.Thanks!
QuestionHow long do they live?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThey usually live from 7 to 14 years, but can live up to 18 if well cared for.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can I do about my rabbit scratching all the time?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCheck its fur for fleas or other bugs. If you don't see anything, take it to the vet and get it checked out. It could have allergies or some other problem.Thanks!
QuestionWould it be safe for my rabbit to meet my friend's rabbit?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf they are both spayed/neutered then they can meet. Rabbits love company so it is a good idea.Thanks!
QuestionWill my two unfixed Mini Lop rabbits fight if I put them together or will they be playmates?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on the individual personalities of your rabbits. Newborn rabbits will bond more easily than rabbits that are a few months old or adults.Thanks!
QuestionI have a three month old female Holland Lop and she has really long fur. Can I trim her fur?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but don't get the scissors too close to the body.Thanks!
QuestionIs a Holland Lop a good choice for a child?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHolland Lops are said to be the gentlest breed. Before getting your child a Holland Lop, consider whether or not your child is ready to take care of a pet.Thanks!
How do I care for a mini lop rabbit if I have a cat in the house?
Both of my mini lop dont like being picked up how can I change this?
What is a good way to detect if it's pregnant?
How much attention would a mini lop rabbit need if it lives alone?
What age can I train them at?
- Play with your bunny a lot.
- Read to him/her. He should know what your voice sounds like.
- Talk to your pet rabbit in a calm voice to keep them calm.
- Never lift a bunny by the ears.
- Keep your bunny warm in winter.
- Make sure to get a cage that's healthy clean.
- Be careful! It's often better for young children to just pet the rabbit while you hold it, rather than trying to hold it themselves. Rabbits will scratch and run if they feel unsafe.
Sources and Citations
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