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Choosing Pet Rabbits

Choosing pet rabbits involves making decisions regarding the right breed for you, and knowing how to identify a healthy rabbit from one that is likely to have health issues. There are no “right” and “wrong” breeds when choosing pet rabbits; you need to consider which breed is right for your situation. It is important to know what you are looking for as far as size, temperament, appearance, and breeding (if you are interested in breeding the animals), as well as how much space the breed will need and how much grooming it will require. If you have small children in the home, or if small children frequently visit, take this into consideration when selecting a breed since some pet rabbits require careful handling or may not have the temperament to be patient with children.

Once you have decided which breed of rabbit is right for you, be sure to do your homework about some of the basics such as optimal size, growth rate, and coat types. The more you know about the particular breed of rabbit you are looking at, the better you will be at choosing pet rabbits well. If you are looking for an adult Rex rabbit, for example, it is important to know that the optimal size for this animal is around 7.5 to 10.5 pounds. A rabbit that is only 5 pounds but purported to be full grown may have health issues causing the small size. By contrast, though, an adult Rex that weighs 13 pounds may soon develop health problems due to the large size. When choosing pet rabbits, look for animals that are neither obviously skinny nor obviously fat, and that fall within the normal weight range for the breed.

The nose and eyes are important things to look at when choosing pet rabbits. Both should be free of discharge. The rabbits’ eyes should be bright and clear, with no tear stains around them or redness in the eyes or rims. The rabbits’ teeth should be well-aligned, without any seriously overgrown or mismatched teeth. Look over the coats of the animals when choosing pet rabbits, and avoid animals with bare patches or areas that seem to be excessively wet from grooming, as this can indicate skin problems.

Watch how the rabbits interact with each other and with people when choosing pet rabbits. While you may want a pet rabbit with a mellow temperament, avoid rabbits that seem stressed around people or other rabbits, or animals that are very skittish about being approached. When choosing pet rabbits, observe the rabbits moving around, to be sure their limbs all seem to operate properly.

Knowing what you are looking for and what the normal characteristics of a particular breed are will be very helpful when choosing pet rabbits. Starting with a reputable dealer or respected rescue organization can be a good first step in locating a healthy rabbit for a pet.

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