Tjoedhilde has a pet dwarf rabbit named Ronja, who she loves and adores.
In this article, I use my own experience with my pet rabbit Ronja to discuss dwarf rabbit care. I'll cover rabbit toys, rabbit diseases, what to do about sudden wetness of fur in rabbits, rabbit diet, and more. I will also take a critical look at bunny trancing, something that is quite controversial at the moment.
What New Dwarf Bunny Owners Need to Learn
There are a lot of things to learn when you get a house rabbit:
- which rabbit hutch or cage to pick for your bunny;
- what diet you should arrange for your rabbit;
- what diseases bunnies might get;
- how to groom your rabbit, and how to pick the right brush and nail clippers.
The information here is based on my own experience and many, many hours of research. I hope it will bring you some "Aaaaaaawwww, cute!" moments and a couple of laughs, as well as teach you something valuable about dwarf rabbit care. Hopefully, you will enjoy the read, and maybe you will even want to get your own rabbit or bunny.
What Is a Dwarf Rabbit?
Dwarf rabbits are small rabbits with eyes and heads that are big compared to the rest of their body. This makes them look like baby rabbits when they grow up as well as well as when they are young, something most people find very cute. Standard dwarf rabbits weigh up to 1.4 kilograms (approximately 3 pounds).
It Can Be Hard to Tell Their Gender
The first lesson on dwarf rabbits: It is really hard to tell the gender of your bunny when it is young. This is valuable information to consider if you were thinking of getting two rabbits. Unless you are careful, the two rabbits you thought were females will start breeding, and out of nowhere you will have baby rabbits all over the place.
My Experience With Ronja
I got my baby dwarf rabbit Ronja in the summer of 2010, when he was only eight weeks old. I picked him out myself from a litter in a pet shop. It was so hard to choose; I really just wanted to take all eight or ten tiny rabbits home with me.
The pet shop owner and the vet that did his first Myxomatosis vaccination both told me Ronja was a female (hence the name, if any Astrid Lindgren fans are feeling slightly confused). It was only when he was approximately five months old that I suddenly realized that he was male. I noticed he had something stuck in his fur on his belly and I gently turned him over to sort it out.
That is when I noticed that people had guessed wrong about the gender of my rabbit; it was only at the age of five months that he was developed enough that you could tell his gender with certainty. I asked the vet when I was there the next time and he confirmed that Ronja was indeed a male rabbit.
Common Dwarf Rabbit Breeds
There are quite a few dwarf rabbit breeds out there by now. This a list of the most popular ones, but might not be comprehensive. If something is missing, feel free to add a comment!
- Polish Rabbit
- Dwarf Hotot
- Holland Lop
- Jersey Wooly
- Lionhead Bunny
- Netherland Dwarf
These rabbits have short heads with full cheeks, almost square. Their ears are very short and set close together so they touch all the way to the top. Their fur is short and fine.
This breed is small, compact, and very docile. Their fur should be soft and dense and it should be a uniform white colour all over. One thing that sets Dwarf Hotots apart is the black ring of fur around their eyes, giving them a very distinctive look.
This is the only dwarf version of the very popular type of rabbit that goes under the common name of "lop." The Holland Lop is playful and active but can be a bit skittish. It has a round head, short fur, and floppy ears like other lops.
This breed is a cross between the Netherland Dwarf and the French Angora. The combination has resulted in a small rabbit with long, soft fur. The Jersey Wooly is very playful, and can be a loyal affectionate companion if cared for properly. Furthermore, this bunny is one of the more intelligent rabbit breeds.
The Lionhead Rabbit gets its name from its signature mane, which looks like that of a male lion. Note that not all lionhead offspring have the double mane gene that gives them the extra fur, so be aware of this if you are purchasing a lionhead. These rabbits make very good pets if accustomed to human company from the time they are small. They are friendly and easy to handle.
This breed is very small, with a rounded full head. Their ears are short and close together. Netherland Dwarfs used to have a bad reputation for being aggressive; however with good breeding practices they have become more docile and with proper care from their owners they make amazing companions.
Are Dwarf Rabbits Good Pets?
The short answer is yes! I love my little bunny. In my opinion dwarf rabbits are one of the best caged pets you can get. They are small and low-maintenance, and they can become very loving and loyal. If you are looking for a small house pet I definitely recommend getting a dwarf bunny! However, there are some things you should be aware of, especially when it comes to dwarf rabbit care.
Can I Pet My Tame Rabbit?
Keep in mind that a bunny is not a relaxed animal. It is almost always active, and the slightest sound or movement will make it jump. They are also not naturally cuddly, although if you gain the trust of your rabbit then it can be very rewarding to have a tiny warm furball on your lap.
Can I Cuddle My Bunny?
Then again, rabbits like being petted (if they trust you), they are pack animals, and they are used to grooming each other. If you win the trust of your bunny and you are accepted into its pack you can even expect it to counter-groom your hands. (I am trying to get a video of this as it is super-cute.)
Can I Play With a Rabbit?
And rabbits are more playful than you would expect. Have a look further down the page for a video of Ronja playing and for some good ideas for bunny toys.
A few things to keep in mind.
- Rabbits do NOT like to be carried or lifted.
- Never, ever, pick a bunny up by its ears.
- Always support a rabbit's hind legs with one hand and rest the bunny against your chest, to upset your bunny the least.
- Rabbits are pack animals, meaning they are social animals. If you don't plan to spend a lot of time with your bunny then maybe you should consider buying two.
Rabbits, including dwarf bunnies, raise a lot of new questions for pet owners who've never had a rabbit before. The best thing you can do before you purchase a pet rabbit is to research and read about them. I'll recommend a book and then I'll go through some questions that might come up for a new rabbit owner.
Facts, Advice and Tips on Dwarf Rabbit Care by Monika Wegler
More Great Reading on Rabbit Care
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has great information on how to set up an environment for your rabbit and on how to deal with bunnies in general. And here's a good article on how to set up a great environment for your rabbit and how to deal with bunnies in general.
Why Is My Rabbit's Fur Wet All the Time?
After I had my dwarf rabbit for about two months, I saw that his fur was constantly wet and I didn't know why. It had me completely puzzled. He also stopped eating the fresh carrots and celery I offered him, so I got very worried. As the photo shows, the wet fur made my bunny look a bit sick, and you can maybe understand why I was concerned it was a serious disease.
I started reading up on rabbit diseases. After some research I got concerned that my rabbit might be suffering from a skin condition. The very next day, I took him to the vet to get everything checked out.
Luckily the vet was able to educate me and lessen my worry. Although the issue causing the wet fur was serious enough, it was also easily resolvable; it had to do with his teeth.
Rabbit Teeth and Malocclusion Problems
It turned out that my rabbit's upper teeth had simply grown so long that they were now curling inside and damaging the upper part of his mouth. The wetness of my bunny's fur came from the abundance of saliva he was producing due to this irritation.
Rabbit teeth keep growing through their lives. Due to the way dwarf bunnies have been bred, the bone structure of the head is no longer optimal. Because of their short snouts and round jaws, their teeth no longer grind against each other. So the teeth can sometimes grow very long and cause issues like my rabbit experienced.
Now I have my dwarf rabbit's teeth cut approximately every four weeks and he is no longer having any trouble.
This issue of too-long teeth is something to consider before getting a dwarf rabbit. I have a deal with my vet and they cut the teeth and claws for 15 euros a year; however that is still a fair bit of money. Keep in mind that your dwarf rabbit might need the same treatment and that it is not something you can skip.
If you feel comfortable, you can buy teeth cutters for bunnies and cut their teeth yourself. I tried this to cut down on the cost, however I did not feel happy with trying to cut the teeth of a squirming rabbit. I was too afraid of cutting his tongue or the skin around his mouth.
An Issue of Overgrown Bunny Teeth
As mentioned above, many dwarf rabbits have tooth problems because their teeth do not grind against each other properly and thus become overgrown. This issue is also referred to as malocclusion in rabbits.
On the picture below, you can see the length of my dwarf rabbit's teeth approximately 25 days after they were last cut. As you can see, they will soon start causing him trouble again and my bunny's teeth will have to be trimmed.
What Should I Do If My Bunny Breaks His Teeth?
Rabbit teeth do, in fact, grow back if they are broken. As mentioned above, rabbits' teeth keep growing all their lives.
My rabbit jumped down from the sofa and landed awkwardly face first, knocking out his lower teeth. I panicked a bit when I saw him sitting there running his paw over his snout over and over. When I was told that the teeth would indeed grow back, I felt better, and over the following days I just kept a close eye on whether he ate and made sure his gum did not become infected.
If this happens to your bunny, make sure you check that he still is still eating his food. If he doesn't, try replacing his normal food with something that is easier to chew: for instance, oats instead of pellets, and a piece of apple with no skin instead of a carrot. If your rabbit still doesn't eat, take him to the vet as they may have some special food for him.
Vets can make a bunny's teeth stop growing by damaging the roots in a special way. This is a rather intrusive procedure for your rabbit to have to go through and it is not something I would recommend. My vet suggested it as an alternative to having his teeth cut every month and I declined, as I could foresee that an operation like that on a small dwarf rabbit could be majorly upsetting to my pet bunny.
Trimming Your Rabbit's Nails
If you have a house bunny it is likely that you will need to trim his nails. As with cutting your bunny's teeth, you can get your vet to do this, but if you feel comfortable you can do it yourself.
Here are some things to think about when trimming a rabbit's nails:
- Use a nail clipper specifically designed for bunny nails, as it will make the task easier and limit the risk of hurting your rabbit.
- Make sure the nail clipper is not dull. The rabbit does not enjoy the procedure and it is much more difficult if you don't use proper tools.
- Because the bunny does not like to get his nails trimmed, he will likely struggle. You can make the process easier by wrapping the bunny in a tea towel so it is restrained from kicking and can more easily be held still. Wrapping also makes it less likely that you will hurt your bunny while grooming him.
- It is much easier if you have a helper, who can hold the rabbit while you cut its nails.
- Don't cut the nails too short. It is much better to trim the rabbit's nails more often than to cause the tiny fellow harm by cutting into his veins.
What About Cutting Their Teeth?
You can also cut your rabbit's teeth yourself and if you have a dwarf rabbit you can often use the nail cutter for the procedure, HOWEVER, I strongly recommend having your vet show you how first, and also approve of the nail cutter you are going to use. You could hurt your bunny a lot if you accidentally cut its lips or tongue, so please do not go ahead with cutting your bunny's teeth if you are uncertain of how to do it.
How to Cut a Rabbit's Teeth
This video shows how you can trim your bunny's teeth if your pet is suffering from malocclusion. Again I have to stress that if you are not 100% certain what you are doing, go to your vet first and have them instruct you.
When Rabbits Grind Their Teeth
There are several reasons why rabbits might grind their teeth. Sometimes you can guess the reason from the sound.
- Soft grinding. This sound means the bunny is happy and content. It is almost like when a cat purrs, and will often happen when you are petting and grooming your rabbit.
- Grating or crunching. This is much louder and should act as a warning to you. Your rabbit is in pain and needs to be examined by a vet. You will often be able to tell the bunny's condition from its general body language as well, as a rabbit in pain will be hunched over and its ears will be flattened.
- Loud grinding. This can be mistaken for the above, but it happens for a slightly different reason. The bunny is trying to grind down its teeth as they are overgrown and might be causing it problems. If this is the case, either cut the teeth for the rabbit or take it to the vet for teeth trimming.
Bunny Language: What Is My Rabbit Trying to Tell Me?
While rabbits and bunnies obviously cannot speak to you, they still will communicate with body language and sounds. Here is a list of the sounds your rabbit can use to talk to you.
- Grunts or growling. When your bunny growls at you it means that he is angry. It will often be followed by him either biting or turning his back on you.
- Oinking. Your rabbit may make this sound when he or she is content, or when he/she is in heat.
- Biting or nibbling. It can be a sign of affection, but more often it is your bunny gently telling you that it wants you to stop whatever you are doing at the moment. Ronja will usually start nibbling at me or my clothes, when he doesn't want to to sit on my lap anymore.
- Squealing. The rabbit is very scared. If you are causing the squealing by something you are doing, you should stop immediately. Bunnies can die if they are stressed out too much.
- Running in figure-eights or circles around you. If your bunny is doing this, it means he is trying to court you.
- Chinning. Rabbits have scent glands under their chins. If your bunny is rubbing its chin against you, then it means he is marking you as his. Congratulations, you now belong to your rabbit.
- Tooth grinding. As mentioned above, a low grinding sound means your bunny is happy and is the equivalent of a cat purring; louder grinding might be cause for worry.
- Licking. Your bunny is grooming you. This is a great honor to receive from a rabbit, as in nature lower bunnies groom the ones ranking higher in the hierarchy. If your bunny is licking you, then it either means that he accepts you as a superior, or he likes you so much that hierarchy doesn't matter. Ronja will usually groom me when I am petting him.
- Nose poking. The rabbit is showing affection and it wants you to pet him.
- Ears forward. Some sound has the rabbit's full attention. Your bunny is ready to run if the sound should turn out to be danger coming his way.
- One ear forward. Partly paying attention to something, but not 100% interested.
- Ears flat. This can mean two things. If the bunny is generally happy, it means that he is relaxed. If he is angry, it could be a sign that he is ready to attack and bite.
- Sitting upright on hind legs. The rabbit will do this when it is curious about its surroundings, often when it hears a strange sound that doesn't seem immediately threatening. It is basically just the bunny trying to get a better overview of the room.
- Thumping. Bunnies are pack animals and if your rabbit likes you, then you are automatically part of the pack. If your bunny is thumping its hind leg, then it is most likely trying to warn you (the pack) so you can escape from the danger it is sensing. When our fire alarm went off recently, Ronja went crazy with thumping until we got it turned off.
- Digging. Rabbits dig instinctively; they were born to do it. However, sometimes they will dig as a way of communicating. If you are holding your bunny on your lap and he starts digging, then he may be saying that he needs the toilet, or that he just doesn't want to sit with you anymore.
- Lying flat on the side with eyes half closed and hind legs stretched out. This is the ultimate sign of trust. Your bunny is super relaxed, happy and feels so safe with you that he doesn't feel the need to be ready to run. Ronja will do this from time to time when I am watching a movie and he is on the couch with me.
- Doing a "binky" (jumping and twisting in the air). If your bunny does this it is a sign that he is a really happy rabbit. See the video below for an example.
Your rabbit should always have access to fresh hay. Hay is super-important as rabbits need the fiber to avoid getting a bad stomach. A bunny with access to fresh hay will eat the amount it needs.
Timothy hay is a grassy sort of hay, with smaller and thinner straws than usual hay, and my bunny loves eating it. I use it for rabbit food and as part of the cage's bedding, as my bunny loves digging into the hay.
What If My Rabbit Stops Eating Hay?
If the rabbit suddenly stops eating hay, you should get a little concerned. Ronja sometimes stops eating hay when his teeth get too long. When that happens, his excrement starts to get wetter and more sticky. This can lead to issues, as the bunny gets the sticky excrement stuck in his fur. That is one reasons why it is important to investigate if your rabbit stops eating hay.
Should You Feed Carrots to Rabbits?
I think most people think of bunnies as carrot-eating machines. While most rabbits very much like carrots, carrots should not be the only thing they are fed. On the contrary, too much carrot can give the rabbit diarrhea.
Carrots, celery and other wet food are great once in a while, but in general you should feed your bunny dry food. Personally I buy a mix from a pet store. It contains seeds, dried carrot and dried herbs. If in doubt, ask your vet.
The Importance of Fresh Water
Last but not least, make certain that there is always fresh water for your bunny. This is always super important, but especially when it is shedding. Rabbits can amass furballs much like cats do, from grooming themselves. However, unlike cats, they are not able to regurgitate. That is why water is essential at these times, as it helps keep the fur from collecting in the bunny's throat or stomach.
Do Rabbits and Bunnies Play With Toys?
Rabbits are naturally prey animals, not predators, which means that they do not chase sticks like dogs and they do not go crazy over a ball of paper like a cat. They do, however, still like to play.
You can get many different types of toys for rabbits, but mainly they fall into two categories:
- Things to chew on
- Things to climb on
Rabbit Chew Toys
As discussed above, rabbits' teeth grow very fast, and it can be helpful to give them something to chew on to keep the growth down. Also it is great for a rabbit to play with chew toys as it is combining fun time with self-maintenance.
A chew toy can be something as simple as an apple-tree branch; make sure it is not sprayed with anything, though. Look below for a fancier chew toy.
The bunny's claws, also, can also grow pretty long if it doesn't have access to digging. If you can get a chew toy that also has a way to activate the paws it is even better.
For Ronja I have some woven rice straw and grass packages. He has to bite and dig his way through the outer layer to get to the tasty grasses inside.
My rabbit is quite easily entertained, and if yours is too, you might be able to get away with toilet paper rolls as your rabbit toys. Please make sure that the roll is clean. If the roll is glued together, don't leave the rabbit alone with it, as it might eat the cardboard.
Ronja is very active and he loves playing with things. As you can see he is also very particular in how he likes his cage "furnished."
It is important to make sure your bunny stays active, especially if it is a caged bunny that doesn't get to move around much.
Make sure you take it out of the cage frequently and let it jump around in your house (under your supervision). Also give it toys to play with when it is sitting in the cage.
Allow Your Bunny to Explore, Play and Hide With a Crinkle Tunnel
Rabbits dig tunnels in the wild, but house bunnies rarely have that luxury. Instead, you can make your pet bunny happy by giving it a crinkle tunnel that it can explore or hide in. Make your rabbit feel safe and at the same time give them a great item to play with and explore.
A fun game you can play with your rabbit is to hide treats inside the tunnel. It incentives them to explore and it's fun to see if they manage to find what you have hidden in there.
One of the reasons I recommend the Kaytee Crinkle Tunnel is that it's machine washable which is helpful as it will get dirty. A good rule of thumb is to clean it out with a washcloth every week, when you are cleaning the hutch and machine wash it once every month to make sure it stays fresh.
However, as with many other toys for bunnies it can take some time to find the right one for your specific carrot-muncher.
Some things you should consider before you choose a rabbit tunnel:
The Kaytee Crinkle Tunnel is made from cotton and polyester, but you can also get tunnels made from hay or cardboard. The latter are of course less durable and harder to keep clean, but it could be the perfect fit for your rabbit.
You can also get tunnels made of plastic, which are great if you are planning to place it outside.
This tunnel is is six inches in diameter, so perfect for a dwarf rabbit, but too small for their bigger cousins. Consider the size of your pet. You want to make sure the tunnel is big enough for them to move around in there without getting stuck, but you also don't want to buy one so big that your bunny doesn't feel it can hide in there.
Always check the materials of the tunnel you buy. Bunnies like to chew on everything, make sure that there's nothing in the tunnel that could cause damage to your bunny either by being poisonous to your pet or by potentially causing internal damage if bit into pieces and eaten.
Things to Climb on: Rabbit Hutches and Cages
Rabbits needs space to move around in and they love something to climb on.
If you do not plan on letting your bunny run free in the house (or, much better, let him run around in an outside pen), then at least make sure that you have a spacious cage. It needs to be big enough for the bunny to jump around in.
Ideally you can also add some extra levels in the cage so the bunny can jump around and keep an eye on things from different perspectives.
It is a really good idea to give your bunny a hutch, a small enclosure he can withdraw to when he gets scared or just wants to sleep.
Luckily I don't have much personal experience in this area. Aside from his teeth issues, Ronja is very healthy.
I do however want to mention myxomatosis, because it is quite common and can cause very rapid death. In order to prevent your rabbit from catching this disease, most vets offer annual or semiannual vaccinations.
Myxomatosis can be spread by a creature as ordinary as a house fly, so even if your rabbit is not kept outside and does not have contact with any other animals it is still at risk.
Have a look at Wikipedia for more information and make sure to contact your vet to arrange vaccination if you haven't already.
Is Hypnotizing a Rabbit Harmful?
Is It Okay to Trance a Bunny?
If you put a rabbit on its back, the bunny will become completely still and cease struggling against you. Up until recently it was common practice by both bunny owners and veterinarians to do this whenever they needed to restrain or immobilize the bunny. It was thought to be a great way of calming your bunny, for instance while you trim the rabbit's nails.
Hypnotizing the bunny by putting it on its back is called "trancing" a bunny, or "tonic immobility." The latter term has become more widely used over the last couple of years, as rabbit owners came to realize that what they thought was a calming experience for their pet bunny is really a very traumatic state. On his back, the rabbit is playing dead, hoping that the predator will loosen its grip and allow the bunny to escape.
Recent studies have shown that rabbit trancing is a very stressful experience for the bunny, and now it is discouraged unless necessary. Bunny hypnosis was the only way I could get my rabbit to take his medicine, but I really did not enjoy the experience, though, and I will be looking to avoid any form of rabbit trancing if at all possible.
My rabbit looks cute and calm during trancing; however, his stress level is actually very high which is not good for a little bunny. It is quite easy to tell that this is not pleasant for him,as you can feel his little heart beating very fast. He is NOT relaxed at all!
Read More About Why Trancing Is Bad
If you want to check some out some more information on bunny hypnosis and why it is bad, then check out these resources:
- Studies on Rabbit Trancing
Info on study performed on 5 New Zealand white rabbits who were tested for the effect of Tonic Immobility aka Rabbit trancing.
- Converns over Rabbit Whisperer
An article regarding the so-called Rabbit Whisperer and concern over the use of Bunny Hypnotizing.
- Tonic Immobility
Wikipedia on Tonic Immobility.
Rabbit and Bunny Grooming: How to Keep Your Rabbit Clean and Healthy
Some rabbits will take care of grooming themselves, while some need frequent brushing. Netherland Dwarf rabbits are generally very low-maintenance in terms of grooming, while bunnies with a longer coat of fur will need more attention. If you have a longhaired rabbit, investing in a grooming brush is a must. If you do not help keep the fur untangled and clean, there can be an added risk of your rabbit catching diseases.
Even if your bunny does not need you to help maintain its pelt, you might still want to buy a grooming brush as most rabbits loves to have their fur brushed. In nature rabbits will groom each other whenever they have a quiet moment, so the act of getting brushed is a very calming and enjoyable experience for your rabbit. A pure bunny Zen moment.
The ultimate sign of affection your rabbit can show you is if it returns the favour of grooming. The picture below shows Ronja trying to make my hand all prim and proper.
Get the Right Grooming Brush for Your Bunny
There is some debate on whether to use slicker brushes (also known as wire brushes) for grooming your rabbit. Some people with long-haired rabbits swear by them. Personally I would not use a wire brush on any type of bunny, as they can cause scratches and wounds on your rabbits' delicate skin. Bunnies have very, very thin skin, and even the slightest cut can create quite a bit of problems.
I recommend using a bristle brush and being very gentle when you groom your rabbit.
If you are having issues getting knots out of the rabbit's fur using a bristle brush, then try gently untangling it using a comb.
To get all the hair out easily, gently sprinkle a bit of water on your rabbit's fur. Then run your hands over your bunny a couple of times and you will see a lot of hair sticking to your hand.
The Dos and Don'ts of Rabbit Care
The information provided in this article might seem a bit overwhelming at first glance, so to summarize, I will provide you with a short list of the most important Do's and Don'ts of rabbit care.
These are things everyone should know before getting a bunny as a pet.
Dos of Dwarf Rabbit Care
- Give your bunny lots of attention.
- Let your bunny have lots of exercise.
- Feed your bunny hay for better digestion.
- Groom your bunny frequently to keep it healthy.
- Give your bunny chew toys to help keep its teeth at a good length.
- Give your bunny fresh vegetables like carrot and celery, but only once in a while.
- Love your bunny and it will love you back.
The Don'ts of Dwarf Rabbit Care
- Never lift your bunny by its ears.
- Don't force your bunny onto its back (unless strictly necessary for medical reasons).
- Don't play very loud music near your bunny; it causes stress that could kill your bunny.
- Don't feed your bunny vegetables all the time; it could cause diarrhea.
- Don't your bunny alone for too long. It is a social animal and needs company.
How Rabbits Get Along With Other Pets
I get asked from time to time whether rabbits can co-exist with other family pets such as dogs and cats.
It is a hard question to answer as it really depends on the circumstances and the personality of both the rabbit and the other pet in question.
My initial answer would be not to have both a rabbit and a cat or dog. If you do already have other pets, you should make sure to keep them separated from your rabbit, at least to begin with.
If you really want to have the pets in close proximity, ideally the rabbit and the dog or cat should grow up together, so they are used to each other from a very young age. That way it's more likely that the bigger animal will accept the bunny as a runty part of its pack, rather than a potential midday snack.
Never let the two pets be alone unsupervised. No matter how good friends your bunny rabbit and cat are, there is no telling when play might turn a bit too rough.
While speaking of playing: it might look cute when your kitten is padding at the rabbit with its paws, but remember that the bunny in nature is used to being hunted by predators. Having a tiny kitten poke at it, even if it's not physically dangerous to the rabbit, is very likely to cause high stress that could cause a heart attack.
In conclusion, yes, you can have other animals when having a rabbit as a pet, but make sure that if you do, you keep them separated, at the very least by a cage. Who knows, maybe it is the cat or dog that needs protection, as is the case in the video below where Ronja scares a poor curious cat.
Care for Your Rabbit: Your Bunny Needs You
All the advice above about rabbit teeth, bunny diseases, rabbit diet and rabbit toys is all important; however, there is one thing that is even more important.
If you get yourself a dwarf rabbit (or any pet for that matter) make sure that you care for it. Not just in terms of basic necessities, but with plenty of attention and love as well. Rabbits are social animals and they will get sad if they are left on their own.
If you do jump into the rabbit hole and get yourself a dwarf bunny, then I wish you all the best of luck. Hopefully, you will have as much fun with your pet as I have with Ronja!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
Question: How much romaine lettuce can I feed my bunny?
Answer: It really depends on the size of your bunny and the rest of its diet. My best advice would be to start out very slowly with half a leaf and then observe your bunny's poop. If it starts getting runny, you should cut down.
Remember that there's a lot of water in lettuce, and if your bunny isn't used to it, it could upset their stomach. Also, remember always to have some dry hay available.
Are You a Pet Lover?
jack on August 17, 2020:
im a begginer what rabbit should i get?
jimmymanliano on August 12, 2020:
Hi, our 6 year old Netherland Dwarf rabbit is very much used to his place in our house and his time in the garden. He doesn't have a hutch, he just gets free range of the lounge and we let him out a lot in the back garden. He is not a "cuddly"/people rabbit; unless we try really hard we can't get near him (but he'll come close-ish to us on his terms!).
We are never sure what best to do when we go on holiday. Usually he goes to my parents where he is confined to a hutch and a fairly small run. He doesn't seem to like it (he eats very little during this time) but it's hard to know!
This time around we're away for just 3 nights, and my parents have offered to pop in twice to let him outstide for a few hours, but he'll still be on his own and indoors for most of the time.
Do you think a rabbit such as this would be happiest in 1) his usual environment and unconfined (indoor) space, but a very restricted amount of his usual outdoor time/routines/human contact, or 2) in a different environment that involves more outdoor time and human contact but in a restricted space (which he isn't used to).
The drive to my parents is 20 mins and we'd be coming back again 3 days later. So there is also that ordeal to take into account.
Any advice greatly appreciated - basically does a rabbit's regular environment matter more to him/her than human presence/outdoor time?
Tjoedhilde (author) on June 15, 2020:
Tjoedhilde (author) on June 15, 2020:
I'm glad I could help! :)
Dopey on June 14, 2020:
Thx very helpfull
Ayden smith on May 27, 2020:
Tjoedhilde (author) on May 20, 2020:
I can't give you proper advice for Australia I'm afraid, but maybe have a chat with a pet store in your area. Alternatively try calling a veterinarian and hear what they have to say. They should be able to give you advice and I'd imagine they'd do it free of charge as well since you might become their customer.
If you go with an outside bunny make sure you have a solid hutch so no animals can get in and ideally place it where no wild cats etc pass. Bunnies are easily scared and if predators pass nearby often it might stress the rabbit.
Hope you find a way to get your pet! :)
Anonymous on May 19, 2020:
Hi, read this article and found it really helpful! Still not entirely sure if we will get a little bun - we currently have an indoor cat although she is very nice. If we were to get one, just to be on the safe side we would probably keep them outside. I worry that they might get too cold, and if we use too much heat they will get too hot. I live in Australia (not going to specify where, but closer to the bottom that the top) so it is very cold in winter and hot-ish in summer. If anyone has any tips for what I have raised, please tell me. If dwarf rabbits suit my life style, consider me an owner!
Someone who does not wish to revel their name
Tjoedhilde (author) on August 24, 2019:
Hi Prepared. I haven't tested a c&c cage for rabbits myself, but my guess is that as long as you have enough hay in there for the rabbit to be able to move around without sliding on the plastic floor and as long as the size you pick is large enough for the rabbit to move around it should work fine. Unfortunately I can't help you with where to get the plastic base as I've never bought one myself.
Prepared on August 16, 2019:
I most likely will be getting a dwarf bunny soon and was wondering if a c&c cage would be a good choice. If so, where could I get a plastic base for the cage? Thanks for the advice.
Tjoedhilde (author) on July 13, 2019:
I am happy to hear that. Good luck with your new fluffy friend Mia! :)
mia on July 02, 2019:
I might be getting a dwarf bunny soon and this really helped thanks
Rowan on June 12, 2019:
im actually planning on getting a rabbit and have been doing a lot of research on it and this really helps
Michael Hahn on May 07, 2019:
Nothing is said on whether one can give a bunny a bath. Mine has a very dirty bottom from time to time. Can they go in water, (Tub or Sink)?
Vanessa on March 15, 2019:
I got my tinkerbell a month ago im in loveeeeee and according to tou im tinkerbells humain lol thanks for the article xoxox
Trish on February 17, 2019:
Thank you for all the wonderful info. I’m thinking hard about getting a dwarf rabbit :)
Tjoedhilde (author) on January 21, 2019:
You are welcome! :) I hope your mom agrees at some point. Maybe if you show that you've already researched how to take care of a dwarf rabbit?
Sophia W. on January 13, 2019:
I love dwarf bunnies! I wish I could get one, but my mom says no. Maybe I can convince her to let me have one. Thank you, your information was very helpful.
Tjoedhilde (author) on September 26, 2018:
I am not sure I can help you here since I don't know why your mom is saying no. Maybe she is concerned that she might end of being the one taking care of the rabbit? If that's the case you could let her know how you will make sure it is well taken care of and give her every reason to believe that you will shoulder the responsibility.
Maybe she worry it will be expensive. If that's the case it may help if you outline the monthly cost of having a Dwarf rabbit (Remember to factor in both food, and potential veterinary bills).
She could also be worried about it being smelly or messy. If that's the case you could make sure she knows you'll be cleaning the cage regularly and clean up around it as well.
Your best bet is to sit down with your mom and ask her why she is saying no. Then you can come up with a counter argument that may convince her to change her mind. Good luck! :)
Help on September 19, 2018:
I really want a dwarf rabbit but my mom wont get me one. My dad said yes though and i just want to convince my mom..any advice please? Should i show her cute pictures or something? Thanks in regards
Ashlyn on April 02, 2018:
I just got dwarf bunnies on Saturday and they are too cute! They are a great companion. Thanks for the advice on playing music I wasn’t too sure about that.
MICHELLE EVANS on March 20, 2018:
I've had dwarf bunnies before. A lion mane and an albino I name Alice. Lion belonged to a friend of my son's but Alice was mine. I reluctantly allowed them to be rehomed together. I recently acquired another one. Her name is Velvet, she is solid black, regular coat with upright ears. She is registered as an ESA as I have panic attacks. I've had her almost a month now. We are at the point where she eats from my hand, follows me around, noses? my neck, and is litter box trained. Your article was EXTREMELY helpful. Thank you for information I DID NOT know.
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Melanie on February 25, 2018:
Hi can I give a bath if dwarf bunny and if yes with what kind of product?
Dwarf rabbit lover on January 21, 2018:
Thank you for sharing your experience as I’ve wanted a dwarf rabbit for a long time and I found this information very helpful because I was worried about its health and what it’s telling me but now I’m very confident my rabbit will love me
hamster pro 321 on January 15, 2018:
Hi Ava. I love cats and bunnies to! But the thing is that I don't have a rabbit yet but I will! Soon!
Jaidyn Cabutotan on December 29, 2017:
This was really helpful because I got a Dorf rabbit for Christmas
Anonymous on December 09, 2017:
This article really helped! My younger sister and I really would like two dwarf rabbits and we've just made a leaflet to show our parents, and they think it's great! Thank you :)
person on November 25, 2017:
1 euro=1.19 US dollar
me on November 02, 2017:
Is Ronja a netherthland dwarf?
Allie Deavers on October 20, 2017:
I need to know whats the best gender of Rabbit to get ?
Ava on October 15, 2017:
I love cats and bunnies. I went to a poultry show today and got a dwarf bunny for 15 bucks. I love it so much. Very helpful information....
ivie on September 29, 2017:
i got a dwarf bunny today and i was wondering if i should leave my fan on at night and when i leave for school, i live in Tucson Arizona so it tends to get hot here . should i leave it on when its winter as well? what do i do when im at school i wont be able to give him attention ?
Great full Anonymous on September 28, 2017:
Thank you so much !! This will really help me and my bunny connect!!
Curious Bunny Mom on September 21, 2017:
I'm so glad I found this site! It is amazingly informative and easy to read and understand. Thank you so much for putting so much time, effort, and love into this site!
Thankful neverland dwarf owner on August 25, 2017:
Thank you so much this was so helpful I can now care for my rabbit the best way and I know I'm not hurting her and I can know how she feels by watching her body language!!
Anonymous on July 23, 2017:
This was very, VERY helpful!! Thank you so much for sharing your advice! (P.S. I love Ronja, he is so adorable!)
Jen on July 12, 2017:
I might get some dwarf bunnies but I don't know what to feed them.
Seriously? on June 10, 2017:
I think we should be skeptic about this article. Heat? Rabbits do not go through heat. They can be bred after birthing actually. I do not trust this resource. Do your research and check your facts.
Eric on April 28, 2017:
My mother and I got a dwarf rabbit two days ago and I'm not sure of the sex but he or she was licking my eyelid the very first day, so apparently here she already except me , this morning he took a big crap in the hoodie of my sweater LOL , 12 to 15 little pellets LOL ! I am legally blind so I could not tell which bunny photo compares to our little guy , when mother gets home I'm going to send her this article and then she can look at the photos to compare , he is definitely not a Lionhead that's for sure , he is all very light mocha brown with one white spot and for white feet ! He has an edible Tunnel shaped structure he sleeps under ! Today he climbed up on it and then stood up on the back feet to reach up to the top of the cage , so your article claims that he was checking things out to get an overview of what's going on , that's really amazing ! When he sniffs me his little nose whistles it's so cute , he took to me the very moment I met him yesterday and picked him up , or her up, we are not sure of the sex yet , I am thinking he is still a kitten , he fits in my hand , and you said that he or she could get up to roughly over a kilo, my cats and dogs all get along and once they seen our new little guy , only one out of my three cats jumped on the table to check him out , I also have a brown lab and a black lab , They bread nine beautiful puppies 4 years ago ! My chocolate lab named Bella is a big suck/priss, and she was acting like a mama still and licking the baby bunny cleaning it like when she did it to her own puppies , it was so adorable , my big black lab named Rex was nosing the little bunny also and the bunny was not scared whatsoever! So he is a new adopted very loved family member who fits right in, and already gets along with all the animals , nor is he afraid of them! It's so amazingly adorable when he licks his own pause, only just to wipe his face down with his wet paws to clean his face , I am very impressed on how smart this little Fella is. I can get mother to send a photo of him licking my eye , and you wanted to get a video of somebody's rabbit grooming someone , next time I will tell mother to switch it to the video setting instead of taking a still photo , and then send it to you! When I heard you mention about how the bunny except you as its owner and really likes us by grooming our hands , in my case my eyelid , he also did this the same day, so I guess I am excepted into his life now LOL , he approves of me LOL , my mother went and paid for him and pick him up at the store by herself to surprise me and the little guy likes me more than mother so far for some reason , he also loves curling up on my shoulder or sitting behind me on the back of the leather chair! Well I guess this is enough for now for only having him for two days I will share more throughout the experience, thanks for having this blog site here to read up on it was a super Duper amazing help thank you so very kindly ! Once we do the video we will send it into you ! Thanks and have a wonderful day , Eric from Ontario Canada ! PS . We are thinking about the name still and the choices are , mocha/hopper/Bugsy/buster/Magoo or McGee !
Le Gars Cathreine on April 24, 2017:
My bunny dwarf rabbit had 3 babies this morning; should I leave her alone or should I assist her with the feeding; is there special meals for my female bunny: Help would be appreciated:
Quinn on March 30, 2017:
How much would Vaccination cost, because they may be beyond our budget.
Random person on January 15, 2017:
thanks for the page! I'm persuading my parents for a dwarf bunny now.
CareCare05 on January 08, 2017:
This is the most helpful source I could find on dwarf rabbits, and just rabbits in general.
Lola on January 03, 2017:
I've been looking into getting a rabbit ever since my teacher got two adorable bunnies for the class. I really like your pet bunny, Ronja, and would like to know what breed he is! So by any chance could you please inform me on that? Thanks!
Tene Smith on November 16, 2016:
I have a dwarf bunny and I love him they are very loyal pets
Debra on October 24, 2016:
I'm a vet nurse, vets haven't clipped rabbit insicors using clippers for years, they fracture. Instead we drill or burr them. Please don't try this at home!
Jen on September 20, 2016:
Hello is a male or female dwarf rabbit more affectionate?
Vanessa on August 27, 2016:
Great website! So much information and very helpful! Im thinking about getting a dwarf bunny!
Pam on August 17, 2016:
WE have our 3rd Netherland (Broken Black Otter). We absolutely love our bunny. He has free time in the house and is raised with 3 cats and 3 dogs. I groom him with a wet face clothe , he absolutely loves the attention.
I am having a problem getting him to drink. He used to love pellets and now will not touch them and he drinks very little water. I will inquire when I have his nails done.
All in all , they are a very rewarding and inexpensive pet. And who doesn't love a bunny.
Berrysmores on July 06, 2016:
Thank you so much for this article! I've been worried I wasn't caring for my Lion head well and thanks to this article I've found out how common her behaviors and whatnot are! I took advice from here and I think she's really starting to warm up to me
Tweed Harris on April 06, 2016:
I have had pet dogs, cats, kangaroos, baby elephant, mink, all kinds of birds, goldfish but never a rabbit. Now I have two dwarf rabbits and I love them so much. I am so grateful to you for the superb insight into caring for them properly.
Katelyn on March 31, 2016:
Thank you for the info.Now I know how to take care or my drawf rabbit. PS loooooovvvvvvve rabbits and bunnies.
mark gil on March 16, 2016:
this is so informative and helpful, thanks .!
Don from above post... on February 07, 2016:
My daughter was home from collage last year and unknowing to me till later, she had snapped this picture of me being social with our rab.
btw: She's the one who named him "Rab"
LOL So in here I can finally have a place to show this pic with out embarrassment. heheehee
Don on February 07, 2016:
I've inherited my daughter's Netherland Dwarf bun and have found myself becoming rather attached to him, in as much as any dog that has ever been part of my life in the past. They seem to become part of my family. I truly do care for this little fella.
Anyways, my question that brought me here was about this digging thing that we do together. Rather by accident we had inadvertently placed a small pillow along his path to his buncave behind the wall unit that leads to the other side under his cage where he spends some of his time.
What happens is he will dig on it for about 10 to 15 seconds and stop. Then wait about 10 seconds and repeat. He would do this at periodic times through out the day or evening. We all joined in one night with him as he began digging on his pillow. We used the couch with our hands etc...imitating the noise he was making. LOL He looked over at us and was like..huh?! "pause" He began to dig again and paused and dig again and now he has started to lick the pillow where he was digging as well. I would dig at the couch right after he would stop. He'd look over at me and then start up again with the licking and digging. I found it rather fun and amusing that we all had this bond of sorts or something that we at least shared in a noise dig off rally....LOL
It could literally go on for 30 minutes if I kept it up. When I stopped he would go at it still for about 3 to 4 more times to see if we were finished or not and then disappear into his rab cave. Anyways that was a daily ritual that went on for about 4 to 6 months. However he has stopped since I turned the pillow around for him because he had warn his way through to the gutts of the pillow...hehehe.
So that's what it is.... now the question is what and why was he doing this? LOL I think he was happy... I kinda miss it now...sounds silly I know but it was a fun activity that we all seemed to share together.
Bunny Expert on July 08, 2015:
hello, If I read correctly then you live in the UK or at least Europe. I'm not sure if bunnies and vets are different there than in the US but the vet your describing doesn't sound very familiar with bunny care. Anyway when I got my rabbit I did a lot of research and found the House Rabbit Society they have a great list of vets for the US, Canada and UK. I would look into it, my concern is that your vet couldn't sex your rabbit, and a few smaller speculations. Also from what I've researched is that your rabbit should be eating 80% hay 15% pellets of timothy hay and 5% fruits and veggies based on the size of your bunny. I give my dwarf bunny as much hay as she wants, 1/8 cup pellets and 1/2 cup veggies every day, and small amounts of fruit when she's good. The pellets shouldn't have and seeds or fruit in it, it should only be pellets made of timothy hay.
Bunny lover on June 12, 2015:
My bunny lucky is very fat and I also wanted to wash him cuz he looks like he needs it should I do it or take him to a vet
Robin on November 09, 2014:
I am loving our dwarf bunny which plays with my two dogs--maltipoo and a papillon. He was quick to potty train and has a regular routine each morning.The bunny will even lay to the papillon's back while she sleeps. Too cute!
brownie101 on July 01, 2014:
hello i have a bunny myself and her name is brownie i was on this website and thanks to this i found out she's a netherland dwarf bunny
Tjoedhilde (author) on April 05, 2014:
@Carlyann3: Hi apologies for not answering earlier. I am pretty sure that you r 2 month old rabbit should have teeth. Does she have her button ones?
Carlyann3 on March 23, 2014:
very good info! THANKS
curious... when do they get their teeth? We just brought home a 2mo old dwarf. she doesn't seem to have all her teeth ( or has lost front ones)
Radgrl on March 09, 2014:
Wow, very informative article about rabbits. Aww so cute I want one.
acreativethinker on September 25, 2013:
I just love dwarf bunnies. They are very cute and smart little pets. Thanks for sharing this lovely lens.
Take care and have a great day! :)
Tjoedhilde (author) on July 28, 2013:
@anonymous: Hi Jadyn, I am so sorry I thought I had answered your question, but it seems my response didn't go through. For Ronja I use the pellets from the local petstore. It is a bag with no brand on so I unfortunately don't think you can get the exact same. I would however recommend something like Oxbow Bunny Basics pellets. With pellets the most important thing is that there are no added sugary stuff, seeds or fruit in them. Therefore it is often best to go for the plain ones. Here is a link for you http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CQGMNA/ref=as... also I recommend checking the poo of the rabbit daily when you start feeding it, just to make sure it is agreeing with the diet you are setting it. Good luck with your new best friend! :)
anonymous on July 28, 2013:
I really want to know what you pellet brand you feed Ronja because I am fixing to get a netherland dwaf and I don't want an unhealthy bunny AGIAN THANK YOU BEST STITE I CAN FIND AND I'VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR 3 MONTHS
anonymous on July 25, 2013:
Thank you soooooooo much the best article I can find I am fixing to get a netherland dwarf and I was wondering what pellet brand YOU use and again THANK YOU
Meganhere on July 25, 2013:
Well that was interesting!
k4shmir on July 15, 2013:
Interesting. thanks for sharing
Tjoedhilde (author) on July 15, 2013:
@anonymous: You are welcome Daily! :)
Tjoedhilde (author) on July 15, 2013:
@anonymous: Hi Alex,
Apologies for the late respond. I haven't been able to write earlier. In terms of pellets I would just fill his bowl and let him eat whatever he can muster. Rabbits usually don't overfeed and it is good for them to have the food available when they are hungry. Make sure your rabbit also has a constant supply of fresh hay. For fruits and vegetables I would start out by giving it as a treat once per weeks and see how your rabbit reacts to that. If the poo becomes liquid stop immediately. Also I advice waiting at least until the rabbit is 10 weeks old before giving it fruits/vegetables as their stomachs will not be mature enough to handle it before. In regards to pellet brand I used my pet stores unique brand, but looking at Amazon Kaytee Forti Diet Pro Health Food seems to have very good reviews.
Good luck with your new pet! :)
anonymous on July 15, 2013:
THANK YOU!. this site was set up very well
anonymous on July 11, 2013:
Hey, I'm getting a dwarf rabbit and I need to know how many pellets should i give him and in what quantity, what leafy greens should I give him and in what quantity, how many fruits should I give him and in what quantity, and how many non-leafy vegetables I should give him and in what quantity. Also, could you tell me what brand pellets you buy for Ronja? Thanks
Tjoedhilde (author) on July 10, 2013:
@anonymous: Hi "Me",
You can feed them celery, carrots and apples from time to time. It is hard to give an exact amount, but I would say once per week is a good place to start out. Make sure that you keep an eye on the stool of the rabbit after you have fed them these treats. If it is no longer dry pellets you should cut back immediately. If it gets runny and stay that way make sure that you contact your vet at once as diarrhea could cause your rabbit to dehydrate.
anonymous on July 10, 2013:
Hi, it's Me again :) I was just wondering..... You keep saying that fruits and veggies are a treat for your dwarf rabbit. How often should you give them fruits and vegetables????
Tjoedhilde (author) on July 10, 2013:
@anonymous: You are very welcome! :) I hope you convince your parents soon so you can enjoy the Dwarf Rabbit first hand. Best of luck.
anonymous on July 10, 2013:
I want a dwarf bunny so badly, sadly, my parents are not big fans of animals in the house. Though, they are considering letting me get one when I am older, so I have been searching the web like crazy trying to find a website that has tons of info on them. This website was super helpful!!!!! Thanks so much!
Tjoedhilde (author) on June 09, 2013:
@anonymous: Hi, unfortunately I do not know any places to purchase bunnies near Toledo. Have you tried asking in pet stores, they may be able to point you towards a breeder. Sorry I can not be of more help.
anonymous on June 09, 2013:
@Mistl: Hi. I want to get a Holland Dwarf Lop bunny, but I can't seem to find one. That's the only one I want, and if I dont get that type of pure breed bunny, I'll be really sad. Do you know a place near Toledo, Ohio that sells those bunnys? Plz respond quick.
Tjoedhilde (author) on April 20, 2013:
@anonymous: Hi Alexandra, apologies for not getting back to you before.
There are different breeds of Dwarf Rabbit and each has a different maximum weight, but generally speaking it is agreed that sa bunny is considered dwarf if it ways below 1.8kgs. Size wise they are usually able to sit on the palm of two adult hands although stretcched out they will of course be a bit bigger.
anonymous on April 17, 2013:
Hi! i am ALexandra and i was wonder on how big dwarf rabbits get up to? also, how much do they weight? thanks again!!!
Tjoedhilde (author) on April 01, 2013:
@anonymous: Hi Naz,
The best way to bond with your new rabbit is to not overwhelm it with petting and too many input to begin with.
I advice that you bring him home and give him some time to first get use to his new environment.
Put him in his cage and sit closeby, but without attempting to pet him talk to him and let him get used to his surroundings and to you.
You can let your hand dangle inside the cage so he gets used to its presence.
When your rabbit has had time to explore his new home, he will get curious and most likely approach your hand to check out what it is. Keep it still while he checks it out and continue to talk to him.
If you feel he is calm after this stroke him gently, but do not take him up to cuddle at this point and don't overdo the petting.
Continue the ritual with letting him come to you for the next couple of days and you should see that he is gradually enjoying the petting more and more.
When you feel he is ready you can pick him up, but do remember that while he might like sitting with you, he most likely will not like being held tight so don't restrain him and put him back in the cage as soon as he starts to fuss too much as that means he is getting stressed out.
Hope that helps and good luck with your little bunny! :)
anonymous on April 01, 2013:
Hi, I'm going to get a dwarf rabbit soon. & this is my first pet ever and after reading everything you've written, I wanted to know what I should do the first time I come in contact with my rabbit to create a bond with him (without stressing him/her out). Please reply back soon thank you Naz
loopylooh on March 02, 2013:
Great lens i have lots of rabbits and their favourite toy seems to be a plastic ball with a rattle inside they love to pick it up and throw it
anonymous on February 17, 2013:
hello i am eleven thank you so much. i got my rabbit from my sis my nephew and sis boyfriend. i got it for an early bday present.it is called cotton tail. all of the information in this website helped me so much. by the way i think your rabbit is very cute and adorable. it looks like me. again thanks for the information.
Tjoedhilde (author) on February 14, 2013:
@anonymous: There is not many things that beats having a furry little rabbit lick your hands. :) I am glad to hear that the article was helpful to you Kourtney!
anonymous on February 13, 2013:
I just got my dwarf, Diesel, yesterday! This w as SO much help! Friday I am going buy him toys, and organic veggies, and other thi gs that will make him happier! He already licks me, and I've fallen in love with him! Thanks again!
Tjoedhilde (author) on February 12, 2013:
@anonymous: You are welcome Adalaia, best of luck with the new addition to your household. Feel free to come back and let us know how it goes. :)
anonymous on February 12, 2013:
Thank you so much for all of this information! I`ve been trying to find web sites on dwarf bunnies and haven't had any luck. Due to this page I know now that I really do want a dwarf bunny and that I can indeed take care of it to the best of my abilities.
Tjoedhilde (author) on January 29, 2013:
@anonymous: The bunny mansion sounds awesome, I imagine a castly like cage with towers and a moat. :) Glad to hear that she is back in her real home now and that you managed to take care of her over the wintertime without her suffering from the cold weather.
anonymous on January 29, 2013:
Thanks for all the great information. In Sept. we bought a dwarf bunny and she is the love of my life. She is the cutest little bunny. Recently we had a stretch of extremely cold and snowy weather so I had her living in a cage in our sun room. There is no heat in there but it was definitely warmer than outside. Once the weather broke and got back to a normal temp.I winterized her house and at night I put a warmed brick and piece of wood over her doorway to block the draft. She is so happy being back in her (as we call it)-The Bunny Mansion she is living up to her name Quiksilver. We have several chairs lined up in front of her mansion and sometimes we watch Bunny TV.
Tjoedhilde (author) on January 21, 2013:
@anonymous: Hi Molly. I am sorry to hear that Charlie is sick. Diarrhea can indeed be very bad. First of all you need to keep a close eye on him at the moment. If he has diarrhea again or if he becomes very passive, apathic or sleeps and doesn't jump around as usual, then you might want to take him to the vet at the diarrhea could be a symptom of something else.
Make sure that he keeps hydrated at the moment, check that he is drinking and also remove any moist food he might normally have access to. To ensure the food is not causing his diarrhea make sure he only has dry pellets in his feedbowl.
The change in living area could have effected him, but as long as you still take him out of the cage regularly for exersize and fun it shouldn't harm him.
The dog could however be stressing him out a lot so I suggest you keep the two separated for now.
When he is feeling better you can try to introduce the two again, but keep an eye out for how your bunny is reacting. If he shows signs of fear then it might be best to just keep the two animals apart. At the age of 6 it might be hard for the bunny to learn to love a predator. All the best to Charlie, make sure you keep an extra eye out for him until he is feeling better.
anonymous on January 21, 2013:
hey thanks for this! I need some advice, I'm very worried about my dwarf rabbit, Charlie. He is the same type as yours. Earlier today he had diarrhea on my bed and I've been worried ever since, diarrhea in a bunny is really bad and it's never happened before. It might be from stress, my rabbit usually lives free in my closet, but recently he tore up the carpet so I've been putting him in the cage and in the bathroom occasionally. Also I've been trying to expose him to our dog more than usual which might be causing it. He's 6 years old and I really just want to make sure he's okay. Any advice on how I might be able to relax him? I'm just really worried even though it was only once. Thanks!
kcsantos on January 15, 2013:
I plan to have a pet rabbit. Thanks for this!
JeffGilbert on December 15, 2012:
Amazing lens on dwarf rabbits. I had no idea you had to cut their teeth as part of their regular grooming. The body language directory was also great. Very informative lens.
anonymous on November 28, 2012:
Thanks for a great lens with lots of useful info. We have an eight month old dwarf rabbit and I feel honoured as today I've discovered that not only has she been courting me (!) but that she probably thinks I'm the leader of the pack - her grooming (me) goes as far as standing on the back of the sofa and "nibbling" my hair and head!
VictoriaKelley on November 13, 2012:
nice lens...my daughter had rabbits when she was little
Bobski606 on November 11, 2012:
I absolutely loved your lens! I've never had a rabbit myself but have helped friends look after theirs.
newmorningdews on November 05, 2012:
The Netherland dwarf looks like a squirrel :)
anonymous on November 01, 2012:
Thank you for the article! I recently lost my guinea pig and am considering getting a dwarf rabbit. This article has helped informed me a lot and has given me much to consider.
Tjoedhilde (author) on October 31, 2012:
@anonymous: Hi Daniella apologies for the late reply. First of all congratulations on having an affectionate and cuddle loving rabbit. :)
What you describe is actually very normal. If she is 4 month old she has just reached the age of sexual maturity for bunnies. When bunnies reach this age their personalities can change a bit, but more importantly they are more prone to chewing.
It is a natural and even positive thing that bunnies chew, but of course it is not always amazing if she gets hold of your favourite book or dress.
There are a few things you can do.
As you have already stated clapping and telling her no when she chews on something will in the long run teach her not to, but it will require patience. So keep doing it and at some point she will learn.
You should also make sure that she has a bunch of different sized chew toys. For Ronja I bought different size wooden balls, Apple tree branches and I gave him toilet paper rolls which he loved to chew on.
Thirdly you may consider spaying. This is a personal choice, I didn't like the idea of neutering Ronja, but it is an option that will calm your bunny down and will make it less prone to chewing everything.
Last but no least, make sure your bunny is not bored. If you are away from it a lot due to work/school/other commitments, it might be a good idea to get a playmate for it. Bunnies are very social creatures and it might be chewing things to get attention.
I hope this helps, best of luck with teaching Hera! :)