Are you considering adding a pet rabbit to your family? You may be wondering how long your fluffy companion will live. Our Middlesex vets discuss the rabbit lifespan and how long you can expect a pet rabbit to live in this post.
How Long Do Rabbits Live as a Pet?
Rabbits are a popular pet for many families across North America. They can be trained and provide a much-needed cuddle to you and your family members — what more could you want in a furry friend?
That said, you might also be wondering what it's like having a rabbit as a pet and about the expected lifespan of these animals when they are properly cared for.
Many prospective and current rabbit owners want to know, "How long do pet rabbits live indoors?"
While many factors can influence how long your pet rabbit will live, you can expect most domestic (indoor) rabbits to live to be about 8 years old.
Some live up to 12 years. In contrast to wild rabbits which face predators and constant stress that can shorten their lifespan, domestic rabbits have easily accessible food and safe places to hide working in their favor.
Similar to most animals, breed can be a significant contributing factor when it comes to the lifespan of your pet rabbit. Small rabbit breeds tend to live longer than large breeds.
Some breeds of rabbit are also genetically predisposed to various health issues, diseases and conditions that may shorten their lifespan. Our Middlesex vets recommend keeping this in mind while deciding which breed of rabbit to bring home to your family.
Your pet rabbit's nutritional requirements will vary according to breed and species. The food you decide to feed your new pet will play a critical role in how long they may live.
Your rabbit will also have specific daily requirements regarding fiber, minerals, vitamins and other primary sources of nutrition.
Your rabbit should be fed a balanced diet of specialized pellets, hay and various vegetables while also allowing them to enjoy the occasional treats and fruit in moderation.
One way that you can help ensure that your pet rabbit lives a long life is by protecting them with ongoing care.
You can help prevent parasites and various diseases by ensuring that you are consistent with good hygiene such as washing your hands before and after handling your rabbit as well as keeping their enclosure clean and free of messes.
You can provide ongoing preventive care by bringing your rabbit in for routine exams and care with their Middlesex veterinarian. These routine visits will allow the vet to address any potential health concerns quickly as well as provide preventive care for any parasites that your rabbit may have contracted.
Our vets in Middlesex also recommend having your rabbit spayed or neutered. This can not only help prevent unwanted babies but also a variety of potentially life-threatening cancers that could shorten the lifespan of your pet rabbit.
While many people may think that rabbits are perfectly fine with living in a cage, this couldn't be further from the truth. Rabbits that live with open space to run around as well as toys for mental stimulation typically live healthier lives than those that are kept confined to cages.
Another thing to keep in mind is that rabbits prefer calm environments and can panic when there are sudden movements or loud noises. If they suffer from too much stress due to children, other pets or loud sounds it can cause them to go into shock which can be potentially fatal.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.