Mini lops are one of the most good-natured and adorable rabbits on the planet. Whilst these little bundles of fluff are a tempting present for young children, it is important to note that rabbits require a great deal of care and understanding for many years to come. It is therefore recommended that you research the breed to the best of your ability before bringing home your new rabbit. You will soon find the joys of owning one of these very special creatures can be far greater than you had ever anticipated.
Rabbits require a great deal of room to run around in. Even though you may think the mini-lop is a small breed, they should still be given a large hutch or enclosure for plenty of exercise. A two-tiered hutch is particularly good, as it takes up less space and can be more fun for your rabbit to hop about in. Rabbits like to feel safe and secure, so it is important that you include in your hutch somewhere for him to hide out in: a shelter or box that is dark and warm will be perfect. In addition to this, rabbits can easily be litter trained, so it is important to place a litter tray in a corner of your hutch. You rabbit will likely choose a corner to soil of his own accord, so you may wish to wait until he has done so and then place the tray there for ease of training.
If you are going to have your mini-lop as a house rabbit, they are very adept at learning to use a litter box. Mini-lops are an ideal breed to keep as house rabbits, provided you rabbit-proof your home a little first: they love to chew cables and wires! Even if you choose to have a house rabbit, it is important that you still have a small hutch or cage where your rabbit can sleep and feel safe when he is frightened.
Mini-lop rabbits are very easy to feed. They should always have access to hay and water to keep their digestion going. A dry food with dandelion flowers is ideal, as these have many vital oils and nutrients for your bunny’s eyes and coats. It is also important to give your rabbit some wood or something to chew on near his food. This encourages him to chew that and not your furniture, as well as keeping his teeth worn down and in check.
It is important not to overfeed your rabbit. Use the guidelines found on the packet of food you choose to buy to determine how much, by weight, you feed your mini-lop. Rabbits will eat a full bowl of food no matter how much you put in it, so it is up to you to make sure they are not over or under eating.
There are several health checks you need to carry out when owning a mini-lop rabbit. If your rabbit is going to live outside, or come into contact with animals that have been outside, you will need to worm your rabbit. Worming medication comes in a variety of forms and can be purchased at your local pet store.
Your rabbit’s coat should be smooth and soft, and you should not be able to feel any bones or wounds on their bodies. Their eyes should be clean and bright, and there should be no discharge from either their nose or their eyes. There should be no faeces stuck to their bodies, and their nails and teeth should not be overly long or protruding. Their ears should be clean and free from any red marks or scabs, as these could be a sign of ear mites or infections.
It is important that you neuter both male and female rabbits at around five months of age. Rabbits reach sexual maturity at six months, so if you are keeping more than one rabbit together of opposite sexes, neutering is imperative. Whilst it may seem cute and appealing to find yourself with baby bunnies, there are already hundreds of rabbits filling the shelters of England, and it is best to prevent any more. Neutering also has vast health benefits, as it greatly reduces the risk of cancers and intestinal illnesses.
If your rabbit is going to live outside, you should vaccinate him against Myxomatosis and Viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD). Both of these require annual boosters and can be administered by most vets. These diseases can be fatal to rabbits, so it is important to take care to prevent them.
Rabbits are very social creatures, so it is important that they receive a great deal of love and affection. It is unfair to keep a rabbit alone in his cage all day, and this will likely lead to behavioural and temperament problems. Make sure you get your rabbit from a well-respected shelter or a reputable breeder, as you will have a better idea of temperament and any health issues that may arise. Try and avoid getting your rabbit from a pet store. You may be tempted by the availability and the price, but you have no background information for these animals, and they are often bred solely for monetary gain.
When you first bring your new bunny into your home, he will be very stressed and frightened. He may not eat or drink for a day or so. This is completely normal, and you can expect to have a happy and energetic bunny in a couple of days. It is recommended that you leave your bunny in his cage most of the first day. Whilst it is tempting to take him out and play with him, he needs time to adjust to his new surroundings. After a day or so, you can start to introduce him to you and other areas. He may be shy at first, but teach him that you are nothing to be frightened of. With plenty of cuddles and care, your new pet will bring you years of love and happiness, as well as endless loppy entertainment!