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How Long Does A Rabbit Live?

Updated on November 22, 2018
Susan May Gudge profile image

Susan May Gudge has cared for and bred rabbits for over two decades. Her main specialty is the breeding of miniature black rabbits.

The newest addition to our family, Elvira, on the day I brought her home at just two months old.
The newest addition to our family, Elvira, on the day I brought her home at just two months old.

What is the lifespan of a rabbit?

In the wild, a rabbit has a lifespan of only about 3 years, due to nutrition, water supply, disease and, of course, predators. a predator's eyes face forward on the skull, like wolves and cats, for example. Prey’s eyes are placed on the sides of the skull, like the deer, horse, mice. The rabbit’s eye placement marks it as prey. A wild rabbit is lucky if it even makes it past its first year.

The domestic rabbit can live for as long as ten years if properly cared for. In the following article, I will introduce you to the basics of how to give your rabbit a long, healthy and happy life. I can supply the information, the data, and some important tips, but you, as your rabbit’s friend, must supply one of the most important ingredients, love.

What Can I Feed My Rabbit?

The rabbit’s digestive system is very sensitive. Instead of wondering if something is good or bad for the rabbit, keep in mind that many foods are quite toxic to the rabbit. Some foods can cause a rabbit to become blocked internally. Other foods cause the rabbit to get fat, a very unhealthy situation for it.

Instead, throw out all ideas of feeding the rabbit anything other than the items I am going to recommend, and nothing else. Rabbits do not need variety. Variety for a rabbit can only lead to some severe digestion problems,even death. As an exotic animal, they need a very precise diet.

What Does A Rabbit Need?

Most important, is access to water. But, rabbits love to play. Their idea of play is to tip bowls over, move things around their cage and chew up anything that can be chewed. For that reason, I always found water bowls to be a very messy affair.

I find the best method is a large drip bottle that is made for dogs, attached to the outside of the cage with the tube inside the cage. Make sure that the drip bottle is filled daily with fresh water, rabbits drink a lot of water. Also make sure, by tapping the tip, that the bottle is discharging water efficiently.

What Is A Rabbits Main Food?

The most important food source is Timothy Hay. A rabbit’s teeth never stop growing. For its whole life, the rabbit's teeth need to be constantly ground down by their food. It is very important they have enough hay to keep the teeth from growing too long.

Hay is also a very important part of their digestive process. It provides the roughage, the fiber, that is necessary to their systems. Timothy Hay is available in most pet stores and large department stores.

Since Timothy hay is not fattening to rabbits, give them all they can eat in a day. A good sized handful twice day keeps the rabbit in good health.

Are Rabbit Pellets Enough To Feed A Rabbit?

One well known food is Rabbit Pellets. Pellets are a treat to rabbits. They are not meant to be the sole food source for a rabbit. The bags may say fully nutritious and other things, and they are not far off, but they can never replace the most important food, Timothy Hay.

Pellets give the rabbit that little extra they crave. Bear in mind that rabbits love them, but too much of them is not a good thing. Pellets can be very fattening if the rabbit is overfed. A fat rabbit is not a healthy rabbit and its lifespan can be greatly reduced when a rabbit gets too fat.

I feed my rabbit twice a day. In the morning, she gets a fistful of them, approximately a third of a cup. When she is finished her treat, she gets her fresh Timothy Hay. In the evening, when the sun is going down, the same routine is repeated.

Are Carrots Really Good For Rabbits?

We have all seen the cartoons of rabbits eating carrots. This is also true in reality. Carrots are a very special treat for a rabbit. But, carrots have a high amount of natural sugar. As such, I only give rabbits a small, cocktail-size carrot once or twice a week, and holidays, of course.

Tree Branches For Chewing

As the fourth and last item that a rabbit can have to live a long, healthy life, tree branches can give a rabbit something to chew on or play with. Some rabbits will eat them and others might just shred them.

Be warned that most trees are toxic to rabbits. Any tree that bears a one-seeded fruit is most likely dangerous.To be sure, I recommend you do not give any tree branches to a rabbit except for Apple or Maple. Do not take a chance with any other kind. It is better not to give any branches at all, they are not necessary for a rabbit's survival, than to give the wrong kind that might harm your pet.

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.

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