If you are considering getting yourself a lionhead rabbit as a pet, you are probably being the responsible animal lover and wondering about the many things you can expect. One of the biggest questions which one likes to ask is certainly: how long do lionhead rabbits live?
In ideal circumstances, this peculiar breed can survive from 7 to up to 10 years in captivity. And for a pet, that is quite significant. Especially if there are kids around. However, this does not guarantee that the expected lifespan will always turn out to be exact.
Factors That Impact Lionhead Rabbits Lifespan
There are several factors which can influence the life length of your new rabbit pet, and the majority of such factors are part of the responsibility of each owner.
1. Food & Diet
A healthy and well-balanced diet is essential for all living beings, as well as for lionhead rabbits.
Hay is their primarily food source in captivity and it should be available at all times, both during day- and nighttime. Hay needs to be high-quality and rich in fibers, in order to offer the right nutritive factors. This is what helps rabbits to avoid constipation and to grind down their teeth, which is super-important, and hay consequentially needs to make 75% of their meals.
Also, it is important to keep a ratio of approximately 20% of commercial food such as pellets into their diet, too. Such meals make an extremely important part of their feeding plans, but anything above the suggested amounts can lead to complications like obesity, diarrhea and other. Pellets are rich in protein which can also cause liver, heart, and kidney diseases if not being fed correctly.
2. Housing (Indoor or Outdoor)
The decision about where to keep your bunnies makes an impact on their lifespan, too.
Outdoor hutches or pens maybe let them have more enclosure space, but this can ultimately bring more damage than positive sides. For instance, predators are more likely to get ahead and make bunnies become meals. But, even in the case when they do not manage to penetrate into the cage and kill bunnies, there is always a high chance of several diseases being transferred.
Nonetheless, lionhead rabbits are quite sensitive to heat because of their fuzzy fur, so keeping them outside during hot summer months can often become lethal.
3. Health Problems
Sometimes, rabbits get sick nonetheless on the great conditions they find across their new home.
There is unfortunately nothing much to do in such cases, other than consulting a veterinarian and following his or her guidance.
However, prevention is always much more efficient than having to cure a sick animal. That is why providing your pet rabbits with all the necessary requirements, as well as offering them enough love and calmness, is essential to extend their overall lifespan.
4. Grooming & Care
Grooming and general care is extremely important for lionhead rabbit owners and avoiding such required activities can almost surely lead to health complications.
Grooming, therefore, is essential. With these rabbits having heavy and particularly long fur, frequent grooming activities of at least once or twice per week are super-important. Not practicing grooming can bring to rabbits swallowing fur balls, which their bodies simply cannot spit out (as cats can). This can obviously lead to several health issues and, consequentially, even to death.
Besides grooming, other necessary care activities are surely those related to enclosure cleaning, teeth and nails maintaining, and other. Keeping a clean enclosure can literally extend the life of your pet. High ammonia levels in the air they breathe can often bring to several respiratory problems. Also, rabbits can often have both teeth and nails growing too long if not spotted on time, so constantly monitoring the overall well-being of your pet is crucial.
Being neutered or spayed can make a huge difference onto a rabbit lifespan.
Rabbits which are not treated at all seem to live for shorter periods of time. On the other side, those which are, tend to grow healthier but also to avoid the sadly often cancers. Depending on the gender of your pet, it could overtime grow either a testicular or a uterine tumor, which is something that is obviously suggestable to avoid.
If your intention is not to breed rabbits, a neutering (or spaying) is highly recommendable.
Do Lionhead Rabbits Live Longer in Pairs?
A pair of lionhead rabbits definitely tends to live a longer but also a happier life. They are generally extremely sociable animals, so living in pairs makes a huge difference to them. Also, being quite easy to scare, having a mate can often bring to them becoming less frightened around their home environment. And consequentially, to live longer.
Rabbits which are kept as single pets can sometimes become over-stressed, anxious and, ultimately, depressed.
Lionhead Rabbit Life Expectancy Compared to Other Rabbits
Generally, rabbits seem to live anywhere from 5 to 12 years. This obviously depends on a lot of factors, such as all the previously mentioned, but also on their breed and the fact if they are kept as pets or not.
Wild rabbits tend to have a shorter life in general, so they mostly live around 5 or 6 years, with some surviving barely up to a year. Pet rabbits can often have a long 12-year life.
When it comes to breeds, dwarf rabbits have a longer life expectancy than larger species. And with the lionhead rabbit being a dwarf type, we can surely say that these pets live longer than most larger pet rabbits.
Getting a new pet is never an easy decision. Especially if you are one of those owners that get really attached to their pets (same as us). However, lionhead rabbits do tend to generally live longer when compared to other rabbit breeds, but also to some other popular pets.
Additionally, such life expectancy can always be extended a bit if your pet is not really sick. Providing great care and attention, as well as following guidance on the main factors which impact the lifespan of a rabbit, can often bring to them having a happy and quite long life.