When deciding on adopting a new pet into their home, it is completely natural (but also responsible) for people to plan ahead by predicting all the possible things they would need doing to keep their pets healthy and happy.
It is commonly known that dogs require some space but also a lot of time from their owners. But what about rabbits? Particularly, are lionhead rabbits low or high maintenance?
Lionhead rabbits actually require more grooming than most other rabbits and lots of playtime too. So if you are looking for a low maintenance pet, lionhead rabbits might not be your best choice. Continue reading to find out why these pets are considered high maintenance.
Caring for Lionhead Rabbits
In the following I will guide you through the tasks you need to do, if you own a lionhead rabbit, so you can easily decide if this cute pet will fit your lifestyle or not.
Grooming is an extremely important factor in any rabbit’s maintenance. However, it gets even more important with lionheads, due to their heavy fur and generally sensitive bodies.
Grooming activities do not bring many costs if you are doing it by yourself. Basically, all you need are a good brush, high-quality nail clippers and a simple pair of scissors. On the other side, however, grooming does require some time and effort, so it is important to prepare for that.
Housing a rabbit does require certain space, but it can also bring to larger costs, depending on your wishes.
Firstly, housing depends a lot on where you decide to keep your pet- outdoors or indoors. Keeping a rabbit in the garden or backyard can be handier when it comes to cleaning and space availability, but it also requires great protection from all possible weather conditions as well as from predators. That is one of the reasons why it is highly recommendable to house rabbits inside.
Moving on, rabbits require both a house where to rest and a playground area. Pet stores often sell the simplest and smallest cages ever. These can be suitable for a lionhead but only if you have enough time to let it out for a walk and exercise several times a day. Please keep in mind that rabbits should not spend time into a cage without having enough space to cover their body lengths five times at least. That can be really cruel.
That said, there are amazingly spacious indoor hutches available, but they obviously do require some space and will bring to higher costs. Alternatively, you can craft your own by using an old dresser or closet.
Whatever your housing choice is, be prepared to dedicate a nice and spacious corner of your home entirely to your rabbit. As well as to regularly clean it.
3. Health Problems
Lionhead rabbits are generally a healthy breed but are still delicate little creatures and can get sick easily if not maintained correctly.
What seems to be most common are constipation problems, mainly happening due to excess fur ingestion but also because of inappropriate feeding plans. Additionally, their teeth and nails can often grow too long when held as pets if there is no regular trimming or proper meal plan.
It is good to prepare yourself for occasional yearly visits to the local veterinarian, too. This is important both for getting the vaccine boosts and for a professional checking on their general health.
Feeding a lionhead rabbit does not involve a lot of costs neither time.
They primarily feed on hay, which makes 75% of the meals and is super-affordable. Additionally, they require some inexpensive rabbit pellets which make 20% of their meals and ultimately some greens or fruits as treats.
Hay needs to be available all the time, while the remaining meals can be offered once each day.
Finally, rabbits drink drinkable tap or bottled water, so there is no need to purchase some special one.
5. Upkeep Cost
Initial costs depend a lot on the housing choice, as these can surely start from $20 but luxury hutches go about $400 or more. Lionhead rabbits do not cost much themselves, but prices do vary a lot between rescue shelters and fancy breeders.
You also probably want your rabbit neutered or spayed, so prepare to spend additional $50 to $300, depending on the area you live in. On average, most owners spend approximately $300 to bring their lionhead home.
Upkeep costs, however, are not that high and vary anywhere around $50 per month. This includes high-quality food, litter requirements, as well as some occasional toys. Protecting your wires and wooden furniture from rabbit bites and scratches is not included in this calculation.
Keeping a rabbit can cost much lower if you handcraft toys and enclosures on your own, as well as have available greens in your garden. However, there can occasionally be extra costs if your pet happens to get sick or if you need a pet-sitter while being on vacation.
Can Lionhead Rabbits Live Alone?
Lionhead rabbits are extremely sociable furry creatures, and it is always best to keep them in pairs if possible. Owning two rabbits will not literally double the costs, but these will surely increase significantly.
On the other side, if you decide to adopt just one rabbit anyway, be prepared to spend much time with it every day. This is the only way to compensate the lack of a partner and avoid depression.
How Often to Groom Your Lionhead Rabbit?
Generally, lionheads require weekly or daily brushing, depending on the shedding seasons. However, nail clipping or teeth check-ups can be done much rarely, once or twice a month.
Do Lionhead Rabbits Shed a Lot?
Lionhead rabbits shed a lot, especially after winter and summertime. During such shedding, it is really important to brush them on a daily basis, and sometimes even more often. Otherwise, brushing them once or twice each week is simply fine.
To reply to the initial question about lionhead rabbits being low or high maintenance pets, the answer is somewhere in between.
They certainly do not require that much maintenance as dogs do but, on the other side, they are neither that low maintenance as owning a hamster is.
To conclude, keeping a lionhead rabbit is not that time or cost taking, but please make sure to being able of providing your pet a happy life before you decide to bring it home.