IMG_4938_edited_edited_edited.jpg

Rabbit Care

Holland lop bunnies are inherently adorable as well as incredibly loving, which makes them wonderful pets! They are one of the smallest breeds of rabbit, weighing a maximum of only 4 lbs fully grown. This makes them not only even cuter, but also very manageable to care for.

Housing

A Holland lop bunny can be kept in a cage, a pen, or given the ability to freely roam the house. If a bunny is kept in a cage or pen, it should be large enough for them to run around and play. Additionally, the bunny should be given some time outside of the cage/pen every day. Their cage should either have a solid bottom or a paper-based bedding. Certain beddings marketed for rabbits in common pet stores, like pine shavings, should be avoided as they can cause respiratory problems for the rabbit. Wire-bottom cages should also be avoided because they are uncomfortable and painful for the rabbit to walk on.

Environment

Holland lops are very intolerant of heat due to their thick fur coat and do much better in cooler temperatures. This makes them more suited to be indoor pets in locations with a warmer climate. If they need to be kept outside in hot weather, they should be provided with ways to cool down. Some good options are a frozen water bottle in their cage, a fan, and a slab of granite or something similar for them to lay on.

Diet

A rabbit's diet should consist of hay, nutrition pellets, greens, and veggies/fruits for snacks. Hay makes up the vast majority of their diet and should be available to them at all times. We use high quality alfalfa hay, but other types such as Timothy hay are also acceptable. The nutrition pellets should only be a small portion of a bunny's diet. Depending on the brand, there will be a specified daily proportion to give the rabbit based on its age and/or size. Leafy greens such as spinach or a spring mix are good healthy treats that can be given to a bunny daily (about one handful per day). Other vegetables and fruits such as carrots and apples should only be given as a less frequent treat because they are very high in sugar content. Please note that greens, vegetables, and fruit should only be given to mature rabbits. Fresh, clean water should always be available to the rabbit either in a water bottle or a raised bowl.

Litter Box Training

Cleaning up after a rabbit can be made quite easy through litter box training. Rabbits naturally like to use the restroom in one particular spot, so identifying that spot and placing a litter box there is very effective to begin the training. Some rabbits pick it up right away and will consistently use the litter box immediately after it is placed in their restroom spot. Other rabbits will take a little more time to build up the habit. For these rabbits, whenever they poop outside of the box, pick it up and put it inside the box. When they pee outside of the box, wipe it up with a paper towel then put the paper towel in the box. This will show them that the litter box is where they need to do their business. Additionally, the rabbit's hay rack can be placed above their litter box to prompt them to use it because they generally eat and use the restroom in the same spot. 


Another method is to restrict the rabbit's space to a small area around the litter box until they are using it well. Then expand their space, but if they begin using the restroom outside of the litter box, restrict their space again until they only use the box. An important thing to note is that spayed/neutered rabbits are typically much easier to litter box train than intact rabbits since they no longer have as many hormones prompting them to mark their territory.

Attention Needs

Holland lop bunnies are extremely social and affectionate, so they require a fair amount of daily interaction. If there is only one bunny, it is especially important to give it lots of attention every day, which can include holding, petting, playing, or even teaching the rabbit tricks! Housing two rabbits together is a great way to keep them entertained and happy if there is only a limited amount of time available to spend with them each day. They should also be given plenty of chew toys because rabbits naturally like to chew anything they can in order to keep their teeth from growing too long.

At Sapphire Steed Rabbitry, we socialize our bunnies for hours every day and always keep them with multiple pen-mates. This causes them to be extra affectionate and attention-seeking, making them ideal pets for all ages.