Netherland Dwarf Rabbits as Pets: Costs, Colors and Lifespan

Netherland Dwarf Rabbits as Pets-Everything You Need to Know

The Netherland Dwarf Rabbit is one of the smallest breeds of rabbits in the world. It was first bred in the Netherlands in the 20th century and has since grown to be one of the most popular breeds of rabbit. The Netherland Dwarf Rabbit is specifically bred for its small size and infantile cuteness.

This appearance makes the Netherland Dwarf Rabbit a very popular pet for adults. After generations of breeding, their cuteness is well-accompanied by a docile and friendly nature with a little spunk thrown in, which makes them even better companions. However, their size makes them less-than-ideal pets for children.

Buying one of these bunnies as a pet is a responsibility beyond just admiring its cuteness. These creatures, like any other pet, require care and maintenance. To ensure you make a well-informed decision and are adequately prepared to care for these rabbits, read on to learn important information about Netherland Dwarf Rabbits.

How Much Do Netherland Dwarf Bunnies Cost?

The first thing to consider when buying one of these cute bunnies as a pet is cost. The upfront cost of buying Netherland Dwarf Rabbit ranges from $25 USD to $40 USD. As mentioned earlier, though, these animals require care and responsibility. The costs do not stop here.

For Netherland Dwarf Rabbits, the biggest recurring cost is food. You will also need to spend money for spaying or neutering, a food bowl, water bottle, carrier, brush, nail clippers, shampoo, and veterinary trips as needed.  Let’s break these costs down to get a better idea of the price of these cute animals.

For food, rabbits typically eat 1 ounce of food for every pound of bodyweight per month. Since Netherland Dwarf Rabbits only weigh one to three pounds, they will typically eat 16 to 48 ounces of food per month. A three-pound bag of rabbit food typically costs around $5 USD and should last a month.

Grooming is another important habit of caring for these pets. A good brushing helps rid the rabbit of loose hair and prevent fur balls. A brush costs between $4-8 USD. Clipping the nails helps prevent scratching. Nail clippers are typically around $10 USD. Regular washing helps improve the hygiene of both the rabbit and those who come in contact with it. Shampoo costs around $4 USD.

The operation to spay or neuter your Netherland Dwarf Rabbit can cost anywhere between $50 to $150 USD, depending on location and individual vet pricing. For trips to and from the vet, a carrier and harness is the best way to ensure the safety and comfort of your rabbit. Carriers range from $18 to $30 USD with harnesses being as cheap as $3 to $6 USD.

Are Dwarf Bunnies Good Pets?

Netherland Dwarf Rabbits make great pets for adults. Their temperament is energetic with some attitude thrown in at times for good measure. They do not require much maintenance when compared to other breeds of rabbit. All these bunnies need is a constant source of food and water, of which they do not consume much due to their small size, and a sizeable area to roam around and call home.

For children, however, Netherland Dwarf Bunnies prove to be less of a fit. This breed of rabbit typically does not like to be picked up and grow scared and irritated when handled often. This can result in squirming in the child’s hand and even scratching or biting. If a child drops the bunny out of fear or alarm, the rabbit can sustain serious injuries to its fragile bones.

Are Netherland Dwarf Bunnies Friendly?

When the Netherland Dwarf Bunny was first bred, it showed a nervous and, sometimes, hostile nature. As these traits leftover from its wild ancestors were eventually bred out, these dwarf bunnies gained a more calm and peaceful nature.

Netherland Dwarf Bunnies are known for having some spunk to them. Some people see these bunnies’ temperament as irritable or grumpy, but many people value this spice that these bunnies bring to life. Compared to larger breeds of rabbits, these tiny bunnies have more energy and like to run around often. If you find your Netherland Dwarf Bunny is overly spunky, perhaps they just need some time to run around and explore outside of their cage.

If properly given companionship and freedom to work off energy, Netherland Dwarf Rabbits can prove to be peaceful and friendly pets. With these bunnies, you can’t have the cuteness and docility without the attitude and energy.

How Long Does a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Live?

Due to its small size compared to larger breeds of rabbits, the Netherland Dwarf Rabbit tend to have a longer lifespan. They can grow to be anywhere from 5 to 12 years old. Compared with other, larger breeds of rabbit that typically live to be only five to six years old, buying a Netherland Dwarf Bunny is a longer term investment.

How Big are Netherland Dwarf Rabbits?

Netherland Dwarf Rabbits are bred and bought specifically for their small size. Most rabbit breeds weigh between ten and twenty pounds. However, the Netherland Dwarf Rabbit weighs only 1 to 3 pounds.

The Netherland Dwarf Rabbit is one of the smallest breeds of rabbit. Its tiny size, large head and eyes, and short and stout body and legs give it the appearance of a baby bunny, even well into its adulthood. This infantile cuteness is what makes this breed of rabbit so popular to buy as pets or to enter in shows.

Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Colors

Breeders of Netherland Dwarf Rabbits have created many different colors for these furry cuties. Among the most popular colors accepted by the American Rabbit Breeding Association (ARBA) are Chinchilla, Tortoise Shell, Sable Point, Black Silver Marten,  Blue Tan, Orange,  and Chocolate Himalayan.

These bunnies do not have any breed-wide distinguishing marks. Though, bunnies that do show special markings or colorations on their fur tend to sell for a higher price when compared with those bunnies that are normally-colored.

Do Netherland Dwarf Rabbits Bite?

If unprovoked or not made to feel threatened or nervous, Netherland Dwarf Bunnies will not bite a person. If one of these bunnies to bite or nibble at you, it is more of a cautionary attack. If this happens, you should give the bunny space, let it have time to cool off and become comfortable in its environment again, and ensure it has all the necessities it needs to feel safe, secure, and cared for.

If attacked or provoked enough, an actual rabbit attack will be a lot worse than just a nibble or bite. A threatened rabbit will latch its teeth onto the closest part of the irritant it can find and writhe or thrash and may even gouge at its ensnared threat with its back feet.

These attacks are very uncommon and only follow warning signs. If you pay attention to your rabbit and notice its signs and communications, unpleasant situations can be easily avoided. Some common signs of annoyance and aggravation are writhing around or head-butting. If you witness these behaviors, be sure to give your rabbit space immediately.

A common sign of comfort and affection towards someone is humming or hopping around your feet. Take great delight and achievement in seeing these behaviors as it means you are forming a great bond with your bunny.

Do Dwarf Bunnies Like to be Held?

Like most rabbits, Netherland Dwarf Bunnies do not like to be held too much. Interaction and bonding is essential to your bunny’s quality of life, though, so you need to find appropriate and gentle ways to touch and bond with your bunny.

It is OK to pick up your bunny occasionally for short periods of time to put it on the sofa or bed next to you. This practice can help you form a bond with your bunny and help it to be more comfortable with you. When you both are on a sofa or bed together, sit or lie still and let the bunny explore around you. Talk to it in a soft voice so you don’t startle it or hurt its sensitive hearing.

Instead of constantly picking your rabbit up, you can pet it, give it gentle squeezes, or let it nuzzle your hand. Another great way of forming a relationship with your Netherland Dwarf Bunny is to let it run and chase after you. They will most likely do this on their own as they grow more comfortable with you. And when it sees you do not try to drive it away or make any threatening motions towards it as it runs to you, its comfort level with you will continue to grow.

Can Dwarf Rabbits Eat Bananas?

A Netherland Dwarf Bunny’s diet should consist mainly of store-bought rabbit pellets, which already contains the foods and nutrients it needs, or to certain vegetables. Fruit should not be a big part of your bunny’s diet.

A bunny’s digestive system is a delicate thing. Any sudden changes can cause runny bowel movements, intestinal problems, and, in the worst cases, even death. Fruits, such as bananas and apples, can be given to your Netherland Dwarf Rabbit, but only in small quantities. A small slice can be given as a treat occasionally, but give it time before the next treat to see how your bunny reacts to it.

If you prefer not to feed your bunny a store-bought pellet diet, you should limit the foods you give it to cucumber, carrots, celeriac, fennel, turnip, and broccoli. Introduce these foods to your Netherland Dwarf one vegetable at a time and only small pieces for each serving. Do not feed it any other vegetable or too much of anything at once or you may risk upsetting its digestive system.

How High Can Netherland Dwarf Rabbits Jump?

The Netherland Dwarf’s size plays a limiting factor in how high or long it can jump. It has a small body and very low weight, but it’s short, stubby legs keep it from jumping very high at all. A typical Netherland Dwarf Bunny can only jump enough to scoot or run around.

In rabbit jumping competitions, Netherland Dwarf Rabbits have competed at the smallest weight classes and there have been some that have jumped quite high. But those rabbits are the exception. After all, short stubby legs don’t offer much strength to jump with.

How Big of a Cage Does a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Need?

Most experts recommend having a cage that is at least 18 x 24 x 14 inches (width x length x height). This is the minimal space a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit needs. Although it is a tiny animal, this rabbit needs just as much space to run around and play as the larger breeds. If you want to give your rabbit more space, which will only improve its quality of life, many experts recommend going with a 4 x 2 x 2 feet cage.

In addition to size, it is also important to consider the type of cage. The two most popular choices are hard-bottom and wire-bottom. If you get a wire-bottom cage, make sure you put in a part of the cage where the rabbit will not be walking on the wire. This helps them give their feet a rest. Be sure to get a wire cage where the gaps are no more than a quarter inch to help your bunny avoid stepping in the spaces and becoming injured.

For the rabbit’s bedding, use straw, hay, or aspen shavings. Do not use pine or cedar shaving since these smells can be harmful to your bunny. Be sure to clean out the cage regularly and litter-train your rabbit to help prevent messes.

Do Netherland Dwarf Rabbits Smell?

In general, rabbits are fairly clean animals that do not have a strong smell. However, just like any animal, humans included, if not cleaned and cared for properly, a smell can develop.

The easiest way to prevent odor from your Netherland Dwarf Rabbit is to litter train it, clean out the litter box once a day, clean the rabbit’s cage at least twice a week, and give the rabbit a bath as needed. It is important to keep in mind that you do not want to wash your rabbit too often since they scare easily at any change in routine. Cleaning your rabbit’s cage and litter box regularly is enough to keep your bunny odor-free.

Are Netherland Dwarf Rabbits Social?

Rabbits are very social animals and your Netherland Dwarf Rabbit is no different. Social interactions and the bond between it and its caregiver (you) is a vital factor that determines your bunny’s quality of life. Here are some tips to help you effectively bond with your bunny:

1. Get on your rabbit’s level. This is as simple as sitting or lying next to it. This helps your rabbit feel comfortable approaching you and is the first step in playing and interacting with your pet. This can be done on the floor, in your bed, or even on the sofa as you settle down to watch some TV.

2. Once your rabbit feels comfortable approaching you, try letting it chase after you a bit, like an adorable game of tag. When your rabbit sees you are not making any threatening moves towards it, its comfort level with you will soar.

3. Avoid picking up your rabbit too often. Rabbits do not like to be held. This habit can be a quick way to sour even the best of relationships. Instead of holding your rabbit, try to pet, nuzzle, or gently squeeze them instead. This gives you both some personal contact time while still keeping your rabbit in its comfort zone.

4. Incorporate a lot of playing time and toys with your rabbit. Just like a child, a bunny appreciates some fun times and will appreciate any playtime you can spare. Any extra attention won’t hurt your relationship from progressing.

5. Learn your rabbit’s personality. Each breed of rabbit has a distinct personality, and each rabbit in that breed is unique. Netherland Dwarf Rabbits are known for being energetic and feisty. Once you learn your bunny’s personality, you will be more able to bond with it and it with you.

How Much Should I Feed My Netherland Dwarf Rabbit?

A vast majority of a rabbit’s diet is hay, so your Netherland Dwarf Rabbit should always have access to a plentiful supply of hay. Rabbit pellets are a great dietary choice for your bunny. Since Netherland Dwarf Rabbits are so small, their food amount is less than other larger breeds. You should give your Netherland Dwarf about a 1/8 cup of pellets per day.

The rest of your bunny’s diet should include water and fresh vegetables. You should give your Netherland Dwarf Rabbit a maximum of one cup of mixed vegetables per day. For fruits, these should be given as a treat, therefore in much smaller quantities. Only give fruit about once or twice a week and in a quantity of one tablespoon per five pounds of bodyweight.

Care of Netherland Dwarf Rabbits

The care of a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit is the same as any other rabbit breed, except for the delicacy their small size requires. Handle and play with your Netherland Dwarf Bunny with care. Compared to their tiny size, you are a veritable giant and can easily inflict serious injury if you are not careful.

The important things to remember when caring for your Netherland Dwarf is to give it ample space to run, play, and exercise. Regularly clean your rabbit’s litter box, once a day, and their cage, at least two times a week. And, finally, pay attention to their diet. Ensure that they have access to a vegetarian diet and it does not vary too often as changes can prove to be uncomfortable, and even fatal, to your bunny.

How Many Babies Does a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Have?

A Netherland Dwarf Rabbit usually has between 2 and 4 babies. Netherland Dwarf Rabbits can start breeding as early as five months.

Typically a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit should breed for the first time before they turn one year old. After that point, giving birth will be extremely difficult for them since their pelvic bones will have already fused together.

A Netherland Dwarf Rabbit usually stops breeding around the time it turns three years old.

How Long is a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Pregnant for?

A Netherland Dwarf Rabbit is pregnant for around 31 days. Most rabbits will give birth after 31 days. However, the time frame can be as early as 28 days and as long as 34. If you are unsure if your rabbit is pregnant, here are some easy ways to check:

  1. Your rabbit is getting cranky. If your rabbit is acting moody or acting out in ways that are not typical of it, this could be a sign that she is expecting.
  2. Palpate your bunny’s abdomen. This is a practice that will require some practice first and requires extreme care to avoid damage or injury. Feel around your bunny’s abdomen for baby lumps. You can do this as early as day 10 of her pregnancy.
  3. If your rabbit is scratching at its cage floor, this may be a sign she is pregnant. This is a common habit among pregnant bunnies to build a burrow for its coming child.
  4. Nest-building. A pregnant rabbit will become desperate to build its nest for its expected baby. If you put hay in your bunny’s cage and it starts gathering it in her mouth to prepare a nest, this is usually a sign of a successful pregnancy.
  5. Baby kicking. During the last stages of your rabbit’s pregnancy, you may be able to see movements or jerking motions through the sides of your rabbit. This is evidence of your rabbit’s baby kicking and moving around inside of her.

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