The dwarf angora rabbit is an integral part of the New Pets, known as Exotic Pets, very appreciated by the children or the passionate persons of small animals. A silky coat, sparkling eyes, an irresistible pout: it is likely that this little rabbit will not leave you indifferent. However, this charming companion requires a lot of tenderness and attention. Here are some useful information to know before falling for him.
Where does the dwarf angora rabbit come from?
The dwarf angora rabbit is one of the happy members of the Leporidae family. If it has gradually emerged in Europe in the 1980s, it was not until November 10, 1988 that it was officially approved by the French Federation of rabbitry.
As its name indicates, it is the result of a cross between the dwarf rabbit and the angora rabbit. If the word angora – deformation of the term ankara – suggests a Turkish origin, it is nothing of the sort: the angora breed actually finds its cradle… in England!
Not very widespread in France, it is intended above all for domestication. It is ideal as a pet or as a competition species.
The character of the dwarf angora rabbit
Like its hair, the dwarf angora rabbit has a very soft temperament. It is defined especially as peaceful and quiet.
Extremely sociable, it is easily approached and caressed, which makes it the ideal companion for young children. Moreover, it acclimatizes perfectly to the presence of other domestic animals, like dogs or cats. Moreover, living with another rabbit – ideally from the same litter – will offer him endless hours of play and will allow him to create long-lasting emotional bonds.
However, it is recommended to wait until the eighth month of age to consider breeding, so that the rabbit has reached full sexual maturity.
The physique of the dwarf angora rabbit
It is defined mainly by its small size: as an adult, its weight varies between 1 and 1.7 kg. Nevertheless, it remains on average bigger than the other dwarf species. It reaches its final size around the sixth month, age at which it generally stops evolving. Its ears can measure up to 6 cm.
This endearing creature is distinguished by its thick and silky fur, inherited directly from the Angora breed. This is due to the presence of a genetic mutation, which causes an accelerated growth of its hairs. Their exceptional length varies from 5 to 7 cm. Only the muzzle is an exception with its short hair.
Like other rabbits, it goes through moulting periods, during which it loses a good part of its coat. This happens 3 to 4 times a year, about every 90 days.
The dwarf angora rabbit in everyday life
Under its airs of living plush, it should not be forgotten that the dwarf angora rabbit requires a regular maintenance. Indeed, its long hairs tend to tangle quickly or to form clumps that remain attached to its skin. If they are not removed punctually, the rabbit may ingest them without being able to digest them. Unfortunately, this can lead to transit problems or even an intestinal obstruction.
To avoid such problems, you should brush your rabbit daily. Although your rabbit may be somewhat reluctant at first, it will soon appreciate this ritual, which is synonymous with sharing and bonding. To do this, start by placing your pet on your lap and gently comb its back and both sides. Then turn him over on his back and carefully comb his belly, neck and paws. If a stubborn knot remains, carefully cut it out with a scissor.
Also make it a point to clean his cage weekly. This will contribute to both his hygiene and his well-being.
As far as food is concerned, he feeds mainly on hay. Protein-enriched pellets will make up the rest of his daily intake. However, be sure to dose the quantities given, especially as an adult: this fine gourmet is inclined to put on weight easily.
On the other hand, allow him to have access to clean water at will: don’t hesitate to invest in an external tank, equipped with a nozzle passing between the bars, to prevent any risk of soiling.
As for treats, moderation is the order of the day: choose a piece of fruit or vegetable (carrot, banana, broccoli, papaya…) once a week, to reward him for his wisdom during the brushing session for example!
And its life expectancy? In general, it is estimated between 8 and 10 years. Well pampered, it can legitimately hope to spend a dozen years at your side!
Calm and endearing, the dwarf angora rabbit will quickly become the inveterate mascot of the whole family. To make sure he feels at ease, take the time to give him all the care and love he needs. An excellent choice for an Exotic Pet, a vector of happiness!