As rabbit breeds go, the mini lop has to be one of the cutest and adorable around. They are, after all, amazingly small, delectably pudgy, and have the most incredibly long furry ears that loll to both sides of their head. Personality wise, the mini lop is exceptionally friendly and playful, making them the ideal pet. But how long do mini lop rabbits live for?
How long do Mini Lop rabbits live for? The average life expectancy for a mini lop is approximately seven to twelve years. This, when compared to other breeds is a relatively long lifespan. For example, large lops live for an average of five to six years, whilst lionheads live for seven to nine. However, seven to twelve years is not guaranteed with the mini lop; some live to just five years, whilst others have been known to live for fifteen.
If you are thinking of getting a mini lop no doubt you will want to learn more about them. For example, do they have any different care requirements to their larger counterparts, or do they have different lifespans?
The answer to the first question is no, the mini lop does not require any specialized care, but the answer to the second, well yes, the mini lop has a different life expectancy to other rabbits.
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How Can You Ensure Your Mini Lop Has A Long Lifespan?
As with any other living creature, the lifespan of the mini lop rabbit can vary greatly due to three main factors. These three factors, in turn, are all related to maintaining good health. Good health is the key to ensuring your mini lop has a long life and fulfills its lifespan potential.
1. Lifestyle can prolong a mini lops lifespan
How a mini lop lives can very much determine how long they will live. Provide them with the correct environment and opportunities to exercise and they will live much longer than if you don’t. Cages and enclosures need to be of adequate size, hygienic, and comfortable; whilst areas to exercise need to be safe and include plenty of space.
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The ideal mini lop cage will have enough space for both exercise and rest. There will also be plenty of hay provided for bedding and for them to eat. A sheltered section is a must to keep your mini lop warm and dry in colder, wetter weather, as well as a toileting area.
Toys should also be provided for them to gnaw on and keep their teeth worn down. In winter, your mini lop should either be moved into the home or into a shed where their cage can be covered with a blanket to keep heat in.
For exercise periods you can either provide your mini lop with a rabbit run or allow them the run of the garden. Either way, the space allowed should be ample for them to run and frolic in and also keep them safe. Rabbits can and will fit through small gaps and holes in fencing making them vulnerable to injury and becoming prey.
2. A good diet will ensure your mini lop rabbit lives a long life.
As with any animal, or human for that matter, a healthy diet will play a vital part in life expectancy. The healthier the diet, the healthier the rabbit, and the longer their life expectancy will be. For mini lops, this means ensuring that 70% of their diet is made up of high-quality hay and 30% of healthy extras.
‘Healthy extras’ include a good mix of fruit, leafy greens, vegetables, and pellets. You should, however, be cautious as some ‘extras’ will not be safe and may cause digestive problems. Also, some fruits may be too high in sugar to be classed as healthy for your mini lops.
Whatever you do there are certain foods that rabbits should avoid at all cost. Here’s a list of all the toxic foods that rabbits and some other small pets should avoid.
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3. Illness/Disease is a big factor in a mini lops lifespan
Though mini lops are not especially susceptible to any rabbit diseases or illnesses which could affect lifespan, they are vulnerable to general health concerns. These include, but are not limited to:
- Excessive Tooth Growth
All rabbits, including mini lops, love to groom themselves. However, unlike cats, they cannot vomit any excess hair. Rather, this hair makes it into their intestines where it merges into hairballs and becomes stuck. This can cause blockages which can become life-threatening and threaten life expectancy. To avoid hairballs, regular grooming of your mini lop is advised.
Excessive Tooth Growth
The teeth of rabbits continue to grow all their lives meaning that they need to be constantly worn down. This usually happens providing they are given a high hay content diet, but if not can cause real problems. Excessive tooth growth can result in pierced jaws and faces which is not only incredibly painful but can also limit your rabbit’s ability to eat. Without eating your rabbit cannot survive and will not fulfill its life expectancy.
A most unpleasant disease, flystrike occurs when flies are attracted to soiled areas of fur on a rabbit. This is usually an area around the rear with the result being the flies laying eggs on soiled patches of fur. When the eggs hatch the main source of nutrition is the rabbit itself, and they will be eaten from the inside out. It goes without saying that flystrike can be life-threatening and should be avoided at all costs.
You can see from the above three sections – Lifestyle, Diet and Illness that Mini Lop rabbits live longer when they are given the best attention and care.
Read the RSPCA’s guide on treating Flystrike here.
Conclusion: How long do mini lop rabbits live for?
It probably goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway, that the mini lop has an exceptional potential lifespan. However, this will only be achieved if they receive the correct care.
It also should be noted that a potential seven to twelve years of care for your mini lop is a long term commitment and not one to be undertaken lightly. They do, however, make wonderful pets and you’ll find every second spent with them very rewarding.