Caring for Lion Lop Rabbits
Mini lop rabbits have always been pets in my home because they bring so much joy, love and excitement to us. Recently, we got a male lion lop rabbit who has some Holland lop in him as well. This little three-pound rabbit is gentle, playful and loves cats and people. However, he requires lots of special attention because he becomes lonely fast. He even needs a special diet and grooming care to help keep him healthy.
What Is a Lion Lop Rabbit?
A lion lop rabbit typically weighs between 3 and 5 pounds with ears that stand up straight and a lion like mane around his head that is similar to a lions, which is where they get their spunky little name. Lion lops also come in many different colors such as black, gray, brown, tan and white. My lion lop since he does have Holland lop in him has a speckled look to him with gray and white hair and long floppy ears. Lion lops also have hairy paws with claws and a little cottontail that wiggles up and down when they hop. These rabbits also have a tendency to grunt and make little noises when they eat, are happy or sad and sometimes even when they are in pain and simply need attention.
A lion lops temperament is very mellow and playful and they tend to love all the attention they can get. These rabbits are good around children and other small animals in the home. I know my lion lop loves to chase and hangout with our cats. We call him kitty crazy because he never stops running after them, which is typical because most mini lop breeds do any being around cats or other rabbits of the same breed so they don’t become lonely. However, if you do not have the room for another rabbit or you simply do not have cats make sure you spend as much time with your rabbit as possible so he or she knows their loved. Another way to help prevent a rabbit from becoming lonely is to place stuff animals or fleece blankets into their cage. I know my rabbit loves his fleece blanket at nighttime and he snuggles right up next to it.
However, with all that being said lion lops can be territorial. The best way to prevent a rabbit from becoming territorial is by spaying or neutering the rabbit between 4 and 6 month of age. Spaying a neutering a rabbit can also help prevent other health problems as well and prevent unwanted baby bunnies from being born. Spaying and neutering a rabbit can also change the rabbit’s aggressive behavior and make them easier to handle. I know that for our rabbit we did not have him neutered simply because he has a very happy mellow playful personality and he does not spray as most rabbits do.
Now one of the nice things about lion lops is they don’t tend to shed as often as other rabbits do, but it is still important to brush them to help keep their hair from becoming knotted. It is also important to trim their claws once a month to prevent them from snagging on toys and other things while they play. The last thing you want is for your rabbit to pull one of his claws out and bleed.
Now, lets talk about the diet of a lion lop rabbit. Lion lop rabbit’s need plenty of timothy hay and fresh water each day. Those two things are essential to their diet to help keep them healthy. Lion lops will also need about ¼ cup to a ½ cup of grain a day and about 2 cups of fresh leaf greens such as spinach, romaine lettuce, herbs, and carrot tops. It is also important to make sure you give them a carrot or parsnips to chew on as well to help keep their teeth well trimmed. However, it is also important to get a bag of apple twigs and rabbit treats to chew on to help them grind their teeth to keep them short. You do not want rabbit’s teeth to become to long because this could cause oral problems for the rabbit.
Other treats you should give in moderation to help keep a rabbit healthy and satisfied are pears, berries, mangos, kiwis, bananas, cherries, papaya and apples. However, these treats should be given in moderation because too many of these fruits can actually cause a rabbit to have digestive problems. If you notice your rabbit has watery stools, it is a good idea to stop over feeding them these fruits. I know when I give my rabbit a treat I give him a tablespoon or two of blueberries, which are his favorite treat and he seems to be just fine.
Playtime is essential for a rabbit, but it is important that you have all the wires up off the floors and a safe environment for him or her to play in. Remember, rabbits chew and they will chew anything left lying around.
It is also important to put a litter box out filled with either paper or hay to give them a spot to go potty. Surprisingly, rabbits can be littler trained with a lot of patience and practice. It is also important to reward your rabbit with their favorite treat when they do use their little box so they continue to use it and know they are doing a good job.
During playtime, it is important for you to interact with them with small toys such as little balls that rattle and stuff animals. It is also important to make sure they get at least 2 to 3 hours of hoping and stretching their little rabbit legs in their play area to help keep them healthy and active. Rabbits hate being jailed up inside their cages all day long so exercise is essential for them.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Another important thing to keep in mind is it is important to take your rabbit to the vet to get wellness checks each year and too simply keep him or her healthy. Rabbits also hate it when it is too hot and too cold so make sure the temperature stays consistent wherever they are placed that rabbit in your home. The best temperature for a rabbit is usually between 50 and 70 degrees. Otherwise, your rabbit should be happy and healthy just as long as you keep them on the proper diet, play with them and give them plenty of love and attention each day.