How to Care for a Dwarf Hotot Rabbit

Despite black rings around the eyes and a diminutive size, making dwarf hotots appear exceptionally cute, they behave much the same as any other rabbit. The breed does have a reputation for relating well to people, but needs the same amount of overall space, time and medical care as other breeds. Dwarf hotot rabbits can make excellent family pets, although a child shouldn't have the sole responsibility for their care. If you're planning to acquire rabbits of any breed, remember that rabbits require much the same commitment as dogs in terms of time and money.

Things You'll Need

  • Two-foot long or larger rabbit cage
  • Litter trays
  • Newspapers
  • Hay
  • Rabbit pellets
  • Fresh produce
  • Water bowl or bottle
  • Food bowl
  • Wood chews or fruit tree twigs
  • Brush for shorthaired rabbits or cats
  • Pet nail clippers
  • Cable protectors
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Instructions

    • 1

      Prepare a sleeping area for the rabbits. A rabbit cage is suitable as is a small dog kennel. Each rabbit should have its own sleeping area. Hay makes comfortable bedding. To begin with, confine the rabbits to one, rabbit-proofed room with easily cleaned floors until house training is complete.

    • 2

      Prepare litter trays by lining basic cat litter trays, which are fine for rabbits this small, with newspaper. Provide at least one litter tray for each rabbit to avoid accidents. Fill a bowl with water and acquire a supply of rabbit pellets.

    • 3

      Feed the hotot dwarfs with unlimited hay, about 1/4-cup of rabbit pellets each per day and fresh fruit and vegetables.

    • 4

      Provide non-toxic wood chews or fruit tree twigs. Rabbits need to gnaw because their teeth grow continuously.

    • 5

      Arrange a veterinary appointment shortly after acquiring the rabbits. During the appointment, get any necessary vaccinations, arrange another appointment for spaying or neutering and ask the vet to show you how to trim the rabbits’ claws and check their teeth. Tooth problems are relatively common in dwarf rabbits.

    • 6

      Brush the rabbits once a week and trim their nails as necessary. Brush more frequently when they are shedding, often in the spring and fall. If dwarf hotots ingest too much loose fur, they can develop dangerous blockages.

    • 7

      Wash the food and water bowls and change the newspapers in the litter trays daily. Clean the sleeping area and replace the bedding once a week.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always get pet rabbits spayed or neutered. Unaltered rabbits may display a range of problem behaviors, including aggression and marking furniture or flooring with urine. They can also develop serious health problems, especially females.

  • It's best to keep rabbits in pairs. Provided both rabbits are altered, it doesn’t matter if they are the same gender or a male and a female. Rabbits are social animals; a single rabbit can become very lonely. No matter how much attention you provide, rabbits need a companion of the same species.

  • House train rabbits by placing the litter trays in the spots where they most frequently urinate or defecate. Wipe up urine spills with paper towels and place in the tray. Sweep up droppings and add to the litter tray. Retain soiled newspaper each time you clean the tray until the rabbits are urinating in the trays and nowhere else. The occasional dropping outside the tray isn’t a problem; rabbit droppings are dry and easy to sweep up or vacuum.

  • Rabbit-proofing a room primarily involves protecting cables and anything else you don't want a rabbit to gnaw on. Place potted plants out of their reach. Rabbit-proof all the rooms to which your pets have access.

  • To find a vet who specializes in rabbits, ask a local rabbit club, an animal sanctuary or a breeder for a recommendation.

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