Which breed of rabbit will make a good pet? 0 1049

When it comes to cute and cuddly, you can’t do better than a rabbit. First becoming popular as pets in the post-war years when they were kept as a valuable source of meat, rabbits have been lolloping their way into our hearts ever since. There is now a huge choice of breeds and varieties, some more unusual than others.

Angora rabbits

Appearing much like a fur ball with ears, the angora rabbit is well known for its soft, long, silky fur. As you’d imagine, this rabbit takes a lot of grooming to maintain its amazing coat, so be prepared to spend time daily brushing your fluffy friend.

Lop eared rabbits

The lop eared rabbit is possibly the cutest of all the rabbits. The lop gets its name from its floppy ears, which droop endearingly either side of its head. Lops need lots of love and attention, but do not require the daily grooming of the angora.

Giant rabbits

As the name suggests, the giant rabbit is much larger than an average rabbit. With the English Giant weighing in at over 8kg, this is a hefty bunny. Giant rabbits make great pets, but they will need larger accommodation than other rabbits. Most hutches are just too small for them and they will require somewhere to exercise every day.

Lionhead rabbits

One of the newer rabbit breeds, Lionheads have a wonderful furry ‘mane’ which gives them their name. Like the Angora, this rabbit will need some grooming, but not nearly as frequently – once a week should be sufficient to keep its mane tangle free. Lionheads are a smaller breed of rabbit making them easier to house.

Chinchilla rabbits

So named because its fur resembles that of the chinchilla, this rabbit has a wonderful dense and silky coat. It is considered a hardy breed, suitable for keeping indoors or outdoors and is very playful in temperament, so could be a good choice as a family pet.

An unusual breed of rabbit can make a fantastic pet but you must take into consideration whether you can provide for its extra needs before choosing your bunny. How much do you know about rabbit care?

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3 surprising behaviours of pet rats 0 1114

Pet rat behaviour

Rats have been given a bad name by decades of bad press. Far from the dirty, disease-filled pests that are portrayed on our screens, these sociable, clean animals have a few surprising perks to owning them.

These sociable, friendly pets are highly trainable animals who show affection for their owners and have many cute little quirks that make them great companions. They also have a very strange way of showing they?re happy!

With that in mind, here are three surprising behaviours of pet rats.

1. They are incredibly playful animals

This one will be no surprise to those who will have seen the boxing, chasing and excited jumps with their own eyes, but many are unaware that rats spend lots of time playing with each other and their owners. One scientific study actually showed that rats giggle when they are tickled. It?s highly recommended that you fill your pet rat’s cage with lots of enrichment toys and interact with them daily. Many owners report that their pet rats love being chased or to wrestle their hands!

2. They are incredibly social animals and love to show affection

Rats are incredibly social creatures. While of course every animal has its own personality and there are exceptions to the rule, they need to live with at least one other rat and most enjoy lots of daily interaction with their owners. It is not a rare sight to see pet rats snuggled up in the laps, pockets and sleeves of their humans. They will also nibble and lick them, as they would other rats, in a show of affection.

3. They boggle their eyes when they are happy

Surprising when first witnessed, one of the most peculiar aspects of rats is the way they display their contentment. While cats purr and dogs wag their tails, when a rat is very happy or relaxed they will brux and boggle – which is a sort of teeth grinding and very fast bulging of the eyes.

Rats are brilliant pets for all ages and there are many positives that come from owning these friendly, misunderstood animals.

What can degus eat? 0 1926

What can degus eat

When they?re living in the wild, degus focus on dietary fibre. It makes up about 60% of their diet, with the other 40% consisting of natural vegetation. But when they?re kept as pets, you?ll need to keep a close eye on what you feed your degu.

Good quality hay

For the most part, your degu?s diet should consist of good quality hay. There are lots of brands that will suffice, but two of particularly good quality are Timothy Hay and Meadow Hay. Keep an eye on the colour: if it?s pink or white, you should throw this hay away as it?s growing mould. If it?s green, it can cause bloating. Occasionally, you can mix some Alfalfa hay in with your regular hay. It?s high in protein, so great in small doses.

You can top up your degu?s bowl with a little bit of guinea pig or degu-specific food, but don?t go overboard. It?s important that your degu doesn?t start ignoring the hay because it?s got a range of health benefits, including the maintenance of a healthy gut and strong teeth. Around 10g of degu food a day should do the trick.

Human food in moderation

The good news is you can feed your degu some of your human food! Give them to your degu in moderation though, as they can cause gas and bloating. On rotation, you can feed them the following foods around once or twice a week:

? Asparagus
? Carrot tops
? Dandelion leaves
? Broccoli
? Cauliflower
? Fresh herbs
? Brussels sprouts
? Celery
? Cabbage
? Courgette
? Green beans
? Beetroot
? Dried herbs
? Pumpkin
? Butternut squash
? Marigold flowers
? Radish

Some sugary foods can be an occasional treat for your degu. In excess, they carry the risk of diabetes, so we?d only recommend doing this once a month.

? Apple
? Cherry tomatoes
? Peas
? Sweet potato
? Carrots
? Cucumber
? Sweetcorn or corn on the cob

When it?s treat time for your degu, give them a tiny amount (one or two) of:

? Sunflower seeds
? Peanuts
? Pumpkin seeds
? Whole nuts

As a general rule, the main thing to avoid giving your degu is fruit not listed here, rabbit food, hamster food or anything with molasses.

Just like us, degus love food ? whether it?s good or bad for them. Bookmark this page to make sure you give your degu a balanced diet, and happy feeding!

Learn more about caring for your degu and other pet care advice here: https://nichepets.com/category/mammals/degus/