How old do rabbits get?

You own a rabbit? Then you will surely have asked yourself the question: How old can rabbits become? Basically, you can assume that your little long-eared friend will stay with you for between six and 14 years. However, this requires species-appropriate care.

What factors affect your rabbit’s life expectancy?

You want your little rabbit to stay by your side for a long time? You want to extend the life expectancy of your bunny? Then you should pay attention to the proper care, husbandry and nutrition of your pet rabbit.

However, the breed also has an influence on the length of a rabbit’s life.

Species appropriate diet

You can keep your rabbit fit and healthy with a species-appropriate diet. This consists of varied green fodder and only small portions of dry fodder. With poor nutrition, diseases of the urinary tract, teeth and digestive tract may appear. All these diseases can have a significant impact on the health and consequently on the life expectancy of rabbits.

Small light brown rabbit hiding under a small toy bridge. Label reads: tunnels, bridges and cottages should be purchased before the rabbit move in.
Tunnels, bridges and houses should be purchased before the rabbit moves in.

Species-appropriate husbandry conditions

With species-appropriate housing conditions, you should give your rabbit plenty of time in the fresh air. The exclusive use of a cage not only affects your rabbit’s well-being negatively, it can also increase the risk of disease.

Your rabbit is a little whirlwind and needs variety and exercise. Find out from forums with other rabbit owners, how you can offer the species-appropriate balcony, garden or apartment conditions to your bunny.

Living together with rabbits

If your rabbit lives in a group, stress should be largely avoided. Pay attention to the harmony within the rabbit group. A stress-free life within the rabbit group has a positive effect on the life expectancy of your furry friend.

Life expectancy of different breeds of rabbits

How long such a rabbit life lasts also depends on the breed.

How long do dwarf rabbits live as pets?

In general, you can assume that the dwarf rabbit will live about ten years if kept in a species-appropriate manner. Here the question arises for many rabbit owners: What is species-appropriate?

White fluffy dwarf rabbit sitting on a green meadow. Label reads: dwarf rabbits have a longer life expectancy than giant rabbits.
Dwarf rabbits have a longer life expectancy than giant rabbits.

If you think that the little bunny has no demands, you are wrong. Basically, dwarf rabbits are very demanding co-inhabitants, which, in addition to a balanced and healthy diet, also need sufficient exercise and fresh air for their well-being.

Enclosure inside and outside

In order to meet the species-appropriate requirements of your dwarf rabbit, you should pay attention to the size of the enclosure. The enclosure should provide enough space for exercise and play. With a small cage in the home you will not make these small animals happy.

The indoor enclosure should be at least 1.5×0.75 meters. Offer your bunny variety in the enclosure. Rabbits are curious fellows and want to keep an eye on their surroundings. With climbing facilities you can expand the area of the enclosure.

Feed and breeding

Do not bring the kitten home too soon. If the baby rabbit is separated from the mother too early, stress can be caused. Stress affects the immune system. Your dwarf rabbit can be affected for life. Even though it may seem tempting – do not offer the baby rabbit a new home with you until it is nine weeks old.

Small black young rabbit snuggled in rough blanket. Label reads: You should not separate your rabbit from its mother too early.
You should not separate your rabbit from its mother too early.

When feeding, you should offer around 200 grams of fresh food per kilogram of body weight daily. Here, make sure you have a balanced mix of herbs, lettuces and grasses. You can use branches, twigs and pieces of bark to keep your pet busy and make sure their teeth are ground down.

How old do rabbits get in the garden?

Rabbits in the garden, if kept properly, have the same life expectancy as their counterparts when kept indoors. Again, it depends on the breeds. Large breeds of rabbits usually reach a lower age than small breeds.

The enclosure should also have a sufficient size here. For two to three rabbits, the enclosure should be about six square meters. Please do not put young rabbits in the outdoor enclosure for the first time until the nights are frost-free. This allows the rabbits to get used to the outside temperatures. After that, you can leave them outside all year round.

Be sure to give your rabbits plenty of options for shelter. They should provide protection not only from the weather, but also from potential predators (birds of prey, foxes, neighbor’s cats).

In comparison: How old do wild rabbits live?

The wild rabbit is similar to the domestic rabbit in many ways. Please be aware that the wild rabbit is not the brown hare. These are two different animals. The wild rabbit has its natural habitat in the forest and lives in herds of rabbits. Rabbit burrows serve as shelter and provide security from natural enemies. Rabbits in the wild can live up to ten years.

Two young, small, gray-brown wild rabbits in front of their burrow in the forest. Caption reads: Wild rabbits live together in groups in burrows they dig themselves.
Wild rabbits live together in groups in burrows they have dug themselves.

How old is a year in rabbit years?

Many rabbit owners have a burning question about how old their rabbit would be in human years. Of course, there are approximate figures for this. However, keep in mind that this calculation is also always influenced by different factors.

The age of dwarf rabbits

For dwarf rabbits, you can calculate about a factor of ten from the first to the sixth year of life. If you have a rabbit at five years old, it would be around 50 years old in human years. From the seventh year of life, the jumps decrease. Now, for each year of the rabbit’s life, the calculation of human years increases by only five years.

Giant rabbits age differently

The calculation for the giant rabbits runs a little differently. These rabbits live only about seven years. In human years, they would then already have reached 100 years.

A giant rabbit sniffs a young tree in the garden. In the background two dogs in a kennel. Label reads: Giant rabbits have a shorter life expectancy than dwarf rabbits.
Giant rabbits have a shorter life expectancy than dwarf rabbits.

At what point are rabbits seniors?

Depending on individual development, you can expect your rabbit to be a senior by the age of five. Don’t worry – numerous diseases do not appear until later in life.

The larger your rabbit is, the sooner it will enter its senior years.

With that said, you now know that a rabbit that is 12 years old has truly reached a blessed age.

The most important thing

Rabbits have a long life expectancy if you pay attention to species-appropriate husbandry. Whether indoors or in the garden, your furry friend can usually reach an average life of ten years, if they have received good care. In the best case scenario, your rabbit will be by your side for up to fourteen years, giving you plenty of joy.

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