The world of small rabbits seems well populated: dwarf rabbits, extra-dwarf rabbits, toy rabbits… What are the differences between all these animals? Here is our lighting to find you there.
What is a dwarf rabbit?
The weight and size of a domestic rabbit will of course vary depending on its breed. But it is estimated that its average weight varies between 1.2 and 2.5 kg, for a size varying between 34 and 50 cm, its ears generally measuring between 4 and 8 cm long.
The dwarf rabbit is smaller: it weighs on average only between 1 kg and 1.5 kg, for a size never exceeding 20 cm. Its ears are no more than 6 cm, except in the ram breeds. A dwarf rabbit is considered cuter than a full-sized domestic rabbit because it has a stockier build, with its legs being proportionately smaller. His eyes also appear larger.
The craze for small animals
There is a widespread craze for small animals because they have the advantage of taking up little space due to the fact that they need less space than larger animals. They can also be transported wherever you go, which can simplify custody issues.
Logic generally leads to estimate that the maintenance budget of small animals is lower because they eat less, but everything depends on the share of food compared to veterinary expenses and the cost of accessories which, for their part, are not necessarily less than in a normal animal. Indeed, very small animals are more difficult to care for, in particular because the size of the care equipment, or even the usual packaging of drugs, is not suitable.
Negative consequences for animals
There is a real demand for small animals. The breeders, anxious to ensure their outlets, meet the expectations of their market and select the smallest individuals for reproduction.
However, this has consequences on the health animals. Small size can cause complications during childbirth, but also cause deformities in new generations. Some malformations being less visible than others, they do not prevent the marketing of animals, particularly to a non-specialist audience. They can concern the nervous system and the animal may suffer from locomotor problems, with behavioral consequences that the seller can easily blame on the young age of the animal, when in reality these are neurological problems that can lead to epilepsies.
Extra-dwarf rabbit and toy rabbit: the invention of attractive categories
Some baby rabbits may be more puny than their siblings. It is then more selling to find a flattering explanation to explain the difference. What could be better than a term of technical appearance, than a proper name to take on the abnormality of normality? The terms “extra-nain” or “toy” (toy, in French) therefore appeared in pet stores. But they do not correspond to any physiological or scientific reality. The only name that makes sense is “dwarf rabbit”.
Avoid buying an extra-dwarf rabbit or a toy rabbit
We do not recommend the purchase of a rabbit described as an “extra-dwarf” or a “toy rabbit”. Indeed :
- this bunny is smaller than the others and if it appears even cuter in your eyes, it may actually still be a baby who was separated from the mother without being weaned. As he grows up, it will be more difficult for him to feed himself than a rabbit weaned in good conditions.
- the life expectancy of small dwarf rabbits is shorter than that of larger dwarf rabbits.
- this little bunny can be sick and the seller is hiding an illness.
By purchasing these small animals, you are only encouraging less animal-friendly practices and favoring the conception of fragile animals. Also, always favor the quality of the seller and the breeding!