I have known countless people who have owned bunnies as pets. These are easy to maintain and are quite gentle and loving. One breed that has caught my attention of late is the Lionhead. Its wool mane gives it the appearance of a miniature cute lion. They are fast becoming a household pet for both celebrities and local folk alike. I have toyed around the thought of owning one in the future and as such, have done some research on what to expect. Here are some of the basics of owning a Lionhead bunny for the first time.
Bringing the Lionhead bunny home
Like with most bunny breeds, it’s best to get Lionhead bunnies which have already been weaned. This way, it isn’t dependent on its mother’s milk and care. From this point on, you’ll act at the Lionheads protector and provider. You should now start bonding with your new pet. a Lionhead lives for up to 9 years if well taken care of. This is quite some time and its up to you to ensure that its simple or difficult for both of you.
Some of the bonding tricks I found were regular shows of affection such as cuddling, feeding, provision of ample playing space and grooming. You should also train your bunny how to use a litter box early on and you won’t have to worry about droppings in your house.
This bunny is a strict herbivore. They will easily derive nutrients such as protein and fats from their plant diet. That said fresh hay and grass should be provided in abundance. These are the bunny’s favorite. If you prefer feeding your bunny on processed rabbit food, supplement it with fresh fodder. The fodder contains natural digestive enzymes which help keep organs such as the pancreas healthy. In addition, avoid processed foods containing high amounts of fat and protein as these can lead to obesity.
Lionheads tend to become dehydrated fast. They will need a constant supply of fresh drinking water. Ensure that you replace drinking water often to prevent contamination which can cause diarrhea.
Being a rodent, the Lionheads front teeth are continuously growing throughout their life. To keep the teeth in manageable length, the Lionhead needs to keep nibbling on abrasive surfaces or food which erodes the top enamel layer. Natural foods like hay and grass will provide such abrasion. For Lionheads kept as pets, an untreated piece of wood is a great nibbling surface.
Lionheads don’t have many health concerns. However, its affected by common conditions that affect bunnies such as myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic disease and needs regular vaccination against these. Worms are another concern that needs to be addressed through regular deworming.
Bunnies with wool tend to require regular grooming than those with fur. Brush your Lionheads mane and body regularly to keep it in top condition. Besides this, ensure that the cage your pet lives in has a constant supply of dry hay to keep the bunny clean.