While dogs and cats are always tried-and-true pets to have in a family, there should be just as much consideration given for getting a rabbit. Let us count the reasons why we love these furry balls of fluff! They're adorable (of course), very social, smaller than most dogs, don't require outdoor exercise, and they live longer than many small "pocket pets," as Dr. Jo Myers, DVM points out. Since there are more than 50 domestic rabbit breeds, it can make it tough to narrow down your choices. If your head spins when you see info about rabbits, hares, and bunnies, we're here to make rabbit breeds make sense. Deciding which pet rabbit breed is right for you comes down to your lifestyle and personal preferences.
If you'd like a rabbit who stays relatively healthy throughout their lifespan, Myers explains that rabbits that look more like wild rabbits (short hair, no excessive skin folds, upright ears, medium-sized), are expected to be healthier. This, of course, also depends on what you feed them. If you're looking for a family pet, there are a few breeds that excel at being held and handled. Some breeds do better with children than others, such as mini lops and Himalayans. Small and medium breeds with short, straight hair will generally require less maintenance. Long fur or curly fur, as cute as they seem, will require regular grooming.
No matter which breed you choose, keep in mind that spaying or neutering a rabbit could help them be friendlier and more docile. And to keep your rabbit happy, learn how to feed them properly and keep them outside the cage whenever possible—Myers says that pet rabbits are happiest when not caged and allowed to move about at-large in at least some areas of the house.
For a rabbit that fits in perfectly with your family, get to know the 20 best pet rabbit breeds.
1. Flemish Giant
Known for their one-of-a-kind, oversized look and mellow personalities, Flemish giants are some of the largest domesticated rabbits in the world. They're easily handled (good news if you have little ones) but do require lots of space because of their large size.
2. Mini Rex
Sweet, gentle, and best of all, teeny (they typically weigh less than five pounds), a mini rex rabbit is a great pick for a family with young ones. They tend to be pretty laid-back, but are also very sociable.
3. Mini Lop
At a maximum of 6.5 pounds, mini lop rabbits are on the small side. They tend to be calm, which is a trait they share with other lop rabbits, or bunnies with ears that fall to the sides of their face instead of standing straight-up.
Showing off their distinct black-and-white coloring, Dutch rabbits are quite soft, which is perfect if you're looking for a lap bunny to pet. People consider them to be extremely friendly, and they're great with kids.
5. French Lop
French lop rabbits come in a little larger at 10 to 15 pounds. These bunnies are known for their tranquil temperaments and can easily make friends with other pets in the house.
If you need a super-fuzzy bunny, you're in luck with the Lionhead breed. Sporting what looks a lot like a lion's mane, these fluffy bunnies are energetic and playful, which means they might do better with older children than younger ones.
7. Florida White
Marked for their reddish-pink eyes, Florida white rabbits are one of the healthiest breeds around. Recommended for beginner rabbit owners, they're usually easygoing and relaxed.
8. Holland Lop
While certainly calm, Holland lop rabbits do enjoy attention from their people, which makes them an ideal family pet. After all, it's preferable to have a rabbit who actually wants to be around you!
9. Netherland Dwarf
With their tiny faces and tiny ears, who can resist a Netherland dwarf rabbit? They get cuteness bonus points for being so small, weighing in at only a pound or two. They're known for being well-behaved, gentle, and active.
10. Dwarf Hotot
That's some nice eyeliner! With those black-rimmed eyes, you can't miss a dwarf hotot, which doesn't require a ton of grooming thanks to their small size. This rabbit tends to be on the active, curious side, making them a good choice for older kids.
11. Mini Satin
Looking oh-so soft and pretty, mini satin rabbits are frequent hoppers, love their toys, and enjoy being around people and other animals. If your kids squeal when they see a rabbit jump, they'll definitely appreciate this little guy for his active personality.
12. Belgian Hare
While lacking the squishiness of, say, a Flemish giant, the Belgian hare is a slender breed that looks athletic when compared to other bunnies. If you're looking for a super-smart companion who enjoys games and toys, this rabbit is right up your alley.
13. Giant Angora
So...much...fur! The very fuzzy Giant Angora rabbit certainly makes for an adorable lap bunny, but keep in mind that they'll need a lot of grooming. But they are calm with sweet personalities, making them a perfect family pet.
With large, kind eyes, rex rabbits are snuggly, love being around others, and they're also smooth-haired, which means they're pretty low-maintenance. This can also cut down on the amount of fur in the home, making this breed good for those with allergies.
Displaying very distinctive markings and coloring, the harlequin rabbit is certainly an aesthetically pleasing one. To boot, they're quiet and stay on their best behavior, making them a good fit for little ones.
16. English Spot
You can pretty much call these bunnies the dalmatians of the rabbit world! Showcasing cute black spots, English spot rabbits have fun personalities and love to be friendly.
Known for their eye-catching black noses, Californian rabbits, reaching no more than 10 pounds, are sweet and laid-back, but may require a bit more grooming than a very smooth-haired rabbit.
You can't miss a thrianta rabbit's orange fur! These bunnies are cool, calm, and collected, and they're considered medium weight rabbits at four to six pounds.
Velvety chinchilla rabbits are hard not to fall in love with, considering how soft they are. They're known for their gentleness and thoroughly enjoy play sessions.
Black with white-rimmed eyes, Havana rabbits are often thought of as one of the calmest breeds available today. If you're hoping for a lap bunny who will love being around your family, the affectionate Havana may fit the bill.
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