Note: This article was updated to 2020.
How long do pet rabbits live? Ask yourself how well you take care of a rabbit in terms of food, housing, stress-free lifestyle, veterinary care, mental stimulation and a lot of love. The breed is also an element but not as powerful as diet and care are. Years ago there was a myth saying that rabbits only live a year or two. Today that is not true anymore, therefore raising a pet rabbit is not just a summertime activity.
It all started when people took rabbits inside as pets only and lessened the stress regarding the predators. About 35 years ago. From that point on, rabbits started to live longer: 3 to 5 years. But after that, the life span changed again: 5 to 7 years. And the story goes on and on: 7 to 9 years, 7 to 10 years, and 8 to 10 years. Now the lifespan is around 8 to 12 years or even more in some cases. This also reflects the evolution made in diet and veterinary care.
Today's average lifespan:
- House pet rabbit - around 10+ years
- Outdoor housed rabbits - around 2 to 3 years
- Wild rabbits - 1 to 2 years
Wild and outdoor pet rabbits have a very low lifespan because they have to confront plenty of harmful conditions.
- Oldest domesticated wild rabbit: 18 years and 10 months old.
- Oldest domestic rabbit: 17 years and 2 weeks old. The owner said keeping it simple and consistent with a good diet (timothy hay and some pellets), plus genetics and a lot of love were key in her case. She never gave him a carrot, or any other vegetables, fruits, or treats.
How to Make Your Rabbit Live Longer?
How long do Rabbits Live depends on:
- Diet A high-fiber diet full of quality loose hay, a few leafy greens and little to no pellets will be just perfect for your bunny. Avoid sudden changes;
- Stress level down Bunnies have been known to have a heart attack from things like a big dog barking or running. Keep your rabbit safe and avoid scaring him;
- Space Rabbits need enough space and time for exercise. Check out here for the right dimentions for the living area and running are;
- Love The nature and amount of care your pet bunny will receive during his life will make a difference over time. Offer your bunny plenty of affection and love;
- Breed Tthough there are a variety of rabbit breeds, it’s difficult to determine whether specific breeds live longer than others. However, larger breeds often have a shorter lifespan than smaller rabbits;
- Spayed or neutered A house rabbit who has been spayed or neutered early in life has a life expectancy of 8 to 12 years. But not only that. It will also stop cancer from developing.
- Mental stimulation Check out these ideas for DIY toys;
- Temperature Avoid hot temperatures and extreme changes because rabbits are very sensitive to those.
Common Causes of Death in Rabbits
The rabbits kept outside live around 2, 3 years. The greatest threat is the attack of predators. The owls and hawks and other large birds can very quickly swoop down and grab your lovable bunny. So keep an eye on your rabbit while he is freely running in the yard.
When not feeding the right diet or not providing enough space rabbits develop different illnesses like overgrown teeth, malocclusion, bloat, obesity, bladder stones, hairballs, uterine tumors, poopy butt or myxomatosis.
If they live longer, they are more prone to get diseases. Therefore, elder rabbits have different needs. But people are rarely aware of them.
In Conclusion. How long do pet rabbits live if you take care of them correctly?
Rabbits are a long-term commitment. You should bear in mind that rabbits should be kept inside. Indoor life is better than anything for a pet rabbit. Outdoor rabbits live five times less than indoor rabbits. Wild rabbits live almost ten times less than pet rabbits.
How long do pet rabbits live if you take care of them correctly? Well, pet rabbits can be part of your life up to 10, 11 or 12 years. Maybe you will be a lucky owner and your bunny will become wiser and wiser and he will reach even 15 years old.