As the third breed of rabbit developed only in the United States, the silver fox rabbit is an unusual but beautiful breed of rabbit. Originally, the silver fox was known as the American heavyweight silver due to its larger body size and coat with silver and white tips. Despite the name change, these rabbits still make hardy and loving pets.
Overview of the species
USUAL NAME(S): Silver fox rabbit.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Oryctolagus Cuniculus
ADULT SIZE: Up to 12 pounds.
LIFETIME: Usually 5 to 7 years, but can live up to 10 years.
Behavior and temperament of the silver fox rabbit
Known to love attention and have a good personality as pets, Silver Fox Rabbits are ideal for children as they are gentle and large. They are not small and moody, but rather gentle and patient, which makes them an ideal breed for shows.
Silver Fox rabbits are bigger than the other rabbit breeds. They can weigh up to 12 pounds, but some males reach as little as 9 pounds as adults. That’s bigger than a standard Chihuahua or a Pomeranian!
You have many options for housing your silver fox rabbit. Outdoor hutches can be built or purchased but must be very secure to prevent your little rabbit from escaping and predators from entering the hutch. Indoor enclosures can also be purchased. However, since rabbits need plenty of room to run, you should provide your silver fox rabbit with a cage that is at least 6 feet by 6 feet, as well as a rabbit-proof play area in your home.
Special substrate requirements
If you choose to use a substrate in your silver fox rabbit’s cage, avoid cedar and pine wood chips. These wood chips can be aromatic and contain oils that can cause respiratory and skin problems in your rabbit. Aspen chips or recycled paper materials are better options if you want to give your rabbit bedding to sleep or run on. These same substrates can also be placed in your rabbit’s litter box, or you can use hay or unscented, dust-free cat litter to help with urine absorption.
What do silver fox rabbits eat and drink?
All rabbits, including silver fox rabbits, need a variety of vegetables and hay in their diet as well as fresh water. About 1/4 cup of rabbit pellets (without seeds or food coloring) should be offered daily, but your rabbit should eat mostly hay and dark green leafy vegetables. Less than 10% of his diet may consist of treats such as sugar-free cereal, crackers, fruits, and vegetables that are not green. A water bottle and water bowl should be available at all times to encourage your Silver Fox to drink plenty of water.
Common Health Problems
Silver fox rabbits are usually healthy, but all domestic rabbits are prone to some of the following health problems :
- Dental problems
- Mites and ear infections
- Mites and skin infections
- Eye problems
- respiratory problems
- Problems with the reproductive organs
All of these and many other health problems require the help of a veterinarian experienced in rabbit care.
Training your Silver Fox rabbit
Rabbits are very intelligent animals and can be trained to walk on a leash and use a litter box.
Training on the leash
If you want to keep your rabbit close to you while training with him outdoors, a harness with a leash can be a good solution. Be sure to choose a harness that is specifically designed to fit a large rabbit’s body, and soften your rabbit to walking on a leash by giving him treats until he gets used to it. You should never drag your rabbit behind you on a leash.
Toilet training your Silver Fox rabbit is not very difficult and can help you keep your house clean. It will also encourage you to let your rabbit run around the house to get more exercise if you know you won’t be surprised. Since rabbits like to eat and do their business at the same time, putting your rabbit’s hay rack in a place where he has to go to the litter box to eat is one of the easiest things you can do to start the process of cleanliness training.
Exercise is vital to the mental and physical health of any rabbit. Silver fox rabbits need plenty of room to run and play daily to find food, be mentally stimulated, find chewing objects, maintain their muscle mass, and keep their digestive tract moving. Gastrointestinal motility can decrease or stop due to stress and lack of physical mobility. If you do not give your silver fox rabbit exercise, it can develop serious health problems.
The Silver Fox Rabbit is known for its beautiful coat. Therefore, you should make sure to keep it clean and shiny.
Loss of hair
Silver Fox rabbits shed their fur regularly, but the major shedding occurs twice a year, in the spring and fall. During these big fur changes, your rabbit will lose more hair than usual.
Because silver fox rabbits have unexpectedly long hair, it is a good idea to brush them from time to time to rid them of knots, debris, and food. If your rabbit develops knots on its paws or rear end, there is likely an environmental or medical problem that needs to be addressed.
Like cats, silver fox rabbits clean themselves. So unless they are running around messy, are sick and have dirty hind legs, or are eating a messy meal, you should not need to bathe them. If bathing is necessary, be sure to use only lukewarm, not hot, water and dish soap.
Cost of care
Caring for a silver fox rabbit can cost more than expected. Because of the daily fresh vegetables, hay and pellets, expect to spend about $50-75 a month on food and another $10-20 on toys and bedding. You should also budget for routine and emergency visits to the vet if your rabbit needs medical care, or consider pet insurance.
Advantages and disadvantages of keeping a silver fox rabbit as a pet.
Rabbits require a lot more space and attention than many people think, but they also make very lovable pets. Silver fox rabbits are easy to handle and play with, but they need fresh vegetables to eat every day and their litter boxes need to be cleaned regularly.
Similar pets to silver fox rabbits
If you are interested in pet rabbits, you might also like these small mammals :
- Species profile guinea pig
- Species profile of Chinchilla
- Species profile of Degu
Alternatively, you can check out other rabbit species that could become your new pet.
Buy or adopt a silver fox rabbit
Silver fox rabbits are a rare breed. Therefore, don’t expect to find one at a pet store or shelter. Most likely, you will need to find a breeder at a rabbit show or online if you want to purchase a silver fox rabbit. Expect to pay between $50 and $100 depending on the color and quality of the rabbit.
If you decide to get more than one rabbit and they are oppositely sexed, you will want to have your female spayed to avoid unwanted litters. You may also choose to have two females. If you want to have two males, you will need to have them sterilized if you want to prevent them from fighting each other.