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How Long Do Rabbits Live?

by Sam Mazzotta

Dear Paw’s Corner: I have a pet rabbit, Brownie, who is nearly 10 years old! He’s a Holland Lop, I think. He doesn’t do much at this age but sort of half-heartedly flop around his cage and the porch, then he settles onto the raised shelf in his cage and nibbles on carrots. He seems healthy, just slow. How much longer does he have left? Do you think he’s lonely?
—Vicky R., Macon, Georgia

Dear Vicky: First of all, wow! Ten years is quite a lifespan for a Holland Lop. It’s a testament to how well you care for him.
While the average lifespan of this rabbit breed is six to eight years, I have heard of H-Lops reaching 10, 12, or even 16 years of age! Care and comfort are really important for rabbits at any age. They need a secure hutch, stable temperatures in summer and winter, fresh water always available, and good nutrition. They also need things to gnaw on so their front teeth don’t grow too long, as well as plenty of fresh vegetables.

Introducing a new rabbit to the mix can be risky. They might not take to each other, and fighting with another rabbit can cause stress, which can be deadly.

It sounds like Brownie is doing really well for his age. I recommend checking in with his vet if you notice any changes in his behavior or ability to get around. It sounds like you’re a little concerned that he isn’t moving around as much. Contacting the vet within 48 hours is a good rule for any changes in behavior, diet, or activity for rabbits and other small pets.

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