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Exercise and Mental Stimulation for Rabbits

Exercise and Mental Stimulation for Rabbits
Rabbits
,
General Care
Share this article
Exercise and Mental Stimulation for Rabbits
Exercise and Mental Stimulation for Rabbits
Rabbits
,
General Care
Exercise and Mental Stimulation for Rabbits
Share this article
Exercise and Mental Stimulation for Rabbits
Exercise and enrichment (ensuring plenty to do to ward off boredom) are vital for the mental stimulation, health, and well-being of rabbits.

Why do rabbits need exercise?

Exercise is vital for rabbits to keep fit, healthy, and happy. It encourages a healthy body, strengthens muscles and bones, helps with managing weight, reduces the risk of disease, and keeps their minds active.

In the wild, rabbits spend 80% of their days foraging and exploring large areas. Our domesticated rabbits need lots of exercise to keep them fit and healthy too. Being able to carry out their natural behaviours of running, jumping, hopping, digging, hiding, foraging, and socialising ensures they stay healthy and happy.

Exercising has many health benefits for our rabbits as well as preventing boredom. An active rabbit with an appropriate diet maintains a healthy weight, which is critical in preventing obesity. Obesity can cause many medical problems such as:

  • Joint disease and joint pain such as arthritis.
  • Catastrophic limb fractures due to excessive strain on the joints.
  • Heart and lung disease.
  • Failure to eat their caecotrophs (re-ingest caecal pellets to gain maximum nutrition from their diet) as they can’t reach them due to their weight and inability to flex.
  • Flystrike, a potentially fatal condition caused by flies laying eggs in caked-on faeces present as the rabbit is unable to groom themselves.
  • Pododermatitis (infection of the feet)
  • Hepatic lipidosis (Fatty liver disease) is a condition of the liver where fat accumulates in the liver preventing proper function. This leads to the build-up of waste products and toxins in the gut which is often fatal.
  • Gut stasis, a condition of the stomach/intestines where they are unable to function properly, leading to impactions which are often life-threatening.

How much exercise do rabbits need?

It is recommended that your rabbit have around 3 hours of exercise a day, but the more the better! Make sure the exercise space is safe, secure, and rabbit-proof by moving potential dangers such as electrical wires, house plants, chemicals, or chewable materials out of reach. Ensure that the exercise space is away from other pets and children that could cause your rabbit harm.

Exercise and enrichment

Rabbits are intelligent, active, social, and inquisitive. Giving them the freedom to display their natural behaviours is important for good health in rabbits because they will suffer if they get bored. To improve your rabbit’s quality of life and enrich their daily experience consider the following:

  • Running – Rabbits need space to stretch their legs and let off some steam.
  • Jumping – Rabbits, as prey animals, like to check out their surroundings. Provide different levels for them to stand, climb, and jump on such as boxes or upturned containers.
  • Hopping – Providing an interesting environment allows your rabbit to hop, explore, and interact to keep them entertained and engaged.
  • Digging – Wild rabbits live in burrows, so naturally rabbits like to dig. Providing our pet rabbits somewhere to dig such as a digging pit, a large litter tray or a planter filled with earth will allow them to gleefully enjoy this natural behaviour.
  • Hiding – Tunnels and hiding places or a wooden or cardboard box allow your rabbit to hide which, as a prey animal, is another vital natural behaviour. In the wild, hiding would keep them safe from predators. In captivity, it makes them feel safe and secure so they can rest. Hiding places should have both an entrance and exit so they feel safe to enter without feeling trapped.
  • Foraging - Rabbits naturally wouldn’t find their food centrally in one area such as a bowl. So to mimic nature, scatter pellets, fruit or veggies around their enclosure, in their tunnels, or under some hay. This will encourage their natural urge to go foraging.
  • Treat balls not only provide a fun way to feed your rabbit but also encourage movement to keep the body healthy.
  • Cardboard tubes, tunnels, paper bags, and cardboard boxes stuffed with fresh hay, fresh herbs and veggies encourage foraging and exercise.
  • Fruit tree branches such as willow, hazel, apple, and blackthorn are great alternatives for your rabbit to nibble and gnaw on and are a healthy treat as well as keeping those teeth from becoming overgrown. Rabbit teeth are always growing so this little trick can be super helpful to keep them at a good length.
  • Pick some fresh grass and weeds to hide around their enclosure to give them a treat that’s slightly different and interesting.
  • Toys, both for feeding and just playing can keep your rabbits stimulated and happy.

Encouraging your rabbit to interact with their environment, providing toys for them to play with, and taking time to play with them yourself, will support their health and well-being and give you a happy, healthy rabbit.

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Exercise and enrichment (ensuring plenty to do to ward off boredom) are vital for the mental stimulation, health, and well-being of rabbits.

Why do rabbits need exercise?

Exercise is vital for rabbits to keep fit, healthy, and happy. It encourages a healthy body, strengthens muscles and bones, helps with managing weight, reduces the risk of disease, and keeps their minds active.

In the wild, rabbits spend 80% of their days foraging and exploring large areas. Our domesticated rabbits need lots of exercise to keep them fit and healthy too. Being able to carry out their natural behaviours of running, jumping, hopping, digging, hiding, foraging, and socialising ensures they stay healthy and happy.

Exercising has many health benefits for our rabbits as well as preventing boredom. An active rabbit with an appropriate diet maintains a healthy weight, which is critical in preventing obesity. Obesity can cause many medical problems such as:

  • Joint disease and joint pain such as arthritis.
  • Catastrophic limb fractures due to excessive strain on the joints.
  • Heart and lung disease.
  • Failure to eat their caecotrophs (re-ingest caecal pellets to gain maximum nutrition from their diet) as they can’t reach them due to their weight and inability to flex.
  • Flystrike, a potentially fatal condition caused by flies laying eggs in caked-on faeces present as the rabbit is unable to groom themselves.
  • Pododermatitis (infection of the feet)
  • Hepatic lipidosis (Fatty liver disease) is a condition of the liver where fat accumulates in the liver preventing proper function. This leads to the build-up of waste products and toxins in the gut which is often fatal.
  • Gut stasis, a condition of the stomach/intestines where they are unable to function properly, leading to impactions which are often life-threatening.

How much exercise do rabbits need?

It is recommended that your rabbit have around 3 hours of exercise a day, but the more the better! Make sure the exercise space is safe, secure, and rabbit-proof by moving potential dangers such as electrical wires, house plants, chemicals, or chewable materials out of reach. Ensure that the exercise space is away from other pets and children that could cause your rabbit harm.

Exercise and enrichment

Rabbits are intelligent, active, social, and inquisitive. Giving them the freedom to display their natural behaviours is important for good health in rabbits because they will suffer if they get bored. To improve your rabbit’s quality of life and enrich their daily experience consider the following:

  • Running – Rabbits need space to stretch their legs and let off some steam.
  • Jumping – Rabbits, as prey animals, like to check out their surroundings. Provide different levels for them to stand, climb, and jump on such as boxes or upturned containers.
  • Hopping – Providing an interesting environment allows your rabbit to hop, explore, and interact to keep them entertained and engaged.
  • Digging – Wild rabbits live in burrows, so naturally rabbits like to dig. Providing our pet rabbits somewhere to dig such as a digging pit, a large litter tray or a planter filled with earth will allow them to gleefully enjoy this natural behaviour.
  • Hiding – Tunnels and hiding places or a wooden or cardboard box allow your rabbit to hide which, as a prey animal, is another vital natural behaviour. In the wild, hiding would keep them safe from predators. In captivity, it makes them feel safe and secure so they can rest. Hiding places should have both an entrance and exit so they feel safe to enter without feeling trapped.
  • Foraging - Rabbits naturally wouldn’t find their food centrally in one area such as a bowl. So to mimic nature, scatter pellets, fruit or veggies around their enclosure, in their tunnels, or under some hay. This will encourage their natural urge to go foraging.
  • Treat balls not only provide a fun way to feed your rabbit but also encourage movement to keep the body healthy.
  • Cardboard tubes, tunnels, paper bags, and cardboard boxes stuffed with fresh hay, fresh herbs and veggies encourage foraging and exercise.
  • Fruit tree branches such as willow, hazel, apple, and blackthorn are great alternatives for your rabbit to nibble and gnaw on and are a healthy treat as well as keeping those teeth from becoming overgrown. Rabbit teeth are always growing so this little trick can be super helpful to keep them at a good length.
  • Pick some fresh grass and weeds to hide around their enclosure to give them a treat that’s slightly different and interesting.
  • Toys, both for feeding and just playing can keep your rabbits stimulated and happy.

Encouraging your rabbit to interact with their environment, providing toys for them to play with, and taking time to play with them yourself, will support their health and well-being and give you a happy, healthy rabbit.

Keep Reading
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Receive a digest of the latest events and offers for you and your pet every month.
Exercise and enrichment (ensuring plenty to do to ward off boredom) are vital for the mental stimulation, health, and well-being of rabbits.

Why do rabbits need exercise?

Exercise is vital for rabbits to keep fit, healthy, and happy. It encourages a healthy body, strengthens muscles and bones, helps with managing weight, reduces the risk of disease, and keeps their minds active.

In the wild, rabbits spend 80% of their days foraging and exploring large areas. Our domesticated rabbits need lots of exercise to keep them fit and healthy too. Being able to carry out their natural behaviours of running, jumping, hopping, digging, hiding, foraging, and socialising ensures they stay healthy and happy.

Exercising has many health benefits for our rabbits as well as preventing boredom. An active rabbit with an appropriate diet maintains a healthy weight, which is critical in preventing obesity. Obesity can cause many medical problems such as:

  • Joint disease and joint pain such as arthritis.
  • Catastrophic limb fractures due to excessive strain on the joints.
  • Heart and lung disease.
  • Failure to eat their caecotrophs (re-ingest caecal pellets to gain maximum nutrition from their diet) as they can’t reach them due to their weight and inability to flex.
  • Flystrike, a potentially fatal condition caused by flies laying eggs in caked-on faeces present as the rabbit is unable to groom themselves.
  • Pododermatitis (infection of the feet)
  • Hepatic lipidosis (Fatty liver disease) is a condition of the liver where fat accumulates in the liver preventing proper function. This leads to the build-up of waste products and toxins in the gut which is often fatal.
  • Gut stasis, a condition of the stomach/intestines where they are unable to function properly, leading to impactions which are often life-threatening.

How much exercise do rabbits need?

It is recommended that your rabbit have around 3 hours of exercise a day, but the more the better! Make sure the exercise space is safe, secure, and rabbit-proof by moving potential dangers such as electrical wires, house plants, chemicals, or chewable materials out of reach. Ensure that the exercise space is away from other pets and children that could cause your rabbit harm.

Exercise and enrichment

Rabbits are intelligent, active, social, and inquisitive. Giving them the freedom to display their natural behaviours is important for good health in rabbits because they will suffer if they get bored. To improve your rabbit’s quality of life and enrich their daily experience consider the following:

  • Running – Rabbits need space to stretch their legs and let off some steam.
  • Jumping – Rabbits, as prey animals, like to check out their surroundings. Provide different levels for them to stand, climb, and jump on such as boxes or upturned containers.
  • Hopping – Providing an interesting environment allows your rabbit to hop, explore, and interact to keep them entertained and engaged.
  • Digging – Wild rabbits live in burrows, so naturally rabbits like to dig. Providing our pet rabbits somewhere to dig such as a digging pit, a large litter tray or a planter filled with earth will allow them to gleefully enjoy this natural behaviour.
  • Hiding – Tunnels and hiding places or a wooden or cardboard box allow your rabbit to hide which, as a prey animal, is another vital natural behaviour. In the wild, hiding would keep them safe from predators. In captivity, it makes them feel safe and secure so they can rest. Hiding places should have both an entrance and exit so they feel safe to enter without feeling trapped.
  • Foraging - Rabbits naturally wouldn’t find their food centrally in one area such as a bowl. So to mimic nature, scatter pellets, fruit or veggies around their enclosure, in their tunnels, or under some hay. This will encourage their natural urge to go foraging.
  • Treat balls not only provide a fun way to feed your rabbit but also encourage movement to keep the body healthy.
  • Cardboard tubes, tunnels, paper bags, and cardboard boxes stuffed with fresh hay, fresh herbs and veggies encourage foraging and exercise.
  • Fruit tree branches such as willow, hazel, apple, and blackthorn are great alternatives for your rabbit to nibble and gnaw on and are a healthy treat as well as keeping those teeth from becoming overgrown. Rabbit teeth are always growing so this little trick can be super helpful to keep them at a good length.
  • Pick some fresh grass and weeds to hide around their enclosure to give them a treat that’s slightly different and interesting.
  • Toys, both for feeding and just playing can keep your rabbits stimulated and happy.

Encouraging your rabbit to interact with their environment, providing toys for them to play with, and taking time to play with them yourself, will support their health and well-being and give you a happy, healthy rabbit.

Keep Reading
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