There are several reasons why rabbits are such popular pets all over the world.
They are sociable, highly curious and have a longer life than pets like dogs and cats. Additionally, rabbits are quick learners and have different personalities, making them very adorable.
Taking care of rabbits can be challenging since they are delicate creatures, and a lack of proper care can adversely affect their health. That is why, besides adequate nutrition and a safe environment, you must also provide your bunny with proper exercise.
This can be tricky since many people do not know how to handle a rabbit or the best ways to provide it with exercise. That’s why we’ve decided to share with you some of the methods which can make this process easy.
So, let’s get started!
Holding Your Rabbit Properly
Being social creatures, rabbits require interaction for better mental health and higher happiness levels. And holding your bunny can be an effective way of meeting this need for interaction.
To hold your bunny, place one hand underneath its chest and use the other hand to support the rump and hind legs. Remember that you should always hold rabbits in a horizontal position rather than a vertical one since it makes them feel more secure. This will also reduce the chances of your rabbit kicking and causing injury.
Why Is Exercise Important For Rabbits?
Like other pets, rabbits require regular exercise to maintain good health and reduce the chances of diseases. Rabbits that do not get enough exercise can become obese and depressed, leading to further problems, such as digestive complications, sores, and arthritis.
Moreover, it can lead to boredom and makes your bunny destructive and irritable.
To prevent that, spend at least one hour every day with it, and never leave it unsupervised, especially if other animals are nearby. This will reduce the chances of injury or burrowing out of the yard.
Investing in a rabbit leash and harness is one effective way to take out your rabbit for a walk while minimising the risk of any danger. These are available in various sizes, so you can easily select the most suitable one.
How many exercises Do Rabbits Require?
Rabbits require as much exercise as possible for you to provide them with. However, they are not meant to exercise for long periods at a stretch and require frequent rest periods. So, following their natural behavioural patterns is the best way to exercise them.
Your bunny should spend at least three to four hours a day outside its enclosure.
How To Exercise Your Bunny
Here are some of the most effective ways to help you exercise your bunny easily.
1. Providing Adequate Time And Space
The first and most important step is to ensure that your rabbit has enough space and time to exercise. This space should be at least 24 square feet and more for a larger rabbit. If you’re providing this space inside, make sure to rabbit-proof the rooms to ensure safety.
Alternatively, you can set up a rabbit exercise pen, but this will limit the amount of space and interaction.
2. Providing Toys
Rabbits love playing with toys, and these can be used to encourage them to be more active. You can provide them with different toys, which may be made from branches and twigs, hay, pinecones and other edible materials that rabbits like to chew on.
However, make sure that you only go for those toys that are of high quality and not made of toxic materials. This is very important since your bunny will chew on them, and toys made from harmful materials can harm its health.
3. Regular Walks
Use a rabbit harness and leash, and take your bunny for a walk around the block if you live in a calm and quiet neighbourhood. Allow it to take in the new sights and scents. However, practice this in your home before doing this and ensure it cannot wiggle out of the harness.
If going outside the house is impossible, you can take your rabbit for a walk around the lawn.
4. Bunny Platforms
Rabbits like hopping up and down from various platforms, which allows them to view any space from different levels. So, you can provide such options as furniture, encouraging them to exercise by hopping up and down. You can even make obstacle courses by using furniture pieces.
5. Training Your Bunny
Rabbits are among those pets that can be trained properly with adequate time and effort. Training your bunny can be an excellent way of bonding with it and ensuring enough exercise. Select tricks that will keep your rabbit more active and provide delicious treats at the end for encouragement.
6. Creating A Large Enclosure
For a rabbit to move around, it is important to provide a large enough space to meet its exercise needs. And a closed enclosure is the best way to do that while ensuring maximum safety and can even be used when you are not available to watch over it.
Such an enclosure should be at least three to four times the length of your rabbit, and on average, the size should be at least four ft by three ft. Also, ensure you have comfortable and safe bedding materials.
7. Allowing Free Movement
If you can rabbit-proof your home, you can allow your bunny to run freely about the house. This means it will be free to roam around the house at all times of the day, which is the best way to provide exercise. Cover up all the wires and remove any dangerous houseplants to rabbit-proof the house.
8. Regular Interaction
As mentioned before, rabbits are very social creatures and love interacting with people. They can get easily depressed if they do not get enough attention. To interact with your bunny, get on a level with it, making you less threatening.
9. Foraging Activities
Providing your bunny with ways to forage for food and treats can make them more active. This method will ensure that it gets some exercise while eating instead of sitting in one place. Additionally, it allows your rabbit to use its natural foraging behaviour, giving it mental satisfaction.
You can hide some treats in a foraging box and some puzzle toys that can force it to move about to find the treats.
10. Create A Digging Box
Digging boxes are another great way of exercising your bunny, which helps it productively use its natural digging behaviour. Use a large cardboard box to create a digging box and place it in the corner where your rabbit likes to dig. This method can also be used by placing flattened cardboard boxes on the ground, but make sure to replace them once in a while.
11. Rearranging The Room
Rabbits quickly get bored with the same landscape and will not move much if that is the case. You can rearrange the furniture in the room to regenerate your bunny’s interest, even by moving a single piece of furniture to a new spot. Also, adding a new piece of furniture can have the same effect.
12. Alternating The Toys
Having the same toys all the time makes your bunny get bored of them quickly. So, try alternating them occasionally, which can keep your rabbit interested in them. Also, changing the location of toys can be useful in renewing your rabbit’s interest in them.
13. Providing Hiding Tunnels And Other Hiding Places
Rabbits like places to hide in, such as tunnels or tiny houses. These can be placed inside the enclosure or in the exercising area, ranging from a small wooden hutch to a cardboard box. Such places help rabbits feel safe and comfortable as they mimic their natural burrows in the wild.
Keep Your Bunny Active and Healthy
With these methods, you can quickly provide your bunny with enough exercise to ensure that it stays healthy and happy. While all these methods may not be suitable for every situation, you can easily modify them as required without much effort to meet your bunny’s specific needs.
Also, ensure the highest safety precautions while using these methods to prevent accidents while your bunny is exercising. This involves selecting the right size of enclosures, getting good quality safe toys and using proper rabbit proofing techniques for the best results.
Doing so will ensure that your bunny remains active and can live a comfortable life.
We hope you find this article helpful. If you need help finding the best rabbit supplies, check out PlanetPet’s list.
Until then, have fun, and we’ll see you next time!