You know how a good workout makes you feel better physically and mentally? Exercise is just as beneficial for our rabbits. Wild rabbits can run around three miles each day. Your house bun doesn’t need to train for a marathon, but she does need some room to zoom. Several hours of daily free-range time is important for her to stay healthy and happy.
You don’t need to invest in a bunny treadmill to get her more active. Play is the best way to encourage her natural curiosity, keep her entertained, and get her moving. A bored rabbit can become destructive, chewing on furniture, wires, or carpet. Enriching her environment with safe ways to burn some energy is beneficial for her wellbeing as well as yours.
Set Up an Obstacle Course
Introducing new tunnels, castles, ramps, and digging boxes gives your rabbit an opportunity to exercise while investigating the upgrades. Add to the excitement with some balls to push around or toilet paper rolls stuffed with hay. A simple paper bag can be a cool new place to hide or an exciting shredding activity. If your rabbit likes a challenge, you can use twine or sisal rope to string them up to head-height from a table or chair. When they start to get chewed and tattered, squeeze a little more life out of them by cutting into rings for tossing around.
Tag, You’re It!
Rabbits are designed to run in short bursts, useful for escaping predators in the wild. Therefore, chasing your rabbit won’t be fun for either of you. Switching roles, however, can be fun. You can start by putting a toy or tempting treat on a string to engage her in the chase. Rabbits tire quickly; don’t worry if your play sessions only last a few minutes before she moves on to a new activity.
Go on an Adventure
The backyard may not seem like an exciting choice to you, but it’s a whole new world for your rabbit to explore. When the weather is nice, many rabbits enjoy a supervised romp in the fresh air. A pesticide-free lawn also makes for a healthy snack (great for the teeth). Be sure to supervise your rabbit at all times. Outdoor runs should be secure enough to keep out predators. Fluctuating temperatures can make rabbits ill and direct sunlight can overheat a rabbit even on an otherwise mild day. Many rabbits will be intrigued, but don’t force it if the unfamiliar smells and sounds aren’t her cup of tea.
Ready to get moving? Rabbits are crepuscular, meaning they are naturally more active around sunrise and sunset. These are great times to play with your rabbit and try some new exercise sessions, while still respecting her demanding nap and snack schedule.