If you’re reading this, you are most probably a new rabbit parent! Now, you must be thinking about how you can make your new little friend exercise and stay healthy. You are probably having questions such as “How can I keep my rabbit fit in a contained environment?” or “How much exercise must my rabbit fit in?”
Rabbits really enjoy playing with exercise balls and wheels. They require about 3-4 hours of physical activity every day which can be quite a task to accomplish in a constricted space such as their cage. So, jazzing up their space with an exercise ball or wheel will make playtime more interesting for them!
Rabbits with Exercise Balls or Wheels
It is important not to confine your rabbit to a single place excessively. Being outgoing and cheerful creatures, they love to run around and play. They would be up to try new things such as exercise balls and wheels any day! It is a great idea to have a rabbit wheel in the cage as your rabbit can run the same distance while still being in its cage. And the exercise ball can make for a fun new addition to their toys, which is always exciting to them.
However, your rabbit make takes some time to get accustomed to these new maneuvers. They will need a little bit of time initially to figure out how to use it. You can also create a challenge out of it by placing a small treat at the top of the wheel. This will give your rabbit an incentive to run for it! You can keep its old toys around its cage as well, so it still feels familiar with its surroundings.
Once your rabbit starts getting used to the exercise wheel and ball, it will enjoy getting in shape. Rabbits return all the love and affection that they receive. So, getting yourself involved in their playtime will make using its news toys a lot more enjoyable!
Different Kinds of Exercise Balls and Wheels
There are many different kinds of exercise balls and wheels for you to choose from. Each kind specializes in offering a different activity on the various stimuli. Selecting the appropriate exercise ball and wheel is also very subjective to your rabbit. It would help if you kept in mind what your rabbit can and cannot handle.
Unfortunately, you will probably have better luck coming across hamster wheels than the ones for rabbits! It is not common to find rabbit wheels because they can sometimes be harmful to your bunny.
While wheels can be super fun for your rabbit, they can also have altering effects on your bunny. This could result in long-term harm to your rabbit’s bone structure and muscles. Many owners take up building rabbit wheels on their own. This is a good idea as you can customize it according to your rabbit and its requirements. You can use materials such as chicken wire mesh, carpet, and pieces of wood for stability while building a rabbit wheel.
While rabbit wheels can have certain limitations, exercise balls are an excellent idea! Your bunny can enjoy all the exercise it needs, playing and rolling with the ball. You also must make sure that your rabbit is supervised while playing with these toys. Your rabbit may feel unfamiliar with the addition of its new toys. In these situations, rabbits may sometimes tend to freak out and put themselves in harmful scenarios. Being around your bunny while it plays will not only ensure its safety but also make it feel more comfortable with its surroundings.
Have you heard of something called a ‘treat ball’? Treats balls give your rabbit an incentive while playing with the ball. This ball has compartments where you can place treats. As your rabbit moves with the ball, it will get the treats from these compartments. This way, you are making it more challenging for your rabbit by making it work for its treats! It is a great idea to make things interesting instead of always using the boring old food bowl.
More Types of Exercise
Rabbits have more exercise options than the exercise ball and a wheel. They love running around in large spaces, which also is a healthy practice for them.
There are some other ways your rabbit can exercise to keep fit. Let your bunny play out in the backyard. It can also use the exercise ball outside as it will have more space to exercise. Unlike in the cage, your bunny will be able to stretch its legs and run around in the yard. Rabbits are fast animals and are quick to escape, often putting themselves in dangerous situations—one thing you need to ensure that the space you let your rabbits into is enclosed.
If you wish to play with your rabbit in a more indoor, confined space, you can take it to a room in your house. Before you allow your rabbit into a room, make sure you take out hazardous objects. These can include tiny objects, books with sharp edges, and plastic wrappers/covers. Once you create a rabbit-safe environment out of the room, make sure to let your bunny stretch its body out and play. This will also allow it to get familiar with your home. It will start to feel comfortable with being your pet once it’s customed to its surroundings.
Another idea is to get your rabbit a companion. Bringing a friend for your rabbit to play with is also a great way to get in enough exercise. But this option is only for you to consider if you are up for the task of looking after two rabbits. If you think you can do a good job, getting another rabbit for yours will give it a companion to spend time with.
You can also lookup or create fun new games for your rabbit. The best part is rabbits are quick learners, so you won’t have a tough time creating teaching them these games.
Keep an eye out for signs of boredom. Rabbits can often accidentally find them in harmful situations. For instance, they will start nibbling on the cage that will hurt their teeth or even start chewing on potentially hazardous material.