The idea of helping a rabbit to exercise may seem an odd one, but like all pets they need physical stimulation, especially if they spend most of their time in their hutch and might be prone to overeating.
So our vet Paul suggests some ways in which you can encourage your pet to move around a bit more, in line with what is always one of the dominant themes of the New Year – keeping fit. If you’ve any questions or concerns you can always contact Rockingham Road Vets' team for advice or to make an appointment.
Jumping, running, burrowing – all these are activities that rabbits naturally undertake in the wild, so it stands to reason that they should enjoy similar activities in their domestic surroundings.
If you’re able to prepare an outside area you can create a run for your rabbit in which they can do what comes naturally. And offer them some extra encouragement to explore by adding in some makeshift tunnels or some cardboard boxes stuffed with hay in which they can forage. These also make great hiding places as rabbits do sometimes get scared and need to find a safe space.
If you don’t have an area where they can dig – or don’t want holes all over your garden – a litter tray or similar filled with earth or sand makes a handy substitute.
There are plenty of rabbit-friendly toys available and if you mix these up they will provide a point of difference and encourage your bunny to remain interested in its surroundings. For extra encouragement you could try hiding some of their favourite treats around the play area.
Remember that exercise is important to help keep your pet in shape and avoid the nasties that can accompany being overweight, including arthritis and heart problems. It also keeps your pet mentally alert, staving off boredom that can lead to bad habits such as overgrooming. If you are concerned about your pet’s weight and would like some advice, the team at Rockingham Road Veterinary Surgery are always happy to chat when you call on 01536 407778.