Rabbits are very active mammals and love to move around to keep from getting bored. They will love an open place to move around in, and a rabbit run is a perfect place for this to happen. The most important part of a run of course is the floor, and a comfortable floor will encourage them to run more and have the most fun.
Concrete is the best floor for a rabbit run because it is sturdy and will discourage escape. Grass can work well if used under proper supervision, but can also be hard to maintain. When choosing a floor, be sure to take your and your rabbit’s personal needs into consideration.
Rabbit runs are a great asset for your rabbit, but the flooring and what is placed in the run itself is what makes it a great tool. A rabbit run helps your bunny to get its 3-5 hours of exercise a day, but won’t be a permanent living space so the softness of the floor doesn’t matter much. Your rabbit will enjoy it more with these simple suggestions and tips.
TIP: Since you’re working on making the best possible run for your rabbit, you may want to know how to keep your rabbit’s inside cage clean. Here is my article with 5 tips that work. I wish someone would have told me about these easy solutions years ago!
Concrete and Its Perks
Concrete is an excellent choice when creating a rabbit run and can offer many different advantages to help your rabbit feel comfortable. Your rabbit won’t spend every minute of every day in its run, but will enjoy spending time there and should therefore be safe and healthy for them to use.
One of the greatest perks of concrete is that it won’t be something that rabbits can dig into. Digging is a natural instinct for a rabbit, but as an owner, you don’t want your rabbit to get free from its run.
Removing the option to dig out of the rabbit run prevents dangers of the outside world and keeps them safe from predators.
With your rabbits spending time in their run, it is natural for there to be excrement and other messes that are created. One might be able to combat this by training your rabbit to use a litter box, thus containing the mess. Concrete, in general, is much easier to keep clean than grass.
Concrete flooring is solid and doesn’t easily break down. This means that your rabbit run will keep the integrity of its floor for much longer. You may never have to move the run. The concrete will be stable and therefore be a good floor for your run.
Concrete and Its Cons
Despite all that concrete has to offer, some things can be difficult when it comes to having a concrete floor for your rabbit run. Concrete has its perks, but it can also become problematic when used around animals.
Concrete is not meant to be soft or malleable. This means that if a rabbit spends too much time running around on it, its feet can be sensitive and possibly be damaged from the concrete.
Rabbits have thick fur on the bottoms of their feet, but they don’t have pads like dogs or cats. So if this fur is rubbed off then their feet could collect sores and damage.
Also, concrete has the unique disadvantage of becoming very hot under the summer sun. This could prove very dangerous for a rabbit as they are very sensitive when it comes to temperature. Rabbits can easily become too hot and a hot floor in the summer heat could be dangerous for them.
On the flip side, concrete can be cold in the winter and depending on how cold your area gets can prove dangerous for your rabbit as well. However, rabbits are better equipped for cold than for heat.
Grass and What It Has to Offer
Though concrete can be very good in keeping your rabbit safe and healthy, another option is to have a grass floor for your rabbit. Grass can be very nice for your rabbit and has a definite plus side if you choose to use it.
To start, the grass is a lot gentler on your bun’s feet. They will appreciate the extra soft soil and will be more inclined to run around and exercise in their run. It will be less likely that your rabbit’s feet will gather sores and they will have a more enjoyable time.
Your rabbit will also have the comfort of a cooler floor. Grass keeps a natural coolness even in the heat of the sun. This will be nicer for your rabbit’s overall body temperature and help them be comfortable to lounge around a little bit.
Another great thing about grass is it is a natural food source for your rabbits. They will want to chew on something and grass is an excellent source of fiber for them. They will enjoy the run because they will be able to eat while they exercise.
The Cons of Grass
Despite the good things that grass has to offer, the bad things might just outweigh them. There are a lot of risks that come from using grass as a floor. Although, there are always risks associated with taking care of an animal.
One of the biggest problems with using grass is that it can be dug into. Rabbits are natural diggers. In the wild, they dig burrows and warrens that are sometimes 4 feet deep.
So your rabbit will want to dig, and once they discover that there isn’t anything keeping them in their run, they will dig out and escape. This will put them in danger of things that wouldn’t bother them otherwise.
Also, if your bunny can dig out, then a predator can easily dig into the run itself. This can be very dangerous for your rabbit, as it will cause stress and even untimely death.
Another thing that makes grass difficult is that it won’t hold up after the time that your rabbits spend it there. Their constant running around and chewing will cause the grass to break down and may lead to just a dirt floor. This can become very unappealing for your rabbit.
Your rabbit will most likely be very apt to a clean living space, so keeping the run clean from excrement will be necessary. Grass can prove difficult to keep clean from poop, especially if it is fresh. This can make it difficult for your rabbit to enjoy itself in its run.
What to Put In a Rabbit Run
Rabbit runs can be very useful regardless of what floor you decide to use. Each has its own pros and cons and can be up to your discretion. Many other things can be placed in a rabbit run. The floor is not the only way to make your rabbit comfortable.
You want to make sure that there are plenty of places for your bunny to hide. These can be as simple as cardboard boxes with holes cut in the side, or a tunnel that can be placed inside.
Something that you should put in, especially if your use a concrete floor is a digging box. They can be easy to make and a good practice for your bunny to not tear its paws on digging things that aren’t meant to be.
By putting plenty of toys in the run your bunny will not be bored. When your bunny becomes bored then it might try to escape and that can be dangerous. Toys will keep it occupied and keeping extra toys that you can switch out may keep its attention in the long run.
Something that needs to be in your bun run is a nice shaded area. Part of the run can be in the sun, but a shaded area will provide a cooler area that your rabbit can go to when it is too hot.
Once again, if a concrete floor is used, it is a good idea to put in a couple of softer grounded areas. These could be some tight-knit rugs or even some sod that could be placed down to give your rabbit a break from the hard concrete floor.
You can also put some woodchip or bark coverings over the concrete floor itself. This will provide additional texturing to the floor and will make your bunny more comfortable to move around and get exercise.
It’s always a good idea to put food into any area that your bunny is occupying unless they are free-ranging. Food is a stimulus for chewing and provides nutrients for your rabbit. Also, keep plenty of fresh water in their run as they will be getting exercise and will become thirsty.
It is a good idea to make your rabbit run large to provide plenty of space for your bunny to move. The run should be at least 8 feet by 4 feet but the more space the better for your rabbit. How Many Rabbits Can You Have in One Cage? Great question! Hutches, cages, or pens? There are so many options for a rabbit. This is a great article to read which answers all your questions on both inside and outside confinements and how to choose which one is best for you and your rabbit.
What a Rabbit Run Has to Offer
Rabbit runs are an excellent way to keep your rabbit healthy as long as they have all of the necessary items. They can act as an excellent area in which your rabbit can really enjoy its time.
It can become an excellent exercise pen for your rabbit that will meet its needs to stay physically fit. It can also be a great venue for your rabbit to get out of its cage. It won’t want to stay in its cage all day. Finally, it just gives the rabbit room to stretch, to have more space to move, and to be happy.