So you have just made a new friend in the rabbit world, but are curious how to get them to exercise. What are the best ways to keep them physically healthy while contained as well? What will fulfill your rabbit’s exercise needs?
Rabbits do like exercise balls and wheels, which gives them the chance to exercise enough. Rabbits need anywhere from 3-4 hours of exercise per day and that can be difficult in a simple cage. So, providing them with an exercise ball or wheel can make their environment less boring.
Rabbit Behavior In Balls Or Wheels
Rabbits are very social and active animals that love to exercise and can become bored if confined too much. Being curious for a new experience to try, the rabbit will naturally explore a new toy such as an exercise wheel or ball.
The rabbit wheel provides the rabbit an opportunity to run while still in a cage or a confined area. The rabbit ball can give the rabbit opportunities to run with a toy that can bring a spark to the world that they know.
But a rabbit could take time to get used to the experience of using a wheel or playing with a ball. At first, they may not know how to use the ball or wheel in its intended way. Putting a treat higher on the wheel can give the rabbit reason to run on it. Also putting familiar objects with the ball can help the rabbit become comfortable with their new toy.
The rabbit will get used to the exercise wheel and ball eventually and begin to choose to stay active. This means they will naturally go and run on the wheel and will love to play with the ball, especially if you as the owner play with them. Rabbits will show their affection to their owners according to the attention they receive. So play with your rabbit in order for them to stay healthy.
Don’t forget to always return affection to your rabbit to help increase this drive and build your bond tighter. To find out how you, as an owner, can actually show your rabbit affection that they’ll understand, see my article all about showing your pet rabbit affection here.
Types Of Exercise Balls And Wheels
There are different forms of exercise balls and wheels. Each has a function that can provide the rabbit with a different stimulus in its activity. Remember the goal is to keep your bunny healthy and active in a safe way and these different suggestions can be up to the owner’s discretion.
Many exercise wheels can be hard to find in typical stores as most search results will bring up hamster wheels. This is due to the fact that rabbit exercise wheels can actually be harmful to your bunny despite your bunny enjoying it.
The wheel can actually work so that it alters the normal way your bunny moves, creating in the long run, damage to your rabbit’s muscles or bone structure.
But many people will still build their own rabbit wheels, creating a system that spins easily with a floor that will not hurt the rabbit’s feet. Many will use carpet or sturdy chicken wire mesh with stabilizing pieces of wood.
The exercise ball on the other hand is highly recommended and gives a great opportunity for your rabbit to exercise. The ball functions as something for your rabbit to play with and roll around.
Make sure to play with your rabbit and supervise it as it plays. A rabbit, like any animal that is in an unfamiliar environment, can put itself in dangerous situations. Your bunny will become comfortable with you and you will know your rabbit is safe as it gets its exercise.
One cool function that a rabbit exercise ball can have is what’s called a treat ball. This ball gives the rabbit incentive to play with the ball. The treat ball has compartments in which snacks can be placed in and as the rabbit moves the ball around those snacks will be released.
This gives the rabbit opportunity to work for its food instead of just going to its bowl where food is readily at hand. It will keep the rabbit from not being bored and will help the rabbit stay healthy.
Other Forms Of Exercise
A rabbit exercise ball and wheel are not the only ways in which a rabbit can exercise. It will seek opportunities to move around in larger areas and that can be healthy for it. So here are some other ideas that can keep your rabbit healthy and fit.
Take it out in the yard with you to move and play. The exercise ball is a great toy for this as it will give room for the rabbit to maneuver the ball in ways it couldn’t in its cage. The yard will provide lots of room to move and stretch its legs in the way they are supposed to be used.
But be cautious if your yard is open to other environments; rabbits can be very fast and can escape which could put your bunny in harm’s way. We don’t want your friend lost in the world of automation and technology.
CONSIDER A RABBIT RUN! A rabbit run in your backyard is a great way to give your rabbit some outdoor time and fresh air while keeping your rabbit safe in a contained environment. Should you have a concrete or grass-based rabbit run? Find out in my article Concrete vs. Grass: What Is Best for a Rabbit Run here!
If you want a more confined area to play with your rabbit, bring it into a room in your home. Make sure to remove any dangerous objects which can cause harm to your pet, including plastic wrappers, sharp-edged books, or small objects which could be choked on. But let your rabbit explore the room and stretch its leg.
This will give your rabbit a level of comfort with you as it learns where you live and who you are to it. It will become comfortable with being held and pet as you spend time and play with it.
Also, you could get your rabbit another friend which will give them more opportunity to play with another rabbit and have good exercise through those means. It might be more work for you in keeping up the living of the animals, but it would bring joy to the rabbits as they play and exercise together.
Many rabbits will pick up on many different games that you create for them, and this will keep them from being bored. If they become bored they can oftentimes put themselves in unhealthy situations unintentionally. This can be from gnawing on the cage which will damage teeth, or even chewing on an object which can choke them.
Other Helpful Articles
- How to Keep Rabbits’ Cage Clean: 5 Tips That Work – If you’re considering doing some custom work on your rabbit’s living area and decking it out with a cool custom exercise wheel or other custom feature, make sure you know these 5 tips. They’ll really help you keep your rabbit’s cool custom cage clean and ready for play time!