Do Rabbits Like Exercise Wheels and Balls?

It is a common sight for wild rabbits to frolic and dash around as they look for a place to hide. With a dominant prey instinct, rabbits are always ready to scamper when danger knocks. This makes them some of the most energetic and vigorous animals on the planet.

It is of great essence that pet owners should allow them to practice their natural tendency in captivity. The best way to keep them on their toes is by investing in exercise balls.

Not only does regular exercise offer mental stimulation, but it also keeps them fit and healthy. Moreover, balls curtail unhealthy chewing habits as it gives rabbits a safe alternative to gnaw.

How Long Should a Pet Rabbit Play Every Day?

Inadequate play space prompts most bunny owners to keep them holed in their cages. In addition, if a pet owner has other burning issues to handle; playtime would be the last thing on the list. However, experts advise at least three to four hours of pure-play for pet bunnies each day.

The best approach is to split playtime into two shifts. You can do it in the early mornings and late afternoons as it mimics natural active hours for bunnies. Then make it more enjoyable by combining games, toys, and free roams.

If time allows, get involved in the playtime to cement a closer bond. Sometimes, do not limit the exercises to designated hours. Instead, let your pet bunnies’ binky to their maximum and release excess energy. Soon, you may notice some bad habits associated like escaping come to a halt.

Why is Exercise Wheel Not Safe for Rabbits?

Naturally, a rabbit’s spine is not as flexible as other smaller animals like hamsters and gerbils. Therefore, placing them in an exercise wheel potentially exposes them to grave injuries.

Also, rarely do rabbits put themselves in a situation likely to put them in danger. So, even if you place an exercise wheel in the cage, the stakes are high that they may avoid it altogether.

Still, there are curious bunnies who, out of inquisitiveness, would hop on the wheel. To evade unnecessary harm to your pets, forgo exercise wheels in general. However, if it’s really necessary, invest in a larger and stronger wheel.

Importance of Exercise for Rabbits

Regular exercise in rabbits bars detrimental effects such as excess weight and related conditions.  Similarly, exercise improves bunnies’ digestive system and prevents gastrointestinal stasis (GI).

This is a potentially fatal ailment where the digestive tract slows or fails. Without exercising the body, harmful bacteria pile up and release dangerous gas in the intestines.

Later, the issue escalates to agonizing, bloating and low appetite. If not handled on time, it can lead to dehydration, deficiency ailments, and slow, painful death.

Additionally, lack of exercise makes rabbits agitated and depressed. For new rabbits, do not push them to play sessions immediately you bring them home.

Instead, give them ample time to become accustomed to the surrounding. Below are important tricks you can use to keep your rabbit’s pet happy.

Out of Cage Time

Most bunnies would do anything to get some time out in the sun. You can quickly tell when your pets want to play by their behavior. For instance, some may tug on you or circle around your legs.

Once outside, bunnies love to discover and wander around. A mere visit to the garden may not satisfy your pet’s curiosity.

One compelling play idea is to provide tunnels and encourage them to run through. Most important, shun harmful games that stretch a rabbit’s delicate back.

Instead, entice them to exercise more by offering treats in boxes or folding them with paper napkins. Then watch out for poisonous plants in the vicinity or space in the fence where they can sneak out.

The best alternative is to create a playing pen of about eight by four by four ft. This is the surest approach to keep your bunny safe as they play.

– Chew and Foraging Toys

In their natural habitat, rabbits spent most of their time scavenging for food. Given that pet owners offer food in captivity, bunnies have ample time in their hands. To keep your pets occupied, hide toys in the grass or wrap them with old newspapers.

Sometimes, scatter them all over to make the search more enjoyable. Remember that rabbits have potent teeth that can poke holes in toys. Hence, avoid toys with small particles or beads as they can easily choke them.

Despite all, gnawing on objects helps to keep the rabbit’s teeth in optimal length. In reality, rabbit’s teeth grow for the rest of their lives. Therefore, regular nibble on soft twigs, apples, or willows keeps the teeth in check.

– Running

Healthy rabbits thrive through regular running and jumping. Straight away, a rabbit gets out of an enclosure they dash out. To maximize this, give them plenty of running space.

A fantastic approach is to offer your rabbits different running levels. For example, you can turn boxes or containers and encourage them to jump and run through them.

– Leash Walk

If they have to choose, rabbits would prefer free roams rather than organized walks. Nevertheless, you can leash them for definite reasons, like a visit to the vet.

It might take a bit of diligence and time to train your bunnies on how to use leashes. All in all, invest in an appropriate harness that does not put pressure on your pet.

– Playtime

Sociable and energetic creatures, pet rabbits perform much better with organized playtime sessions. Most definitely, they would appreciate an opportunity to intermingle with you in the process.

On that basis, make beautiful memories with your pet by creating amusing and engaging games. An impressive example of such games includes dangling toys using strings, chasing balls and bunny bowling.

Wrap Up

It does not have to cost you much to keep a pet bunny happy. The thumb rule is to stoop to the rabbit’s level. Gently, let them develop trust in you as you engage in your favorable playtime games.

Most genuinely, your little friend will reward the effort with affection and snuggles that you truly deserve.

avatar Jane
Jane is an experienced animal care specialist with a focus on rodents and small mammals, with over 10 years of experience in the pet industry. Her articles provide practical guidance on choosing the right pet and managing common health issues. Jane is an advocate for animal welfare and supports organizations dedicated to protecting wildlife. read more...

Questions and Answers

Gerald Brady August 24, 2021 Reply

I bought a couple of balls for our two rabbits to play with but they have been ignored. The rabbits have the entire back garden to play in and enjoy destroying the lawn and eating anything that they can get hold of (tree bark, flowers etc)

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