As 2016 has now in full swing and people all over the country are turning to their resolutions, which often include the gym or other ambitious plans to get fit and trim down, it is also a good idea to turn your attentions to your pets as well, and cast a critical eye over their waistline, food intake and general activity levels, with a view to helping them to stay fit, trim and in shape.
This can be especially important for the owners of pet rabbits, as unlike pets like cats that take care of their own fitness requirements and dogs that need to be walked, rabbits are usually left to their own devices, and people rarely give much thought to how fit they are, and if their weight is ideal or not.
It is a good idea to weigh your rabbit every six months or so once they are fully grown, and compare the tally on your scale to the ideal for your rabbit’s breed and build! If you are not sure what constitutes a good weight for your pet, ask your vet to book you in for a quick review, or find out if your local practice runs nurse clinics for weight and other issues, which are often free to attend and can be very informative.
If your rabbit is overweight and/or very sedentary, it is important to try to get them moving and try to boost their fitness levels and trim their waistline as soon as you spot the problem, as this is much easier than trying to tackle obesity and the related problems that it can cause for pets later on.
In this article, we will share some tips on how you can help your rabbit to get fit and more active, in order to keep them in good shape and active into old age. Read on to learn more.
One of the best ways to get your rabbit moving and exercising is simply by playing and interacting with them, which also provides a valuable bonding experience for both of you! Get down to your rabbit’s level and introduce them to some new, fun toys and games, and encourage them to get excited about it all and run about!
While not all rabbits are amenable to learning tricks and commands, many are, and teaching your rabbit to do tricks and get working can be very rewarding, and also, boost your pet’s activity levels. You can even set up some low obstacles on the floor and try to encourage your rabbit to jump over them!
Rabbits in the wild live in burrows, which they dig out for themselves and which naturally helps to keep them active and trim! However, domestic rabbits do not have this same opportunity, but they still have the drive to dig, as you may have noticed if your rabbit becomes obsessed with trying to dig up a certain area of the carpet in your home!
You can enable your pet to have a safe outlet for this natural urge to dig and at the same time, help to keep them fit by providing a simulated digging box for them, in the form of a children’s paddling pool filled with shredded paper and toys! Make sure that the paper you choose is safe for your pet, and will not cover them in ink!
You might assume that providing a large outside run or pen for your pet is enough to fulfil their exercise requirements and give them something to do and a place to stretch their legs, but if their run is simply not rewarding, they will soon get bored!
Make your rabbit’s run interesting by moving it around the garden regularly so that your rabbit can see new places, and if possible, adjust the layout of the run now and then as well to make it fresh and fun! Placing toys and obstacles in the run and changing these around regularly will also help to ensure that every day when your pet goes out, they face a new adventure, and so, they will be keen to see what is waiting for them and want to run outside and explore!
There are few things more frustrating for the rabbit owner than providing a very large run for their pets only to see their rabbit flumped out in the same spot in the corner of it every day and not really moving around! However. This can happen on occasions as some rabbits simply get so used to having a large space to spend time in that they no longer find it interesting or challenging, and instead, begin to take it for granted.
Confining your rabbit to a smaller space or a hutch for an hour or so and then letting them back out into their large run, with some toys and obstacles in it if possible, can be a good way to get your pet to see their run with new eyes, and be more excited about it when they get let back out into it!