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TYPES OF PLAY AND EXERCISE FOR RABBITS

Add a healthy dose of fun to your bunny's day.

Just like you, your floppy-eared friend can benefit from an exercise routine. Regular play improves muscle tone, joint flexibility, digestion and cardiovascular fitness. An active lifestyle helps prevent obesity, which can lead to numerous health problems in pets.

Rabbits also need "mental calisthenics" to stay alert and occupied. Follow these tips to give your bunny a good mental and physical workout.

Room to Stretch

Your rabbit's cage is more than just a bedroom. It's also a dining room, a bathroom and a rumpus room. So give your pet plenty of space to hop around. Make sure the cage is at least four times the size of your rabbit and it's escape proof with a solid bottom. If your rabbit wants a roommate, upgrade the duo to an even larger, two-bedroom unit.

However, providing luxury accommodations isn't enough. Your bunny needs supervised floor time with an experienced personal trainer - you. Create a home gym using baby gates or freestanding collapsible pens and set out a large litter box, food, water and hay in case your little athlete needs a breather.

Few rabbits can resist the sweet temptation of exposed electrical cords, so be sure to remove these tantalizing treats as well as choking hazards and any chemicals or medications. Your rabbit's razor-sharp teeth can shred most plastics in minutes.

Chew on This

Rabbits' teeth grow continuously, and chewing helps wear them down. Offer safe toys she can really sink her teeth into.

Wood serves as a great chew toy for your rabbit. Most rabbits love to nosh on small tree branches, but wood sap from certain specimens can harm your bunny. Give your pet only specially prepared wood blocks for rabbits.

Other favorites include toilet paper rolls, cardboard boxes, non-breakable and hard-plastic dog or parrot toys, loose straw or timothy hay baskets. They are all fun to munch and affordable to replace.

Mental Toys

Rabbits enjoy mental stimulation. Safe distractions will keep your bunny from nibbling your antique armoire, clawing the carpeting and devouring your favorite book.

Rabbits also love to tug. In fact, it's their favorite activity next to chewing. Not up for a heated round of tug-of-war? Then let your furry friend yank at a newspaper tucked under a table leg.

Cardboard boxes or paper bags offer uncharted territory your curious bunny can explore as well.

The Great Outdoors

No one likes to be cooped up inside all day and your bunny is no exception. You can create an outdoor grazing pen for your pal by inverting a playpen or the top of a large indoor cage.

If you're handy with a hammer, construct a wooden pyramid frame and attach wire mesh walls. Move the grazing pen to a new spot each day so your rabbit can sample fresh greens. Pesticides and weed killers can poison your bunny, so don't let her graze if you spray your yard.

Your rabbit doesn't sweat or pant well, so keep her out of direct sunlight to prevent heatstroke. And unless her pen is completely enclosed or buried deep into the ground, supervise your bunny's outdoor recreation.

Always check for holes in the mesh and repair splintered wood immediately. You never know when some predator may sneak up on your pet or when your wily rabbit will sniff out an escape route.

It's fine to enjoy restful moments with your rabbit in your lap, but don't forget that she needs exercise too!