Keep your Bunny Fun(ny)
While it is easy to assume that rabbits are low maintenance pets, they are actually quite playful creatures and need to be indulged with plenty of opportunities for enrichment and activity. If you’re planning to adopt a pet rabbit, read our suggestions below to ensure that your rabbit is given a healthy, active lifestyle.
Rabbits are natural foragers and a wonderful enrichment technique is to utilize games that tap into natural instincts while also keeping your rabbit’s mind active and alert. The Living World Teach ‘N Treat is a foraging style puzzle game; and, with three levels of difficulty, your rabbit can continue to be challenged and rewarded with tasty treats. You can also satisfy your rabbit’s natural urge to dig and chew with easy “Do It Yourself” enrichment toys. A simple DIY toy is to make a digging box by filling a cardboard box halfway with soil or shredded paper. This is an easy way to invite your rabbit to dig while also keeping your rabbit’s mind engaged. Another way to add enrichment is to incorporate an interactive hay dispenser into your rabbit’s world. This will allow your rabbit to graze, keeping boredom at bay.
While hay is a staple in a rabbit’s diet, some special treats should also be offered. Small pieces of fruit and vegetables make healthy treats, and you can use parsley, spinach, mustard greens, carrot tops, broccoli, bell peppers, brussel sprouts, apples, pears, peaches, kiwis, and bananas. You can also give your rabbit a pleasant surprise by mixing in pieces of dehydrated apples and cranberries with the hay. Just remember that treats are only healthy in small amounts and do not provide adequate nutrition to your rabbit’s diet.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a rabbit’s teeth can grow to be too long if there aren’t ample opportunities to chew. An easy way to help your rabbit maintain healthy teeth is to provide chews such as Kaytee Carrot Patch chews, which feature a mixture of textures to keep your rabbit’s teeth healthy. Ecotrition Chews are another option, combining a chew toy and treat into one. You will also want to make sure you provide your rabbit with wooden chew toys, which will play an important role in keeping your rabbit’s teeth trimmed. You can also make your own chew toys by stuffing cardboard boxes and paper towel rolls with hay.
Here are a few rabbit enrichment products recommended by and available for purchase at the VBSPCA:
- Living World Teach ‘N Treat
- Living World Hay Wheel
- Peter’s Fruit Salad Bowl
- Kaytee Carrot Patch Chews
- Ecotrition Chews
Just remember that whether you have a dog, cat, bird, or rabbit, no pet likes to be bored. Boredom is linked to behavior problems in all pets, so be sure to provide challenging mental stimulation to keep your pets healthy and happy.