Do Rabbits Like to Play with Exercise Balls and Wheels? Happier and Healthier!

So your rabbit is starting to look a little overweight and it seems like a couch potato. Now, you’re wondering if there’s anything you can do to make it get up and exercise. One of the biggest questions you may have is how do you get a rabbit involved in physical activity to help it lose some weight?

Rabbits love to play with toys, especially balls and wheels. This toy can be an obsession of your rabbit and can help it run around and gain some exercise. It’s also recommended that your rabbit gets about 3-4 hours of exercise every day.

How to find time to get your rabbit to exercise

Rabbits require a lot of exercises, yet for many people, time is not always readily available. Therefore we’ve found that the following tips are a great way to help you stay on top of your rabbit’s exercise schedule. 

  • Ball and wheel toy
  • More space
  • Use a pet fence
  • Bring in a friend to play with
  • Set a schedule

The psyche of a rabbit and its balls and wheels

Rabbits are very sociable and they like the company of others whether it be people or other rabbits. The rabbit toys mentioned above, exercise balls and exercise wheels, are very appealing to rabbits. Rabbits love to make use of their energy and play with these toys. In fact, they will even go over their cage mates to reach for what they want.

When a rabbit sees a brand new toy for the first time, it will first try to inspect it. When the rabbit has confirmed that it’s a toy, its excitement level flies through the roof. That bunny will most likely go through all of its energy trying to reach for whatever toy it’s got its eyes on.

You see, rabbits can get bored very easily. This is especially true when they are confined to a small space such as their cage. Receiving a ball or a wheel can really help improve their mood and get them up and running.

The benefit of a wheel is that it allows the rabbit to start running while still confined inside the cage. This type of exercise is highly effective in getting the rabbit’s heart rate increased. It may also be motivational for the rabbit to imagine how far it could get if it were to keep running on the wheel.

The ball however is a fun toy that helps with the rabbit’s coordination and timing. This may be a more difficult toy to adjust to, especially if the rabbit has never seen one before. That is why it is recommended that you play with your bunny and the ball at the same time. You should try to convince your bunny that the ball is a toy to be rolled around on. It may help your rabbit become more comfortable with the ball and understand how the ball moves according to its input.

These two items are probably the most helpful and effective tools to use when you see that your rabbit is not active.

Another tip you can use is to leverage treats along with the ball and wheel. You could teach your rabbit to do some kind of trick with its ball, maybe even push it around a little bit and then you can offer your rabbit a treat for it.

Ultimately, you can’t just wait for your rabbit to take the first step. Sometimes you’re going to have to hold its hand in order to get it to do something. Rabbits can be very scared of new things and it is your duty to help guide them.

How to buy balls and wheels for your rabbit

Whatever type of exercise balls or exercise wheels you have available in the market, make sure to choose those that are soft enough for your rabbit to play with.

I recommend looking for a ball that is both inflatable and that is not too big for your rabbit. Your rabbit should be able to stand on to the ball and see over it. Anything bigger than that may just be too big for your rabbit to enjoy.

You have to also account for the weight of the ball. Obviously, we’re not going to buy our rabbit a bowling ball. And we perhaps might not want to buy some sort of ball that is so light that it can be considered as light as a balloon. It has to have some weight on it so that your rabbit can get the proper exercise in pushing the ball and pulling it.

I recommend that you get a soft soccer ball that is for children. These balls are perfect for small to medium rabbits.

When you’re going out and looking for exercise wheels for your rabbits you got to make sure that the wheel itself is large enough to hold your rabbit.

Now the size of your wheel really does depend on the size of your rabbit. For small to medium rabbits, I would suggest you purchase nothing smaller than a 15-in wheel.

For larger rabbits, this may be very difficult because they don’t really make wheels that large. If that is the case then sometimes it might be best just to settle for a ball.

What types of exercise balls and wheels are there?

There are a few types of exercise balls and exercise wheels for pet rabbits, but the common ones are the large inflatable ball that can be filled or deflated to different levels as well as the wheel. The wheels come in many shapes and sizes from little trays that can be attached to the side of a cage to make turning easier, some have wire bars on which bunnies can jump up into mesh baskets.

Why is exercise important for rabbits

Rabbit and his ball - Tech Guide Central
Rabbit and his ball

Like humans, exercising for pet rabbits also helps the rabbit in equal ways. It helps keep your rabbit healthy, and fit. It helps keep your rabbit’s muscles and heart strong.

Being in good shape also helps with your rabbit’s attitude and mental state.

If you think about it, have you ever noticed how people who exercise are a lot happier? They’re a lot more willing to go out and enjoy things with friends and family. Well, this is the same way with rabbits. 

A strong, fit, and healthy rabbit will very likely be more open to being social and inviting. These types of rabbits would probably play more and be less aggressive than the ones that are always stuck in one place. Basically, healthy rabbits play along with other rabbits well. Unhealthy rabbits may build up a lot of depression and aggression and this will make them less likely to get along with other rabbits or even humans.

Domesticated vs wild rabbit exercises

All pets need exercise. This is what keeps them healthy and happy and able to live a long life.

Compared to rabbits in the wild, domesticated rabbits are not near as physical counterparts. Rabbits in the wild are able to run as much as 3 miles a day.

If you want to learn more about domesticated rabbits. You can check out this site that pretty much tells you the history all the way up until today.

This is why it’s so important that you give rabbits enough time in the day to exercise and play. Rabbits need exercise to stay healthy and maintain a good weight.

Unfortunately one of the downsides of spaying or neutering your rabbits is that it will make your rabbits even more dysentery. You have to work a little bit harder to get your rabbits up to actively play and exercise.

How to help your rabbit exercise

One important tip when trying to get your rabbit to exercise is to make sure that you do it in a large open area. This can be a very large room, your entire living room, the backyard, or even the front yard. 

Your rabbit is going to need a lot of space so that it can run around in circles or in whatever direction that it is most curiously going by. If it is outside make sure you supervise your rabbit or at least have those parameter cages around the area so that your rabbit does not accidentally get lost.

I recommend that if you need any type of exercise pen that it should be around 8 ft by 4 ft by 4 ft. This should be the bare minimum that’s required for a rabbit to roam free. Of course, you can get more than this which would make it even better for your rabbit to play.

How much exercise do rabbits need each day?

What I would recommend is about 4 hours of exercise and play every day for your rabbit. However, you can go over which is fine. Going less is still okay as long as you can make up for it somehow throughout the day.

What you want to try to do is mimic a wild rabbit’s habits as much as possible. Be as close to what a rabbit would be in nature.

Exercising is not just running and playing with balls, you can join in on the fun and chase your rabbit around or have it chase you around.

You don’t have to limit your rabbit to 4 hours of play and exercise. It can definitely spend much more time than that if it wants and if you have the time to give it. Just remember that the more exercise and the more play that your rabbit experiences in the day the better its sleep habits, and the better it will act emotionally. He’ll likely be much healthier and happier in the long process. And that’s always a good thing for you as well as your rabbit.

Can I let my rabbit run freely around the house?

It’s not uncommon to allow your rabbit to roam free throughout your house. Those rabbits that actually have free range of motion are generally found to be much happier than those that are kept inside a cage.

Rabbits can also be potty trained so that they don’t leave a mess all over your house. In fact, rabbits normally and naturally use the toilet in one particular place. Potty training your rabbit and providing it with a nice and clean litter box can be a very important step to allowing it to roam free around the house so that it can have as much exercise and activity as it needs throughout the entire day.

However, there is one thing you must do when you allow a rabbit to roam free around your home. You must make sure that the house is rabbit-proof. It’s a bit similar to making a house baby-proof. Make sure to leave all the harmful chemicals and the cleaning agents away from open areas. Keep in mind rabbits like to chew on things and if they chew on bottles or plastics that are holding dangerous chemicals then it is possible that they may end up ingesting those chemicals.

Another highly popular method is to confine your rabbit to one or two specific rooms. You can do this by placing pet fences in front of the doors and closing it in while keeping your rabbit inside. This will generally help you keep an eye on your rabbit in case anything goes wrong. There’s always the scary potential that if you do let your rabbit run free throughout your home that someone may end up accidentally stepping on it.

Creating these walls in the doors and confining your rabbit to maybe one or two rooms that are enough for your rabbit to move around it may help you keep your rabbits safe and healthy at the same time.

The bottom line

These are just a few of my suggestions that I’ve seen and been through. I hope they helped you in some way.

I also hope that if you do have a rabbit that you’ll keep its fitness and health in mind. If your rabbit is showing any kind of signs of being overweight, lethargic, bored, or depression then I recommend that you try these tips and see if they work for your rabbit as well as you.

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Author: John