General Question

Dog's avatar

Question about pet rabbits and exercise?

Asked by Dog (24791points) February 24th, 2009

Two weeks ago we adopted a pair of pet rabbits from a rescue.

Never having a rabbit before I am somewhat stymied on their behavior.

They are both about 6 years old.

Though I give them a large run as I paint where they are free to roam in a safe contained area they actually do very little exercise.

Sure they hop here or there but that is about it.

Do pet rabbits actually exercise? Or are they natures version of a couch potato?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

30 Answers

chyna's avatar

This doesn’t answer your question but I laughed out loud to see Pet Rabbit Question asked by dog.

Dog's avatar

That does look funny doesn’t it?

eponymoushipster's avatar

people keep rabbits.those people are called:

a) small children

b) chefs.

which are you?

Dog's avatar

Ahhh @eponymoushipster – you forgot option “c”

a) small children

b) chefs

c) artists who need models for paintings.

Before the rabbits I had a mouse- he modeled for 9 paintings- all of which sold. Sadly he passed away of old age last month.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Dog invariably they turn into B.

Dog's avatar

@eponymoushipster You just gave me a great idea for a painting- Rabbit Chefs!

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i found this on ehow, if it’s any help. i don’t really know, i haven’t had rabbits in years. good luck though (:

elijah's avatar

I think it’s great that you adopted the rabbits. My cousin had one and it was super lazy. When we took it out of the cage it would just sit there and eat grass.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Dog just put me on the plaque when it’s at MoMA

elijah's avatar

I think you should paint a picture of my dog :-)

Dog's avatar

@tiffyandthewall fantastic link- thanks

@elijahsuicide yeah- that pretty much describes these two. Such a contrast to having a hyperactive mouse.

Off to get the sketchbook.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Not all of them are super-lazy. I bunny sat for a friend for a week, and Sasquatch, the 1 year old mini-lop spent a lot of time hopping around the house. I think 6 is kind of getting into the golden years for bunnies, not that your bunnies are elderly, but a 20 year old human is often a lot more active than a 50 year old, and I think it’s the same with your furry friends.

seekingwolf's avatar

I’ve had rabbits for a long while…I even bred them too.

while they don’t need a HUGE area to run around in all the time, I would give them at least a couple of hours several times a week to hop around. It’s not good to keep them “penned up”

Some tips:
1) I don’t suggest feeding a rabbit lots of lettuce. Too much gives them the squirts.
2) Don’t put fabric in their cage…they can chew off the fabric strands, swallow them and die.
3) Bunnies can’t barf. That’s why one must be VERY careful what you feed them.
4) Keep them away from berries (in my experience, they’re bad) rotten fruits/veggies, and unknown plants (could be poisonous)
5.) Make sure they have fresh water available all of the time
6.) Brush them and cut their nails!
7.) GET THEM FIXED/NEUTERED. My first litter was begotten by accident…there were 8 of ‘em!
8.) Don’t startle them or let them go close to cats/dogs. Rabbits are easily scared and are susceptible to sickness, which can kill them. :(
9.) Best foods: water, pellets, hay (not too dusty/old), some alfalfa (when in season), portions of carrots, apples, etc. I once had a bloodthirsty rabbit who loved steak (she ate it when it fell off the grill) I don’t suggest feeding it to a rabbit.
10.) The more time you spend petting your rabbit and basically being near it, it will become more docile.

Hmm that’s all for now. :D

Dog's avatar

@La_chica_gomela Many thanks for the info! Yes- these are not youths. They were bonded females and seemed so happy together I could not separate them.

@seekingwolf-

1. Check.
2. Ran to studio and removed old t-shirt and inspected for signs of chewing. None.
Will not put any cloth in cage again.
3. Timothy Hay pellets, timothy hay. A bit of kale or carrot with green on as snack.
4. Check
5. Check 3 water bottles and a water dish refreshed daily.
6. Check and have nail trimmer- will do tomorrow. (it is like doing a dog right?)
7. Will check- two females. Do not know history. They were dumped in a box in an alley before taken to rescue.
8. Check. No dogs allowed in studio. No cats in home.
9. Will give apple as snack- no seeds or core though (read that in a book) No steak grin
10. They are wonderfully docile. Curious and mild mannered and do not appear to be skittish or frightened at all. They are with me for several hours a day while I am in-studio.

I thank you for the advice- Lurve!

seekingwolf's avatar

@Dog

Yep, the nails are done just like a dogs. Just be sure not to cut too short. If they are indoors a lot, their nails, if left, uncut, can grow and “curl” under. Ouch!

Timothy pellets and hay are wonderful. :)

Best of luck with your bunnies! I’m so glad you have two females who are friends. They will keep each other company!

Dog's avatar

Thanks @seekingwolf. They have already inspired 3 paintings. I will take care of nails tonight.

@eponymoushipster many thanks for the painting idea. I put it as an avatar but it looks simpy though so I will ditch it after a few hours.

chyna's avatar

@dog can you provide a link to the pictures? I would like to see them.

Dog's avatar

Sure- I will pm you tomorrow when I get them photographed.

chyna's avatar

@Dog Great, thanks.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Dog what can i say – i’m a muse! thx.

seekingwolf's avatar

@Dog

Is your avatar a small picture of your painting? :D

Dog's avatar

@seekingwolf yup! Glad you stopped by- I saw a rabbit harness at the pet store and was wondering if people really take rabbits out on a leash?
Looking at my two right now I cannot help but think they would hate a leash and harness

seekingwolf's avatar

@Dog

Some do. :) It’s not really a leash, but a harness that goes around their torso, and then you hook that to a leash. You don’t really “walk” the rabbit around, but just let it hop around…it’s great way to have the rabbit hop around and get exercise if you don’t have a pen.

Some of my rabbits hated the harness when I put it on, but once outside, they liked the freedom and forgot all about it!

Dog's avatar

Interesting! I have two pens for them but it would be fun to give them even more room once in a while. Many thanks for the reply.

elijah's avatar

Just be careful, I don’t know where you live but here hawks swoop down and take small pets. They got my moms cat.

Dog's avatar

@Elijahsuicide that would be horrible. We do live in hawk territory so I will forgo putting them on a harness.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Another benefit of the leash to let them hop around is that if you put them in a pen, and look away for like one second, they can tunnel out.

seekingwolf's avatar

Always make sure to put them away as soon as it gets dark.

I had a secure fence pen with my rabbit in it hutch in it and all and it was right by the house (we also have a dog), and over the years, I NEVER had any problems with it.

Well, one night, my mother let the dog into the house (pretty rare) so she wasn’t out guarding the house like she usually does. A coyote got in and ate my rabbit. :( Picking up the mess the next morning was even more painful. I still feel bad.

So please, be sure to put them inside even before it gets dark…

Dog's avatar

@seekingwolf I would be heartbroken.
I brought them in in the afternoon and they loved their outdoor excursion.

nicobanks's avatar

Rabbits are most active at sunrise and sunset (and the hours surrounding these events). They generally sleep during the day, and they nap intermittently overnight. So, if you’re letting the rabbits out during the middle of the day, that might explain their laid-back behaviour. It’s true that, at 6 years old, these rabbits aren’t teenagers anymore (young rabbits can really be crazy-energy), but that shouldn’t make them total lazabouts… My rabbit is somewhere between 9 and 12 and he definitely has his moments of energy-burst. But really, all rabbits are individuals – maybe you just have a pair of couch potatoes, like you said.

A few words:

Fabric, if ingested, is indeed very dangerous – deadly, even. But you have to treat your rabbits as individuals. If your rabbits weren’t eating the t-shirt, you don’t have anything to worry about. My rabbit would be devastated if I took away all his fabric. We give him hand towels: they’re not only comfy beds for him, but one of his favourite toys (he bunches them, scratches at them, smooths them out, etc.). A 100% safe, sterile habitat isn’t possible: every day or so you have to check their belongings to make sure they aren’t mistreating them and potentially endangering themselves. Fabric is no exception.

Don’t be afraid of greens. Pellets – even quality pellets – are pretty junky and should be restricted. Rabbits need fresh greens to get a balanced diet. Serve them dripping wet and they’ll also be drinking water. (Of course, grass hay should make up the most of their diet.) Lettuce is a little iffy because so many lettuces are white/light. These kinds of “greens” definitely will lead to diarrhoea. Look for dark leafy greens instead. Romaine is a very healthy green to serve, for example.

Bring your rabbit to the vet regularly, like once annually or even twice annually. A rabbit-savvy vet is necessary because so many vets have never studied rabbits yet they are significantly different from cats/dogs, and lots of errors resulting in death have been made. An annual check-up should include a physical exam, a dental exam with a scope, a feces sample test, a blood test, and a urine sample test. You can perform physical exams yourself at home every few months.

I’ve compiled a list of great online rabbit resources on this website: http://torontorabbits.wordpress.com. Just look in the sidebar under “Rabbit Info.”

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther