Most people think their rabbit is perfectly content living in a small hutch outside. The truth is quite contrary, though.
Rabbits, like any living creature, needs exercise and stimulation in order to be healthy. They are quite active animals and are capable of bonding fiercely with their owner, similar to cats.
Rabbits need room to exercise and also require mental stimulation. Toys are a great way to encourage both physical exercise and mental stimulation.
There are two types of toys for your rabbit to enjoy. Keep reading to discover the best toys to keep your rabbit active, healthy, and happy.
If you’re looking for a cheap homemade option to buying store bought toys, you can make some pretty simple ones right in your home. Everyday materials like cardboard, toilet paper rolls, and wood make great toys for rabbits.
One of the best ways to entertain your rabbit is to give it an old cardboard box you are no longer using or need. Rabbits love to chew on things and will likely chew the box to bits. Make sure you cut some holes into it big enough for your rabbit to get in and out of. Also remove any tape, glue, or plastic lining is removed first.
The reason is that rabbits like to chew you can also give them small bits of wood from your yard to chew on. The wood is to a rabbit what a bone or chew toy is for a dog. It helps to keep their teeth strong and healthy. Some wood is poisonous to rabbits and it’s better to avoid wood from apricot, cherry, plum, and peach trees.
Likewise, certain hays and grass are better for your rabbit than others. You can stuff a toilet paper roll with some hay grass for your rabbit to chew on. Timothy and meadow grass hay are ideal for your rabbit. Alfalfa and clover hay can be used but sparingly. Too much can cause your rabbit to develop urinary tract problems.
Store Bought Toys
If you aren’t that thrifty or want to spoil your rabbit a little (they are after all a member of the family) you can choose to buy toys from the store. Just be aware there isn’t really a rabbit toy section in stores like there are for cats and dogs.
But you aren’t relegated to toys specifically made for rabbits either. Just about any cat or dog toy can be given to you rabbit. Just make sure there are no small pieces that can easily be chewed off. Also be sure to throw them away when they are too chewed up just like you would for a dog or cat.
Baby toys are another great option for your rabbit to play with. Baby keys, stacking cups and rattles are favorites of rabbits. If you choose to give a wooden baby toy to a rabbit to chew on makes sure it is untreated or treated with non-toxic sealants. Make sure any chemicals used are safe for rabbits.
Rabbits also love toys that move around easily like balls. They enjoy pushing the ball around and chasing after it. It helps to promote exercise and coordination.
Making Sure Your Toys Are Safe
Much like cats and dogs, the toys for rabbits chosen should be safe for your rabbit to play with. Try to avoid small parts that come off easy. Especially when chewed. These can get lodged in your rabbit’s throat causing him or her to choke.
Also make sure any toy you give a rabbit to chew on does not have any harmful chemicals on it. Remove all adhesives, glues, and plastic from the object first. If the toy is wooden, make sure it is either untreated or treated with non-toxic chemicals.
Whenever you introduce a new toy to your rabbit observe his or her while they first play with it. Make sure there aren’t any hazards that didn’t come to mind before buying it.
Choosing the Best Rabbit Toys
Rabbits are as much a member of your family as a cat or dog and equally require as much love, attention, exercise, and mental stimulation as anything. You can choose to give your rabbit homemade toys or store-bought toys.
In either case make sure the toys are safe for your rabbit. Remove glues, tapes, and plastics, and don’t give them anything with easily removable small parts. Also avoid giving them anything treated with toxic chemicals.
Keeping your rabbit stimulated, exercised, and happy will ensure he or she lives a long and healthy life with you for years to come.