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Pet Rabbits Need Plenty of Exercise! Play with Your Bunny Each and Every Day to Keep Him Happy and Healthy!

Updated on June 19, 2010
Wait a minute! That's NOT a rabbit!
Wait a minute! That's NOT a rabbit!

Do you have a chubby bunny? How about a heavy hare? Just as your pet dog needs exercise, your pet rabbit does to! Not only does exercise keep your bunny fit and in shape, it keeps him mentally happy as well (you don't want a fat, unhappy bunny…do you!?). Lack of exercise contributes to a long list of preventable health problems in domestic rabbits. Think about a wild rabbit for a moment. They spend their days hopping and running, searching for food and escaping predators...NOT sitting dormant in a small cage! Trust me when I say that rabbits, whether wild or domestic, need exercise and play time, every single day! If you don't exercise your rabbit, not only will you have one unhappy bunny on your hands, you will have an unhealthy hare as well.

Chubby bunnies are at risk for several serious, chronic and even fatal health problems. The extra weight that a chubby bunny carries around can put pressure on their joints and even their heart. Such health problems can make your pet rabbit very unhoppy, oops, I mean unhappy.  Extra weight can actually cause your rabbit pain. It can decrease their quality of life and even shorten their actual lifespan! Below are several problems caused by a lack of exercise.


  • Obesity: Obviously, a lack of exercise can lead to obesity (so can a high calorie diet!). Extra pounds on your pet rabbit can not only stress their cardiovascular system, extra pounds can also cause your poor rabbit's feet to become inflamed. Ouch! Extra pounds can also cause a lack of energy which in turn can lead to bunny depression. Fat rabbits also have difficulty when it comes to grooming. This can lead to skin problems and infections. You can keep your bunny happy and healthy by feeding him a nutritious diet and providing him ample room to exercise and play!
  • Poor Bone Density: Did you know that rabbits can develop osteoporosis? Well they can! Rabbits that develop osteoporosis often have spine conditions and brittle bones (that can break easily!). Daily exercise is a MUST in order to keep your bunny's bones healthy and strong!
  • Behavioral Problems: Pet rabbits that don't receive enough attention and playtime often become depressed. After all, sitting alone in a cage each and every day isn't exactly fun. If you are thinking about adding a furry hopper to your family it is very important that you understand that rabbits need love, attention and exercise! In other words, just as a pet dog is a commitment, so is a pet rabbit. If you have a busy schedule and will not have time to play with your rabbit…DO NOT GET ONE! Rabbits are not disposable pets. If neglected they can become aggressive, lethargic, and obsessive (such as chewing non-stop). Think long and hard before adding a rabbit (OR ANY PET) to your family.
  • Poor Muscle Tone: Rabbits that do not exercise enough often have underdeveloped, weak muscles. This can lead to the inability to move properly. Your rabbit's most important muscle is his heart….and that too needs exercise. An out of shape rabbit with a weak heart can actually die of heart failure (heart attack). Therefore, if you want your pet bunny to have a strong, healthy heart, exercise him!


Did you know that caged rabbits need three to four hours of exercise EACH and EVERY day?! No, hopping around his or her cage does not count as exercise! When I say three to four hours of exercise per day, I mean three to four hours of free time OUTSIDE of the cage. You can satisfy this need indoors or out…it doesn't matter…just as long as your bunny is moving, using his muscles and burning a few calories!

Rabbit Fit Tips!

  • It is best to exercise your rabbit when they are most active. For most bunnies, early to mid-morning is best.
  • Always "rabbit proof" the exercise area. This simply means to clear the area of any /all items that may be harmful to your bunny.
  • Establish an exercise routine for your rabbit and stick to it!
  • Encourage your rabbit to play! Please read the HUB Page: Make your bunny happy! Five things you can do for and with your pet rabbit for some great tips!

Rabbits are wonderful pets! Just as dogs and cats need love, attention and playtime, rabbits do to! In order to have a happy, healthy bunny you must make a commitment to your furry friend. Play with your bunny every single day and do your best to feed him or her healthy, nutritious foods. By doing so, you will have one happy and healthy hopper on your hands! Good luck

If you have a few minutes to spare, please read the HUB Page: Signs that your pet rabbit may be sick. Thanks!


Purchase These Great Rabbit Toys!

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    • belleart profile image

      belleart 4 years ago from Ireland

      Hmmm, i often wonder if my Cocoa is overweight, everyone thinks she's the biggest bun they've 'ever seen'!! I've asked a few vets though and they say she's in good health but I will certainly be taking this hub on board and trying to give her some more exercise. She roams free around the house though and is never caged so maybe just running with her around would help??

    • profile image

      buny lover 7 years ago

      My rabbits get lots of exercise,I do agree they need to.

      They are all very happy bunnies and it is fun to play with them. It is also a great pleasure to see them racing around and doing Binkys.

    • profile image

      Mandy 7 years ago

      My bunny lived with me in a basement apartment. He ran loose in the bedroom, as he is cage-trained. Now I am going away to school, and I have a friend taking care of him until I come home. he won't have the freedom he once had. How can I make this transition easier for him?

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 8 years ago from US

      I had lops and angoras and a dwarf, you get to love them so. My female lop tried to mate with my female cat(who kills and eats rabbit!) ever heard of such a thing? Sure scared my cat. lol

    • valeriebelew profile image

      valeriebelew 8 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

      This was a new one on me. I'd never thought of a rabbit as needing exercise or lacking mucle tone, but it makes sense. I especially liked the Golden Retriever with bunny ears. LOL.