Is Your Rabbit Bored?
Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘A bored dog is a bad dog’? Well, the same can be said about a rabbit. Boredom in rabbits may look different depending on the specific animal, as some may become depressed while others become destructive. Here we’ll help identify boredom and what can be done to prevent it, to help your rabbit live a long, active, and happy life.
Why is boredom bad for rabbits?
Outside of destructive behavior, boredom can cause health problems for some rabbits. If your rabbit lives alone, with little to no entertainment, and no space to roam, they may fill their time by eating. Eating too much without being active can cause excessive weight gain. Obesity can cause joint and health problems.
How do you know if your rabbit is bored?
It can be difficult to tell how your rabbit is feeling. Take the time to get to know your rabbit; you’ll learn their personality and daily routine. A bored rabbit will do things outside of their daily routine or show signs of odd behavior. Below are some behaviors you may see from your bored rabbit:
- Constantly gnawing at the door or wire of their home
- Change in interest to the things around them
- Excessive weight gain
- Excessive grooming
Ways to help with boredom
Change up the living space
Rabbits love to explore! Every now and then, give them something new to see and discover. A new space could be as easy as reorganizing what they currently have, or by adding new toys or even a cardboard box. As long as your bunny does not eat the cardboard box, it can provide hours of fun. Tip - Cut a hole in the box so they can go in and out.
Dedicate free-range time
If your rabbit lives in a small hutch, create a safe enclosed area larger than it’s normal living space and allow them time to run and explore the new surroundings. As little as 30-minutes a day will help relieve built-up energy. Tip – Pick a space that has platforms that they can climb on and go underneath.
Ensure that plenty of high-quality forage (hay) is available
Although pelleted feed for rabbits should be fed in moderation to prevent overeating, like water, forage should be accessible at all times. High-quality forage has many benefits for rabbits; the high fiber content ensures proper digestive health, and consistent chewing promotes dental health. If forage is already a staple in your rabbit’s diet, try changing the location or adding a hay rack. Tip – Do you supply forage, but your rabbit doesn’t seem to enjoy it? If you currently feed Timothy Grass, try mixing some Alfalfa or Orchard Grass with it to change up the taste. Your rabbit may be tired of eating the same type of forage.
Read more about the benefits of feeding forage to your rabbit on our blog post, ‘What Type of Forage is Best for Your Small Animal’?