Rabbits are very playful animals. They are very fond of running around and playing with their owners or other pets.
If you are a new pet owner, ways and how to play with your bunny might still be a bit challenging for you. Don’t worry! Here are seven ways to play with your rabbits.
How to Play with a Rabbit?
Rabbits are very active and curious animals. They love to hop around and sniff their surroundings. Playing is also one of their common ways to pass the time.
Like any animal, playtime with your rabbit might vary from animal to animal. Some might like a more lowkey playtime where they stroll and walk. Meanwhile, more active rabbits will seek out action-heavy playtime such as running and jumping around.
To ensure that your bunny has its best playtime, look out for signs of discomfort or excitedness in their body language. Some play is not suitable for all rabbits, so they can have an uncomfortable and stressful playtime.
Some positive body language you might look out for are:
Zoomies and Binkies
A zoomy is when animals run around in excitement. The rabbit will run back and forth while wagging its tail and twitching its nose.
This behavior is also observed with dogs and cats. On the other hand, the binky is almost similar to zoomies but with added jumping and twitching in the air.
Relaxed Ears and Posture
Downturn ears are common signs of a content and happy rabbit. You will also notice a relaxed upright posture.
Sniffing and Nose Twitching
Sniffing and nose twitching are common signs of curiosity. If your rabbit starts sniffing toys, it means that they are interested.
However, if the rabbit is not receptive to playtime, it may show signs, such as:
Thumping and kicking their foot in the ground is a sign of a distressed rabbit. In the wild, they use this as a defense system to protect them from predators. It may be a sign that the rabbit is not up for playtime.
Getting Away from Your Hands
If the rabbit is moving, running, and getting away from your hands, it can be a sign of distress. The rabbit may not be comfortable enough to play and be active.
To ensure that your rabbit will have the best time playing, keep their safety and happiness in mind.
1. Play with Toys
Playing with toys is one of the most popular of play for rabbits. They play with cat toys most of the time since the size is perfect for smaller animals. Squeaky toys, frisbee, and stuff toys are popular with rabbits.
Providing them with toys will make them have a much better time playing around. You can try many games with your rabbit, such as catch and fetch. It can stimulate their mind and body. You can also train them to do tricks by playing fetch with them.
2. Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses are great for both body and the brain. Your rabbit will have its mind and agility tested with obstacle courses. You do not need to have fancy setups for your obstacle course.
A few tubes, cardboard, and treats will go a long way. Putting food at the end of the parkour is a great way to incentivize and encourage them to go through the obstacles.
3. Hidden Treats
You can genuinely have many plays time with hidden treats. Rabbits have a very keen smelling ability, so it’s a great mind and body game.
You can use cups or your hand to hide the treat. Then, let the rabbit sniff and choose the one that contains the food. If they got it right, give the rabbit food to your rabbit.
The game trains their smelling ability. It also makes them a lot smarter as their brain is stimulated.
4. Training or Teaching Tricks
Teaching tricks to your rabbit is very impressive. The most tricks a rabbit performs under a minute is twenty. Of course, your rabbit does not have to be a record holder. A quick and easy trick can suffice as an activity. The best way to teach them tricks is by providing them with treats.
By providing them with food when they get a trick right, you can instill the correct command. To follow. The activity also gives them brain exercise to have both the body and the brain active.
Some common rabbit tricks include:
- Play dead
It may take them a few tries to fully know the trick, but as long as you are willing to teach them, they can perform in no time.
Running is the most common play for rabbits. They like to chase each other and run around with other animals in the wild. It’s a very vital activity for them.
You can incorporate many plays that can accompany running. You can throw a treat for them to follow. Throwing a toy as a for of a fetch game is also a great idea.
Make sure that the rabbit knows that you are running around as a form of the game. As prey animals, rabbits can be easily distressed if something is chasing them around.
You do not have a big area to do this activity. Your rabbit can run around from one corner of the house to another. However, a big field is still the most recommended.
6. Tug of War
Tug of war is one of the most common games with your rabbit. Rabbits like to pick up and play with many things such as towels, rope, and cardboard. To play tug of war with your rabbit, you need to pull the item they are holding.
Be cautious if you are doing it out of the blue. Rabbits can become territorial and bite your fingers. It’s best to provide them with toys to signal that it’s playtime.
When playing tug of war, ensure that you are not pulling too much. Pulling too hard can cause damage to the rabbit’s teeth. If the toy fall on the ground, you can pick it up again.
Walking might not be the most active play. However, it’s one of the best bonding activities for senior rabbits or rabbits with health issues. As stated before, not all rabbits are capable and fond of playing heavy activities.
Some bunnies want to chill and walk with their owner. They do not have to be running around for it to be considered playtime. If you are walking in the neighborhood, ensure that you have the essential leash and poop bag.
Walking around can be risky in unfamiliar areas. Predator animals might be lurking, such as stray cats, so look out for your bunny closely. Poisonous plants and herbs might also pose a threat.
Benefits of Playing with Rabbits
Playing with your rabbits is not just enjoyable. They also provide many benefits, such as:
Playtime with your bunny has many advantages, such as exercise. With exercising, your bunny can become healthier and move faster. It also improves their agility and flexibility.
Providing them with exercises is an integral part of maintaining their health and body. They can have a better and more robust immune system by having a well-protected and energetic body.
Playtime can be a form of bonding with rabbits. It serves as an activity for you and your rabbits to be more comfortable with each other.
Spending time with your rabbits is especially important if the animal is new. They need time to warm up to people, and playing and running around can help.
Forming bonds with playtime does not only apply to pet owners. Rabbits and other house pets such as cats and dogs can also form bonds by playing and hanging out. Other bunny playmates, such as chickens, can even protect the rabbits when there is prey.
Great for Bone Health
Bone health is essential for rabbits. The large amount of calcium needed in the rabbit’s diet is for their bones and teeth. If they do not get enough activity and exercise, it can have detrimental effects on their body.
By providing them with enjoyable activities, you not only provide them with fun times, but you also improve their bone health.
Makes them Happy
Playing with your rabbit can lead to a satisfying and fulfilling life. They will become more affectionate with you as they learn and see that you are their playmate and handler. Happier and cared for rabbits live a longer life.
It’s also proven that the stress level can also go down when the body is stimulated. We can conclude that the remarkable effects of playtimes are not only for the body but also for the mind.
Playing with your bunnies has many significant advantages. Fortunately, there are many ways you can have playtime with your rabbits. We hope this guide on how to play with your bunny is helpful for your next playtime.