Tubby Bunny

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olnem

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Hi I have two bunnies male and female. The male bunny is getting over weight as he pinches all the food before his sister gets any!

I have started trying to take them for walks on leads as when left to their own devices they don’t move (lazy bunnies). Crystal (girl) walks a bit but not a lot but leave her for a few mins and she gets inquisitive and hops around again. On the other hand Sandy (boy) will not move an inch and digs his feet into the ground and ends up being carried.

When they went to have their injections, the vet commented that he was over weight but didn’t offer much advice.

Has anyone got any tips on exercising a bunny or even how to encourage walking on a lead?

Thanks
 

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Blue eyes

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Trying to walk a rabbit on a lead is not going to be effective exercise. They generally take a hop or two, then graze. They don't walk like dogs and won't get any significant exercise that way. Why don't you just let them run around in a bunny-proof area. They can't binky or do any dashes when on a leash.

The reason that it is recommended for rabbits to have permanent access to a large space is so they can exercise on their own schedule and when they happen to be in the mood. Providing tunnels or cardboard boxes in that area can encourage them to explore. This is a better option than trying to force your rabbit to exercise on schedule by putting them on a leash.

As for diet, what are their ages? Proper diet varies with age.
 

olnem

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Hi thanks for reply! They have run of garden but don’t do anything apart from hide under a bush at the back of the garden and I can’t get them in when it’s bed time as the garden to wet and they just run away. It stresses them out. I only feed a small bowl of nuggets and plenty of hay and veggies during the day.

Trying to walk a rabbit on a lead is not going to be effective exercise. They generally take a hop or two, then graze. They don't walk like dogs and won't get any significant exercise that way. Why don't you just let them run around in a bunny-proof area. They can't binky or do any dashes when on a leash.

The reason that it is recommended for rabbits to have permanent access to a large space is so they can exercise on their own schedule and when they happen to be in the mood. Providing tunnels or cardboard boxes in that area can encourage them to explore. This is a better option than trying to force your rabbit to exercise on schedule by putting them on a leash.

As for diet, what are their ages? Proper diet varies with age.
 

Blue eyes

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Hi thanks for reply! They have run of garden but don’t do anything apart from hide under a bush at the back of the garden and I can’t get them in when it’s bed time as the garden to wet and they just run away. It stresses them out. I only feed a small bowl of nuggets and plenty of hay and veggies during the day.
This is why it is a good idea to have space indoors for them to get their daily exercise. It isn't necessary for them to go outdoors at all. The trick with providing exercise is to create a space that they will use. Your bunnies don't like slick floors so any space with that flooring doesn't count. If they don't like it outdoors (not surprising because they feel exposed and vulnerable) then that doesn't count either. The idea is to create a space with flooring they like to walk on - like the x-pen in photo above - and in which they feel comfortable (or will become very familiar with and then feel comfortable).

If you want to provide more space, it's a good idea to start small-ish and work up to a larger area.

For example, before letting my buns have free reign in the main area of the house, I used the x-pen to limit their space initially (the attached photo). This serves a couple purposes. One, is that they feel more comfortable at first if their space is limited -- not so overwhelming or 'scary.' Two, it allows them to absolutely know where to return in order to potty.

Once they've gotten comfortable in that limited area (like the one in the photo), then the area can be expanded. (In my example, this meant removing the x-pen altogether)
 

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Hermelin

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The more the rabbit get used with an harness the more they will feel comfortable, my rabbit runs around and can do binkys, but I’m training him to come on command so he can’t walk free on a meadow. My rabbit before him, always walked with out leash on and if he got scared he ran to me and jumped up to my arms.

Both my rabbits love getting out to the forest and jump around, digging and chewing on branches. They can really dig without causing trouble.
 

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