WHY YOUR RABBIT NEEDS TOYS
Toys are essential to your rabbit's overall health for many reasons. Rabbits need them for mental stimulation, physical exercise and chewing. Part of being a responsible rabbit owner is providing them with the things they need to live a long, healthy and happy life. Toys are as much a part of that as diet and living inside the house as a member of your family.
Rabbits are curious, intelligent animals who get bored very easily without challenging activities to occupy them. This boredom can give way to depression. A rabbit will find ways to entertain themselves, which could lead to destruction in your home. Creative use of toys extends your rabbit's life. It allows them to constantly move and grow.
Rabbits need as much exercise as a dog or cat. Your rabbit needs to work her body in addition to her mind. She will need things to hop on, hop around, crawl through, dig into and chew on. All of these activities will help keep your rabbit physically fit. Without physical exercise, your rabbit will become depressed and overweight. They may chew or jump on your furniture as an outlet. Paper bags and cardboard boxes provide them with places to crawl inside. They also provide something to scratch and chew.
Your rabbit's teeth will continue to grow throughout their lifetime. Toys provide a safe outlet for them to chew and wear down their teeth. They will also keep your rabbit safe. Without toys, she will seek out and chew electrical cords, wires and even your furniture. Providing appropriate toys is the first, and most important, step towards bunny proofing your house.
One of the many great things about rabbits is that you don't have to spend a lot of money on their toys. There are easy, safe alternatives that you can create yourself at home. Paper bags and cardboard boxes are a good place to start. Since rabbits are foragers, you can take some of their daily food and put it in a paper lunch bag after you have cut holes in it. This is an excellent toy that provides mental stimulation for your rabbit. Rabbits also like hiding places. You can cut two holes in a cardboard box and place it upside down on the floor for her. For extra fun, place a small towel inside for bunching and scooting. Another inexpensive toy for your rabbit is the leftover cardboard roll from paper towels or toilet paper. They love to nudge and roll things like rubber balls or empty Quaker Oat containers. Looking for a way to get rid of last year's Yellow Pages? Give it to your rabbit for shredding. Rabbits also like to be up high. If you have several, you can build a ramp that leads into a second story entrance of your cardboard box. You are only limited by your own creativity. Creating toys and activities for your rabbit will make you feel closer to her. For more ideas on rabbit toys, visit www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/toys.html.