Unfortunately, obesity in rabbits doesn’t just mean they have a few extra curves. They are at greater risk of being exposed to fly strike, excessive amounts of grape-like smelly poo which is visible daily. They can suffer joint mobility issues, matted fur, and even gut blockages. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to help get your rabbits back to their happy, binky-loving self.
Provide a spacious environment
Rabbits need a large spacious environment 24/7 to help keep them fit and active. If your rabbits are currently spending many hours in an indoor cage or hutch, it’s time to look at adding more space. However, you should do this slowly and cautiously, especially if the rabbits have been housed in a smaller space for some time, so they can adjust to the extra space. Slowly over a few weeks, increase the space. You can do this in by following either of these two suggestions:
Set them up in a new enclosure, but do not give the whole space to them all at once. Slowly allow them more and more of it, plus add in new enrichment items gradually each time
Slowly extend what you have already been using by adding attachments from companies such as www.runaround.co.uk. After a few weeks, your rabbits will have been able to safely adapt to extra space and have the ability to hop further, reach up, dig, and even run.
Find out more about suitable rabbit accommodation in our advice article.
Maintain a healthy diet
Rabbits need a healthy diet made up of 85% hay/grass, 10% fresh forage and 5% nuggets, plus constant access to a fresh water supply. Read our article for more information on what should be included in your rabbit’s diet.
If you have noticed any of the above health concerns with your rabbit, making slow but key changes to your rabbits daily diet can make a big difference. Firstly, ensuring your rabbits are eating plenty of hay is very important. Rabbits like to browse, so dotting large fluffy piles about, or garden hanging baskets filled with hay can help. Even replacing litter in the trays with newspaper and lots of meadow hay will encourage them to eat more.