Following on from our blog giving you top tips for pampering your cat, we decided to continue this theme and give you some easy DIY ideas for treating your rabbit and making them feel extra special this Pet Month. Rabbits are highly social and intelligent animals, so as well as giving them a large space to run and bounce around and be generally inquisitive, providing them with treats to eat and play with will keep them active and enrich their lives.
Before we delve into rabbit boredom breakers, we need to outline what rabbit treats are acceptable and which ones you should steer clear of, as well as highlighting the importance of limiting their treat intake. One of the most essential aspects of a rabbit’s diet is grass and hay, which should comprise of 80% of a rabbit’s diet, therefore it is important not to overfeed your rabbits on other types of food.
As well as this, the majority of rabbits have a really sensitive digestive system and therefore, if you are going to treat your pet with foods outside of grass and hay, it’s important to test start with one niblet at a time and grow this portion once you are certain there has been no adverse reason, such as diarrhoea.
What treats can rabbits eat?
Foods that rabbits should avoid include:
- potato leaves
- tomato leaves
- rhubarb leaves
- yoghurt drops
Food that are safe treats are:
As an extra occasional treat for your lovely bunny you can bake them some fresh cookies! We have a recipe idea that we’re sure your rabbit will love.
- 1 small carrot, pureed
- 1/2 banana, mashed until really creamy
- 60g ground rabbit pellets
- 32g of hay
- 1 tbsp honey
- Mix pureed carrot, banana and honey in a medium bowl.
- Put the hay and rabbit pellets into food processor and blend.
- Mix all ingredients until combined. Knead in your hands for 1-2 minutes. Roll into small balls.
- Place the balls on parchment covered baking tray.
- Bake at 150 fan for about 30 minutes (check to make sure they are not browning too much).
As well as treats, we know the way to a rabbit’s heart is through lots of fun activities – burrowing, chewing, foraging – rabbits love to be active! Providing toys for your rabbit definitely doesn’t need to break the bank, we’ve compiled a list of easy peasy toys your rabbit will love.
Rabbits love to solve puzzles, especially when there is food at the end of it! You can use lots of household items to make fun toys for your bunny that will not only keep them entertained but will encourage natural behaviour such as foraging and food gathering.
Paper Bag – Just take a paper lunch bag, stuff with hay, tie the top with a longish piece of hay. Cut a few small holes in the bag to encourage them to dig in it.
Toilet paper tubes – If you don’t have paper bags, simply stuff a toilet roll tube full of hay and treats. You could try hanging the roll too, tempting your rabbit onto to its hind legs to feed. These toilet rolls also act as a great rabbit toy by themselves as rabbits love to push and throw it around once all the treats are finished!
Old cardboard box – Find an old cardboard box from an online delivery and fill it with hay, strips of newspaper, soil, sand and a few vegetable treats! This will encourage the natural behaviour of digging and foraging and keep your bunny amused with finding the treats and eventually chewing the cardboard.
Rabbits love to chew and will chew on almost anything; their bowls, their cage and even themselves. Giving them something they can spend time gnawing on will not only be beneficial for their gum health, but will also stop them potentially hurting themselves.
Wood block – You can attach a wood block to the side of the cage or place it in the cage to let your bunny push around. Make sure the wood you’re using is safe and not chemically treated. Most people use apple, pine, or willow for their rabbit toys as this is typically what commercial rabbit toys are made of .
Old wicker baskets – If you have any old, retired wicker baskets, you can place these in your bunny cage (depending on size of course) for your rabbits to gnaw on, or leave outside the cage for when they are roaming free.