The Omlet Blog

Exercise for rabbits and guinea pigs 

Exercise for rabbits and guinea pigs is important for their overall wellbeing, but it’s also a unique opportunity for you to bond and play with them. From playtime to training sessions, there are several ways to spend quality time with your rabbits and guinea pigs while benefiting their physical and mental health. Discover how much exercise your pets need, how to keep them fit, and how to build a bond through boredom busting activities with your rabbits and cavies. 

Two guinea pigs in the Omlet Zippi playpen

How much exercise do rabbits and guinea pigs need? 

Rabbits and guinea pigs need to be able to exercise on their own, as well as doing activities with their owners. The amount of exercise needed for each pet varies and is dependent upon their genetics, diet, and environment. This means that these pets need spacious outdoor rabbit runs or guinea pig playpens to ensure they have ample space to run, hop, stretch, and explore. 

Wild rabbits and guinea pigs are constantly on the move for their survival. This continuous need to move keeps them fit and spry — which are traits not always seen in their domesticated counterparts. While our backyard rabbits and guinea pigs may be distantly related to their ever-moving ancestors, their body compositions are still very similar. All rabbits have long, powerful hind legs, and guinea pigs are all potato-shaped with short legs and necks. 

Guinea pigs are especially prone to being overweight, which puts strain on their small legs and joints. But rabbits aren’t immune to issues caused by lack of exercise — they too can become overweight, and are also prone to boredom if they aren’t properly stimulated. Bored bunnies can become depressed or develop destructive habits. By giving bunnies and cavies plenty of outdoor space, you’ll help them get enough exercise to keep them healthy and happy. 

Encouraging your rabbits and guinea pigs to exercise 

Fostering your pets’ natural behaviors is one of the best ways to encourage them to exercise. Because of their anatomy and natural instincts, rabbits need large, outdoor spaces to fulfill their need to run, burrow, and scratch. Zippi Rabbit Tunnels simulate burrows in the wild that rabbits run through, which will encourage your bunnies to explore and play. And while guinea pigs might not dig their own tunnels in the wild, they will happily use burrows dug by other animals — or in the case of domesticated guinea pigs, those provided by humans. 

Guinea pigs can’t stand on their hind legs like rabbits can, so they appreciate a higher vantage point from which to view their world. Zippi Guinea Pig Platforms offer your cavies an elevated place to explore, and a shady, secluded space to hide beneath. The attached ramps encourage your guinea pigs to carry their weight at an incline, which strengthens their muscles and helps them maintain their figure. 

Exercises you can do with your rabbits and guinea pigs 

There are several ways to interact with your rabbits or guinea pigs while encouraging them to exercise. Some ideas include:

These are all fun ways to keep your pets fit both physically and mentally, while also providing you with a unique opportunity to build trust and confidence with them. Aim to incorporate half an hour of playtime with your bunnies and cavies once a day to help keep your pets bodies and minds stimulated. Playing with them doesn’t have to be robust, so any amount of interaction or movement that they would otherwise not be experiencing will build both a confident mind and strong muscles. 

Exercises to avoid with your rabbits and guinea pigs 

There is some equipment marketed for rabbits and guinea pigs that should be avoided, and some activities they shouldn’t participate in. These include: 

  • Exercise wheels or balls (similar to those for hamsters) marketed for rabbits or guinea pigs 
  • Leashes and harnesses 
  • Walks around your neighborhood

While it might be tempting to take your rabbits or guinea pigs for walks on a harness, the vast majority of small pets find harnesses uncomfortable and alarming, so it’s best to play with your bunnies and cavies within the safety of playpens designed for them, or in a pet-proof area of your home. Rabbits and guinea pigs are prey animals, and as such can startle and bolt easily with sudden sights and sounds — the strain from them spooking on a harness can cause severe damage to their necks, backs, and legs. 

Omlet and your rabbits and guinea pigs 

From guinea pig playpens and outdoor rabbit runs, we’ve created safe and smart enclosures that allow your pets the freedom to move and explore. These spacious options also make it possible for you to join them in their endeavors — putting you front and center in their lives. Watch your rabbits and guinea pigs explore through Zippi Tunnels, climb and meet you face-to-face with Zippi Platforms, and witness them experiencing the joy of fresh grass with mobile rabbit and guinea pig hutches.  You, your pet, and Omlet are a winning combination for years of health and happiness to come. 

Rabbit in the Omlet Zippi playpen with Zippi Tunnel System

 

This entry was posted in Guinea Pigs


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