Playing with your fluffy friend is just as important as feeding and cleaning them. Are you looking for the best way to have fun with your pet bunny and make the most of your daily playtime?
Bunny rabbits require a lot of care and attention from their owners, playtime being an integral aspect of it. For your bunny’s positive growth and development, it is important to have dedicated playtimes scattered across the day to keep them busy.
Every bunny is different and enjoys some games and activities better than others. It is important to understand the personality and preferences of your fluffy ones by getting to know them when you take them in. Paying attention to your bunny’s habits and preferences can help you set activities best suited to them.
Like all other animals, bunnies like to play games that appeal to their natural tendencies and inclinations. The mischievous side in your bunny will have a blast playing hide and seek or hot and cold.
This guide will cater to all the factors you must take into consideration while playing with your bunny, relating to their safety and general temperament. We will also be providing a comprehensive list of games to play and a variety of toys you can purchase, along with DIY toy options for your daily playtime.
Factors to Bear in Mind
It takes time and effort to familiarize your rabbit with different activities and games you may choose to play with them.
Here are a few guidelines to follow when determining what kind of games to set for your playtime with your pet rabbit.
Get to Know Your Bunny First
Your furry friend has a personality of its own. Playtime should be in line with their preferences and personality.
Be an accommodating pet owner and let your bun decide what they like to do best. Initially, you can spend a week or two getting to know your bunny’s preferences and sticking with activities that generate the best response.
Pay attention to how they respond to physical touches such as petting and cuddles, whether they are receptive towards it or shy away from them. A large part of communication among rabbits is their body language and physical gestures.
Right off the bat, it’s important for all rabbit owners to understand the delicate anatomy of their pet. With delicate skin and bones, care is crucial, and any form of roughhousing can prove detrimental to the health of your bunny.
Avoid loud noises that can startle and disorient your bunny. Rabbits also pick up sudden movements very quickly and can confuse them. Keep your bunny calm and at ease, and avoid creating a frenzy that can upset them.
Take your research a step ahead by learning about the anatomy of a rabbit first and knowing how to handle them safely during playtime. Avoid any rough games that can cause physical harm to your bunny.
Choose the Right Spot
Much like your bunny’s home or enclosure, their playtime area must be well thought out. Choose a clutter-free area with a decent amount of room for your bunny to move around.
Dropdown to the Floor
Don’t expect your bunny to be the one making any changes. Lay down on the floor with them instead of trying to raise them to your level.
Rabbits find themselves uncomfortable and agitated being lifted off the ground. Being on the ground and in familiar territory will help your bunny feel much more secure and be at a lesser risk of falling.
Keep It Short and Sweet
Keep your playtime brief and take cues from your bunny to stop as soon as they lose interest or start getting tired. Bunnies tend to have a demanding nap schedule and may need food and water after short intervals of time.
A good time period would be 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the type of game you choose to play and your bunny’s temperament.
Make It Official
It always helps to set cues for your bunny to follow at the beginning and end of playtime. Choose a phrase that you consistently use to indicate to your bunny that it is playtime.
Once that time is over, choose another phrase to call out to your bunny. It is important to use the same phrase each time so that, with time, your furry friend can learn and head to it.
Think Like Your Bunny
Who knows what they like better than your furry friend themselves? Channel your inner bunny and start to think like one. Understand instincts rabbits have and formulate games that surround them.
Let Your Bunny Decide
Do not force your bunny into strict playtimes but instead, be more open to them deciding themselves. Respond to any nudges they may give towards playtime, and do not impose any of your own that they may not be receptive towards.
Take It Slow
Setting a playtime regimen takes time and effort. The process of trial and error is lengthy, and it can take weeks to determine a set of games that are easy to play and your pet rabbit enjoys.
Do not push toward a game that you enjoy playing. Instead, let your rabbet explore and develop their own likes and dislikes naturally. This is a gradual process. Take your time, and you’ll find your efforts to be worth the wait!
Games to Play
Now that you have understood all the necessary guidelines when it comes to choosing the ideal game for your pet, let’s get down to its different types. These tried and tested activities will give you a solid place to start as you begin developing a playtime routine with your bunny.
Start simple! Do not choose an overly complicated game at first because you may end up losing the essence of playtime.
While there is no set pattern to the type and variety of games you can play with your rabbit, you may be limited by your lack of ideas. If you are new to playtime games, here are a few simple ones to get you started!
Toss a Ball Around
One of the most straightforward games you can play is a simple ball toss or roll. This involves familiarizing your bunny with the back-and-forth movement of the ball as you roll it on the ground.
Gently roll the ball towards your rabbit at first. If they are startled by this, do not try to force it on them and attempt it again later. If your bunny ignores the ball or responds by pushing the ball back toward you, repeat this exercise once or twice a week for the next few days.
It will take a few weeks for your bunny to get completely used to the activity, at which point you can make it a permanent feature in playtime.
Sliding on a Blanket
Your rabbit enjoys sliding around as much as you do. If your bunny’s temperament agrees, you can place them on a blanket and slide the blanket across the floor.
It is usually not as easy as it sounds, but once you and your bunny get used to it, it becomes a great bonding and playtime activity.
First, demonstrate the game you are about to play to your rabbit. Do not thrust them directly into it. You can use a stuffed toy or any soft object and drag it across the floor so that your rabbit can see the forward and backward movement. To bring them to sit on the blanket, you can place a rabbit treat on it and watch them move toward it.
Naturally, it is important to test the waters and see if this is something your rabbit might enjoy and then include it into your daily playtime routine.
Many rabbits love to play toy toss, and yours might too.
To play this simple game, all you need are a few lightweights and safe rabbit toys to toss around. If your furry friend is fond of playing fetch, this is a safe and easy-to-play game.
You can assess whether your rabbit is enjoying it by seeing if they retrieve the toys and bring them back to you.
Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is another favorite amongst many bunnies and could be a win with yours too. By hiding yourself in an easy-to-access location, you can call out your bunny’s name and make them find you.
Once you are found, you can reward them with a treat.
If you like to play games involving more actions, you should try making a dig box for them.
This game is better to play outdoors as it can cause a bit of a mess. It is vital to ensure that the dedicated play area is clean, safe, and supervised at all times to prevent any unwanted accidents.
If you do not have an outdoor option, you can dedicate a space in the corner of your house and place a spacious container or enclosure for your bunny. Your container should ideally be a few times bigger than your bunny to prevent them from feeling restricted and restless.
In terms of depth, choose a container with at least 4 inches of room for your bunny to dig around in. To encourage this activity, you can place treats inside the sand and cover them up for your bunny to dig through and find for themselves.
Stimulate your furry friend mentally by coming up with little strategy-based games for them to play.
This helps keep them active and sharp and can be a fun bonding exercise as well. Your imagination limits you in terms of the activities that fall into this category.
Hide a treat in one hand and raise both in front of your bunny. If they nudge towards the right hand, the treat is theirs for the taking.
Make your bunny follow a specific path by creating a tiny obstacle course dotted with bunny treats. Your rabbit can collect the treats as they go and can be rewarded at the end for following the correct path.
Hot and Cold
This game might be a little tricky, but once learned, it can become your bunny’s favorite activity.
You might have played hot and cold as a child, where one player hides an object within a room, and everyone else has to find it. The other players come into the room and are given hot or cold cues to indicate whether they are moving in the right direction toward the hidden object.
A similar game can be played with your pet bunny. Hide a treat somewhere in a room where your rabbit can easily access it. As your bunny tries to find the treat, give them verbal cues such as a more excited voice as soon as they approach the treat and a lower one as they move away from it.
Your favorite weekend game is just as popular amongst bunnies. You can buy a small children’s bowling set with plastic pins for this game. Set them up and the cue for your bunny to knock them over.
If your bunny successfully knocks down all the bowling pins, you can reward them with a bunny treat.
Rabbit treats are the best way to enforce playtime habits by rewarding them for completing tasks or performing well.
However, use them only in small amounts rather than substituting them for a healthy and nutritious meal. Some bunnies enjoy a certain brand of treats better than others. It may help to try out one or two at first, depending on their breed, and stick to the one they like best.
Favorite Toys Amongst Bunnies
Rabbits have their own set of preferences when it comes to playtime activities and especially toys. You’ll find that the toys bunnies enjoy playing with the most are not very different from what children tend to play with.
Cardboard houses are a big hit amongst rabbits, as they enjoy the different paths and rooms that can be taken. You can make one at home using discarded cardboard boxes by cutting out different doors that your bunny can run in and out of.
Tunnels are another toy that rabbits love to scurry around in. You can either purchase foam tunnels from your local pet store or make your own at home using empty cardboard rolls or long boxes. Watch your furry friend have a great time scurrying through the tubes during playtime.
It is important to note that any toys you purchase or make at home must be safe for your bunny to interact with. Do not leave any exposed sharp edges that can hurt your bunny.
Avoid using loose rope or string that can cause your rabbit’s feet to get tangled between them, causing injury and discomfort.
Additionally, toys with preservatives or chemical coatings can result in an adverse reaction to your pet’s skin or fur. Be careful to purchase safe toys that are not treated with harmful chemicals or made with any material that can be detrimental to your bunny’s health.
Playtime is an invaluable bonding exercise between you and your bunny. It also provides much-needed movement and exercise for your rabbit to sustain a healthy pace of growth.
It is important to invest time and effort into setting up the games you want to play with your bunny. Pay close attention to their reaction will let you decide which ones they prefer more.
In the initial few weeks of adopting your bunny, you must pay close attention to its behaviors. This period is vital to establishing trust and learning your bunny’s habits.
With all this in mind, the most integral step is to ensure the safety of your bunny at all times. Do not attempt any risky games or activities that can put your furry friend in harm’s way.
Now that you know what to do, there’s nothing stopping you from developing a fun and healthy playtime routine with your bunny. So good luck!