Exercise with the room to run freely is paramount to a rabbit's physical and mental health.
How much exercise do rabbits need?
Rabbits are recommended to have a minimum of 4 hours of exercise daily. Exercise improves blood circulation and prevents pressure sores. There is a proven association between confinement and the development of spinal deformities.:8
What happens when rabbits do not get enough exercise?
Rabbits will become obese and may develop muscular, cardiovascular, and skeletal issues from a prolonged sedentary lifestyle. Possible medical issues include sore hocks (ulcerative pododermatitis), osteoporosis, urine sludging, and spinal fractures.
The following are cases about bunnies that have been rescued from this type of situation:
- The Rabbit Haven. (2015). Dora the Sad Brown Dutch
- Marit Emilie Buseth. (2013). Ten years in a hutch and the effects of a sedentary life, blog
- Susan Brown, DVM. (2012). Rabbits Need Exercise!
- Kim Chilson. Muscular and skeletal degeneration in rabbits that lack exercise
- Save a Fluff. How much exercise do rabbits need?
- The Bunny Guy. (2012). How Much Play Time Does Your Rabbit Need?
- Bunnyhugga. (2010). Exercise and playtime for rabbits
- Varga, M. (2013). Textbook of rabbit medicine. (2nd ed.).