Domestic rabbits also gain weight if you don’t feed them properly. When a rabbit has more fat than is healthy for its body size it means that he is suffering from obesity. How risky is this pathology for him? What can be done to get him back in shape?
Ideal weight of the rabbit
Rabbits tend by nature to gain weight, maintaining an ideal weight is not just an aesthetic question but it is mainly a rule to make them live in good health.
When the dumpling is overweight, in addition to appearing objectively heavy, he loses agility, is tired, always sleeps and struggles to move the joints, isn’t happy and his life expectancy can be very short.
A great way to monitor weight and take timely action is to weigh him once a week on a precision scale, comparing the result with breed standards. You can also get help from a vet if you are unsure.
Causes of rabbit obesity
The causes of obesity are essentially two: unbalanced diet combined with a lack of physical exercise.
At the base of the rabbit’s diet there’s the hay: it is a complete, healthy and nutritious food, rich in fiber, which provides the furry with all the substances he needs. For this reason, it is good that he always has some available. Vegetable leaves or alfalfa are also rich in fiber and should never be missing. Carrots and fruit contain high levels of sugar, so they should only be given if the rabbit has exercised. Of course, water is important to keep the rabbit healthy and well hydrated, so remember to always leave the drinking bottle or dispenser full.
How to cure rabbit obesity
In order to get the overweight rabbit back in shape, it is not recommended to completely reduce the amount of food, because these animals need to eat continuously to keep the growth of their teeth in check. However, you can try to select better quality foods and at most temporarily eliminate pellets and fruit, which can be reintroduced in limited quantities when the diet has given its result.
To solve the problem of tooth growth, you can give your friend chew toys such as Ferplast’s GoodBite Tiny & Natural, created specifically to strengthen the teeth and keep it well filed and above all they do not provide any additional nourishment. This way the rabbits will be able to nibble something to keep their teeth the right length, without compromising their diet!
The lack of movement can have unpleasant consequences: the rabbit must be able to run and jump… which he certainly cannot do if he is constantly locked up in a cage! Take the time to let him roam free and to play with him in a safe space. You can create circuits with the tunnel or invent games to entertain him, in this way, he can strengthen the muscles, the skeleton and also he can burn calories and excess weight.
Do not underestimate the problem of rabbit obesity and always pay attention to what they eat, do not reward them with snacks when not necessary, do not feed them after hours, their well-being is at stake!