Whether you own a Flemish Giant, English or French Lop, New Zealand White or a Belgian Hare, your giant rabbit needs enrichment to live a fun and fulfilling life. Enrichment takes many forms and for giant rabbits, you’ll need to scale up some of the toys and tunnels to fit.
Ideal toys for your giant rabbit include: bamboo chews, tunnels, food puzzles, treat dispensers, wooden blocks.
I love our English Lops, the qualities of these bunnies are so endearing, it’s no wonder they’re called the “dogs of the rabbit world.” They love to say ‘hello’ by standing on their hind legs, they take long naps, will hop over for a stroke and adore being groomed.
It is understandable why this rabbit breed would be referred to as ‘dogs’ in their world – they have that same placid temperament with an outgoing curiosity about everything around them. So without further ado, here are my top toys and enrichment ideas for your giant rabbit breed to encourage natural behaviours and keep them happy.
Chew Toys for Giant Rabbit Enrichment
Chewing is one of the most natural behaviors a rabbit engages in, and it has a biological purpose. Without chewing constantly, a rabbit’s teeth would grow to the point that it could no longer feed itself. Like a beaver or other rodents, rabbit teeth grow continually throughout its life and must be regularly ground down through chewing and gnawing.
If your rabbit isn’t provided with chew toys to encourage this natural chewing behavior, they will choose their own objects to chew in the house (and you probably won’t like it). Rabbits can do a ton of damage to skirting boards, doorframes, and nice furniture if they aren’t provided with an outlet for their chewing.
To prevent your giant rabbit from chewing on your furniture or the corners of your walls, be sure to provide plenty of appropriate chew toys such as willow, hard wicker, and tree branches from non-toxic trees such as apple or pear trees.
Here are some other good chew toys to try:
- Wicker Ball Chew Toys: These attractive rolling chew toys are made of a variety of natural, edible materials such as willow twigs, corn husk, and coco coir. Because rabbits will often knock them around trying to chew them and end up having to chase them, this provides additional enrichment fun.
- Woven Grass Bed Mat: Rabbits enjoy having a mat to lay on, but this large woven grass mat does the double duty of being chewable at the same time.
- Sweet Bamboo Chews: These dried bamboo pieces are sweet-tasting to encourage rabbits to chew on them. These chews are also completely edible so you don’t have to worry about the rabbit ingesting them little by little as they chew.
Giant Rabbits Enjoy Objects to Climb Upon
While rabbits aren’t an arboreal animal and won’t use branches to climb around in their habitat like some small pets, they’re used to trekking over obstacles in the wild and as a result they enjoy the chance to climb around on low-lying objects such as flat-top rocks, half-buried tires, or apple crates.
Rabbits enjoy using uneven terrain to exercise their hopping muscles and giving them some diversity in their terrain where they roam around can help encourage them to stay fit. I’m assuming you have a huge outdoor run, or use the whole garden, for your giant rabbit to be able to stretch their long legs.
Use logs, boulders, flower pots, apple crates and straw bales to enrich your rabbits enclosure.
Did you know? Giant rabbits on average are 2.5-3ft long. They can reach over 4 feet long when stretched out or standing on their hind legs. This means they need a lot of space. They should be able to take at least take 3 consecutive hops in any direction in their enclosure, which could potentially add up to a whopping 12 feet!
According to the Guinness World Records, the longest Flemish Giant rabbit was 4 foot 3 inches (1.3 metres)
Giant Rabbits Love to Run in Tunnels
In the wild, rabbits spend a large part of their lives in homemade tunnels that they dig underground called warrens. These burrows are expansive and in many places these underground tunnels are large enough for the rabbit to turn around in.
You can help stimulate your rabbit’s natural burrowing instinct by providing them with a series of tunnels that they can pop in and out of when they’re out of their hutch exercising and enjoying themselves.
These tunnels can either be made from cardboard like his giant colourful tunnel from Rosewood , or you can buy a kids play tunnel. We love this brilliant four-way one, that mimics a warren that your rabbit to use. Remember not to leave them with it unsupervised though, as it’s not chew proof!
Rabbits Are Enriched by Foraging and Digging for Treats
Like many small pets, rabbits gain a lot of environmental enrichment through the use of their senses. One of the best ways to engage their senses is to offer food they enjoy eating. Since rabbits have a keen sense of smell, sight, and taste, they enjoy being offered a wide variety of treats.
Whilst the average rabbit would eat 1-2 egg cups (25g – 50g) of high-fiber pellets per day, a giant rabbit can eat 5-7 egg cups per day. This should be monitored closely and reduced if the rabbit puts on too much weight. (rspca.org.uk)
You can make offered treats even more enriching by hiding them around the area where the rabbit can exercise outside of their hutch. Place treats under a straw mat, inside a series of toilet paper rolls, or in other easy-to-discover places to help make your rabbit’s day. You can even make them a giant rabbit digging box!
Here are a few examples of treats that you can use:
- Small chunks of chopped vegetables
- Bits of dried fruit like pineapple
- Oat hay
Get Your Giant Rabbits More Toys!
Outside of toys to chew on, many rabbits also enjoy just having a few regular toys to play with like a cat or dog. They may even bring their toys to you in the same way a dog does!
Many rabbit toys are chewable by necessity since rabbits don’t have hands and naturally chew everything with their mouths, but they’ll often carry around favorite objects rather than destroy them.
Here are a few toys you might try with your giant rabbit other than designated chew toys:
- Ancol Treat Ball: This treat ball is perfect for placing smaller food treat items inside and letting the rabbit get at them gradually rather than placing bits of food openly in your house around your rabbit’s play area, which can lead to problem insects like ants and other housekeeping issues.
- Rabbit Snuffle Mat: A snuffle mat is a great toy for rabbits. Just hide there treats in the fleece fronds for your rabbit to snuffle out. This provides both physical and mental stimulation.
- Edible Play Log Many rabbit toys are made of chewable materials by necessity, and this edible play log is great. Although your rabbit won’t be able to get inside, you can stuff it with hay and some treats for extra fun and boredom busting.
Take Your Rabbit Outdoors
House rabbits love getting a chance to get into the great outdoors and experience all of the sights, smells, and sounds of being outside, but even giant rabbits are vulnerable to predators if they’re left outdoors in a garden or backyard by themselves.
However, there are plenty of other ways you can take your rabbit along with you when you’re out roaming around, and these tools will help you keep your rabbit safe while also helping you keep your rabbit from darting away to get lost or run into traffic.
Here are a few ways you can take your rabbit outside with you:
- A harness and leash: You’ll have to be patient to walk a rabbit since they aren’t very quick and kind of hop haphazardly around rather than walking in a straight line like a dog, but rabbits will enjoy the chance to get out in a lush meadow or field on a leash and harness for safety.
- A stroller: Join the growing trend of wheeling your rabbit down the street in an enclosed pet stroller. This is one of the most stress-free ways of taking your rabbit on a walk without fear of being attacked. Strollers are also a great way to safely introduce your rabbit to other people.
- Pet carrier backpack: Who doesn’t love a bubble pet carrier? If you can handle the weight your rabbit will love the chance to ride along with you in a spot where they can see everything that passes by.
The average Flemish Giant weighs about 7kg (15 lbs.). That’s the same weight as 3 Chihuahua dogs. (pdsa.org.uk)
It may take your rabbit a few trips out to get used to visiting the outdoors, but once they get used to going on walks they’re likely to enjoy the process. While rabbits aren’t complicated animals, they do enjoy seeing and smelling new things.
Enrichment Helps Make Your Rabbit’s Life Better
Like dogs, cats, and other animals that are kept in captivity, rabbits can live a much happier and longer life if they’re given activities to stimulate their mind. Without enrichment toys and activities, rabbits can be prone to boredom that leads to destructive behaviors such as environmental damage, hutch-chewing, and fur-pulling.
Use the above guide to provide safe and healthy enrichment for your rabbit, and you’re bound to have your furry friend around for years to come!
Recommended Toys For Giant Rabbit Breeds
|Edible Play Log||View on Amazon|
|Play Tunnel||View on Amazon|
|Natural Sweet Bamboo Chews||View on Amazon|
|Treat Ball||View on Amazon|
|Cardboard Tunnels ( 2 Pack)||View on Amazon|
|Woven Grass Play Ball||View on Amazon|
|Grass Mat Woven Mats (3 pack)||View on Amazon|
|Adjustable Soft Harness with Elastic Leash||View on Amazon|
|Bubble Carrier||View on Amazon|
|Rabbit Stroller||View on Amazon|