Your rabbit or guinea pig may not posing in front of the mirror, turning this way and that, assessing the need for more Pilates. But…you do need to keep an eye on their weight. (You may want to go back and take a look at “Does your rabbit have a muffin top”).
Rabbits are athletes, and given the chance they run, hop, race around, binky, and generally MOVE. Chinchillas are great climbers. Guinea pigs, well, guinea pigs are not the most exercise-minded beings we know. But exercise is still very important for them too.
The rump is the powerhouse for all this activity. Those muscles are, literally, behind all the activity. So when we want to check to see if our animal is getting enough exercise, and staying fit, we can look to the rump. Likewise, if our friend is a little “upholstered”, this too will show up in the rump.
So what is a fit rump? You should see a nice flat plane between the spine and lower “thigh”. There should be no curving in or out, like a nice flat human tummy would be between ribs and hips. And those muscles underneath should feel strong, not mushy or pillowy.
If you’re animal has some junk in the trunk, it is time to do some work. Yup, diet and exercise. No way around it.
Get rid of any sugary treats, and any treats with dairy. No more carrots and yogurt drops! There are plenty of alternatives (check out Small Pet Select Herbal Blends here, for instance). Cut way back on pellets and encourage eating more hay and fresh greens.
You don’t exactly need to get out your yoga mats and start on a daily routine, but do play some games, like hide-and-seek, or move food to secret spots that need to be discovered by searching. Encourage jumping up onto things, chasing toys, etc. Get those rumps romping!
But BE CAREFUL: any weight loss program has to go slowly. Stay tuned for more info about weight in our next post!