type problems. The added weight makes it much more difficult for bunny to move, and adds stress to already sore joints. Obesity increases your bunny's risk of heart disease. Quality of life as well as life span could be diminished if your bunny is too big for his britches.
What can you do to help your bunny act and feel his or her best? Learn  the proper diet and exercise routine for your favorite friend. The recommended guidelines for pellets is as follows: for a bunny 2 to 4lbs give 1/8 C., 5 to 7lbs give ¼ C, 8 to 10lbs give ½ C., and for a bunny 11 to 15lbs give ¾ C. Avoid the pellets with all the "extras," such as seeds, nuts, dried banana chips, and so on. Look for timothy or alfalfa based pellets; keeping in mind that timothy pellets are less sweet than the alfalfa based pellets.

limited quantity. If you do give a special treat, such as a piece of apple or banana, keep it to no more than 1 tsp. size a few times a week. If you have a baby bunny, you should avoid treats altogether as they can disturb the tummy.
Exercise is a vital part to any

BIG FOR HIS BRITCHES

(Continued from page 1)

the upcoming Bunny Festival to do a brief health check on your bunny for the only $5.00).
Overweight bunnies are at greater risks for skin conditions such "sore hocks." These are open sores on the bottoms of the feet, which if left untreated can lead to infection. Such sores are often found in caged overweight and sedentary bunnies. The excessive weight of the bunny adds extra pressure, which can aggravate the problem and complicate the treatment.
Urine scald is another skin ailment of overweight bunnies. An obese rabbit is more likely to stay in one place after urination. This increased contact between the acidic urine and delicate skin areas can lead to irritation and even open sores. Often, overweight bunnies have a hard time reaching these areas to give a proper cleaning. In very severe cases surgery may be recommended to remove excess skin folds where urine and feces collect. To make matters worse, an obese rabbit is at increased risk during surgery and  recovery.
Difficulty in eating cecotropes is also common for an overweight bunny. Cecotropes are the vitamin rich fecal droppings, which look like grape clusters that are produced in your rabbit's cecum. Cecotropes are your bunny's version of a daily multivitamin. Missing out on these nutritious meals can decrease bunny's overall immunity to illness and disease.
Mobility is reduced with an overweight bunny, especially those with arthritis or other skeletal

4 hours of play

bunny's daily routine. A minimum of 4 hours a day in a large play area is needed for a happy and healthy bun bun. Provide your bunny with play things, such as a tunnel or a box. There are lots of companies that sell bunny-safe toys, such as Cats and Rabbits and More and BunnyLuv. Many bunnies enjoy a ball to push around, or a ring to toss. These toys can really add some quality exercise to bunny's playtime, and be fun to watch for the bunny owner also.
Finally, regular check-ups with your vet can help diagnose and treat any health problems your pet may develop. Remember that slim, fit and healthy bunnies are happy bunnies. Look for more information on proper diet and exercise for you favorite pet at the upcoming Bunny Festival at the BUNS booth and Spa Bunne.
by Suzzane Ilgun, Chair of the
B.U.N.S. Medical Committee

Free access to hay!

The bunny should have free access to hay. Use timothy, oat grass, or forage hays. Avoid alfalfa, as it has a high caloric content and really should only be used with baby bunnies, or nursing mothers. Your bunny will also enjoy a variety of fresh vegetables every day. A general guideline is about one heaping cup of fresh veggies per 4lbs of rabbit. Vary the veggies you offer to your bunny, and try to offer at least three different types of veggies per day. Often times your bunny will do as many bunny binkies for his/her favorite veggie as for his/her favorite treat. Giving your bunny a special treat to reward good behavior is ok in a very