Rabbit owners sometimes give up their bunny roommate because of rabbit chewing and/or digging. Furniture, moldings, carpeting, rugs, and more get chewed, ripped, tattered, and unstuffed. It can be upsetting to see possessions transformed into rabbit playthings.
The reality is that many rabbits enjoy digging, burrowing, and gnawing. Stop your furry pal from becoming a problem by understanding the issues and following these tips to minimize inappropriate chewing and digging.
Why Rabbits Dig
Bunnies have a natural tendency to dig. To survive in the wild, rabbits dig burrows to evade capture by predators and to have a secure place to rest.
Reduce the likelihood that your rabbits attempt an escape or create holes in your yard by providing them with exciting activities and chances to dig in locations you approve.
Why Rabbits Chew
Rabbits’ incessant chewing has a biological basis. Their teeth continue to grow and wear against each other throughout their lifetimes. Chewing the proper food and items helps keep the teeth worn down and in shape.
Boredom is one reason rabbits gnaw on inappropriate items in captivity. Bunnies seek out methods to amuse themselves and/or receive attention from their owners if they are alone or don’t have much stimulation. Chewing on objects is a simple approach to achieving both of these goals.
Wild rabbits consume a wide array of plants and grasses, because they have a biological instinct to chew and burrow in their natural environments. Whether or not a pet rabbit is destructive depends on what they can access and how they’ve been educated.
Change The Digging And Chewing Habits Of Your Rabbits
Provide Digging Boxes And Bunching Materials
Be creative and keep safety in mind here. If you don’t mind your rabbit digging around in a kid’s plastic wading pool, try packing one with only clean dirt. You can also fill a box (cardboard or plastic) that your rabbit can easily hop in and out of with shredded paper, biodegradable packing material, or a safe material that isn’t a choking hazard. To jumpstart the digging fun, provide a few treats, toys, or food around it, such as Rascally Rat Nutri-Berries.
Some rabbits have a penchant for “organizing” soft, pushable things like rugs, cushions, and towels. This is called bunching. If your rabbits enjoy this, be sure to provide plenty of safe, easy-to-clean bunching material for them on the floor.
Provide Chew Toys
Chewable toys always should be available for your pet rabbits. These must be bunny-specific. Chew toys for dogs and chew toys for rabbits are very different, because their teeth are very different. Bunnies love to chew bark from untreated apple or willow trees, untreated grass mats made for rabbits, untreated willow baskets or toys made for rabbits, and clean cardboard (no staples, tape, ink, etc.). These things make excellent chew toys for rabbits, as do other natural materials.
A variety of toys to choose from might help prevent your rabbit from becoming bored. Also consider providing an edible, natural, grass hideaway. Your rabbit is likely to pick it to satisfy his or her need to chew.
Protect Your Home By Rabbit-Proofing
Good rabbit-proofing techniques may eliminate many of the temptations and opportunities for your rabbit to get into trouble. First, don’t let your pet have full access to your house. In order to make training simpler, define a small area and properly rabbit-proof that area.
In order to keep your rabbit safe, keep your pal away from anything dangerous, such as power cords. Keep cords and wires tucked away and out of sight. PVC cable shields or tubing may be used for lines that run along the ground. Provide additional protection for other personal items, such as clothing and furniture.
You’ll experience less frustration, and training will go more easily if items your rabbit can destroy are limited or inaccessible.
Observe And Guide
You must educate your rabbit not to chew on your furniture and other possessions with gentle training that guides your furry friend to acceptable chew items. Your bunny won’t instinctively know not to chew your things. As a bunny owner, you must keep a close eye on your pal during playtime.
Begin teaching your rabbit as soon as you bring him home so that he has less time to develop bad habits. Always have appropriate chew and dig items available to your rabbit. If your rabbit does attempt to chew or dig anything he or she shouldn’t, firmly say “no” and clap your hands. Then, offer your rabbit a suitable item instead.
Add Another Rabbit
According to research, the presence of another rabbit seems to calm destructive bunnies. However, pairing two unneutered rabbits is a bad idea. The more rabbits you get if you couple a male with a female, the more probable it is that they will fight. Unneutered females may get along. It’s preferable to couple two neutered rabbits or a rabbit with a neutered rabbit of the opposite sex as an alternative approach.
Provide Your Rabbit A Safe Space
Burrows and hiding places may be simulated using rabbit tubes and tunnels, cardboard boxes, or open carry boxes. Moving or combining them may help keep your rabbits’ attention. To encourage your rabbits to utilize the tunnels or boxes, place tiny bits of their favorite food or treats around them.
Use Rabbit Repellent Sprays As A Last Resort
Spraying your rabbit’s favorite chewing things with a bitter apple spray (which can be purchased at most pet shops) may help. On the other hand, some rabbits seem to like it. Results are as individual as the rabbit. It may be worth a try, but it isn’t always practical.
Never use toxic chemicals in locations where your rabbit is prone to gnaw, such as in the litter box. It’s possible that even while a chemical like ammonia or bleach may be a good deterrent, ingesting too much of it might be dangerous or even deadly.
Keep In Mind
Your bunny needs time to learn, so be patient and persistent. Never slap or scream at your rabbit. An exercise pen (a folding enclosure) may be the best alternative if you want to take a vacation from continual monitoring and training.
Consistency and patience in educating your rabbit from the start are important factors in reducing digging and chewing habits. Focus on rewarding good behavior. Additionally, set your rabbit up for success by controlling the environment to minimize the opportunities for destruction.