If you have a pet rabbit or more, you know by now that they love to chew on everything. This isn’t good practice for your rabbit and it can destroy your home.
This is one of the main reasons why you provide a safe caged habitat for your rabbit at bedtime, or those times when you’re away at work, or simply can’t supervise them around your home.
Some say you can stop your rabbit from chewing, but that isn’t always the case. Your rabbit needs to chew on items, but they should be non-toxic, edible, and healthy for the rabbit. Here are a few tips to help you provide some of the main requirements that your rabbit needs to be healthy.
Why Do Rabbits Chew?
Out in nature rabbits chew on a variety of plant matter. They spend much of their time wandering around, seeking items that are safe and taste good to chew.
Wild rabbits generally have the intuition to know what is safe to chew on, and what isn’t safe to chew on, but an indoor bunny may get desperate and start gnawing on your favorite table, or worse, the electrical cables to your electronics.
There are a few reasons why rabbits chew. The main one is that a rabbit’s teeth are different than a dog’s or a cat’s. A rabbit’s teeth continually keep on growing, even after adulthood.
If they don’t have something to chew on that keeps the teeth sanded down, the teeth will wear against each other over time. This could cause pain and annoyance, and finally lead to an expensive trip to the veterinary clinic to have the teeth polished down.
Rabbits also chew to keep themselves entertained. You can see how it can be an issue if they’re inside your house, chewing on anything to keep themselves from being bored.
For a house rabbit, you can bring them to a vet clinic to have their teeth shaved on a regular basis, but it can be quite distressing to them. It’s far better to prevent this condition from happening in the first place.
What Do Rabbits in Nature Chew On?
Rabbits will chew on a wide range of plants and grasses that grow where their live. They may chew on smaller apple or willow tree branches too.
Can I Stop My Rabbit from Chewing?
Rabbits can be trained to not be as destructive, but it’s just like with a dog or cat. Are you going to stop your dog from naturally barking, or your cat from jumping on the furniture? Probably not. It’s best to supply foods and chew toys that your rabbit can chew on to both keep occupied, and keep their teeth down to a reasonable length.
What Can My Rabbit Safely Chew On?
If you have access to apple or willow tree branches, then choose the smaller limbs for their cages. Some other options can be untreated willow baskets, untreated grass mats (you can find both at rabbit pet supply shops), and cardboard.
You can also provide a rolled up 100% cotton towel. If you visit the local pet supply store, they will have untreated fresh pine lumber that can be attached to your rabbit’s cage. Compressed alfalfa cubes are also another option. You can buy rabbit pellets that rabbits can chew on too. These are made from plant-based ingredients, including wheat middlings, alfalfa meal, and hay.
What About Carrots & Veggies?
You can feed your rabbit crunchy vegetables, such as carrots or celery. Be certain you can feed your rabbit specific types, before you do. For example, you should never feed your rabbit (or dog or cat), any onions, or garlic, as they contain toxins unsafe for animals.
Grass hay is perfect for them to chew on too, and should be the majority of their main diet. Leafy greens are good also, but you should still have some of the harder veggies and plant matter so that the rabbit’s teeth stay at normal length. Broccoli stems are a good option.
Bell peppers of any color are safe for your rabbit to chew on. Zucchini and summer squash are also great options. You should also give them a varied diet, as they can get bored of what to chew on, just like we do.
Are Their Rabbit Chew Toys?
Yes, you can purchase toys that are safe for rabbits to play with and chew on. Search for these in the pet rabbit aisle of your local department store or pet supply store. Do not buy chew toys for dogs, or toys for cats. Rabbit-focused toys are the safest option.
And don’t just buy one toy for your pet. Buy several. Rabbits get bored, just like we do. If they have a wide range of toys, chew toys, and foods, they will keep themselves occupied. But don’t forget to spend plenty of time with your pet too. They need lots of human interaction and cuddle time.
How Can I Stop a Rabbit from Chewing on My Things?
It’s important to rabbit-proof your home. At the least, you can save your belongings from damage, at worst, your pet could die from electrocution or poisoning. If you’re just bringing your pet rabbit into your home, now is a good time to start. Keep electrical cords safely out of their reach.
If you have a family heirloom, keep that in a room they won’t have access to. Vacuum the floors to pick up any stray pebbles or debris. Take items off the floors and put them on tables if you’re worried about them. You can place a large rug on the floor so your rabbit can safely run around, and that you can easily shake out and wash once a week.
Your rabbit is a member of the family and needs the best care from you. Providing everything you need for them to thrive on, including items they can safely chew on and eat, is all part of having a happy and healthy pet!