Rabbits are very active animals. When given the opportunity, they could run around your house and chew into anything they can find. Rabbits are naturally designed to chew and as a pet owner, there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop them from chewing. Thus, you need to rabbit-proof your home in order to protect your belongings and your bunny. This article would guide you towards taking the necessary steps to rabbit proof your home.
How Do You Rabbit Proof Your Home?
Rabbit-proofing your home is simply a necessary step towards protecting your furniture and your bunny from harm. To rabbit proof your home, you simply have to protect your wooden surfaces and carpets and equally keep things out of your bunny’s way.
6 Tips for Rabbit proofing Your Home
There are certain ways to ensure that your home is completely bunny proof and safe:
- Most times, rabbits are drawn to your furniture. Your table legs, chair legs, and drawers are not safe when your little bunny is running around. To prevent them from chewing into your furniture, you could spray a bitter Apple spray or vinegar onto your dressers and other pieces of furniture. The purpose of this bitter spray is simply anti-chew. Most dog and cat owners make use of this spray. The bitter taste would put off your rabbit and prevent it from chewing into the sprayed furniture. Most rabbits do not like the bitter taste which the spray contains and should definitely give your sprayed furniture a wide berth. This spray is completely safe as it is not poisonous to your bunny and would not ruin your furniture either.
- However, a lot of people are not comfortable with using this bitter spray as they feel it is an extreme method of protecting their furniture from their bunnies. If you share this sentiment, you could wrap the legs of your tables and chairs with cardboard. This method is not completely anti-chew and would not prevent your rabbit from chewing but it would definitely prevent it from actually chewing your furniture. With the cardboard intact, your rabbit would only be able to gain access to the cardboard when it chews. It would not be able to chew into your furniture. Similarly, you could wrap the legs of your furniture in PVC tubing. This performs the same function but is more effective.
- Rabbits would chew into everything you leave lying around including your electrical cords and telephone wires. Electrical cords and wires pose the highest threat to your rabbit. This is because when your rabbit chews into an electrical wire, it does not just face the risk of choking on it, it equally faces the risk of getting electrocuted. Many a number of bunnies have died just by chewing electrical wires. Chewing an electrical cord could cause damages ranging from mild to serious extremes. A live wire could burn your bunny’s mouth or in extreme cases, damage its respiratory organs and cause it to stop breathing. To protect your bunny from harming itself and also destroying your wires, ensure that you do not have any exposed wires lying around. However, if you must have a wire in a room which your bunny has access to, insert your exposed wires into plastic tubes and hide them in a safe corner. Thus, if your rabbit bites into them, all it would bite into is plastic tubing, which poses no danger to its health.
- Another thing that could pose a danger to your bunny is your house plant or most other plants. Contrary to what most people believe, not all plants are safe for your rabbit to consume. Some of the plants you leave in your home could be very toxic to your bunny and it could die just by eating them. Plants such as ivy, amaryllis, lily and all plants that grow from bulbs. Even lettuce is not completely safe for your bunny. As such, ensure that every plant that could harm your bunny is out of its reach. Even if you must have a dangerous houseplant, make sure that the plant is in a separate room where your rabbit has no access to.
- Rabbits equally chew into baseboards. If your bunny is free to run around, it could chew into your baseboards and ruin them. To prevent this from happening and protect your baseboards, you could put up baseboard covers. The essence of a baseboard cover is to keep your baseboards out of sight and prevent your rabbit from chewing on the edges. When crafting or installing a baseboard cover, ensure that the cover is the appropriate size to adequately protect your baseboards. Most baseboard covers have hinges and flap to cover the baseboards.
- Another way of keeping your home rabbit-proof is by keeping food and food items out of reach. Do not place your food within the reach of your bunny. Placing your food on the table or on the ground is a huge no-no as long as you have a rabbit. If you do so, your bunny would gain access to it and nibble on it. Bear in mind that not all human foods are palatable and safe for your bunny’s consumption. So, in addition to ruining your meal, you could be endangering your bunny’s life by placing your meal within its reach. One thing you should know as a rabbit owner is that every object that you leave lying around becomes a potential chew toy for your rabbit. Rabbits love to play with objects which they come into contact with. Hence, you should keep sharp objects and objects made out of glass out of its way. For example, leaving out a nail could seriously endanger your bunny as it could try to chew on it and swallow it or it could hurt its paw on the nail.
Bunnies tend to reach into places that are potentially dangerous for them. For example, your oven, fireplace, stove etc. Your rabbit could get charred or ingest toxic substances when it crawls into these aforementioned places. Hence, you need to take the appropriate measures towards preventing them from crawling into dangerous places. Keep them away from your fireplace as they could get hurt or die in there.
How to Prevent Your Rabbit from Crawling into Dangerous Places
The first step towards keeping your bunny from crawling into dangerous places such as your fireplace is to select the rooms which your bunny should have access to and the ones it should not. This should be the most important action to take towards ensuring your bunny’s safety. Rooms which have potentially dangerous objects such as electrical cords and appliances should be strictly out of bounds. For example, your rabbit should not have access to your kitchen. This is because kitchens have the highest number of appliances that could hurt your rabbit. If you have a study that contains books, it is advisable to prevent your bunny from going in there as it could chew on your books and destroy them.
In order to make sure that your bunny does not crawl into the rooms which are out of bounds to it, you can install a baby gate. Normally, baby gates are made for babies. They serve as a protective and preventive barrier to prevent babies from crawling into unsafe places. Thus, you could create a baby gate for your bunny as it would serve the same purpose. Baby gates can be made out of plastic or metal. However, when installing a baby gate for your bunny, ensure that it is made out of metal. Baby gates made out of plastic would be completely useless as your rabbit can gnaw its way out of it and crawl into unsafe places.
On a personal note, I can tell you we always have 2 baby gates in place, one for the kitchen and the other one for the living room. Our two bunnies, House and Gus, are always trying to sneak into those rooms because they wanna chew the cables and cords laying around. This is way baby gates are a must if you keep your bunnies and your home appliances, both safe.
Bunnies are just like babies. They need constant supervision or they could fall into danger. One way of keeping your home rabbit-proof is by constantly keeping an eye on your bunny. When left alone, your bunny could destroy several important items of yours or ingest toxic substances. In the same vein, if you have other pets such as dogs or cats, it is highly advisable to keep your rabbit away from them. Set separate play arenas for your bunny and your other pets. Placing them together could put your bunny in harm’s way as your dog or cat could hurt or kill it.
How to Stop Your Bunny From Chewing Your Furniture
Apart from using a bitter Apple spray or vinegar, there are other effective ways to curbing your rabbit’s tendency to chew on your furniture. One of such ways is by providing it with alternatives for it to chew. When your bunny has something for it to constantly chew on, it would not pay much attention to your furniture. You could get plastic or wooden chew toys to keep it entertained. Also, you could feed it with more hay as they need all the nutrients they can get. Feeding your bunny with vegetables or giving it a toy to chew on would keep its teeth healthy and prevent it from focusing on your furniture and chewing on it.
In most cases, rabbits chew out of boredom. Thus, in order to reduce your bunny’s tendency to chew on your furniture, you need to keep it entertained. Provide a lot of toys and recreational activities for it. If this does not work, you could get another rabbit for companionship and to make it feel less bored.
You can also curb your rabbit’s chewing habits by constantly supervising it and giving verbal and non-verbal commendations and condemnation. This is basically training your rabbit not to chew. Give it positive reinforcement when it chews the right things such as its chew toys or other appropriate items. You can also give it positive reinforcement when it does not chew on your furniture or any other inappropriate item.
Keeping your home rabbit-proof could be quite tasking. However, you can achieve it by following the proper guidelines and taking the necessary safety measures. Your priority should be the safety of your bunny and the safety of your household items. Endeavor to keep your home rabbit proof for your benefit and that of your bunny.
What foods are good for my bunny teeth?
2 foods are great in regards to your rabbit’s dental health:
- Firs of all, hay is great food, not only because is nutritious and helps your rabbit digestive tract to work better, but also because helps to file your bunny’s teeth every time he or she chews it.
- The second food will be alfalfa, because of it’s high volume of calcium content in it. Calcium in rabbits, like in humans, helps to keep bone and tooth healthy.
Why Should You Rabbit-proof Your Home?
Rabbit proofing is done for one main purpose, to protect your home and your bunny from dangerous objects. It is a two-way measure. The essence of rabbit proofing is to protect your home and furniture from your bunny and equally protect your bunny from dangerous appliances or objects in your home. Thus, you need to take certain steps towards achieving this. If you want your bunny to stay safe and your furniture to remain intact, ensure that your home is completely rabbit proof.