Knowing what our animals can safely chew on and not chew on is always a high priority. It should be. It’s part of being an ethical pet owner and keeps us informed about best practices and what our pets should have and what they shouldn’t have.
Bunnies are no different. There are plenty of items they can have and plenty of items they shouldn’t have. Bunnies are also one of the small animals we often adopt as pets that love to chew. They will chew all day if given the opportunity. So, what’s the best solution to this issue?
What items should we have stocked and ready to go to make sure our bunnies get to act on their natural impulses and keep chewing as long as their heart desires. Well here’s the thing. Plenty of items are great for your bunny and some items are not so great.
My goal in this post today is to give you 15 items that your bunny can safely chew on with no worries or anxiety shifted to you as the owner and as a bonus, I’ll even throw in a few significant items that bunnies should never chew on.
Sound good to you?
Keep in mind that some of the toys listed out in this post can be either homemade or store purchased and it’s essential to use only safe bunny materials as part of the process. This can include the glues used, nuts and bolts or even the type of wood used to throw some of these easy to make toys together.
Some woods can be toxic. Especially if they come from certain trees such as fruit trees, apricot trees or peach trees, so it’s important to exercise caution and only use the safest materials.
It’s difficult if not impossible to train your rabbit not to chew so this is an issue you are going to encounter along the way.
Okay, now, let’s dive into the details.
15 Items Your Bunny Can Chew to Remain Happy and Safe!
#1- Chew Tubes or Toilet Paper Rolls
Yep! I’m not kidding even in the slightest. Rabbits love toilet paper rolls and chew tubes shaped like toilet paper rolls. First, it’s free. Well, at least I’d hope it’s free, and that use toilet paper around the home for other reasons.
Additionally, it’s 100% safe for your rabbit. Not only are toilet paper rolls excellent for your rabbit to chew on but in most circumstances, your rabbit will play with these rolls, run around and enjoy them in about every way possible.
This is also going to stimulate your bunnies mental state and provide some much-needed exercise. If you need a safe, cheap chewing toy for your bunny, toilet paper rolls may perhaps be my number 1 recommendation on this list.
Yep, depending on how easily you can access twigs around the yard or the property, they are another perfectly safe method you can use for giving your bunny a healthy outlet and day full of chewing. You see, twigs and other safe woods can be great.
Your bunny needs a way, and when you can find free or dirt-cheap options to provide your bunny, it’s a win-win. It’s also something I always advocate if you can get household type items that already have been used or can be bunny safe.
Keep it cheap but keep your bunny enjoying a day doing what they do best. Chewing.
#3- Cotton Towels
Yep, another often overlooked item on this list. No, you don’t need to give your rabbits the cotton towels hanging in your bathroom or in the kitchen. You can either order a new cheap set of cotton towels and let them go to town on them, or if you really prefer, they can chew on cotton household towels.
Ultimately the choice is yours, but this is another quick and easy fix to give your bunny something to do and occupy their mind. Who doesn’t need a new set of towels or some older ugly ones that need to be thrown out?
Don’t raise your hand because likely, I won’t believe you!
Bet you would have never thought of this! Kidding, of course. Yes, hay is something that not only your bunny needs in their diet, but it’s also a completely safe, nutritional item that your bunny should always have permanent access too. If they want to chew it and eat the entire bin, more power to them. Provide more.
Hay should never be an item your bunny is without. Hay and pellets (make sure they are rabbit pellets) are two main food groups for your rabbit, but many individuals always think of hay as eating only when it creates a tremendous chewing item for your bunny to always have access too.
#5- Various Homemade or Commercially Purchased Toys
This is where you want to be a little bit careful. Again, make sure you avoid the woods that we discussed previously in this post if you are going to construct your own.
In addition, many of the toys you choose to use can be more safely used by attaching or fixing to the cage in either a side wall mounted manner or a hanging manner from the top bars.
Willow is one of the tree forms rabbits can chew safely. This could come in the way of homemade toys made from willow wood or store purchased chew sticks. It’s not necessarily which toy you choose to you but ensuring that you are aware that willow is a 100% safe option for your bunny to chew on.
#7- Wicker Chew Balls
Anyone who knows how rabbits behave understand that they love to chew and dig on various items. They are curious animals. Wicker chew balls that you can order on Amazon or pick up at a local pet store can be a great option to satisfy these needs for your rabbits.
These are cheap options but beware, if your rabbit falls in love them and is known to be an overactive chewer, you may want to order a few at a time because they don’t last forever.
This is another item on the list that it’s safe, but you should be around when allowing your rabbit to chew on apples. Rabbits should only eat apples in moderation due to the sugar content, but nonetheless, fruits and vegetables are essential to your rabbits’ diet in addition to the hay and pellets.
You also need to make sure that your rabbit doesn’t eat the seeds. The seeds can be harmful to your rabbit. It’s best to either be present when your rabbit is enjoying an apple or cut the apple into slices for your bunny.
Either way, apples are another great option on the list to provide nutrition and something to chew on.
#9- Specially Designed Chew Mats
Yep, now these manufactures are creating pet supplies are even offering rabbit chew mats. You can find them just about anywhere. Local pet stores, or other online vendors and they only cost about 5 bucks.
In a nutshell, they are woven grass mats and knitted with timothy hay in most circumstances. They are safe, they are fun, and they are cheap. Not to mention your bunny may even enjoy sitting on it and taking a nice sprawled out nap.
If that’s the case, don’t bother your rabbit. Learn to read your bunnies body language and understand what they are thinking, and you will be good to go.
#10- Aspen Branches
Aspen branches are another item on the list that is purely coming from safe wood options that your bunny can eat. Aspen falls into this category. In fact, aspen is often recommended for shavings for the bottom of many small animal cages due to its safety and lack of toxicity.
You could use aspen wood to either handcraft your toys for your rabbit to chew on or merely order some aspen chew sticks on the internet. Either way, they are cheap and an excellent safe for rabbit.
Yet another item on our list that needs you to exercise caution. Cardboard is fantastic for your rabbit, but you need to ensure you aren’t using cardboard that you may have mistakenly missed the dye being present.
Don’t use boxes from department stores such as Lowes or even Menards and you will be just fine. If you have a nice supply of other cardboard laying around, you probably have a decent amount of time and supplies to keep your bunny occupied for quite some time for free.
Just be safe with it and understand, you are likely to have a mess to clean up when they are done chewing away.
#12- Lumber Toys (Attached to The Cage)
We have touched on some of these already, but they make great options to give your rabbit something to do and a great tool to use to help file down your rabbit’s teeth. Keeping your rabbits’ teeth filed down is equally important as keeping your rabbits’ nails in good, clean shape.
The varieties are nearly endless on this list for cage hanging toys so it’s best to base this choice on your specific rabbit cage, what you know your rabbit likes and to ensure there is plenty of space left in the cage and that your rabbit can physically get to the toy.
These are also relatively cheap options for your bunny to chew on and they typically last much longer than other options on this list.
#13- Alfalfa Cubes
This is more of a treat than a chew toy, but it doubles down and serves both purposes. I personally always keep these in my cage. Usually 3-4 of them. I do this for a few reasons.
First, I have OCD and never want to risk my furry friend not having anything to chew on or getting bored.
Who knows if you get a flat tire, must travel out of town or forget to place other items for your small animal to chew on?
These are safe, high in fiber and under 5.00 dollars everywhere on the internet. I highly recommend always having an abundant supply of these on hand. They will always get plenty of use.
#14- Bunny Safe Chew Sticks
These have also come up already in this post but we more referring to the kinds of woods that you can use for your rabbit. It’s important to understand that there should be a category of their own.
They come in different shapes, sizes and options. Any store purchased chew sticks will not come from one of the dangerous trees we discussed previously in this post. If you have anxiety about the little details like most pet owners do, be sure just to purchase the good old regular chew sticks.
They are another one of the cheapest options on the list and will always get heavy use.
#15- Old Boxes (Again No Die)
Old boxes are another option on the list, but this is also a bit different from cardboard laying around. Yes, in most circumstances, cardboard is going to come from leftover boxes that you have but not always.
The key to this option is to use no dye boxes but don’t split the boxes apart. Aside from chewing on the box itself, your bunny will have a great deal of fun just playing and hopping around, inside and on top of the box.
Therefore, it’s different than just “cardboard.” Always think to yourself, what can my bunny chew on but also enjoy playing it?
Put the old safe boxes to use and experience the signals you get from a happy bunny. If you are unaware about what a happy bunny looks like or acts like, you can see our post here detailing that for you.
3 Items Your Bunny Should Never Chew On, No Matter What!
So, we now know which items are entirely safe to offer your bunny but what about if we look at the other end of the spectrum. What’s not safe for your bunny and what’s a few items that could potentially cause significant harm to your rabbit if you make this mistake.
Let’s take the time and briefly cover 3 items that your bunny should never access too, and that could end up causing illness or potentially death to your bunny if you fall into one of these common pitfalls.
Carpet is not only going to make you extremely upset when your rabbit chews on it, but it’s not safe for your rabbit for several reasons. If your rabbit is resorting to the chewing carpet, it’s likely because you haven’t been providing any other good options to your rabbit up to this point.
Carpet shouldn’t be a number 1 concern, but it does happen when your rabbit becomes bored and has nothing else to chew on or play with. Pick the safe items on the list above to ensure that your rabbit is never resorting to destroying the home for enjoyment.
#2- Plastic (If It’s to Large)
If your bunny only consumes a small amount of plastic, that’s usually okay. A small piece of plastic will not cause your bunny to choke or have digestion issues most of the time. If, however, you think your bunny may have consumed a larger piece of plastic, you should be making sure that they are not at danger of choking.
Additionally, a large piece of plastic could cause your bunny to have constipation or stomach pain. You should be able to notice this by lack of pooping or even a lack of appetite. If this is the case, take your bunny to the vet as soon as possible.
#3- Unsafe Household Items Such as Trim, Cords, and other Wood Finishes
This goes for nearly all small animals. You must be careful that the rooms they play and interact inside of are proofed and safe for use. Chords can be deadly for your small animals including rabbits. Use chord protectors and make sure that any that are within reach is not plugged into an electrical outlet.
Avoiding wood trim and other household items is all essential safety for your rabbit. Keep an eye on them to protect yourself and home!
The Final Word. Using This List Should Provide Plenty of Bunny Safe Chewing Options
We clearly have some do’s, and some do not’s on our list when it comes to becoming an ethical pet owner. Bunnies are one of the animals that love to chew as we stated before. Clearly, we don’t need to know the ins and outs on every item on this list but learning what’s good and what’s bad for rabbit over time is essential towards providing a safe and loving environment for your bunnies.
Relax, depending on how new you are to rabbit ownership, you only have 8-12 more years of stress and anxiety left to deal with. The good news, that time flies so enjoy it.
What’s your thoughts on great chew toys for your rabbits? Do you have any recommendations that we need to add to our list? Any major DO NOT items that need to be added to this list?
Be sure to drop a comment below so we can begin keeping our rabbits safer and working together to educate each other on being fantastic rabbit owners.