The lovely world of knowing what to feed our pets and what not to feed our pets. Am I right? I get it. It can be confusing, and you don’t want to make a mistake where you accidentally feed your pets anything that they shouldn’t be having. Your pet bunnies are no different. They have plenty that they can eat and that they will eat without question. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should always feed it to them. Many individuals raise questions about one item. Can a bunny eat cardboard? After some research and my own knowledge on the topic, here is what I can tell you.
So, can a bunny eat cardboard? Yes. A bunny can eat cardboard, but you do need to be careful to offer cardboard to your bunnies in moderation. Cardboard contains cellulose which is essentially very close to eating vegetables for rabbits but contains no nutritional value. If you provide cardboard in moderation, you have nothing to worry about.
We already mentioned that it’s perfectly okay and safe to feed your bunny cardboard. With that in mind, there are some other considerations that you need to keep in mind before going crazy with it. I want to make sure I cover everything on this topic from start to finish so that you can feel comfortable giving your bunny all the cardboard he or she has been so desperately craving. Let’s dive into it.
A Deeper Explanation of The Topic
Again, providing your bunny cardboard is no problem at all if you do it safely, in moderation and watch out for some common pitfalls that can be very easy to fall victim to. Avoiding cardboards that contain certain dangers is a must, and you also don’t want your bunny over consuming cardboard and replacing other critical components of their diet.
That would be no good for you or the bunny.
Let’s dive into the first consideration that you must make sure to be careful about when giving your bunny any cardboard to chew or eat.
Avoid Cardboard with Dyes or Ink for Your Bunny
This is a big one. You want to make sure you never provide any cardboard to your bunny that has any dies or inks on it. An example of this could be a department store box that has the company’s logo or print on it such as Home Depot or Menards. Don’t use these boxes.
If you are going to provide any cardboard to your bunny, it needs to be just plain cardboard and nothing else. This will help ensure your bunny isn’t eating anything that he or she isn’t supposed to have or that could cause your bunny physical harm or illness.
Avoid Industrial Strength Cardboard
This a big no-no as well. Industrial strength cardboard is too thick for your bunny and contains other harmful objects within the cardboard such as staples. If you haven’t heard your bunny cry, a staple into the roof of the mouth may be the first time you do listen to those horrific sounds your bunny can make. Don’t make this mistake.
Keep in Mind That Cardboard Contains No Nutritional Value
Some people may be under the impression that since cellulose is present in cardboard and some vegetables that it’s almost one and the same. Not true. Cellulose contains next to no nutritional value. This reason alone is why you need to exercise caution with how much you provide your bunny and make sure you aren’t overdoing it.
If you do overdo it, you may cause your bunny to be full and not want other offered items to eat that do provide the mineral and nutrients that your bunny needs to be strong and healthy for years to come.
Additionally, your rabbit is like a machine with cardboard. They could literally eat cardboard all day long if you give them the opportunity to do so. This is when owners make mistakes. Some owners accidentally place a ton of cardboard in the cage and continue this cycle not knowing any better.
Stuffing your bunny full of this adds no nutritional value and could easily eventually lead to lack of strength or other illnesses with your rabbit due to not eating a proper diet.
Not to mention the cleanup involved.
Don’t Forget. Cardboard Makes A Mess
Another word of wisdom for all the bunny’s owner out there. Cardboard isn’t a revolutionary idea or something that makes your rabbit spring for joy at little cost. Sure, your rabbit will love it, and yes, it’s cheap, but it also creates a hell of a mess for you.
Rabbits will shred it, leave trails of it and even begin chewing the carpet if you allow this to take place. At this point your constantly stimulating the rabbit’s mind always to want to chew on something so what’s your plan when you finally run out cardboard as an option or realize that this wasn’t the best idea?
There really isn’t a good plan. Rabbits do need the ability to chew to keep busy and keep their teeth healthy but giving the rabbit the mindset that he or she can be chewing around the clock is likely to cause you more harm than good in the future. Just a fair word of warning. Many made this mistake and wanted to potentially save you from doing the same if possible.
Are Toilet Paper Rolls Okay and Safe for Bunnies?
You bet. Talk about money savings too. Bunnies love toilet paper rolls. Another nice trick is stuffing it full of hay. This will give your bunny a day to remember, and they will absolutely love it. One toilet paper roll can keep your bunny busy and entertained for an entire afternoon if you play your cards right.
Again, be careful not to overdo this and offer it to your bunny non-stop. It’s very appealing to them and mentally stimulating them so when you do finally stop offering the toilet paper rolls, you don’t want your bunny finding other fun objects to replace his or her needs to chew. Trust me, it’s never something that gets chewed that you don’t need.
It never works like this. It’s always something important that your bunny decides to chew.
What About Newspaper? Is It Okay for My Bunny to Eat Newspaper?
Yes, the newspaper is okay for your bunny to shred but not to eat. Newspaper will contain ink and the die we talked about previously. If your bunny likes to eat it, this is not a good idea and could cause harm to your bunny if she or he gets too much of it.
However, if your bunny is good about shredding and playing with the paper, you can consider giving them the yellow pages from a phone book or another box of items that they can spend the day using countless hours of doing nothing but shredding it to pieces.
Just be aware that the cleanup is on you. Bunnies typically don’t help you with this process, and it can make quite the mess so be ready to grab a broom and dustpan if you plan to use this approach.
Other Options for Your Bunny to Chew
You also can always skip the newspaper, cardboard and toilet paper rolls. Plenty of bunny safe toys are on the market as well and serve just as strong of a purpose and don’t require as much cleanup or monitoring. They cost a little more money but, in the end, they may still be a viable option for you.
Toys such as grass balls, snack boards, tunnels, and other chew toys and activity zones can help your bunny stay mentally stimulated and provide something to chew on. This keeps them busy and naturally helps keep their dental hygiene intact. If you have something safe for them, you should be good to go.
Don’t Neglect the Apple Tree
Another great option and one of my favorites are providing your bunny with a branch from an apple tree. They absolutely love stripping the bark from the branch, and it’s completely safe your rabbit. This should cause little mess and give you a few alternatives that you can use if you are sick of cleaning up the cardboard day after day.
Putting It All Together. Cardboard Is Great, but Other Options Are Available
Listen, cardboard is still an excellent option for your bunny. It provides plenty of fun for your rabbit and cost you next to nothing. If you follow our directions and be sure to take the necessary precautions, you will be perfectly fine. Also, to recap, don’t overdo it or provide it to your bunny non-stop.
Lastly, always consider that other great toys and options exist and that you could have a cleaner, safer approach to take with providing your bunny with an activity that they will still love just as much as shredding up that box all over your living room.
What’s your experience with giving your bunny cardboard? How often do you do it and have you ever had any issues? What alternatives have you tried? Be sure to drop a comment below.