Rabbits love to chew. As a rabbit owner, you need to be careful that your rabbit doesn’t chew the wrong things. I recommend that you keep your rabbit away from anything that could be dangerous to chew. In fact, I get lots of people asking me on a regular basis how to prevent their rabbit from chewing cords, wires and cables. So, how do you stop rabbits chewing cables, car wires, carpet, furniture or their hutch? Rabbits chew all kinds of things, so you need to stay on top of your pet rabbits activities. Provide lots of stimulating toys, time outside and lots of hay so your rabbit isn’t bored or frustrated. This can lead to destructive chewing. You might try rabbit repellent, it works to keep some rabbits from chewing furniture or walls. Use cord protectors or baby gates to stop your rabbit from destructive chewing. Never yell or hit your rabbit, this won’t stop him from chewing but only cause him to be afraid of you. Be consistent and after your rabbit is older, good chance he’ll mellow out and won’t want to keep destructive chewing.
Why Do Rabbits Chew So Much?
Rabbits chew instinctively. Chewing is a preventative measure for your rabbit’s ever growing teeth. Chewing things keeps your pet rabbit’s teeth trimmed down so he won’t end up with dental problems and or health problems. Rabbits nibble, and chew on anything that’s around which can be dangerous for him or annoying to you, his owner.
What Happens If My Rabbit Isn’t Chewing?
Rabbits teeth are resemble horse teeth. They can chew tough, fibrous plants and grasses like hay, twigs and leave without any trouble. Their teeth grow throughout their lifetime. If your rabbit isn’t chewing enough fiber, his teeth won’t wear down. His teeth will have grow longer and get sharp edges. His tongue and inside his cheeks will get cut by these sharp edge causing abscesses. Plus, his teeth won’t meet correctly, which is called malocclusion. Maloccluded teeth make pressure, the teeth roots become swollen and too long. Eventually, this can lead to jaw abscess. If your rabbit gets maloccluded teeth, he will never be normal again. He might need surgery, a special diet to try to stop anymore growth and careful care. If you notice that your rabbit is having teeth pain take him to the vet right away for a checkup. Here are some other symptoms to be on the lookout for:
- Drooling from the mouth
- Matted fur around his mouth, extra saliva falling on his legs or chest
- Appetite loss
- He can’t eat correctly, acts hungry but not eating
- Grinding his teeth
- Extra thirsty
- Losing weight
- Acting like he’s in pain
- Swelling around his mouth or jaw
Why Do Rabbit Do Destructive Chewing?
Rabbits are sweet pets, but like all pets sometimes their behavior isn’t always so sweet. Because rabbits naturally chew, it can be difficult to determine whether your rabbit’s chewing is really destructive or not. That being said, rabbits are sometimes destructive simply because they’re bored or frustrated. A bored rabbit is one who’s likely to get himself into trouble. He will be unhappy and maybe aggressive. If your rabbits is bored enough, he will chew on:
- Their hutch
- Cords or wires
- Furniture-table or chair legs
What Else Affects Rabbits Destructive Chewing?
Besides potentially being bored or frustrated, there are other factors that affect your rabbit’s destructive chewing.
- Age of rabbit– Rabbits that have been spayed when they’re young will slow down on destructive chewing over time. If your rabbit is over 2 years and then you spay then him, he will stop chewing almost immediately since all his hormones levels are changed.
- Gender of rabbit-Although destructive chewing isn’t limited to one gender, females tend to be more driven more to burrow. Many rabbit owners suggest their females chew destructively more than their male rabbits.
- Personality of rabbit-Studies show that the biggest destructive chewers are affectionate and intelligent rabbits.
What Should I Not Do When My Rabbit Chews The Wrong Thing?
Never shout at your pet rabbit. New hit him. He won’t understand your shouting anyway, plus he might become fearful of you. Rabbits get scared easily, as prey animals they are used to hiding. If your rabbit is afraid of you he will hide from you. He won’t let you hold him, he might become aggressive. If he gets stressed around you,this can lead to other bad behaviors. Never be rough with your rabbit. Many rabbit owners have run into chewing issues with their pet rabbits. Often, this is when they decide to get rid of their rabbit for fear that they won’t be able to stop their pet rabbit’s behavior. Ask your vet for suggestions on how to keep your rabbit happy without chewing the wrong things. Study up on what helps rabbits stop chewing the wrong things, this will help you remain calm and able to deal with your rabbit’s behavior without yelling or hitting him.
What Can I Do To “Train” My Rabbit Not To Be Destructive?
You can’t “train” your rabbit to stop chewing, it’s instinctive for him to chew. But you can do a few things to stop him from trying to chew the wrong things.
- If he’s chewing something you don’t want him to, thump your foot on the ground. That’s rabbit language for look at me.
- Then gently place something in his mouth that he can chew like an empty paper cardboard roll or a toy. He’ll lose interest in the wrong chewing object.
- Rabbit proof your house-close doors to rooms you don’t want your rabbit in, block areas where he might find things to chew, or place obstacles in his way.
- Give your rabbit lots of toys like empty cereal boxes, cardboard boxes, toilet paper rolls,
- Give your rabbit twigs and leaves as long as they are pesticide free
- Provide cat toys that are safe for him to bat around and chew on
- Give your pet rabbit lots of treats for good behavior such as chewing on good things he’s allowed to chew on.
- Play with your rabbit every day
What Should I Do If My Rabbit Chews My Carpet?
If your rabbit is chewing on your carpet, it’s important to stop him. Carpet fibers are dangerous for your rabbit. These fibers can get inside his intestinal tract, get twisted around his intestines or cause blockages. If you think your rabbit has eaten a lot of carpeting, take him to the vet immediately for a check.
How Do I Rabbit Proof The Rest Of My House?
You’ll need to rabbit proof your home much the same way you child proof your house. This will prevent your rabbit for gnawing on things he shouldn’t. Try these things to protect your rabbit and your house:
- Cover the wires with store bought protective covers. These are sometimes plastic that you can attach to the floor.
- Lay split tubing over chair or wooden table legs
- Keep your rabbit in a play area at all times. Move it outside for him to get some fresh air and chance to graze on fresh grass. Be sure the grass isn’t treated with fertilizer or pesticides.
- Give your rabbits lots of things to chew on like twigs, branches, toys.
- Put up a baby gate so your rabbit can’t enter rooms with dangerous cords or wires.
Can Hay Help My Rabbit Stop Chewing The Wrong Things?
Your rabbit needs lots of hay. Hay is made up of fiber. The fiber in hay not only keeps his teeth trimmed, but also helps his digestive system work correctly. Many rabbit breeders suggest that rabbits chew the wrong things not just because they’re bored or frustrated, but also because they’re not getting enough hay. Your rabbit should eat his weight in hay every single day. Give your rabbit a mixture of timothy hay and other hays. Sometimes rabbits get picky, so try various mixtures. Don’t give your rabbit too much alfalfa because it’s too high in protein for adult rabbits. Rabbits love it and often won’t eat other hays if they’ve had too much alfalfa hay. You can create fun hay toys for your rabbit, too. Stuff hay inside toilet paper rolls for your rabbit to chew on.
Do Homemade Rabbit Repellent Stop Destructive Chewing?
Natural repellents are often a great way to keep your rabbit from chewing unwanted things in your house. Here is a list of things to repel your pet rabbit:
- Vinegar-Many rabbit owners swear by malt vinegar diluted slightly and sprayed on furniture to repel rabbits from chewing.
- Perfume-Spray a little bit of perfume on areas you don’t want your rabbit to chew. The smell will dissuade him chewing.
- Lavender oil-Use the oil sparingly since it will stain anything you put it on. Rabbits tend to not like the smell so they’ll leave the areas alone.
- Dove soap-Soap will repel your rabbit from chewing. Simply rub the soap on baseboards or areas where your rabbit is chewing. The soap will keep him alone.
- Body spray-Scented body sprays will keep your rabbit at a distance. They tend to hate the smell of them so they won’t even try to chew the area where it’s sprayed.
How To Stop My Rabbit Chewing His Hutch?
Rabbits often chew their hutches. Hutches are usually made of wood and wire which makes it easy for your rabbit to chew on it. Whether it’s from boredom or frustration, you need to stop your rabbit from chewing on his hutch. Here are some possible solutions to deter your pet rabbit from eating his hutch:
- Think about getting a bigger hutch for your pet rabbit. Some hutches have a run area that can be attached to the smaller hutch. This will give your rabbit more space and an area to run around a bit to alleviate his boredom.
- Of course, as mentioned add more toys to the run for your rabbit to stay stimulated and happy.
- Add more hay to the hutch area. You can attach a hay feeder box for your rabbit to get his hay freely and easily. If your rabbit has lots of hay there could deter his chewing since rabbits love and need hay to chew.
- Attach some strips of aluminum over the chewed areas to stop your rabbit from chewing his hutch.
- Add strips of new wood, screwed or nailed to the areas on the hutch where your rabbit is chewing.
No rabbit hutch is 100% chew resistant, but you can slow down your rabbit from chewing by following these tips.
Will My Rabbit Ever Stop Destructive Chewing?
Some rabbit owners say that after their spayed or neutered pet rabbits get a bit older, around seven or eight years of age, their rabbits eventually mellow out from destructive chewing. This is course depends upon providing everything your rabbit needs to stay stimulated and happy.
Rabbits chew instinctively, so you can’t stop your pet rabbit from chewing. Chewing actually keeps your rabbit’s teeth trimmed down since they grow your rabbit’s entire life. Provide lots of hay and stimulating things for your rabbit to do so he won’t chew the wrong things like wires, furniture, cords or walls. Rabbit repellents sometimes work with some rabbits, but others aren’t affected by the repellent. Keep an eye on your rabbit like you would with a small child, block areas or rabbit proof rooms to stop bad chewing.