Though it seems like an odd behaviour, rabbit chewing is actually normal. In fact, it’s something bunnies are accustomed to doing as their teeth are continuously growing. However, there are times when these creatures seem to want to nibble almost anything they come across – wires, carpet, fabric, and etc. – which is already alarming.
Then again, you need not to worry about anything. By having a thorough understanding about the lifestyle and diet of rabbits, you will find peace living with these adorable companions. Meanwhile, enjoy reading the FAQs presented below. They should give you the basic knowledge you need.
1. What factors can affect a rabbit’s chewing behaviour?
There are three main reasons why rabbits chew. These are:
Actually, gender isn’t a direct contributing factor to a rabbit’s chewing behaviour. It’s just that females have a stronger urge to burrow compared to the males. But according to experts, a spayed rabbit has the tendency to chew less as he matures.
If a rabbit is spayed at a young age, his chewing tendency will lessen over time. On the other hand, if he is spayed at more than 2 years of age, hormones will no longer govern his chewing behaviour.
Maybe your pet rabbit is chewing because he wants to get your attention. Perhaps he’s doing it to ease boredom. Whatever the reason is, studies suggest that chewers are affectionate and intelligent.
2. Can the environment affect a rabbit’s chewing behaviour?
The answer is yes. So in order to divert his attention, try to create a harmless environment. If you want to get a rabbit hutch, make sure it doesn’t use wire mesh as it will only hurt their tiny feet. If possible, it should also have something that will keep him entertained. Rabbit toys will suffice.
3. Is it safe to give rabbits several things to chew?
Definitely. You can offer them pieces of objects that are safe for them. But still, you have to be extra careful, as there are items that should not be ingested. To be safe, give them hay or plenty of grass. And then, replace them at least twice a day.
Here are some other things that are safe for rabbits to chew:
- Aspen branches
- Pine firewood
- Cotton towels
- Alfafa cubes
4. Are woods safe to chew on?
There are certain woods that are toxic to rabbits. For instance, the branches of fruit trees like peach and apricot are unsafe, especially when attached to the tree. Once they’re cut and dried for several months, they become acceptable for eating.
5. If rabbits chew carpets, would it hurt them?
Yes, it would, especially if it’s fibre. This material is highly indigestible, so if swallowed, it could definitely present a health hazard. In case this happens, do not panic. Instead, seek help from the vet. For temporary remedy, it is best to provide petroleum laxative like Laxatone or Petromalt. You can easily purchase this at pet-supply stores.
6. Is it okay to give items that encourage digging?
Of course! You can build a tunnel for them because they love it. Normally, they would dig at the end of the tunnel. Be creative with what you have at home, but remember to make sure it doesn’t move, or else, they’ll be digging the carpet beneath the tunnel.
7. Can I discipline my bunnies not to chew?
Disciplining could mean clapping hands when you don’t like what they’re doing or simply saying ‘no’ to unwanted behaviour. But is it helpful to lessen the chewing habit of your pets?
For some rabbit owners, it is easy to make bunnies understand what they want to do, but hard to make them stop their natural habits. This is especially true if they have been left alone for longer periods of time already. Nevertheless, they highly suggest replacing the bad things with something good like changing the wires to grass.
8. Can rabbit chewing be stopped?
While it is impossible to stop, rabbit chewing can be reduced with the help of bitter sprays. By using it in the corners of the doors, things will be less appealing to rabbits. The trick is to always reapply the spray to the affected areas so it does not lose its efficiency.
Overall, rabbits make excellent pets because they are very affectionate and are easy to care for. But with regard to chewing, they can be destructive and it’s something that is not easily curbed because it is an instinctive behaviour. What’s important is that you just understand them and take necessary actions to protect them and your belongings. At the end of the day, things will turn out fine.
Bonus. If you wish to keep your bunnies happy, despite their chewing behaviour, download a copy of the eBook below. For sure, you’ll get lots of helpful insights from there.