Whether running around your yard or in an enclosure at the pet store, bunnies can be cute. Don’t let their outward appearance fool you, however. Bunnies can be very destructive animals, digging into and chewing on everything in sight—carpet, furniture, woodwork, even electrical cords. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to curb the behavior.
It doesn’t matter where they are. Outside or inside, bunnies, by nature, will burrow, dig and chew. Their teeth and claws are forever growing, and in order to keep them healthy, sharp and trimmed, they must burrow, dig and chew. It is essential that you provide items for your bunny to burrow into, dig into and chew on. There are a wide variety of products available. Check into them. Having a continuous supply of Timothy hay to munch on, toys to play with and untreated grass mats to dig into will do wonders for keeping your pet bunny busy and away from your household possessions. You can also make your own toys using stuff around the house and yard. Old cardboard boxes make great places to burrow into, while old apple tree branches make great chew toys. Keep in mind that the wider selection of toys you provide for your bunny, the more likely its urge to burrow, dig and chew will be satisfied.
Even with a great selection of playthings, your bunny may still be tempted. That stack of shoes at the foot of your bed and that lovely cardboard castle in your daughter’s room may call out to them. Curb the temptation by keeping everything important out of your bunny’s reach. File all paperwork, tuck away electrical cords and set up gates and pens. Don’t just let your bunny have the run of the house. They will get into places you never thought possible and destroy your most precious of possessions. Block off access to certain rooms and furniture or contain your bunny in a pen. Bunny-proofing is essential, as is training.
You may know the difference between good and bad behavior, but your bunny doesn’t. Again, bunnies by nature like to burrow, dig and chew. They don’t know they shouldn’t burrow into your tennis shoes or chew on the laces unless you teach them. Should you find your bunny gnawing on something it shouldn’t, tell it no, clap your hands and give it a chew toy. When you find it using its chew toys, reward it with a treat, praise or affection. Training is imperative for stopping bad habits before they begin.
Finally, consider having your bunny spayed or neutered. Not only will this prevent baby bunnies, but it will make your bunny less prone to chewing, digging and other destructive behaviors.
Having a pet bunny can be a test in patience at first, but with time and training, you can teach your bunny acceptable behavior and keep your home intact. Give it a go, and your bunny is sure to act as cute as it looks.