Stop a rabbit from chewing isn’t easy, but you can distract them
One of the most common behaviors of pet rabbits is chewing. Oftentimes, a new pet owner with little to no idea how rabbits behave will wonder how to stop a rabbit from chewing? This is because they will see for the first time how these cute and fluffy fella love to chew everything. So the question of how to stop rabbits from chewing is something that will concern every pet rabbit owner.
But what is this all about? Why do they chew everything? Why should you and shouldn’t you be concerned about this, our rabbit behavior guide has already addressed several aspects of them. However, this particular behavior requires its own topic which we are about to discuss below. Continue reading the following.
Why do The Rabbits Need To Chew?
One of the most common behaviors to observe among pet rabbits is the chew. They do it intentionally and constantly. This is because they have teeth that will grow constantly throughout their life. This is the reason they spend quite a time chewing and nibbling to trim their teeth. If they won’t don’t it, their teeth will overgrow and get too long. They will become sharp spikes that will dig into their cheeks and tongue which will cause them some serious oral health issues such as ulcers.
This is the reason why chewing is their natural instinct. This may raise a question in your mind “does rabbit bite?” don’t worry, this isnt true. Yes, they do a bit but they bite out of anger issues. It is momentarily so pet owners are advised to stay patient and they will stop after some time. With such dental issues, you will not want the rabbits to bite you for sure. Talk about their Diet then yes, their diet can be helpful in eliminating over-chewing of rabbits. You can learn about this from our small pet diet guide and tips.
Are They Frustrated?
Some pet rabbit owners will give their rabbit a full day outside thinking that they will be more active outside throughout the day than in the enclosure which may partially be true. However, it is important to know that this isn’t the right way to take care of rabbits’. Rabbits are usually most active during dusk and dawn and overnight.
Just when they want to stay active they are being taken to bed to sleep. Before wondering about ways to stop a rabbit from chewing, make sure you know when to take them to sleep and play. Like a small children, they will feel frustrated if this is happening to them. You will even notice rabbits chewing on the cage. They will be doing it out of frustration.
How To Stop A Rabbit From Chewing?
Though it is not a good idea to stop the chewing habit entirely habit for obvious reasons. However, you can take some steps to stop the excessive chewing habits of pet rabbits. Here is what you need to know.
An interactive Environment’
Bunnies sometimes will chew out of boredom. Just like humans, it is like having snacks for them because of getting bored even if they aren’t hungry. If the environment where they are living is interactive and enriching then they are less likely to have this issue. They will be having enough fun which means they will be distracted from chewing for quite a while. If you want to create an enriching environment for rabbits then don’t worry it won’t cost you huge or break the bank.
If you just use the internet and some DIY pet accessories and toys then you will know your house is filled with the most useful supplies that can be used creatively to create an enriching environment for pet rabbits. Your regular boxes of serials or pasta, soda, and cracker can be filled with dried hay and paper that can be used for rabbits to keep them busy. They will be busy pulling away from the pieces out of the boxes. If you want your bunnies to be really excited then you can place a few treats in the hay box as well. They will go nuts and rip the box to find the reward. You can create DIY pet toys for rabbits as well with a paper towel stuffed with hay and newspaper pieces.
This will be the same idea mentioned above. You can even use some old stuffed animals, rolled boxes so they can run in them, soft cotton towels, etc. Just make sure to use only paper and hay items in the stuffing. If you are using any non-hay and paper stuffing to stop rabbits from chewing on the cage then make sure that there aren’t any fibers around them. They don’t like fibers at all and they may even cause them health problems as well.
Positive Training and Reinforcement
When it comes to knowing, how to stop rabbits from chewing then your first instinct will be negative reinforcement might be your first instinct. You may yell or clap NO to stop rabbits from chewing. This may scare the rabbits for a while but this would be a temporary solution. They may stop chewing but not forever. This scary behavior will not be associated with their training as they will not consider this a “chewing stopping training” but they are being trained to scare you.
Instead use positive reinforcements such as cuddles, hay, treats fresh veggies, and fruit pieces when they are not chewing, and just allow them to chew when they want to. Try to teach your bunny simple commands such as HOLD when you are training your bunny. This will make them stop what they are doing. Using positive reinforcement to train your bunny so they can listen to the command will help you to make your pet rabbit act better and stop rabbit chewing (excessive chewing)
Enough Play Time
If you find your rabbit chewing wires and wooden pieces inside the cage then try to observe them if they arent feeling happy. You can try to fill the whole environment with interactive toys for rabbits and give them enough playtime. They are your pets so append some quality time with them every day playing with your bunny. From a short training session to cuddling with it. Though bunnies don’t play like pet dogs and cats they want to spend some quality time with their human as well.
For a better experience, you can get a companion for your rabbit as well. Bunnies are social animals and they really enjoy the company of other rabbits. If you are considering a male and female then make sure they are nurture. You can also pair two females as well. Though two males can be a good idea introducing them to each other may be difficult. Some bunnies tend to be more territorial when it comes to interacting with other male bunnies. The new companion may distract them from chewing.
This may surprise you but the chewing problem among rabbits sometimes can be hormonal. When your bunny reaches the age of 6months then you should spay or neuter them. Female bunnies may suffer from ovarian cancer before the age of 5 if this didn’t happen to them. You will see a drastic difference in their behavior. Young bunnies are like a little ball of energy so if you neuter then you would reduce some energy.
Feed More Hay
Rabbits need to chew almost the entire day. Because of their ever-growing teeth, they need to do it. While chewing is natural, rabbits chew wires out of frustration or boredom then you can add more may in their enclosure. This is greatly helpful if they spend most of their time out of the enclosure. You can try some of the best hay types such as timothy hay. But you can consult your vet before adding different types of hey in the enclosure. This is also helpful if your bunny is super picky. Add hay in the DIY toys as well so they will not only chew but they can stay busy for longer as well.
how to stop a rabbit from chewing can be a serious problem for pet rabbits owners. Especially when you are a relatively new pet owner and have little or no idea about pet care tips and tricks. However, mind the fact that chewing is their natural habit and it is impossible to stop them. You can try this guide to avoid excessive chewing and biting. You can follow our blog for more pet care guides and tips.