To a Rabbit plants are essentially food and it”s unlikely that you are going to be able to stop them from trying to eat them. Rabbit have razor sharp teeth that can easily strip the bark off a mature plant or cut through a stem and if you have ever given your rabbit a cabbage leaf you will know how quickly it can disappear.
Not only can you rabbit cause a lot of damage to your plants, even killing the plant with a few well placed bites through its stem unfortunately many house plants imported into out homes from exotic places can be poisonous. This is why Bunny proofing your plants is essential to not only to protect the plants from your house rabbit but to protect your house rabbit from eating something and making itself unwell.
Its best to move the out of the reach and check to that leaves cannot fall into areas your bunny has access to as this is the only guaranteed way to stop them being chewed and to take all the worry out of leaving your rabbit alone in a room with them. If this is difficult to do then in this article we also have lots of other tips that may be helpful such as how to stop digging in the soil, what safe and acceptable alternatives make the best distraction as well as training and disciplining techniques.
Its best to keep all plants out of reach
If you can its best to move your plants out of harms way by either moving them onto a shelf or piece of furniture that cannot be reached. Bear in mind its not only the plant itself that can be dangerous the watering tray can contain liquids contaminated with fertilizer that could be harmful. Make sure overhanging branches cannot be reached to prevent chewing and to stop your rabbit pulling the plant over itself. If you don”t have anywhere a plant can be moved to you can also fence them off with a few sheets taken from a pet pen.
Remember rabbits can be quite resourceful when it comes to finding food so make sure you check to see if there are any indirect way your bunny can get to them by jumping on and over another piece of furniture.
Falling leaves can also be a potential danger so always ensure that if they were to fall they would fall into an area that also cant be reached.
Check for poisons house plants
It”s unlikely the store you get your plants from is going to be able to provide you with any information about how toxic a plant may be. Its best no to let your rabbit eat any of your plants however some plants are more toxic then others and below we have some links to sites that list plant known to be toxic and its best to take some time to check through this, if you do find you have any of these plants that are known to be dangerous or deadly its best to remove them completely.
Digging in your plant pots
If your house rabbit has access to the soil in your plant pots then its natural for them to want to dig there and you shouldn’t be surprised if you discover a mess has been caused by the soil being flung about. If this is a problem you can help prevent this by discreetly covering the soil. Check on-line or in a home store for products used to help prevent moisture evaporation such as decorative stones or shells as these can be used to put your rabbit off digging. Make sure you provide some safe and acceptable alternative to satisfy your rabbits need to dig and keep your out of trouble such as tunnels or a digging box.
Provide some acceptable chewing alternatives
If your rabbit does not have anything to enrich its environment its more likely to be interested in your plants. Always provide lots of safe and acceptable alternative to keep them out of trouble. There are many wood based toys that you can buy such as willow sticks and wicker balls as well as many free alternatives that will keep your rabbit amused and away from your house plants.
Training your rabbit to stay away from your plants
In the wild rabbits spent most of their day eating so trying to stop them doing this is going to be an almost impossible challenge. The constant battle which you are unlikely to win will probably make your rabbit timid or even lead to antisocial behaviour problems such as aggression back towards you. However if you do want to try and control these natural urges there are a few deterrents that are gentile enough to be safe and may have some aversion effect. A commonly used deterrent is to keep a water mister to hand and when you catch your bunny actively tying to reach a plant spray a fine mist over them and say No! in a firm voice without shouting. Another idea is to keep a jar filled with some coins and use this as a rattle to strongly indicate the behaviour is not tolerated, then direct them towards a more suitable toy. As always these work best alongside lots of activity and chew toys that you bunny will eventually learn are acceptable.
Exotic plants are often poisonous
Most of the plants in a rabbits natural environment can be eaten however the attractive and often exotic plants in your home could make your house rabbit ill as they can be poisonous.
- If you rabbit likes digging up the soil place some decorative stones on the surface
- If you rabbit likes digging up the soil make a digging box as a safe and acceptable alternativeTop10 chew toys for rabbits
- Many house plants are poisons to rabbits make sure the are out of reach and check to make sure your rabbit cant climb and stretch to get to them
- Don’t let your rabbit drink the water from watering trays which can contain harmful chemicals
- Don’t place plant pots or flower vases near the edge of furniture tops in case its knocked or pulled off and falls on your rabbit
- Check falling leaves can’t land in areas they you rabbit can roam
Need more help? Why not ask the Bunny Proofing group!
We are a community of house rabbit enthusiasts with a specific interest in sharing our experiences of living with these special pets. We like posting tips on enriching our rabbits environments, preventing damage to our homes and making them safe for our rabbits to inhabit.