Why does my bunny chew my baseboards and how do I stop it?
It's important to control your bunnies natural destructive urges. The way to do this is to learn how to set gentle boundaries so you can usher them away from something you don't want them doing and provide lots of toys so you can direct them towards an acceptable alternative. In this guide we show you how to say No! without causing stress and have lots of great suggestion how to enrich you bunny environment to keep them busy and out of trouble.
How to disciplin your bunny for chewing your baseboards without causing stress
Giving your bunny enough of a telling off to discourage them without causing stress can be tricky. Bunnies are very different from other pets and do not respond well to any sort of punishment, you may find this will even make thing worse causing them to become timid or even aggressive towards you. To help get this right follow these simple rules and learn how to send your bunny a clear message you don't want them to do something without leaving them scrabbling for cover or ending up so scared they stop being your friend.
The first thing to understand is you should never shout at or hit or scare your bunny. It could cause harm and is likely to make them scared of you.
Only tell you bunny off when you catch them in the act. If you leave it till anytime afterwards, they may not understand and you upset them unnecessarily.
When you do catch tell them off by saying their name firmly then a No! Then if they keep going back take them away from the situation and lead them to something that will distract them until they forget about it.
If none of the above seems to make a difference a stronger deterrent is to keep a water mister to hand and then when you catch your bunny spray a cold mist over them. This may work well with some bunnies however some really don't seem to mind getting a bit damp. Make sure the water mister is clean and only use the mist setting as squirting a jet of water may cause harm it it hits them in the face.
The best toys to give your bunny to keep then away from your baseboards
Bunnies can eat a surprising number of things we wouldn't normally think of as food and this includes wooden baseboards. Chewing tough fibrous materials helps them wear down their teeth that grow constantly throughout their lived and provide digestive fibber which makes up most of their diet. Unless you provide a constant supply of alternatives your baseboards are always going to looked at by a bored bunny as something worth trying to eat. Each bunny has its own favorite toys and each type of toy offers its own benefits so to help you choose here's our rundown.
Keep a regular supply of willow balls, grassy mats, and other soft woody toys your bunny will want to chew on. Remember to replace these frequently as they will lose their novelty and appeal. Place these around the edge of the room for your bunny to find to distract them from the baseboards themselves.
You don't need to spend any money on expensive toys, old toilet rolls make a great toy your bunny will enjoy nibbling on and toss about.
A cardboard box is also a brilliant way of satisfying your bunnies need to customize their surrounding without doing any damage. Make sure you remove staples, tape, and avoid heavy print as these can cause harm if eaten then place these in a spot where your bunny has been taking an interest in your base boards.
Puzzle toys can be a great way of giving your bunny something challenging to do. They stimulate your bunnies urge to forage by letting you hide treats in them under pegs your bunny will enjoy pulling out or by hiding something yummy in a herd to reach place. They are a great way to distract your bunny and help make the treats last a bit longer.
Lastly its worth checking that your bunny is getting a plentiful supply of hay. A bunny on a good diet should be eating a stack of hay at least as big as them each day so always keep a hay feeder stacked up with a fresh supply each day.
Bunny proof check list
Always provide lots of chew toys as an alternative to stop your bunny getting bored and eating your baseboards
Only tell your bunny No! when you catch them in the act of being naughty or they won't understand
Even if you bunny is being naughty never scare or shock your bunny, stress can make them unfriendly towards you
Even if you bunny is being naughty never hit or push them away, you could hurt them very easily
Need more help? Why not ask the Bunny proofing group!
We are a community of house rabbit enthusiasts that love to share our experiences of living with these special pets. We like posting tips on enriching our bunnies environments, preventing damage to our homes and making them safe for our bunnies to live in.