Why does my bunny chew my carpet and how do I stop it?
Stopping your bunny chewing your carpet can be a very frustrating process. Every time you settle down to relax you may then find yourself jumping up to usher your bunny away from what seems like an irresistible habit. It's important to understand that digging and chewing at the ground is natural to a bunny and they will spend a great deal of their time foraging for food or maintaining their natural habitats with this behavior.
This is why the best way to control these urges is in fact to direct them with some gentle discipline towards some acceptable alternatives you provide. In this guide we show you how to firmly say No! to discourage your bunny or help move them on with out causing stress and give you our guide to the best toys to give your bunny to keep them out of trouble and how best to set them out to make the most of them.
How to disciplin your bunny for chewing your carpet without causing stress
Bunnies are naturally timid animals so judge the right amount of discipline to use can be very tricky as you can easily do more harm than good. Fortunately there are a few things you can do that can help give your bunny a clear message to stop digging and chewing your carpet and move on to playing with some toys they can destroy without causing them stress.
Only use discipline when you catch your bunny in the act or any telling off will be wasted. If it's a second afterwards they won't associate the punishment with what they are doing and it will be wasted.
Never shout at, scare or hit your bunny as this sort of over reaction won't discourage them and in the long run can make them timid, antisocial or even aggressive towards you.
The best way to let your bunny know it's not allowed to do something is by saying their name followed by a firm NO! then lead them away from the situation to something more acceptable to play with.
A stronger deterrent can be to keep a water mister to hand and when you catch your bunny in the act spray a mist of cold water over them. Never squirt or spray water directly at them.
How toys can be used to stop your bunny chewing your carpet
It can be difficult to prevent your bunnies instinct to chew, dig and tug at carpet. You can find you have stopped the problem in one place only to discover damage reappearing somewhere else. There can be many reasons for this, It may be that they are looking for something fibrous to eat or in most cases it may just be because they are bored of all the other things they have to eat. This is why it is essential to enrich your bunnies environment with toys and things chew on and forage for. Follow this guide to the what the best toys are that other bunny moms use to keep their bunnies happy.
One of the tried and tested ways to let your bunny play digging and foraging without the mess this is to build a digging box. All you need is a cardboard box filled with paper that can be shredded up and anything else you think your bunny might like such as paper, willow toys or toilet roll tubes. Its a great to to contain this sort of behavior and also the mess.
Bunnies are always looking for something to chew so its best so you can help prevent unwanted chewing by providing some safe and acceptable alternatives that can act as a tasty distraction. There are many chew toys that can be bought from pet stores such as, willow sticks, wicker balls and grass mats. Remember to replace these frequently so they don't lose their novelty and appeal.
You don't need to spend any money either as some of the best toys are free. Cardboard boxes and toilet roll tubes are a regular toy in most bunny household. Make sure you remove staples, tape and avoid heavy print which you don't want your bunny eating.
How your bunnies nesting habits can be the cause of carpet chewing
Some bunnies especially Does like to pull up soft materials like carpet strands as a part of their instinctive nesting behavior when they are pregnant or having a phantom pregnancy, however they can do this anytime even if they have been spayed. If you think your bunny is doing this you are better providing some safe and acceptable alternative instead and people typically use the following.
If you don't mind some mess try giving them a stack of hay to play with. They will enjoy arranging this into a nest and this will help keep them busy and out of trouble.
If you don't want a lot of mess a towel can be a great nesting toy your bunny will enjoy arranging into a nest. Make sure it's a natural material like cotton in case it to gets munched.
Bunny proof check list
Only tell your bunny of when you catch them chewing your carpet or they won't understand why you are being mean to them
Be careful not to scare your bunny when trying to make them stop chewing your carpet, stress can make them timid or aggressive towards you
Never hit or push your bunny forcefully when you catch them chewing carpet, bunnies are very delicate and can be hurt easily
Why not build a digging box for your bunny to exercise their natural digging and foraging behaviour
If you think your bunny is showing signs of nesting behaviour try giving them stacks of hay or a towel so they don't pull your carpet up to use as bedding material
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.