The Complete Guide to Bunny Proofing Your Carpet

How to disciplin your bunny for chewing the carpet

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naughty bunny chew carpet
Stopping your bunny chewing your carpet can be a very frustrating process

it's important to stop your bunny from chewing and eating your carpet. Not only to stop the damage and avoid costly repairs but importantly because the synthetic material can be bad for your bunnies tummy, even causing a blockage which can make them very unwell.

However, stopping your bunny from chewing your carpet can be a very frustrating process. When they find a spot they seem to be drawn back to it again and again, spoiling the time you could be spending with them relaxing.

This is where using some gentle discipline can be used to help control your bunnies behaviour. It will allow you to set clear boundaries to make sure you can direct their behaviour towards some acceptable chewing alternatives.

In this guide we show you step by step how to discipline your bunny for chewing your carpet without causing them stress.

We also discuss why physical and aggressive behaviour can in fact be counter productive.

So if every time you settle down to relax you then find yourself jumping up to save your carpet from destruction, read on and learn some of the tried and tested ways to discipline your bunny effectively, without causing them harm.

Can i train my rabbit to stop chewing the carpet?

Why you should never punish your bunny for chewing carpet

Physical punishment or even aggression towards your bunny are not helpful when it comes to trying to control unwanted carpet chewing behaviour and the outcomes are usually bad for you and your bunny. We recommend you avoid doing the following when you discipline your bunny.

bunny playing toilet roll toy

Never strike your bunny or forcefully push them away from where they are chewing the carpet. Physical punishment will not teach them to stop unwanted behaviour and you may end up scaring them or even hurting them.

Bunnies do not respond to physical discipline the same as cats and dogs and can become easily traumatized if you strike them. Aggression towards them can break the trust you have built up with them and will only teach them you are not their friend.

Using shouting or loud clapping to stop your bunny chewing the carpet should also be avoided. Bunnies have very sensitive hearing and sudden loud noises can trigger an instinctive fear response causing them to go into a panic. Scaring them can make them become timid and less social with your.

Chase or scoop up your bunny to move them away from the areas of carpet they are chewing can also trigger unwanted behaviour and should be avoided. There will be times when you need to catch and pick up your bunny for instance when they need to go to the vets and if they associate this with punishment this will make it much harder to do when you need to.

We hope you understand that no matter how frustrated you become, any physical punishment or aggression will never be helpful to teach your bunny to stop chewing your carpet.

It’s more likely to just scare them, making them timid towards you or even in some cases aggressive. In the long run this will make it harder to control them and spoil the time you spend together with them trusting you to pet and play with them.

Never punish your bunny for chewing the carpet

How to discipline your bunny for chewing your carpet without causing stress

Judging the right amount of telling off can be a tricky balance when it comes to stopping your bunny chewing your carpet, they are sociable creatures and will accept some boundaries you set them.

However if you scare them in any way this can be traumatising and they can quickly decide to no longer be your friend making controlling their behaviour even harder.

In this guide we show you where these boundaries lie and teach you how far you can go using gentle direction without causing your bunny stress.

Firstly, only use discipline when you catch your bunny in the act of chewing your carpet.

If you have already distracted them and they have stopped actively chewing the carpet then it’s likely your bunny won't associate the punishment with what they are doing and will not understand why you are being mean to them.

When you do catch them the best way to let your bunny know it's not allowed to chew your carpet is by saying their name followed by a firm NO!

Do not raise your voice or be angry, use an authoritative calm voice that you can repeat so they can learn that this behaviour is not acceptable to you.

Rabbits are intelligent and sociable animals and with a bit of practice can be taught to pick up simple words and instructions.

If your rabbit keeps chewing your carpet no matter how many times you say No! Then there are a few stronger measures you could take to try and control this behaviour.

A time out can be a gentle way of teaching your bunny that chewing your carpet should be avoided. Rabbits are intelligent animals, so they will soon understand that if their actions repeatedly cause them to be excluded from what they are enjoying doing, it should be avoided.

To give your bunny a time out do not chase them or frighten them by scooping them up suddenly and hiking them away, this could traumatise them and they will be too afraid to understand what's going on.

Gently move them to a place in a part of the home where they can remain in solitude for a short time. Make sure this is a different area to their pen or enclosure they spend time in when you are away as you don't want them to think that is a place punishment.

You only need to give them a time out for a short period as they will get bored very quickly and most likely forget why they are there. The trick is to repeat this every time it happens till they learn the lesson.

As a last resort you can reinforce a telling of with the help of a water mister. Keep this to hand and when you catch your bunny in the act, spray a mist of cold water over them. The hope is that your bunny will associate this uncomfortable feeling with chewing the carpet and this will help discourage them.

Never soak your bunny or squirt a jet of water at them and If your bunny does not respond to this, which some don’t, then you may need to try something else.

Remember chewing is an instinctive behaviour for rabbits so don’t think you have failed if your training hasn't solved all your problems. It’s about building trust with your furry friend while maintaining a constant authority over them.

water mister Water mister
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How do I discipline my rabbit to stop them chewing my carpet?

What are the best toys for bunny that chewing your carpet?

bunny shredded paper digging box
Ozric from our Facebook group
Ozric loves his digging box, i used shredded paper from the office so have an unlimited supply.

It can be difficult to prevent your bunnies instinctive urge to chew, dig and tug at carpet. You can stop the problem in one place only to discover damage reappearing somewhere else.

Why is my bunny chewing my carpet?

It is essential to enrich your bunnies environment with toys and things chew on, dig in to keep them out of trouble. If you can It's best to provide a distraction everywhere you see signs of digging appearing.

Different toys work well in different ways so to help you choose we have a guide to the best toys other bunny parents use to keep their bunnies happy.

Chew toys

Bunnies are always looking for something to chew so it is best to provide some alternatives that can act as a tasty distraction. There are many chew toys that can be bought from pet stores. The favorites are wicker balls and grass mats. Remember to replace these frequently so they don't lose their novelty and appeal.

Toys we recommend to keep your bunny occupied and out of trouble

Digging box

One of the tried and tested ways to let your bunny play digging and foraging without the destruction to your carpet this is to build a digging box. All you need is a cardboard box filled with paper that can be shredded and anything else you think your bunny might like such as willow toys or toilet roll tubes. Its a great to contain this sort of behavior and the mess it makes.

Place the box directly over the spot where you bunny has been digging and reward them with some words or treats. Teach them it's chew and dig in the box but not the carpet.

Free toys

You don't need to spend any money either as some of the best toys are free. Cardboard boxes and toilet roll tubes are regular toys in most bunny households. Make sure you remove any staples, tape and avoid heavy print which may get eaten.

Why is my bunny digging my carpet?

wild rabbits warren

Rabbits are very good diggers and construct elaborate systems of burrows with multiple entrances where they sleep that can go several feet underground. They are adept at tunneling through hard soil and chewing through tough roots that stand in their way.

Unfortunately, it can be almost impossible to discourage this instinctive behavior in your home especially if your bunny is bored.