It's important to control your bunnies natural destructive urges especially when it comes to chewing your baseboards which can lead to costly and unsightly damage. 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 acceptable alternatives.
In this guide we show you how to say No! without causing stress using some simple and kind discipline.
How to say No! without causing stress
We also have lots of great suggestions on the subject of how to enrich your bunny environment to keep them busy and away from your baseboards.
If your bunnies chewing is causing you stress, learn how to make a few changes that should make living with your bunny a lot easier.
Giving your bunny enough of a telling off to discourage them without causing stress can be tricky when it comes to keeping them away from your baseboards. Bunnies are very different from other pets and do not respond well to any sort of punishment, you may find this will even make things 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.
And you should only tell your 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 them 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 if it hits them in the face.
Bunnies can eat a surprising number of things we would not 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 lives 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 be 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 guide.
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.
Puzzle toys can be a great way of giving your bunny something to do that will stop them getting bored. They stimulate your bunnies urge to forage by letting you hide treats in them under pegs your bunny will enjoy pulling out. They are a great way to distract your bunny away from the edges of the room where the base boards can be a temptation and help make the treats last a bit longer.
An easy way to protect baseboards is to repurpose a willow bridge toy as a shield. It can be lent up against the baseboard or bent into shape around a corner. You can set up a few of these in areas you know are going to be nibbled and pack them away if you need to.
You don't need to spend any money on expensive toys, old toilet roll tubes make a great toy your bunny will enjoy nibbling on and tossing about. There are lots of things you can do with them including stuffing them with hay and hanging them into the room.
A cardboard box is also a brilliant way of satisfying your bunnies need to chew. Make sure you remove staples, tape, and avoid heavy print as these can cause harm if eaten then place the box right over the spot where your bunny has been at work. This will stop them getting to this area of baseboard to do more damage and with a bit of encouragement they will hopefully prefer this acceptable alternative.
If you want to make it more fun why not build your bunny a digging box filled with lots of things your bunny will love to chew and shred.
Lastly it is 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.