Why does my bunny chew my carpet, discipline and training

Inside this article

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

It's important to understand that digging and chewing your carpet comes naturally to bunnies so the best way to control this destructive instinct is to direct them with some gentle discipline to some acceptable alternatives.

In this guide we show you how to firmly say No! without causing stress so you can set some clear boundaries and still be your bunnies friend.

Tried and tested ways

We also give you our guide to the best toys to keep your bunny out of trouble and how best to set them out to make the most of them.

If every time you settle down to relax you then find yourself jumping up to usher your bunny away from what seems like an irresistible urge to chewing carpet, read on and learn some of the tried and tested ways to resolve this problem.

How to discipline your bunny for eating your carpet

  • Only tell your bunny off when you catch them in the act of chewing your carpet or they won't understand why you are being mean to them.
  • Be careful not to scare your bunny when telling them off, stress can make them timid or aggressive towards you.
  • Always give you bunny a stack of hay to chew and lots of interesting chew toys to keep them busy,
  • Never hit or push your bunny away forcefully from the patch of carpet they are chewing, 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 behavior.

How to discipline your bunny when they chew your carpet without causing stress

Stopping your bunny chewing your carpet can be a very frustrating process. When they find a spot they seem to be drawn back to it and within no time your carpet can be badly damaged.

Bunnies are naturally timid animals so judging the right amount of discipline to use can be very tricky without causing stress.

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.

Simple rules to using discipline

Only use discipline when you catch your bunny in the act of chewing your carpet or any telling off will be wasted.

A second afterwards and your bunny won't associate the punishment with what they are doing.

Never shout at, scare, or hit your bunny as this sort of overreaction 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 last resort 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.

What are the best toys to give your bunny to stop them chewing your carpet?

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

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?

  • They are hungry, always make sure they have a fresh stack of hay to eat
  • They are bored, make sure they have lots of toys
  • They are foraging for food, why not make them a digging box

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.

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.

Did you know

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.

How your bunnies nesting instincts can be the cause of carpet chewing

Is your bunny building a nest? 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. If you think your bunny is doing this it is best to provide some safe and acceptable alternative as a distraction.

bunny playing towel
Bunnies love using an old towel to build a nest in

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 too gets munched.