It's important to understand that digging and chewing at the ground is natural to a bunny so the best way to control your bunnies destructive urges is to direct them with some gentle discipline towards 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 you 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 habit of chewing carpet read on and learn some of the tried and tested ways of fixing this problem.
Gentle discipline without causing stress
Stopping your bunny chewing your carpet can be a very frustrating process. Every time you settle down to relax you then find yourself jumping up to usher your bunny away from what seems like an irresistible habit.
Bunnies are naturally timid animals so judge 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.
Only use discipline when you catch your bunny in the act 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 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.
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. There can be many reasons for this destructive behavior and understanding how to satisfy them with some accessible alternatives is essential to keep the damage to a minimum.
Reasons bunnies chew carpet
They are looking for something fibrous to eat, always make sure they have fresh hay
They are bored, make sure they have lots of toys
If they are exploring their boundaries, digging at the corners make them a digging box
It is essential to enrich your bunnies environment with toys and things chew on, dig in. It's best to provide a distraction everywhere you see signs of digging.
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.
Bunnies are always looking for something to chew so its 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.
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.
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 household. Make sure you remove any staples, tape and avoid heavy print which may get eaten.
How 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, 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.