There are many reasons why your bunny may be chewing at your door and door frames. It could be they like to chew on soft wood to help wear down their teeth, they may be bored and want you to let them into the next room or they could be looking for food.
In this guide we have suggestions to appropriate discipline to help gently guide your bunny away from nascence behavior.
We also have lots of enrichment ideas to keep your bunny occupied, away from your doors and hopefully out of trouble.
The best way to stop this unwanted behavior is to understand why
Whatever the reason it can be very frustrating if your bunny is waking you up in the morning so follow this guide and see if any of these tried and tested ideas work for you.
How to keep your bunny occupied and away from your doors
The main reason for a bunny to chew and scratch at a door is because they are bored. Bunnies are sociable creatures and if they think they are missing out on something, especially if they can hear you through the door, they will happily chew away at the door till something happens.
The first thing to do is make sure you are spending enough time with them. It is recommended that you spend a minimum of 1-2 hours a day with your bunny so you should set this time aside.
For when you do need to keep them behind a door the best way to stop them damaging it is to provide them with lots of toys to keep them occupied.
Toys where they can forage for food are good like Puzzle toys. They are always going to test their boundaries if they are bored however if they think there are treats to find they will choose this alternative instead.
Toss toys they can make a noise with also make a good distraction. If your bunny is chewing the door to get your attention give them something they can bash about and reward them for this with attention.
Willow balls and chew toys will always be more fun to chew then the door itself and will help give your bunny their quota of fiber and help wear down their teeth. Make sure you change them out regularly to keep them interesting.
You don't have to spend any money either as cardboard boxes are a great distraction toy, your bunny will love making noise by tearing ribbons of paper off the side or perforating the edges with their front teeth. If you leave it out near the door your bunny will diffidently take an interest and hopefully spend time customizing this and leave the door alone.
Another reason your bunny may be chewing or scratching at a door is because it's a way to get your attention and food. This is why you should not try and keep your bunny quiet by giving them treats. It's important to recognize this behavior in yourself and to break this habit as you will end up making thing worse by teaching your bunny to be naughty.
Reasons you your bunny may be chewing and scratching at your doors
They are bored, you should spend at least 1-2 hours a day with them
You reward them with treats to keep them quiet, making them come back for more
They don't have enough things to occupy them, get them some chew toys and toys to bash about
They adapt their habitats mostly by chewing things, get them a cardboard box to customize
Bunnies like fibrous materials like wood so make sure they have enough hay and fiber to eat if they are hungry
Make sure your bunny has lots of stuff to chew
Lastly its worth checking that your bunny is getting a plentiful supply of hay and other things to chew as they may be eating your doors because to them, they are food. A bunny on a good diet should be eating a stack of hay at least as big as them and they should also have lots of other interesting things to forage on. Make sure they always have fresh hay.
If you have tried everything then you may want to use some gentle discipline but no matter how frustrated you become it important to understand that if you scare or behave harshly towards your bunny you could make the problem worse, causing them to become timid or even aggressive towards you. Follow these examples and learn to offer gentle guidance.
Only use discipline when you catch your bunny in the act or any telling off will be wasted.
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! If they keep going back to it then steer them away from the situation and play with than and some other chew toys to re-enforce good behavior.
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.