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 for appropriate discipline to help gently guide your bunny away from bad 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.
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 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. If they think there are treats to find they will choose this alternative to door chewing every time.
Toss toys your bunny can make a noise with make a great 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 than 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 is important to recognize this behavior in yourself and to break this habit as you may end up making thing worse by teaching your bunny to be naughty.
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.
it is possible to offer your bunny some gentle guidance to help control their unwanted behavior such as chewing doors and door frames.
This does however need to be judged correctly as frightening or behaving harshly towards your bunny could make the problem worse, causing your bunny to become timid or even aggressive towards you.
We recommend you follow these simple guidelines to get this process right.
Firstly 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 them and some other chew toys to reinforce good behavior.
You should never shout at or hit or scare your bunny. It could cause harm and is likely to make them scared of you.
A stronger deterrent can be to keep a water mister handy then when you catch your bunny being naughty, spray a mist of cold water over them. Never squirt or spray water directly at them.