Chewing and eating your carpet can be a widespread problem with house rabbits and there are many reasons why they do this.
If you understand your bunnies natural behavior then you will begin to see how chewing your carpet fulfils many of their basic instinctive urges.
In this guide we go into details about the reasons behind carpet chewing. We offer suggestions on how to change your bunnies behavior to avoid the destruction.
We also offer ideas for the best types of enrichment and show you the best toys to keep your bunnies occupied and away from chewing the carpet for any reason.
There are several reasons why bunnies chew carpet.
Take a look below ans see if you can recognise any of the behavior that could be behind your rabbits carpet chewing.
Bunnies are always on the lookout for something to eat and if they do not find it then your carpet could be on the menu.
They need a diet that is high in fiber to wear down their continuously growing teeth and keep their intestines functioning properly.
If you do not give your bunny a constant supply of stuff to chew then it is likely they will chew the carpet instead.
Firstly, and most importantly, hay needs to be the biggest part of a rabbit’s diet! and your bunny should always have access to fresh hay every day. You can encourage them to eat more hay by placing it over their litter box.
Make sure your bunny also has lots of chew toys such as willow balls and grassy mats to munch on. Old toilet rolls tubes stuffed with hay can are a great toy that you can make yourself.
Remember to replace these frequently so they do not lose their novelty and appeal.
Bunnies like to explore and test the boundaries of their environment. They naturally shape their habitat by chewing and digging.
Unfortunately, this can lead to them deciding they are going to burrow and chew your carpet,
Often starting in the corner of your room or behind your couch, once this habit starts it can be hard to keep your bunny away from an area as they make it their mission to destroy it.
No matter how many times you say No! It is unlikely you will be able to stop your bunny from doing this and you may need to cover the carpet or fence of the area with a few sections of pet pen.
Hideaway toys can help in curbing this unwanted behavior. They can be used to directly protect your carpet and will stop your bunny reaching the area to continue their destruction. They will also give your bunny something to direct this behavior to that is acceptable.
Wooden hideaways, Cardboard castles all work as a great distraction and will hopefully occupy your bunny who will enjoy making improvements to their hideaway toy rather than your carpet.
Bunnies are intelligent creatures and if they run out of stuff to do then chewing your carpet can easily become their next activity.
The best way to stop a bored bunny from this destruction is to keep them entertained by providing them with the right environment.
Always make sure they have lots of room to move about and explore. Make sure they spend time in a large space where they can free roam with lots of Tubes and Hideouts, they can relax in.
Make sure you spend time with your bunny playing with them. Give them gentle discouragement when they go to chew the carpet and focus them on the stuff they can play with.
Remember that your bunny is relying on you for companionship. They need your love and support, even when they frustrate you by chewing the carpet. Always give your bunny a constant supply of new and interesting chew toys.
Puzzle toys can keep some rabbit occupied especially if there are treats hiding in them.
You do not 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.
Rabbits are natural foragers and spend a lot of their time roaming about looking for new scores of foods to try. They will try and eat everything at least once, including carpet, and if you do not try and satisfy this behavior they can continue to do a lot of damage.
This is where puzzle toys and foraging toys can help enrich your bunnies' environment and keep them entertained and away from your carpet.
There are lots of puzzle mats or treat tumbler toys you can buy, and they all have their merits. Some make a great toy you can use to play with your bunny, others can have treats hidden in them your bunny can seek out when they are looking for food.
One of the tried and tested ways to let your bunny play digging and foraging without the destruction of your carpet 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.
Place the box directly over the spot where your bunny has been digging and reward them with some words or treats. Teach them it is chew and dig in the box but not the carpet.
Bunnies are often less destructive when they are paired. Paired rabbits will spend a lot of time sitting and doing stuff together and are less concerned with chewing the carpet. You are best to start off with paired bunnies however you can introduce a new companion to your bunny with a bit of time and effort.
Getting your bunnies fixed can help erase their unwanted destructive behavior. Your bunnies will be a lot more relaxed, and you will avoid a lot of the triggers for carpet chewing that come from their biological urges. We recommend you have your bunnies spayed or neutered.
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 even when having a phantom pregnancy.
it is perfectly natural behavior and best to simply provide your bunny with some alternatives
If you do not 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 want less 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.