Rabbits need to chew, so instead of getting frustrated with your new bunny for what is normal behavior, plan ahead and bunny proof your home.
There are a few steps to bunny proof. It takes some work, but once it is done both you and bunny can rest at ease that she and your belongings will be safe.
Here are some things to think about. If there are visible cords (telephone, electrical, blinds), bunny will chew on them. If there are books on lower shelves, bunny will most likely find them irresistible and will happily feast on them. The easiest solution is to move books out of their reach.
Lastly, if you have something that can be used as a hopping board such as a chair, ottoman or step stool, your rabbit may decide to hop up onto a higher level. There are a couple different ways to make your home safe.
The best solution for bunny proofing your home is to remove the potential problems. You might think about using an overhead light instead of a lamp or if you have a cherished piece of furniture, you might want to move it so the rabbit has no access to it. This is the only fail safe way of bunny proofing.
Bunnies' noses are very sensitive. By spraying an area with perfume, shaving lotion or another fragrant you may be able to convince bunny that that area is too smelly. Experiment with different smells; each bunny is an individual and has different preferences. Be aware that repellents will need to be reapplied and may discolor furniture or carpet.
To protect your belongings or to protect your rabbit from a dangerous area, you might need to cover the area. For example, you plexiglass can be used to cover up linoleum or hardwood floors or to cover a lower area of your wall. A strip of untreated lumber can be tacked to the baseboard and will give bunny an acceptable thing to chew. Polyethylene tubing can be split lengthwise and then used to put electrical cords inside. Seagrass mats are a great protector for more expensive rugs and are relatively inexpensive. Blankets and towels can be used to throw over upholstery or beds to protect them from teeth and nails.
But remember, you want to encourage your rabbit’s hopping, chewing, digging and exploring. That is what makes a rabbit... a rabbit!
If you would like to talk to an Anti-Cruelty Society behaviorist regarding this behavior topic, please call 312-645-8253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.