|Bunny Proofing Your Home|
Bunny Proofing Your Home
Before bringing bunny out to play we should take some precautions and provide a safe environment, a room or area that has been "bunny proofed". Not only do we want bunny to be safe we also want to protect our home. How much time do you think a pet rabbit would get outside of their cage if they began chewing the carpet and furniture?
Wrap Up Those Cords
Bunnies have a somewhat instinctive habit, a common curiosity that seems to beset them all.. Alas, the lure of electrical cords and phone lines. They chew them... they like it too! Not only can this be deadly, it can also be quite expensive for you. The computer room is usually off limits to
my cord chomping herbivores.
Dat bunny gonna get in trouble if you don't watch him!
Remove Poisonous Plants
It's usually best to simply remove all poisonous house plants. Even those hung from the ceiling become bunny accessible when dropping leaves! Take a quick inventory of your house plants and check to see if there is any danger. Here's a list of Poisonous House Plants.
Protect Bunny From Other Pets and Predators
While there are many rabbits who live peaceably with
other household pets it's important that you make bunny feel secure when
first introducing him to the rest of the family. Not only can other
animals cause bodily injury, a very scared rabbit can actually die from
Preventing Bad Bunny Behavior
Observe Bunny Closely & Learn His Habits
Along with cords and plants some bunnies may find wooden
furniture too hard to resist, the same goes for grass mats and other
rugs. Don't put it past a bunny to take a little nibble out of a piece
of furniture, edge of a door, baseboard, area rug or whatever else he
finds tempting. Knowing just what may interest your bunny may take a bit
of time but they are sure to let you know when you least expect it.
Fortunately I do not have any pictures of destroyed furniture but have
seen quite a bit.
Keep Bunny Busy & Entertained
Some bunnies are prone to digging and chewing, bad news if you cherish your home as I do. Luckily my 3 have shown very little interest in tearing things up. This may be partially due to the fact that I make sure they have got plenty to keep them busy. Toys can help keep bunny from getting bored enough to start destructive habits, or at least you may be able to "steer" their destruction towards those items made just for them to chew.
Common household items that make great bunny toys.
What To Do When They Misbehave
If your bunny just can't seem to stop going back to an item, like a spot in the carpet or the edge of a piece of furniture you may wish to try some deterrents. Some items to have on hand would be:
While I've heard others mention Bitter Apple spray I have never tried it. I have also heard of people spraying perfume on a paper towel and then using that to rub over the area that they want the rabbit to loose interest in. If you were to spray perfume directly on the item you would also have to smell the strong scent.
Squirt Bottles I personally like to use a squirt bottle to deter certain behaviors. For instance, when Bailey first came home he was small enough to squeeze beneath the sofa, somewhere I did not want him. Once he got bigger he could no longer fit, as a result he began digging in front of the sofa as though the ground was going to give way and make it possible. After rushing over to shoo him away countless times I decided to opt for the squirt bottle deterrent. I use one that squirts a nice long stream and I do not let bunny know that I am the source of punishment. All I want them to know is that when they do "this"...they get wet. Luckily none of my bunnies like to get wet but I am not surprised to hear of those who do not care.
I don't yell or swat them. I simply send a stream (or flood) of water across their body. Once they equate a certain behavior with a soaking they will usually make other plans. YMMV
Dove Bar Soap Just one chomp into furniture or molding should generate a quick action plan on your behalf. Using a bar of soap like you would a crayon, coat the item of interest with the soap (unless this would cause more damage of course). Many times the taste of the soap convinces bunny to look elsewhere for food or fun. Some bunnies simply say yum, may I have another?
Several other bunny momma's have shared with me the fact that their rabbits enjoyed the hot sauce they used in an attempt to deter chewing. Their bunnies claim it makes the wood taste even better!
Don't Think of It As Jail...
"It's for your own good" she said to me as she latched the baby gate closed.....sniff
If your rabbit can't seem to keep himself out of trouble or away from something you may wish to use an Exercise Pen to limit his play area or baby gates to contain or restrict them from other rooms. Blocking off one area may then render a room safe for bunny. Most homes have a great deal of wires behind the audio/video equipment and behind the computer, two spots that should definitely be off limits to bunnies.
The Marshall Small Animal Playpen is an absolute necessity to me. Not only can I use it as a blockade around the house, it's also our outdoor pen and serves as our cage when we take bunnies on vacation. They are available with a velcro vinyl floor that can be a protective floor cover when used as an indoor pen or as a roof over the outdoor pen to give bunny much needed shade and protection.
* Some bad bunny behavior can be the result of hormones. Read more on that here.