How To Keep Your Pet House Rabbit Happy
A bored bunny is a destructive bunny. Part of having a healthy relationship with your house rabbit means ensuring she has plenty to keep her occupied, so she doesn’t go looking for trouble.
The good news is keeping your bunny happy doesn’t have to cost a fortune. It just takes a little bit of creativity.
Bunnies love to chew. It’s just a fact of life that you must understand and accept as a bunny owner. However, your house rabbit’s chewing doesn’t have to be destructive, if you give her enough to chew and to keep her occupied.
Toilet paper rolls. One of the most popular chew toys for house rabbits is toilet paper rolls. Start asking everyone you know to start saving toilet paper rolls. Bunnies love to chew them, and some will toss them up in the air. To make a toilet paper roll even more fun, stick some hay inside, so your bunny can dig it out.
Baby keys. Another great, and inexpensive, toss toy is a set of baby keys, which you can pick up at most pharmacies and grocery stores. Any time you purchase pet or baby toys for your rabbit, make sure they don’t have any components – a bell, for example – that can break free and hurt your rabbit.
Try playing toss with your bunny: Toss the baby keys her way, and when she tosses them toward you or up in the air, take them and toss them again.
Old phonebooks. Start saving phonebooks – bunnies love to chew at the sides, rip the pages out and chew them. What’s even better is one phone book can last a long time.
If your city has a recycle dumpster where old phonebooks are dropped, consider calling the phone company and asking if they mind you taking a few of the old phonebooks for your bunnies. You can also ask friends and family to save old phone books – the more your bunny has, the happier she’ll be.
Boxes. Look around your house: Do you have any old or unused boxes your house rabbit might like? Cardboard boxes can have a dual purpose. First, your bunny will probably like to chew the cardboard.
Second, cardboard boxes are the perfect hiding place for your rabbit. Cut a hole, large enough for your rabbit to get through but not too big, in the side of the box, and she can hop in and out as she wants.
Paper bags. Like cardboard boxes, paper bags serve a dual purpose. Your bunny can run inside and hide, or she can chew the paper bag. So, next time you’re at the grocery store, if you’re asked paper or plastic, go for the paper. Your bunny will thank you for it.
Untreated straw or wicker baskets. Another way to keep your house rabbit occupied is to provide her with untreated straw or wicker baskets, but you must ensure they are untreated. Treated straw or wicker could prove harmful, so if you’re not 100 percent sure it’s untreated, err on the side of caution and don’t buy it.
Still, no matter how much you give a house rabbit to do, she’ll get into mischief from time to time, especially if she’s young and adventurous. Consider yourself owned by a house rabbit if your phone dies in the middle of a conversation (she ate the cord), if you see the battery icon light up on your laptop (she bit the wire), or if you put on a sweater with an attractive new hole (she chewed it).
Expect chewed remote control buttons and telephone buttons (it’s a bunny thing). Bunnies can cause some damage, but the trick to minimizing that damage is to provide them with plenty to play with, chew, and dig. If you do that, you’ll have a happy bunny, and you’ll certainly be a lot happier, too.