Rabbit Play and Bunstruction
Bunnies' teeth grow forever.
They need to chew on stuff. They will try to chew on YOUR stuff.
All of it.
As well as unlimited fresh hay that bunnies need for healthy tummies, untreated apple tree wood is great for their teeth (and for your stuff.)
Try to find natural hay and wooden toys that haven’t got colours, paint or chemicals on them. Toys specifically sold or foraged with bunnies in mind are best when shopping.
You can also make your own toys using empty toilet rolls and stuffing hay into them, or simply braiding and shaping some hay and sticks together in the shape of a ball or a rabbit!
Bunnies are smarter than you think!
They love throwing toys, playing games and cuddling soft toys.
Be careful of stuffing being eaten by buns and always supervise them with new toys in case they dismantle them in a way that they could choke or eat something they shouldn’t. (Some bunnies eat EVERYTHING like our Pandora, and others don’t bother chewing on anything at all and just snuggle with toys like our little Lugh boy.)
When letting your bunnies out to play, be aware of some of the most commonly chomped parts of a home.
Skirting boards and wooden trimmings at the base of walls:
We have to cordon the walls off from Pandora because she loves to munch on them and can do a lot of wood damage in a short space of time. Lugh has no interest in chewing on furniture so some buns are okay, but I find that Pandora is specifically cheeky with this. She seemed okay for a few days so definitely keep an eye on your little friend for up to two weeks before letting them free alone.
Carpet and Rugs:
I’ve seen some very naughty buns in my rabbit social circle who have chewed giant holes in their poor hooman’s rental home carpet and caused much stress. Panda hasn’t had the luxury of being allowed near carpet as we have wooden floors in our home but I just KNOW that she would LOVE to gnaw on some tasty fluffy carpet.
When Lugh was younger and we lived in a home with carpet, he was allowed to run around freely and never, ever did ANYTHING naughty to it, from chewing to toileting. But, that’s why you need to carefully observe and watch bunnies for the first couple of weeks and how they behave when they’re let out around the home.
Some bunnies are like little angels, and some are….Pandora.
Possibly my funniest bunny story ever was the time when I heard a big crash in the middle of the night coming from the bunnies in the living room.
Pandora was only a few months old and when I went down there, I saw her two metres up, clinging onto the curtains for dear life.
I think she was trying to escape her bedtime pen, somehow jumped up and then got her claws stuck on the curtains. I raced over in horror and unhooked that scared little bunny and gave here a cuddle and some treats. Luckily she and the curtains escaped all harm.
Now, this is a pretty hilarious and rare occurrence (certainly not one I was expecting to witness at four in the morning when I was half asleep,) but I have noticed her trying to chew on them so I keep them folded up and away from her just in case she gets any ideas.
We’ve been lucky with our hardwood polished floors in the way that our bunnies don’t dig or scratch at them. If anything, they find them a bit slippery so we tend to put stepping mats and blankets around for them to hop onto when they’re out. But again, some bunnies like to scratch and dig at floors and this can result in some pretty beaten up flooring overtime. You’ll usually know if you have a wooden floor digger on your hands within a week of an adult bunny testing out the waters of being free range.
Wires and chargers:
If you’re here on this website, then you already know about our bunny-proof phone charging cables.
But bunnies don’t only target phone cables; they usually think that all wires look like pretty tasty spicy hay.
Even though we all make jokes about it, "spicy hay" or bunnies chewing cables, can actually be really dangerous for your bun and can even start house fires.
It's really important to be aware if your bunny can reach power cables and to move them somewhere that they can't reach them - or to block off that area if this isn't possible.
Our own USB phone cables are animal chew proof, but it's still important to ensure that they can't rip the attachment out of the power socket, or partly, so that it still has power running through but can possibly end up touching anything conductive or metal.
Something else I haven't seen on other pet websites is to keep all power cords away from water, whether this is the litter tray or anywhere near water bowls.
[It's also important to note in general that you should make sure that your cable isn't ever damaged or left in over night / unsupervised - along with anything else that plugs into the mains!]
I’m sure I’ve left off quite a few items here that bunnies find delectable, but I figured I’d mention the top most common bunstructable parts of a home that you should be aware of before letting those cuties roam free.
Bottom line is,
Having free range bunnies is super rewarding but sometimes daunting if you’re new to this business. I hope this article has helped a little bit in prepping your home for your little fluffy darlings.