Have you recently adopted a bunny? If so, you’ve picked a super cute pet! Bunnies are absolutely adorable, and can make great animal companions. Floppy does have some specific care needs, however. One thing that is important for bunny owners to understand is that these little furballs have a very strong need to chew. A Marquette, MI vet discusses bunnies and chewing in this article.
Why Bunnies Chew
Rabbits have open-rooted teeth, which means that those little choppers will never stop growing. In the wild, bunnies wear their teeth down by eating tough roots and plants. Pet bunnies have a softer diet, so your furball will need things to nibble on. This is one reason it’s so important to make sure bunnies always have plenty of grass hay. If Floppy doesn’t chew enough, she could develop painful dental problems!
Bunnyproofing is a must for bunny owners. Your cute little pet will nibble on anything and everything she can reach. You’ll need to cover your baseboards, furniture legs, carpets, and wires and cords. Block off openings beneath and behind furniture, and remove toxic plants, chemicals, medicines, and any small or personal items. Ask your vet for more advice on bunnyproofing.
Bunnies love nibbling on items made of wood, cardboard, or paper. You can make some great bunny toys out of ordinary household items, such as the cardboard tubes from toilet paper rolls. Try crumpling a piece of paper around a yummy snack, or putting fresh, safe herbs in a paper bag. Just be sure to always put your pet’s safety first. Never give your furball anything coated with varnish, paint, or decorative substances like glitter. Items with small parts or sharp edges are also on the no-no list. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.
Bunnies are both smart and stubborn. Floppy is quite capable of learning what she should or shouldn’t chew, though you’ll need to train her. Never punish your pet for chewing improperly. Chewing is a natural behavior for bunnies, so your furball won’t understand why you’re angry. Instead, thump your feet or clap your hands, or say No in a firm voice, then offer her a suitable toy. Also, whenever you see Floppy nibbling one of her chew toys, immediately reward her with praise and treats.
Do you have questions about bunny care? Call us, your Marquette, MI animal clinic, today!