Rabbits are utterly adorable animal companions. However, they also have particular quirks that can sometimes turn a delightful pet experience into a nerve-fraying ordeal. One of these traits is chewing. Because many buns love to gnaw on carpeting material, knowing how to stop rabbits from chewing carpets is one skill that can help save your sanity.
Why Do Rabbits Chew Carpets?
Chewing is a natural rabbit activity. That means your bun chews because his instinct urges him to do so. Rabbits also need to chew; otherwise, their perpetually growing teeth will get too long and cause health issues. Gnawing on something tough and fibrous helps whittle down those pearly whites.
Given this instinctive urge, buns in the wild seek plants and grasses to nibble on. But since pet rabbits don’t have the same freedom to wander around looking for appropriate things to chew, they take what they can get. So your carpet is fair game.
Not all rabbits chew carpets, by the way. Some aren’t interested, while others behave as if they can’t get enough of these floor coverings.
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How to Stop Your Rabbit from Chewing the Carpet
Constantly thwarting your bun’s attempts to turn the carpet into a chew toy is not fun for both you and your pet. That’s why you must employ tactics that will deter your rabbit from repeating the unwanted activity every chance he gets.
Provide Rabbit Toys
Like we said, chewing has a biological basis in rabbits. So if you don’t want your pet to destroy your carpet, giving him rabbit-specific toys may just do the trick. The toys not only relieve boredom but also give your bun an outlet for his instinctive urges.
Give Your Rabbit Plenty of Hay and Grass
Rabbits should have an unlimited stock of hay and grass. These plant products supply them with the fiber they need for good digestion and help wear down their teeth. In addition, gnawing on grass and hay will take their minds off the carpet.
Let Your Bunny Run and Play
Rabbits are social animals. They also need plenty of exercise. Keeping your pet cooped up inside his cage for hours on end can make him turn destructive when you let him out because of stress.
Plenty of opportunities to run around and stretch his legs reduces the stress brought on by sitting alone inside his cage. Bunny-proof your home so you won’t have to constantly worry about your fur baby getting into something that can harm him.
Engage in Fun Activities with Your Rabbit
Playing together helps cement the bond between you and your bun. Moreover, the physical activity releases his pent-up energy and provides him mental stimulation that deters him from chewing inappropriate objects, such as the carpet.
Try Bitter Sprays
Rabbit repellent sprays, such as bitter apple, leave an unpleasant taste on your pet’s tongue, which can discourage chewing. Some buns don’t seem to mind the taste, though, so this technique may not be very effective. Still, it’s worth a try. Keep reapplying the repellent to maintain its efficacy.
However, don’t use toxic chemicals to prevent your rabbit from chewing the carpet. Examples of such chemicals are bleach and ammonia. They may act as a repellent because rabbits don’t usually like the smell, but they can be harmful if your bun ingests them.
Cover Your Carpet
Sometimes, there’s a specific area on your carpet that your bun picks on. In such cases, a straightforward way to prevent further damage is by laying something over the spot, like, say, ceramic tiles. This is one hack many bun parents find pretty effective. Tiles are cheap, and they can easily be packed away when they’re no longer needed, which is why rabbit owners like using this technique.
Placing a piece of furniture over the area that your bun constantly chews will also prevent him from getting at the carpet.
Alternatively, you can cover your carpet completely. This works best for areas in your home where your rabbit spends a lot of time unsupervised. Materials you can use as carpet cover include children’s play mats, carpet roll ends, horse mats, and outdoor carpets.
Discipline Your Rabbit
This is easier said than done. Unlike dogs who aim to please their owners, rabbits are not inclined to do so, making training your bun a pretty frustrating endeavor. Moreover, buns get easily stressed, so training techniques that work on dogs might have adverse effects on your pet.
You should never shout or hit your bun. Not only would it cause stress, but it can also make him timid or even become aggressive towards you. Instead, when you catch him in the act of chewing the carpet, uttering a firm NO and leading him away from the area is one way of discouraging him from repeating the action.
Some experts recommend positive reinforcement in training your pet. So when he chews on the appropriate objects you give him, rewarding your rabbit can help make the lesson stick. Rewards can come in the form of treats, verbal praise, and extra petting.
Best Toys to Help Stop Your Rabbit from Chewing the Carpet
Toys help enrich your bun’s environment. Having something to play with also relieves boredom and redirects your pet’s attention from chewing objects that may harm him.
For rabbits who can’t seem to stop chewing, chew toys are great alternatives for your carpet. Fortunately, a wide range of these toys exists in the market, with varying designs, materials, and prices. Picking the best chew toys for your pet can be a challenge but remember that those made from cardboard, hardwood, and paper are the most appropriate for rabbits.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to take your bun’s mind and teeth off the carpet. Don’t toss those toilet roll tubes or empty cardboard boxes into the trash. Your bun will have a lot of fun playing with them. The great news is that even if he ingests a SMALL amount while gnawing on those playthings, they are not likely to cause any harm.
Just make sure there aren’t any adhesives or staples which can get eaten. Also, refrain from giving your pet cardboard boxes with heavy printing as the ink may be toxic to rabbits.
Stuff the tubes with grass or hay to make them more appealing to your fur baby.
Young rabbits tend to chew more than adult ones. So if your bun is still a baby, he might chew less as he gets older. In any case, using these tips on how to stop a rabbit from chewing your carpet can help cut down your pet’s destructive activity or, better yet, eliminate it.
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