Intelligent and energetic creatures that they are, pet rabbits need constant physical and mental stimulation. Without anything to do all day, they can get bored, leading to destructive behavior such as chewing their cages, pulling on their fur, or even biting their skin. Providing your rabbit with chew toys will go a long way in relieving his boredom.
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Why Do Rabbits Need Chew Toys?
Rabbits love to chew, and there’s a biological reason behind it. Their teeth are constantly growing, so they need to keep wearing their pearly whites down by gnawing on something. Otherwise, their teeth get too long and cause other health problems.
Aside from the biologically driven need to chew, boredom is also one of the common causes of uncontrolled chewing in rabbits. Buns aren’t meant to sit around in their haunches all day. Neither do they enjoy being left on their own. So rabbits who spend lots of time alone or without stimulation may resort to chewing to entertain themselves.
Rabbit chew toys can help stop or at least lessen your pet’s destructive behavior. Not only do these types of toys help keep your rabbit’s teeth at a healthy length, but they also satisfy his innate desire to chew and gives him something to do.
How to Pick Chew Toys for Your Rabbit
There’s a flood of chew toys for rabbits in the market. They’re made from different materials, with varying designs, and their price tags range from almost nothing to princely sums. This makes it quite confusing to pick the right ones for your bun.
To simplify matters, keep in mind that toys made from hardwood, cardboard, and paper are the best ones for rabbits. The materials used in these toys won’t harm your pet even if they manage to ingest a small amount while gnawing on their plaything. A small amount being the operative word because even safe-to-ingest toy materials can still lead to health issues if your bun takes in too much.
Excessive ingestion can irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and cause GI stasis, a potentially fatal condition where the passage of food in the digestive tract slows down.
Safe Rabbit Chew Toys
You won’t run out of choices when it comes to toys that will keep your bun happy and contented. To narrow down your options, here are some you may want to consider.
This rabbit toy comes in a variety of materials, but the ones made with Timothy Hay are your best bet. Timothy Hay is a healthy and high-fiber dry grass rabbits love after all. So a toy made from this munch-friendly treat will likely meet your bun’s approval.
Many bun parents swear that their fur baby loved their grass mat, and it seems to satisfy the urge to chew and tug at the woven strands of your carpet.
Toilet Paper Tubes
Who says you need to spend a lot to keep your rabbit entertained? Toilet paper tubes make great bunny chew toys. Your bun will love tossing those tubes and chewing on the coarse cardboard. And the best part is, they don’t cost a cent. So when you’re finished with your toilet paper roll, just toss the tube to your pet.
Stuff some hay into the tubes to make them more attractive to your bun. It’s also an excellent way to get some essential fiber into him and reduce his craving to nibble at the carpet or your furniture.
Grass or Willow Balls
Rabbits enjoy chucking things around, so balls made of edible rabbit-safe materials are just the things you need to keep your pet busy and happy. Nudging his grass or willow ball all over his habitat will prevent boredom, and gnawing on the edible grass will reduce dental problems.
Make sure you get willow or grass balls that are made for bunnies and that they’re crafted from purely natural materials. Also, check for glue or other materials that are not safe for rabbits to eat.
Untreated Natural Wooden Toys For Rabbits
Sometimes the simplest toys are the best. Your bun will surely have plenty of fun munching on all-natural wood blocks. A word of caution, though. Not all types of wood are safe for rabbits, so don’t give your bun just any piece you find in your backyard or leftover lumber from your DIY projects.
Examples of woods that are safe for rabbits include apple, bamboo cane, hazelnut, sycamore, and willow.
Ensure that the wood has not been treated with any chemicals or sprayed with pesticides and is free of glue or paint.
These toys come in attractive colors and designs. They’re also made in different sizes, so choose one that’s big enough for your pet to move in comfortably. Your bun can play in them, and they may eventually discover how fun it is to strip away the paper layers of the tube.
Rabbits who love to shred stuff and play in hideaways will surely enjoy this toy.
What Your Rabbit Should Never Chew On
Certain woods and materials can harm rabbits, so make sure your bun can’t get at them.
- Plastic, metal, or rubber toys
- Wood with aromatic oils such as pine or cedar
- Wood that comes from trees that bear pitted fruits like plum, apricot, avocado, peach, cherry, and plum
This is not a complete list, and you may encounter conflicting information on the internet. If you’re unsure about the safety of some materials or woods used in your bun’s toys, consult your vet.
You Don’t Have to Spend a Lot on Rabbit Chew Toys
You don’t have to break the bank to keep your bun entertained, healthy, and happy. Like we mentioned before, sometimes the simplest toys are the best, and they don’t have to be store-bought.
Crumpled paper, cardboard boxes, paper towel tubes all make wonderful toys for your bun. And they don’t cost a dime. So if you don’t have plenty of money to spare, don’t worry. Curbing your pet’s chewing habits doesn’t require plenty of green bucks. You’ll just need to flex your imagination.
Chewing is an inherent urge in rabbits. To keep your bun healthy and happy, provide him with safe toys to gnaw on. You can either make your own or choose from several options from your favorite pet store.
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