Bunny-proofing your home

Pet rabbits are known to dig, burrow, chew, and nibble. Bunny proofing your home not only protects your household items, but it protects your bunny from harmful habits, too! Check out these bunny proofing tips.

Electrical and phone cords: Deter your rabbit from chewing cords by encasing them in split loom tubing (available at BestBuy, IKEA, and stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s), plastic shower rod covers, plastic wire channels and raceways, or for stubborn buns, PVC pipes. Block cords and outlets with furniture so the rabbit cannot reach them.

Carpet: Cover favorite chewing areas with a large ceramic tile or a plastic office chair mat. Choose low-pile carpeting that may be less tempting.

Baseboards and corners: Use plastic or decorative wood corner protectors. For baseboards, you can attach a “sacrificial” piece of untreated wood to their favorite chewing surface.

Furniture legs: Cover legs of a “chosen” piece with cardboard or PVC pipe. Provide them with alternative rabbit-safe chew sticks.

Box springs and upholstered furniture: Rabbits love to burrow, and some will get into the soft underside of upholstered furniture and bedding. Protect the entire underside with plywood or hardware cloth, or create a barrier underneath with a 2x4 framework.

Houseplants: Remove poisonous plants from rabbit areas, but also be aware of falling leaves. Some common poisonous plants are amaryllis, daffodil, elephant ears, holly and ivy berries, mistletoe, and philodendron. 

Insecticides: Prevent access to roach/ant traps and powders, as well as all other poisonous household products.

Getting stuck: Be aware that a rabbit can become entrapped in recliners, heating vents, and toilets, as well as behind and between appliances and furniture. Keep the hanging cords of your drapes and blinds out of their reach, as they can entrap or choke a fleeing bunny.

Barriers: Keep unsafe areas off limit, or the bunny confined to a safe area, with a portable baby gate. Avoid plastic gates or those with vinyl-covered grates. Metal puppy pens can be configured to fit most areas. You can make a custom gate with hardware cloth (a metal mesh material) and wood, but note that a rabbit can chew through chicken wire. Make sure that the spacing of the wire in any enclosure is tight enough so that a bunny cannot get caught. How high the enclosure needs to be depends on the determination and athletic ability of the individual bunny.

Deterrents: Some people find that a little spritz from a clean spray bottle filled with plain water can be used as a temporary and immediate deterrent when your rabbit discovers something new that he shouldn't get into. Some swear by the deterring power of a bar of Ivory soap rubbed on items not to be chewed. Your results will undoubtedly vary. Clapping your hands and/or saying "No" loudly will also let your rabbit know your displeasure, until you can find a permanent solution if your rabbit is determined.

Diversions: You can give your rabbit hay, bunny-safe baskets (no paint or varnish), and grass mats to chew; cardboard toilet paper and paper towel rolls to toss; purchased toys including hard plastic baby keys to shake; plastic and willow balls to roll; cardboard boxes, willow tunnels, and cardboard concrete forms to explore; and shredded paper or junk mail in a box to dig in. 

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