Understanding Your Bunny's Chewing Problems

September 30, 2020 2 min read

Chewing is one of the most basic of rabbit instincts. It is also the primary complaint of rabbit owners. Having a basic understanding of the chewing compulsion can help you to prevent issues with your rabbit. A rabbit's incisors, like other small mammals, continue to grow throughout their lives. The instinct to chew comes from a need to keep them filed down. If this is not satisfied the teeth will block their ability to eat and can become very hazardous to a rabbit's health.

The need to chew is compounded by factors such as; gender, individual personality, age, and environment. The instinct to burrow is stronger in female (doe) rabbits than the males (bucks) and so is the need to chew. Like other young mammals, rabbits are more likely to chew than matured spayed/neutered pets. This makes training early on to be the most effective long term in curbing the behavior. Rabbits that spend significant time in a cage, may result to chewing on the wire. This can become a health hazard since it will result in pulled teeth, a condition where the teeth no longer line up correctly. Pulled teeth can make eating more difficult later in life and should be avoided by diverting the chewing instinct.

Rabbits can be trained to not chew certain items by making them less appealing. Using natural deterrents such as vinegar, eucalyptus oil, and lemon are unpleasant enough to a rabbit that they will avoid the area. However the single best way to prevent chewing issues is providing chew toys. Chew toys should be natural and free of harmful chemicals. A great example are antler bites, all natural healthy chews. Antlers contain no added chemicals, they are also naturally high in calcium and minerals. Since they are natural, they also have a smell that is appealing to rabbits and come in a variety of shapes to keep them interested.

They should also vary in size, location, and smell to keep their interest. A couple of chew toys placed in a variety of locations will keep your rabbit busy searching, satisfying their need for intelligent stimulus. Rotating the location will also change the smell and make them more interesting for your rabbit.

Perfect Pet Chews carries a variety of pet chews specifically for bunnies. Check out our bunny bites.

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