Rabbits are known to be playful little critters that like to spend some time playing with their owner or with other animals they trust to be safe with. However, if you do not have the time to play with a rabbit, you may need a few toys to allow the rabbit to have fun.
Even those rabbits that are senior in age, as well as disabled rabbits, need surroundings that have few things to play with aside from eating and sleeping. That is why some pet owners make do-it-yourself toys for their rabbits to play with and enjoy. However, the question is, can your rabbit safely chew a do-it-yourself toy? Since they are made from different materials such as glue, popsicle sticks, wood, and other things. Keep on scrolling to find out.
Advantages of Toys For Rabbits
One of the most important things to consider when caring for a pet rabbit is to ensure they stay happy. This will help the rabbit to decrease their loneliness and contribute to the overall wellness of their life. That is why an active lifestyle is always recommended for pets.
Although some people think animals should be in cages only to keep them safe and avoid contagious diseases. But according to the National Library of Medicine, captivity in animals contributed to their stress level. Being isolated also increases anxiety and reduces animal instinct. That is why giving them a toy can provide advantages for your rabbit.
Here are some of the advantages of giving to rabbits:
Reduce stress in rabbits
Providing toys for your pet will help them reduce their stress, especially if they are in a cage all day. According to this article, stress leads to risk in your pet’s life. They might start banging their heads inside the cage because of boredom. This can lead to head tilt condition in your rabbit, and surgery is required if the severity of head banging is bad.
Moreover, your rabbit will also lose their appetite due to stress. To avoid this, offer them a toy suitable for their teeth. Do not give them hard-to-chew toys because it can also lead to tooth problems.
Prevent rabbits from chewing unnecessary things
The toy is a great distraction for rabbits since your pet will chew on them. That is why you will notice that your rabbit is bored if they start chewing on the things inside its cage. Hence, providing them with a chew toy will prevent your pet from biting unnecessary things.
Moreover, chewing something like metal or bedding can harm rabbits because One reason is that it can cause a parasitic or bacterial infestation in their body. And it will only lead to health complications.
Improve oral health for rabbit
Chewing on toys assists your rabbit in cleaning its teeth. Hence one of the advantages your rabbit can gain from a toy is improving their oral health. Although you need to be careful about what kind of toy you will let your rabbit cite. Since most of the toys available are made from plastic, ingesting a few pieces of this material is bad for their health.
Alternative Chew Toy for rabbits
Instead of making a DIY toy, you can just let your rabbit eat foods that they will get the same enjoyment of chewing in toys. Moreover, it will give them health benefits because it contains nutritional value. There are fruits and veggies that your rabbit can safely graze during their playtime. But remember not to overfeed your rabbit with this food because it can result in an upset stomach.
Do-It-Yourself Toys for Rabbits
A do-it-yourself is a term commonly known as DIY. It is an activity where you make something without paying or asking for assistance from others to create things. Although DIY things require effort because of the step-by-step tutorial, the satisfaction you can get is irreplaceable.
That is why some pet owners prefer making DIY toys for their rabbits because it comes from their effort. But when making a homemade toy for rabbits, you need to consider some things. Since it is made from customizable materials, you must be careful what kind of things you use to create the DIY. Ensure that it is safe for your rabbit because there is a chance that it will be on you, and if it contains a toxic substance, it will harm your pet.
The ideal toys for rabbits are materials made from cardboard, hardwood, and paper. These three materials are good for rabbits to chew on and are safe even if they ingest a tiny part.
However, there are also some toy materials; even though it is safe for rabbits, they can irritate Gastrointestinal and lead to life-threatening conditions. It may also slow down the passage of the rabbit’s food through its gastrointestinal tract.
Here are some of the harmful materials that you should not use in rabbits’ DIY toys:
Colored Popsicle Stick
Popsicle sticks are common materials that kids and adults use to make DIY things, such as miniature houses and crafts. They are usually made from birchwood. However, when it comes to rabbits, colored popsicle sticks are not safe. That is because the dyes that give color to the sticks are unsuitable for your pet’s digestion.
Moreover, if you make a DIY toy out of a popsicle stick, there is a possibility that rabbits will bite them. Chewing it can lead to the breakage of the stick. Hence, it may splinter into the rabbit’s teeth and block the air passageway in your pet. It will also cause possible choking incidents in them. To avoid this, you can use alternative materials such as strong and hardwood so your pet can chew the DIY toy anytime.
Another material that you should avoid using in DIY toys for rabbits is dyed. This contains toxic materials that can irritate the digestion of your pet. According to the University of Maine at Presque Isle, it can cause burns or wounds on pets’ skin.
Although, on some occasions, an animal-friendly product is used to color the animal’s fur, it is still not recommended. If the skin of an animal can get burned by dyed color more, if you used it in your rabbit DIY toy, chewing and ingesting can result in complications you wouldn’t want to see in your pets.
But if you want to add pigment to the DIY, you can use natural or safe food coloring that rabbits can ingest. Moreover, for peace of mind and safety, you can also ask advice from your trusted veterinarian regarding DIY toy material that your rabbit can safely chew.
Hot glue and other types of glue are made from thermoplastic material. This is not injectable for rabbits, so avoid using glue in your DIY pet toys. Although there are reports that there is no clear evidence that glues contain toxic material. The answer is still no.
If you think your rabbit digested glue, it usually just exits the body. And because hot glue has no toxic materials, the body won’t be able to digest anything toxic from hot glue.
The only possible dangerous situation for your pet is if hot glue or plastic, in general, is ingested in large quantities. It will lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea because their digestive system cannot excrete the material naturally.
Although wood is one of the materials you can use to make a DIY toy for rabbits, some types are not advisable. Varnished wood contains chemicals that can lead to toxicity in rabbits. So when you provide a block of wood for your pet rabbit, ensure that the wood you gave is free for any harmful treatments.
According to the Veterinary Centers of America (VCA), the varnish is considered toxic for animals because it releases fumes that irritate rabbits’ eyes. That is why in the first place, it is not meant to be eaten by all pets and even humans.
Moreover, the varnish is made from drying oil and thinner, which are all toxic chemicals. They are only created as a shiner and coating for the wood craft but are not edible to eat.
Other materials that can harm your rabbit:
- Scented Oil Woods– this includes cedar and pine, or those that come from fruit trees and have blemish fruit, such as plum, peach, cherry, and avocado, which are also considered unsafe for rabbits.
- Painted materials are not good to offer to our pet rabbits. They may possibly contain a toxic compound that might be harmful, especially if the rabbit accidentally consumes them.
- Plastic Material– some rabbit toys are made from plastic, so you should avoid buying them for your pet. Although if you are making a DIY chew toy, it’s ideal to exclude any plastic material to avoid health risks for your pet. Harvard University reported that some chemicals found in plastic are linked to eating disorders and obesity.
- Rabbits like to spend time playing because it keeps them happy and active.
- According to some studies, caging rabbits for a long time increases stress. That is why it’s important to ensure that they also get to exercise and play during the owner’s free time.
- Providing your rabbit with a toy will avoid them from getting bored because they will have something to chew.
- There are several advantages of playing with toys for rabbits, such as reducing stress levels, preventing chewing things, and improving the oral health status of rabbits.
- Chewing is important to rabbits because it cleans their teeth since brushing every day is not ideal in animals, unlike humans.
- Aside from toys, chewing food is a great alternative to distract your pet. You can offer them carrots, apples, radishes, cabbage, and zucchini as snack treats.
- The do-it-yourself toy is safe for rabbits if you make it using safe materials like hardwood, cardboard, and paper. In addition, it’s also an enjoyable activity for humans because of the effort of making a DIY toy for their pets.
- Here is the list of materials you should avoid using in making a DIY toy for rabbits; colored popsicle sticks, dyes, hot glues, varnished wood, scented woods, painted materials, and plastics.