Rabbits are not like dogs and cats. They are not your daily house pets, but they are enjoyable small animals that can be great companions for families, couples, and singles. With minimal effort, rabbits could be litter box trained that will give you peace of mind when allowing your pet to jump freely all over the house.
However, it is not a good move to let your pets unsupervised inside the house. Bunnies love to nibble, and you don’t want to see yours chewing harmful materials like plastics.
Plastics and Your Pets
You might be unaware of this, but chewing is your pets’ favorite hobby. They will chew whatever they get their paws on. They can’t distinguish the items that are safe for them to chew and those that don’t. Surely, your rabbits will chew anything you left on the floor – even if that is made of plastic!
Rabbits will happily chomp on plastic wraps or anything else made of soft plastics and even the ones made of flexible plastics like the aquarium tubes. The worst is rabbits will even try to chew hard plastics such as your video game controller once you give them a chance to do that.
Rabbits and Their Chewing Habit
It is normal for the rabbits to chew. Chewing is not only to keep these animals busy because this habit helps in keeping their teeth short. This practice is so important to prevent their teeth from causing pain and discomfort once they go so long. This particular condition is called malocclusion. Once it occurs, rabbits will suffer. They will be in pain, and feeding them will be too difficult.
The Danger of Chewing Plastics to Rabbits
Rabbits seem to enjoy when chewing plastics. This material is durable and robust enough for chomping but light enough to have fun with. Some rabbits will lie down and gnaw their litter tray or food bowl that is made of plastic.
You have to manage and limit the exposure of your pets to plastics. They may have fun playing with the disposable water bottle. They may turn it around, roll it, or gnaw through it.
Sadly, most of the rabbit products available are crafted using plastic. The ones made of a brightly colored plastic attracts the eyes of humans but never do any good for the rabbits. In fact, some breeds of rabbits have allergies to plastic.
If you purchase peripherals or plastic toys for the hutch of your pets, make sure that anything you buy is sturdy enough and can withstand the teeth of rabbits. Also, ensure the material feels weighty in your hands. Rabbits can easily tear a lightweight material into pieces and may pose a danger to these animals.
Plastic easily entices the rabbits. These animals love the sound it can make. So, you will surely see your pets playing with any plastic material for hours. It can be too dangerous for rabbits. If they are playing with a large plastic bag, they may end getting trapped within the bag and die due to the loss of oxygen. So, take the plastic bag quickly once your pets get access to it. Doing this may annoy your pets, but it will be for their safety.
If your rabbits chew on plastic, it will not only damage the item but will harm them physically when they swallow some tiny parts of the plastic as they nibble. Even when the piece of plastic they chew is small enough to swallow without causing choking, still it can be extremely big to go through your pets’ digestive system. It may cause obstruction, pain, and irritation.
If you suspect your rabbits ate pieces of plastics and showed symptoms like stomach pain, constipation, and poor appetite, take them to the veterinarian right away. The specialist has to do some tests for your pets to check the obstruction. Surgery may be necessary to remove the blockage and eliminate any damaged tissue.
Bad Options for Rabbit Accessories
Rabbit accessories are mostly made of plastic. They range from cages to hopper-style feeders, which are mostly crafted from the brightly colored plastics. While these items look good, giving them to your pet is a different story. When you keep your bunnies in a plastic pen with toys and accessories that are also made of plastic, you may end up replacing these items typically. You may even come home and see these items broken the next day.
How to Stop Rabbits from Chewing?
You can stop rabbits from chewing bad items like plastic. In certain instances, their chomping habits can be so destructive. Rabbits may damage your shoes, slippers, and even your book. At the same time, their chomping habits can be harmful to their part.
You have to be careful when taking care of rabbits. Certain items like the electrical wires can be so harmful. You may cover these things with anything that rabbits can’t chew through. You can use something like the split loom tubes.
Most rabbit owners try to deter their chewing behaviors through strict discipline. It is effective but inadvisable. Making a loud sound and offering them a firm “NO” command will help you get the attention of your rabbits.
In other cases, strong-minded rabbits will end up ignoring you. For these animals, they are the boss, and no one can stop them from doing what they like. Rabbits can also be aggressive sometimes as it seems to them you are on their territory. In some instances, rabbits will begin to fear you, which can be damaging to the relationship between you and your pets.
Distraction through enjoyable activities is much better. Look for chew toys all over the house. Sit down and start playing with your pets. Make it a daily exercise routine for your bunnies. Give them a chance to climb and dig. Allow them to explore the world outdoors. These things will keep your pets occupied and busy, so they will forget to chew.
Also, you may consider using a spray that can make the taste and scent of your pets’ chewing targets uninteresting. It can be ineffective in some instances, though. Still, if you want to discourage your pets from chewing through scent, visit the nearest pet store and get a spray bottle.
You can also make a DIY solution. Something that smells bitter will be so effective. Whatever option you choose, always make sure you use non-harmful chomping deterrents.
The Best Toys for Your Rabbits
Giving toys to your pets will help in keeping them busy and preventing boredom. There are toys made for rabbits that you can get from a pet supply store. Some of these items are made of solid and hard plastic. These toys are more suitable for bunnies than the ones made of soft plastic.
If you don’t want to give them any plastic toy, you may give them a wicker basket instead. The basket should not be treated and painted. You can fill it with straw, junk mail, or a used phone book.
Wash and dry pinecones or provide your pets with untreated woodblocks. However, don’t give certain woods like plum, peach, cherry, apricot, and redwood as they can be harmful to rabbits. Likewise, you may allow your pets to shred cardboard from boxes, paper towels, or toilet paper rolls.