Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bunny Proofing 101

Arguably one of the most important things about having a rabbit, bunny proofing can be......difficult.

Is your rabbit in a cage? Does your rabbit have free range of your house/room/apartment? If your rabbit is in a cage there are less concerns and we are going to focus mainly on free range rabbits.

Having a free range rabbit is the equivalent of an 8 year old boy. If you leave stuff out, chances are, it will get wrecked. So having a free range rabbit is both good and bad. They are good in that they force you to keep your place picked up. They are bad in that they wreck some things. It is going to be a learning experience having a free range rabbit, but it is rewarding in the end.

So what is your rabbit looking at when he/she sees your stuff?

Carpet. Rabbits will dig up carpet. They won't dig up all of your carpet, but there are certain areas your rabbit has decided needs to be torn up. Cover these areas with furniture or a rug.

Electrical cords! If you have exposed electrical cords it is paramount you inspect them daily or even hourly. Do NOT leave a cord strung across the floor. This is begging to be chewed in half. Also, rabbits have expensive tastes and like to chew the $150 laptop cords. Beware.
Book spines. If there are ends of books in the reach of a rabbit, they will be chewed. If you leave a set of Encyclopedia Britannica's close to your rabbit's grasp, overtime, you won't be able to find the volume that houses your information on Zubaz parachute pants without going through all of them.Cardboard, paper, anything made from paper pulp. Will get chewed. It's inevitable. If it's there, the rabbit will eat it.This box is on top of the dining room table.

If your rabbit is a not leave the chairs out on your dining room table. Truthfully, this is a challenging predicament. You have to arrange everything in the area around your rabbit jumping up on it. Anything that is 0 to 3 feet tall is fair game. If the rabbit has access to the bathroom this includes items in close proximity to the toilet. Anything on or near a couch, table, or office chair is the same.Trash can. Don't put an empty treat bag in there that might force a rabbit to knock it over looking for dried cranberries.

Cupboards. Some rabbits can figure out how to open floor cupboards. Beware of this. Nothing is safe inside of them unless you can secure the doors.

Baseboards. Some rabbits like to chew on baseboards. You must rabbit proof against this if they start chewing on them. The landlord might not give you back your security deposit. Plants in pots. Good luck with this one. Keep them out of reach of the rabbit if they are toxic, and try to keep the pot small enough that the rabbit can't jump in it and dig.
Immediately following the taking of this picture dirt was thrown everywhere.

Fake or real leather. Yes they chew on this. Belts, couches, shoes, purses, backpacks, duffelbags, and your 80's leather pants you only put on to go to Def Leopard concerts. Remote controls. The buttons will get chewed. Keep these out of the reach of your bunny!

Can you alleviate some of your rabbit's chewing tendencies? Yes and no. If you place a phone book somewhere where they don't like it, they will tear it apart and use up a lot of energy. They might get bored with it at times so take it away and put it back later.
I hope this helps with some initial thoughts about letting your rabbit have free range of your abode. As long as you keep your cool, it can be a rewarding experience. If you don't like being punished for not picking your stuff up, then keep your rabbit in a cage.

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