Rabbits make great indoor pets. They’re quiet, they’re relatively clean and they don’t take up a whole lot of space, and welcoming a rabbit into your home could help you form a much stronger bond with your pet.
But just like when you welcome a new baby into the family, bringing home a pet rabbit means you need to prepare your house before your pet arrives. Rabbit proofing your home is not only about preventing any damage to your property, but also about stopping your rabbit from coming to harm. Finally, you then need to provide suitable alternatives to allow your rabbit to indulge in all his natural behaviours – chewing, hiding, exploring and the like — without causing any trouble.
So how can you rabbit proof your home? Read on for a selection of great tips on how to prepare your home for a rabbit.
How to rabbit proof your home: top tips
- Electrical cords. Rabbits love chewing on electrical cords, which obviously exposes them to the danger of burns or electrocution. Make sure your rabbit can’t get to any electrical cords in your home – you can buy plastic tubing or special concealers, raise cords off the floor or simply remove them from the space altogether.
- Wooden furniture and skirting boards. Rabbits love to chew wooden items, so areas like the edges of chairs and skirting boards can often be a target for your bunny’s teeth. You can put barriers in place to conceal or protect these areas, while investing in a range of chew toys and directing your rabbit’s attention their way is also recommended.
- House plants. A low-to-the-ground house plant can look all too enticing for your bunny and end up forming part of his next meal. Not only is this a frustrating occurrence, but it can also be dangerous as many plants are toxic to rabbits. Make sure that none of your plants are toxic to your pet — even keeping them up high won’t help as loose leaves can still fall to ground level.
- Beds and upholstered furniture. Rabbits love hiding under beds and pieces of upholstered furniture that are raised off the ground, but there’s also the risk that they may try to burrow into the furniture’s underside and build a nest. Use a flat cardboard box or another barrier to stop this happening.
- Blocking off areas. There will most likely be some areas of your home that are no-go areas for your pet. Baby gates and play pens are quite affordable and provide an easy way to keep your pet exactly where you want him.
- Many rabbits love nothing more than pulling up and chewing on carpet. You could move furniture or boxes to cover any particular problem areas, lay down a rug, and make sure to provide plenty of chew toys as alternatives.
- An open wardrobe or closet is like a lighthouse beacon to a rabbit, with clothes, shoes, boxes and other odds and ends as far as the eye can see. Keep your wardrobe door shut at all times to stop your pet getting up to any mischief.
- Cleaning products. Just as you would for a young child, it’s important to keep all cleaning products and chemicals well out of reach of your rabbit.
- Rabbits are remarkably easy to train and can be taught to stay away from certain areas or not to chew certain things. With a patient approach and using plenty of treats, you can take a step-by-step approach to teaching your rabbit the behaviour you want. But training shouldn’t be the only protection you have in place, as even the best-trained pet can make mistakes. When we’re talking about issues that could seriously injure or even kill your pet, it’s better not to leave anything up to chance.
Last of all, remember that these are just general tips and your home might have its own unique dangers for bunnies. Before you bring your new pet home, get down on the floor to your rabbit’s height and see what you can see. If there’s anything that through a rabbit’s eyes could look good to chew, dig, scratch or explore, make sure it doesn’t pose any danger to your furry friend