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"Discover Everything You Need To Know About Your Pet Rabbit!"
by Andrea Austin
From the Mouth of a Rabbit Owner
My bunny used to have a serious chewing problem. Whenever she got out of her cage, she immediately started chomping down on my nice carpets, not only destroying the rugs but also ingesting all sorts of unhealthy carpet fibers. It really got out of hand one day when I let my bunny out of the cage to play for a few hours, then noticed that she had been quietly chewing down a corner of a dangling curtain. A huge chunk of the material was gone!!
I knew this could not be good for her, so I asked my vet what to do. She told me that my bunny had probably ingested a good deal of indigestible fiber, and it needed to be expelled. I followed her recommendation of giving my rabbit some petroleum laxative, which I picked up at a pet store, then got to work retraining my bunny so she would not keep chewing up my house!
I started getting much more involved in bunnys playtime. Whenever I saw her starting to chew something bad, I would clap my hands and say no in a sharp voice. Eventually she seemed to get the message, but if I walked away for a few minutes, she would be back to her old tricks.
I finally realized that chewing is a natural bunny habit, and that in order to preserve my furniture and my bunnys health, I would have to give her a chewing substitute. A small dog chew toy did the trick! Now we are both happy, and my carpets are safe!
Key Points Summary
Bunnies instinctively have habits like digging and chewing, but that does not mean you have to suffer with destroyed furniture or endless aggravations. The key is to understand why your rabbit is behaving in certain ways, and then fix the root causes.
In this section I have explained, for example, the behavioral relationships between aggression and sexual frustration. If your rabbit is overly aggressive or biting a great deal, it may be time to get him neutered.
Likewise, if your bunny is chowing down on your furniture legs, you have to realize that he is not doing it to spite you. He is doing it because its in his nature to want to chew. The best thing to do, therefore, is to give him something else to chew on. And if your rabbit is digging up a storm, again, just give him an acceptable digging toy (a box full of shredded paper, for example).
It will not work just to keep saying, no! You have to tackle the cause, not the symptom.
PLAYTIME WITH YOUR RABBIT
Exercise is essential for healthy rabbits, and they love to play! But that does not mean you have to run out and buy expensive equipment or toys. Instead, try some of these cheap and/or homemade options, which most rabbits love.
A box of hay or shredded paper can be great fun for bunnies, who naturally love to dig.
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