Ok, admittedly it’s impossible to completely rabbit proof your home. The only way to do that is not to have a rabbit. But there are many ways to tip the odds in your favor without getting rid of Binky.
The first thing is to remember Bacon’s famous dictum: Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. Here, that means: Rabbits like to chew. Among other things, their teeth grow throughout their lives and chewing helps keep them under control. You can’t stop them from chewing, but you can redirect that instinct into ways that are beneficial for the rabbit and safer for you.
Keeping electrical cords out of reach is an early challenge. If you let your rabbit run around the house, and most everyone will want to at some time, keeping Binky’s teeth away from electricity is vital. Literally. Rabbits will readily chew through a power cord connected to a lamp or computer. Not only does this ruin the cord, but it’s potentially fatal to the rabbit.
Ideally, cords should be tucked up and out of sight. But keep in mind that rabbits can squeeze into small spaces, so just shoving the cord behind the desk or table may not be enough. You have to prevent access. When you can’t do that, there are alternatives. Cords can be covered with aluminum foil or hard plastic, or you can purchase cord coverings called spiral cable wrap that are designed to protect them.
Houseplants need to kept out of reach, as well. Rabbits are herbivores so don’t expect them to act against their natures. Remember Bacon’s advice? Even if they get plenty of food, they’ll ‘forage’ by going after your flowers and other plants when they can. Some are toxic, but even in the best scenario you’ll have lost a plant even when you don’t lose the rabbit.
Rabbits will chew on furniture, too. Table and couch legs can be wrapped with PVC pipe, but that’s not a very attractive option. Decorative metal or wood coverings can be purchased to keep them from chewing on the chair and table legs. Similar materials are used to provide a method for moulding, baseboards and other strips that are used at the base of walls.
Supervision while the rabbit is around them may be preferable. But be careful about shooing them away with a foot. Rabbits are sensitive creatures and easily spooked. Fear brings on… you guessed it… more chewing.
But providing them with good alternatives may be the best strategy of all. Hard rubber or plastic bones or balls and other toys are inexpensive and healthy. They keep the rabbit occupied and away from your shoes. Try to avoid any which will splinter or fragment, including household items such as toilet paper rolls. Similar precautions should be followed with respect to household cleaning items and other chemicals. Rabbits are sometimes not sufficiently particular about what they ingest. Protect your home and your rabbit and you’ll both be happier.
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