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Bunny Proofing your Home

Published on Monday, April 9, 2012

Bunny Proofing your Home

Save Your Home From Destructo Bunny!

You can't really blame a rabbit for being destructive. It's just in their nature sometimes to dig and chew even if they have plenty of toys.  But it's still not fair to have a bunny in a cage all the time.  They desire to be active, explore and even just sit around with the family like other pets.  They don't vocalize discontent like cats and dogs do, and so many people think bunnies are fine just living in a cage 24/7. 

A bunny's true personality comes alive when it is allowed to have plenty of exercise and exploration time. The best way to do this is to litter train  them and prepare your home for natural bunny behavior. Get down on the floor and check out all the trouble they can get into!

Protect your WiresCarpetPlantsFurniture/Walls, Personal BelongingsRecliner & Rocker Caution, and Keep a Bunny Out from Underneath FurnitureBlock Access.
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Quick Temporary Solution

Keep a water squirt bottle handy just in case my bunny discovers something new that's destructive and/or dangerous.  This is not for training, it's only an immediate temporary deterrent.

I find that this method is better than saying, "NO!" or clapping hands, because that loud method also startles the bejeebeeze out of other humans around me.  Plus, a little squirt with water, even when it's coming from me, makes the "mysterious water" the enemy, not me.



CHEWING WIRES

Electrical wires are the same as roots and vines to a bunny. Being that rabbits are prey animals, their instincts are telling them to clear pathways for an easy escape. And they can chew right through cords in a split second. Not only can it cause damage to your equipment, but more importantly it's dangerous for our bunnies, and can be dangerous for our homes

 

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I even have to make sure my vacuum cleaner is stored behind closed closet doors right after I've finished.  Even when the wire is unplugged and coiled back around the vacuum, the rubber texture seems to be irresistible.


Protect cords with cords covers. You can find them at most hardware stores.

I prefer the corrugated flexible tubing.(used in pics to right and below) They are easy to handle, come in many length and diameter choices.  So far I have found them at some of my local hardware stores.

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Anything on the floor and in their way is fair game, so cover any cords, like phone cords and game controls,  that can be left  on the ground or used on the floor.

I find the flexible tubing is perfect for things, like game controls,  that need to be coiled back up and put away.

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Block Access with Other Material. I've used wood (note: redwood is toxic) , metal, mesh, plastic, etc. to block off sections behind and underneath furniture.


Member Tip: Use panes from wire shelving units to block of cords. By xxliddobunnyx 

These shelving units can be found at Target, Walmart, Office Depot. and some places online  They are usually called something different in each place.  Check out the bottom of the habitat section for more information about where to get them. They come in  variety of colors so you can either match or add a splash of color

Member Tip: "I use NIC grids to conceal the back of the desk (the "danger zone").  On the other side, I have a large flattened piece of cardboard to prevent chewing or digging in the corners.  she used to chew at the cardboard, but she's gotten used to it and pretty much leaves it alone now." By Beka27


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TEARING UP CARPET

Bunnies dig on carpets for many reasons: 

  • To get to the other side of something like a door or chair
  • A scent they want to get at.
  • Their wild cousins dig shallow ditches to relax in.  So maybe our bunnies are also creating a lounge chair.
  • Sheer boredom.
Tips to repair carpet damage

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Supply Chew Toys - Make sure they have enough chew toys and things to keep them busy; however, Some bunnies will still chew on your stuff no matter what you supply. 

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Use Scented Deterrents

My vet told me about this trick.  Spray a little perfume on the area. I have found that spraying it can be too strong for even the humans, so  I spray perfume into a paper towel and wipe the towel on the area.  This works well.  Many of the areas my bunnies have permanently rejected but some areas I still have to refresh every few weeks.

Member Tip- "Rub a little pure lemon oil on the spot lasts longer than perfume, and I think  it is just as effective. If you don't have that, just rub a lemon rind on it."  By ScarletRose


Commercial Bitter Sprays for Pets This works for two of my rabbits, but Jack actually likes the Bitter Apple Spray, so it has the opposite effect.

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Ideas to Cover Area. 

I got this wood block at a pet store in the small animal section and my bunnies can focus their chewing energy on this. 

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Jack loves ripping up phone books: This may not look so pretty, and it may get messy, but it's better than having the carpet ruined












Member Tip - "I use the NIC grids to encase the backs of our recliners (and we never recline when she is in the living room as an additional safety precaution).  It was a little bit tricky to figure out the best way b/c they slant forward so they are not flush with the wall.  I ended up making a sideways "T" shape which extends behind the recliners and down the wall, and the end table on the one side secures it in place." By Beka27


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PLANTS

There are many plants that are toxic:

Even if your plants are not on the list, who wants a chewed up plant?  

I don't know of any other safe and best looking way then to just get plants out of the way. I used this as a great excuse to go shopping for some snazzy decorative plant stands and hangers.

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On my big plants like inside trees that must be on the floor, I prune the bottom clear and use the perfume method on the bark and lowest leaves.

So far that has kept my bunnies away, and it's been over a year.  I still have to re-dab with perfume about every other month.   Though this didn't harm my plants, I don't claim that this is safe for your plants.  So if you try this, it's at your own risk.

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FURNITURE & WALLS

Okay, so wicker is never the best choice with bunnies around. But I got this wicker chest prior to bunnies, and now you get to learn from my mistakes!   I soon discovered that wiping perfume on the edges worked well to prevent further damage.  Lemon oil or rind may have the same effect.
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Lead based paint is poisonous for bunnies. (Usually found in older homes.) 

Not all bunnies like to chew on your wall corners/edges, but for the few that have acquired the taste, a plastic or metal wall cover prevents chewing.  The plastic option usually comes with a strong adhesive.  They work well unless the wall is warped or the finish is uneven: 
(We live in a 100 year old building - everything is a bit warped.)

Of course you don't have to go as high as the first picture.  That was just from a vendor's website that used the guards for something else.


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PROTECTING PERSONAL ITEMS

My husband and I have had shoes, jeans, shirts, and socks ruined by bunny choppers.  My bunnies have taught us to pick up after ourselves and keep closet doors shut. 

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Watch out for dropped blankets & pillows or blankets hanging low and in a bunnies path. (Same goes for long curtains)

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BE CAREFUL WITH ROCKERS AND RECLINERS

Recliners can be a bit scary.  Even if a bunny is out from underneath your feet, and under the chair and couch, the mechanics underneath injure them.

We used to have a couch recliner, and though we were extremely careful, it still freaked me after one rare occasion, I  just forgot and closed it up while my bunnies were out playing. No bunny was underneath, but my one memory lapse caused great concern for me and so I decided, that for our situation, we would be better off with comfortable chairs and foot stools! 

 However, if you love your recliner, then you can take some steps to prevent your bunny from at least getting completely underneath and hiding out underneath there.  See "Couch Barrier" below.  You may be able to create something similar.

 If you do have something that keeps bunnies safe with recliners, send photos and info, and I'll post it her so we can help others as well!   


KEEPING BUNNIES OUT FROM UNDERNEATH FURNITURE

Remote Control Noise Maker: (Tip by member, Anistark)

 "My husband had this Halloween noise maker with a remote control.  We turned it on and slid it under the tv stand and kept the remote handy.  Whenever Sable was getting set to go under we would hit the remote and the noise (a range of effects from howling to a 'scary' voice saying 'boo' or 'Happy Halloween') would startle him. 

 We haven't had to use it for about a week now.  We still put the device under the stand just in case but so far Sable seems to avoid the area.  A few times he has appeared ready to try venturing under it again but he seems to remember that there's something unpleasant about it and will turn and scurry away!!


Tip by member "Couch Barrier" - By Osprey

NOTE: The wood is covered by a couch skirt.

Our bunnies were obsessed with going under our sofa. I tried the squirting water and the "No!" thing, but those only work for a little while before they come back to try again. I finally built a frame of 2x4 lumber, screwed it together, and laid it under the sofa.  Now there is not enough room for them to get under it, and they also have some wood that they are allowed to chew on.

Note from BB: My understanding redwood is toxic when digested, as well as many soft woods, so best to stick with hard woods. 


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BLOCK COMPLETE ACCESS


X-pens and Baby Gates: They are helpful in blocking off large sections. 

Use Panels from Wire Cube Shelving Units

This is an inexpensive way to block off doorway. Hedi also used the cubes to block off the back of the couch, computer stuff, etc 

You can get the a set of 12 or more for around $15- $18.  Secure them together with zip ties.

Where can you get these grids? Check out the link below.  They posted all the places they have found them.  http://www.guineapigcages.com/cubes.htm (you'll need to scroll down to "CUBE".)


Member Tip - "Create a Fence from Cubes".  By Beka27

"It works out to [my bunny's] own little play area where [my toddler] can't go. I keep some more toys and things there for her.  It was a lot of trial and error to get it to where i feel she is truly protected.  but now i can come and go and i know she is not in any danger..."

Custom make your own blockade: Many times we need to completely block our troublemakers from one part the house.  

We sometimes needed to  block them from the hallway.   I didn't want an ugly metal fence there, and I wanted something that would open and close easily.  So we made a little door that securely closed but  opened and re-closed with a foot or knee (Leaving our hands free to carry stuff)


We used friction catch fasteners for easy open and close, but it still created a strong enough grip to keep a bunny out.


DO YOU HAVE SOME NIFTY HOME-PREP TIPS TO SHARE?



Contact Us and be sure to put HOME PREP TIP somewhere in the body of the message



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Author: BB

Categories: Bunny Proofing

Tags: Destructive, Dig, Chew, Litterbox

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