Following on from my previous post, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the bunny proofing tricks that I have used in my own home to protect my home and my bunnies. A lot of this has been done through trial and error and while a few of them were a bit of a hassle to set up they have been worth it in the long run.
1. Cable covers
Hands down the best purchase we ever made. This has come in handy so many times and since bunnies are absolutely obsessed with eating the forbidden ‘Spicy Hay’, these cable covers will make sure that they can’t chew through the wires no matter how determined they may be. We bought a few packets of this white cable covering from Ikea and that allowed us to cover all of the cables behind our TV: power plugs, internet cable, HDMIs, extension leads…all covered and safe from bunny teeth. I would recommend you get the cable covers that are very tightly coiled so that there are no gaps in the casing once the cable is s covered. I would also recommend that you cover every single cable – even if you think it would be too high for your bunny to reach, trust me when I say they will find a way to chew it.That was how we lost our first internet cable…
2. a puppy pen
Another really useful item that we purchased was a puppy pen. We made sure to get one that was collapsible and came apart, as we use the individual grates to block off any areas of the house which we don’t want our bunny getting to. We use ours mainly to block off the TV (our bunny is quite obsessed with pulling out all of our games and DVDs so she can climb into the TV unit) or the side of the fridge. We also use one as a make-shift baby gate to stop her going into the bedroom unsupervised without us having to shut every door in the house. We also went for a puppy pen that was way higher than needed, just so there was no chance that our bunny could jump over it. Ours came with 8 metal grates that you link together with long poles, meaning that we can use the grates individually or block of areas using only 2 or 3.
The pen was also helpful when we first got our bunnies, as it gave them more space to hop around in when they were first home and meant that we could slowly expand their living area as we got everything bunny proofed. It also came in handy (the real MVP if I’m honest) when our bunnies de-clanned, as it meant we could safely separate them both and attempt re-bonding with much more ease than had we tried to keep them both in separate rooms the whole time. I would recommend though that you get the pen grates that have the thinner gaps, as we learnt early on that rabbits are 90% fluff and can get through the smallest of spaces.
3. Skirting board edges
So this may be a hack but it has honestly worked perfectly for us. We picked up some of these right angle plastic piping covers and cut them down to size to cover all of the skirting boards that the bunnies could easily get to. We stuck them down with just a little bit of double sided tape and honestly they have been fantastic. The bunnies can have little nibbles of the plastic without causing any damage at all to it, and once they’ve worked out that they can’t chew this material, they lose all interest. We mainly have it in our living room/kitchen and the bedroom as this was where the bunnies spent most of their time and started to try and chew these skirting boards the most. Now our bunny pays no attention at all to skirting boards. As the covers are also white, they blend perfectly into the skirting boards themselves so you keep that polished and clean look.
4. Storage boxes
Anything at bunny level will inevitably be chewed. Bunnies explore their surroundings the same way dogs and cats do – with their teeth. They will have little nibbles of everything they come across to work out what it is they have actually come across. As such, anything that is left unguarded on a low shelf or on the floor will be played with by your bunny. We use these fabric boxes to put onto any shelves or ledges that are within bunny reach. We also fill them with somewhat heavy things – blankets, duvet sets, books etc – so that a cheeky bunny can’t just pull it out and go wild. Again…learnt that the hard way. You can pick these up pretty cheaply too and while your bunny may take a few nibbles of them every so often, they are pretty sturdy and unlikely to sustain any real damage. I also find they make my areas look a lot neater as all of the contents are hidden away and out of sight. Again this probably helps make the area look far less interesting to a curious little bunny.
5. Tidy up after yourself!
This is the biggest thing when it comes to bunny proofing. While all of the above will make your life much easier and your home much more suitable for a little bunny, do not leave anything precious within close, unsupervised proximity. I have lost many a bag handle because I left the strap hanging just a little bit too low on the table, or did not put my shoes away properly and woke up the next day to find the covered in tiny little teeth marks. It obviously goes without saying that this is not the best thing for your rabbit – you don’t want them chewing or ingesting anything that could harm them – but it can be hard sometimes to know exactly what is safe out of reach of your bunny. Bunnies are incredibly determined creatures and they love to explore, so if there is a nice new item just out of their reach, they will spend hours trying to get to it. Always make sure that your bunny’s area is clean and tidy, and full of fun and exciting toys to keep them busy especially when you may be asleep or out of the house and they can’t be supervised the whole time. If you have even the slightest concern that they may be able to reach something, move it away. Always better to be overly cautious so as to protect both your bunny and your general belongings.