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Should you let Pet

Rabbits Run Loose?

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If you know anything about rabbits, you know that rabbits
love to chew or gnaw. So, if you are going to let your pet
run about your home or even just one room of your home, you
will need to carefully consider two things:

Keeping your rabbit safe. Protecting your property from


Gnawing is an irresistible instinct in rabbits; don't think
that you can completely teach yours not to chew. Rabbits
just can't help themselves. (You would gnaw too if it kept
your teeth from growing through your head!)

So you will need to protect the rabbits from your
possessions and your possessions from your rabbits. Get down
to rabbit height and investigate what your bunnies might
find that looks chewy in the areas in which they are

Watch your rabbit carefully when you first begin to let it
out of its cage, and if you catch your rabbit gnawing
something it shouldn't, clap your hands or stomp your foot
(a natural warning system in rabbit communication) and
distract it by moving it to a chew toy or its digging box.

Here are some possible gnawing hazards in your home, and
ideas and hints to help you avoid accidents.

1. Electrical Cords

Keeping your rabbit from chewing on electrical cords is
probably the most important step of rabbit-proofing. Rabbits
have been badly burned or even electrocuted by chewing on an
electric cord that their owner thought was hidden behind the
couch or under the rug. (Electrical cords under the rug are
a bad idea anyway, as that creates a fire hazard.)

Of course ideally you would be able to move all electrical
cords so that your rabbits cannot access them. But
practically that is not always possible. Some fixes that
have worked for some rabbit owners include spiral cable wrap
from an electronics supply, plastic tubing over the exposed
cords, special decorative wire covers that fasten to the
wall with the cord running inside. These are often sold in
home decoration shops.

2.Woodwork, Baseboards, Furniture and Carpets

If your rabbit is inclined to chew on the wooden parts of
your home, try covering those parts with a board or
something else that isn't easy or attractive to gnaw, or
blocking them in some other way. Upholstery can be covered
with furniture throws, etc. Carpets should be well tacked
down, and any areas that the rabbit favors for investigation
can be at least temporarily covered with plastic carpet
protectors or furniture moved to that spot.

3.Clothing, Shoes, Books and other Household Items

The way to prevent gnawing of such objects, of course, is to
remove the rabbit's access to them. Don't have books on the
low shelves in your rabbit room, keep closets closed, use
chew-proof bins for magazines and other items that are kept
at floor level.

Make sure to offer your rabbits plenty of attractive chewing
toys and lots of hay even when they are loose in your home,
and give them attention when they are free; and after a
while, once good habits are formed in your bunnies, you can
probably remove the protection.

Here are some chewing alternatives:

Wooden blocks made from untreated wood
Hard plastic toys
Sticks from non-toxic trees like willow and apple
Empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls
Untreated paper
Hay (make sure the pieces are long for the best results)

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