You may think that a rabbit only knows how to hop around, munch food all day long and reproduce. But a rabbit is capable of something more than just being a cute, furry and cuddly pet. It can be taught some tricks. With its propensity for chewing, it is very likely that it will chew furniture when you let your pet rabbit out of its cage to roam around your house. To prevent that from happening, here are some tips on how to can teach your pet rabbit not to chew your furniture.
- Curb your pet rabbit’s tendency to chew things around the house by supplying it with its favorite foods. Provide your rabbit with its own place where it can retreat to when it is feeling distressed. Set out a clean litter box, water, favorite foods and an old blanket or towel down for its bedding. With all its creature comforts satisfied, the rabbit will have a reason to seek its sanctuary rather than chew your furniture
- It will take time for the rabbit to be trained not to chew furniture. You should not expect the rabbit to learn what you are trying to teach it immediately. What you can do is to monitor your rabbit and redirect its attention to its place of comfort and offer it vegetables, toys, twigs, grasses or fruits to chew. This may take several repetitions but be patient until your rabbit gets the idea that the legs of your furniture are not good things to eat.
- Protect your furniture while you train your rabbit. With the inherent curiosity of rabbits, it will be quite impossible for you to monitor your pet’s every move. So to deter your rabbit from testing other furniture pieces around your house, protect them by applying a solution that is commonly used on dogs to prevent them from licking their wounds. You can also rub the legs and corners of furniture with the oil from the peel of grapefruits. This is bitter and pungent and will deter the rabbit from chewing them. You can also use cod liver oil, which is safe to use on painted or lacquered surface of furniture. Another thing that you can do is to cover the legs, corners and low furniture with thick plastic that you attach with glue. The smooth and slippery surface of the plastic will make it difficult for the rabbit’s teeth to find some hold on it.
- Use a commercial product if the other steps fail. Try looking for a commercial product that can be sprayed on the easy-to-reach surface of your furniture pieces to prevent your rabbit from chewing them. Ensure that the product you will buy is recommended for indoor application and safe to use with other pets you have in the house.
Rabbits are just like other animals and humans. Some rabbits are difficult to train while others need only little or minimal time to learn. If your rabbit is quite stubborn the best thing you can do is to allow it inside a room in the house where there are no furniture pieces in which the rabbit can sink its teeth into. You can protect your furniture and at the same time provide protection for your pet rabbit especially during the times when you will be out of the house. Patience and consistency should be used when you teach your rabbit that furniture is off limits. Do not hit your rabbit while you train it, and allow it to expend some its energy through exercise inside an enclosure.