Rabbits are intriguing creatures that consistently require physical and mental stimulation; otherwise, they can get bored easily.
And when they do, you can expect your rabbit to chew on anything and everything they see.
Chewing is an extremely natural and enjoyable activity for bunnies that is important to both their health and happiness.
However, you must ensure that you have safe materials that your rabbits can chew on.
This article will discuss all the healthy and safe materials your rabbit can chew on for their teeth.
We will also discuss why it is important for rabbits to chew continually.
Additionally, we will give a rundown on what hazardous materials rabbits should not chew on for their teeth.
10 Safe Things Rabbits can Chew On For their Teeth
Chewing is a vital necessity for rabbits. Hence, as a pet owner, it is important for you to provide the right materials for them.
Here’s a list of natural, safe, and digestible materials that rabbits can chew on:
- Willow, Grass, or Other Chew-Safe Balls
- Wooden Bridge
- Cardboard Boxes and Rolls
- Grassy Mats
- Chew Tubes
- Natural or Untreated Toys
- Chew-Safe Sticks
- Grassy House
- Twig Tunnel
The safest and readily available chew material for rabbits is undoubtedly hay.
Fresh grass hay, such as oath, timothy, and orchard, should be provided to rabbits at all times.
Vets recommend long-stemmed and sun-dried hay for rabbits because they have more vitamin D and calcium.
This can help with their dental health as well by aiding in teeth formation and strength.
The biggest benefit of hay for rabbit teeth is that it helps to keep them clean and healthy.
Hay is a fibrous food that helps to scrape plaque and tartar off of the teeth, which can help to prevent dental problems like cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.
The hay also helps keep their digestive system healthy by providing them with fiber to eat.
You can buy a hay feeder (check this one out) so that you’re rabbit always has a fresh supply of hay while keeping the cage clean.
Willow, Grass, or Other Chew-Safe Balls
This is a great way to keep your bunnies safe, healthy, and entertained.
Bunnies love to chew something that they can play with and toss around, especially if it is round.
This is why chew-safe balls are an excellent option.
Additionally, such natural and edible balls are quite affordable as well.
Not only do the fibrous textures of these items help wear down teeth naturally as the rabbits gnaw on them, but the act of chewing also helps to dislodge any food particles or plaque that may have built up on the teeth over time.
This results in healthier teeth and less risk for dental problems down the road.
However, their only drawback is that they can get messy when your bunny plays with them. Ensure that the one you get is made from all-natural and safe materials such as willow or grass.
Avoid getting the ones made and designed for decorative purposes because they may be treated with varnishes and chemicals. This might be dangerous for your rabbit.
This is an excellent option if you want to keep your rabbit preoccupied and have something to chew on at the same time.
Made from wooden logs, you can easily bend this toy to create a bridge or hideout for your pet.
Moreover, you can also place these bridges next to the furniture that your rabbits nibble on.
This will teach them to chew on the bridge and not on the furniture.
It also provides some mental stimulation and helps keep your rabbit occupied.
The entire structure can be chewed and nibbled no matter how you shape or keep it.
Additionally, it also comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can get whichever depending on the size of the cage.
However, the structure can break down when your rabbit chews it for a long time.
Cardboard Boxes and Rolls
Arguably one of the most entertaining yet inexpensive materials for your bunnies to chew on is cardboard boxes and rolls.
The texture of cardboard is tough and fibrous, which helps to wear down their teeth as they chew.
And since rabbits’ teeth never stop growing, it’s important for them to constantly be chewing on something in order to keep it short and manageable.
Chewing on cardboard boxes also provides rabbits with mental stimulation and can help keep them entertained.
You can use empty toilet paper rolls or boxes and keep them in their cage for them to nibble on.
You can also stuff the middle of these rolls with some hay. This will keep them nourished and entertained simultaneously.
By not throwing your toilet roll away, you will also be reducing your waste.
These are mats woven together using various materials. The most popular materials to make these mats are hay and grass.
Hence, these are natural and edible mats that the bunnies can sit and nibble on.
The mats help to keep the rabbit’s teeth healthy by helping to wear down their teeth over time. In addition, the grass in the mats will help to keep the rabbit’s gut healthy by providing them with fiber.
If your bunny has a habit of chewing your carpets, then they will thoroughly enjoy grassy mats.
Grassy mats are typically quite cheap, and you can get multiple to put inside their enclosures to offer comfort and entertainment.
Moreover, you can also easily replace them when they become worn out since they are quite affordable.
So if you have a rabbit, providing them with a grassy mat to chew on is a great way to help keep their teeth healthy!
Another inexpensive chewing material is chew tubes that also help to add vibrancy and color to their enclosures.
Cardboard chew tubes come in attractive colors, and you can leave them out for your bunnies to play with.
Most chew tubes are made from cardboard, but others are typically made from various other environmentally safe materials.
Overgrown teeth can prevent your bunny from eating properly, leading to malnutrition and weight loss. Fortunately, chew tubes are a simple way to help keep your bunny’s teeth trimmed down to size.
They are both fun and safe for your bunny, who will stay entertained for hours.
Natural or Untreated Toys
If you cannot find any of the above-mentioned materials to give your bunnies, don’t give them random sticks you find outside.
These can be potentially toxic since they may contain mold, parasites, or bacteria.
Moreover, not all types of wood are safe for rabbits. Redwood, cherry, apricot, and plum trees that produce fruit with a pit can be dangerous for rabbits.
Hence, it is best to shop for natural chew toys tailored specifically for rabbits from pet stores.
Rabbits love to nibble and chew on sticks since they first chew on the hard outer part and then work into the softer region.
However, since all wooden sticks are not a safe option, it would be best to get alternatives.
For example, you should consider chew-safe sticks, such as bamboo or natural apple sticks.
These sticks are small and come in bulk at affordable rates at pet stores. You can make these sticks more appealing by placing them in between toilet roll tubes.
This will keep them entertained and allow them to chew on the cardboard and sticks together.
Grassy houses and hideaways are ideal chew toys to keep in your rabbit’s cages.
They can easily move in and out of them, chew on them, and stay entertained.
However, these houses tend to be smaller. Hence if you have a bigger breed, you might want to check if they can fit in them.
It is also important to note that such grassy houses can create a lot of mess over time.
You can then instead opt for cardboard houses.
You can also find twig tunnels for your rabbits at pet stores.
Similar to grassy houses, even these twig tunnels can be great fun for your bunnies while they can chew on them.
You can find them in a variety of materials, including wicker and willow.
Make sure that you find a twig tunnel that is specifically made for bunnies.
The ones for home decoration purposes may not be entirely safe since they can be made up of toxic chemicals and varnishes.
Why Do Rabbits Need to Chew on Something?
Chewing is an instinct for rabbits and one that is completely needed and healthy for them.
Through nibbling and chewing on various materials, rabbits maintain a healthy dental routine.
Ever since rabbits were born, their teeth have continued to grow all their life.
The act of chewing allows their teeth to grind and wear against each other. This enables their teeth to trim down in size.
If the rabbits do not chew on enough materials, it can lead to dental problems.
Simply providing them with their food pellets is not enough to enable proper teeth grinding. This only provides nutrition.
Besides their biological need and urge to chew, rabbits also chew to keep themselves away from boredom.
Even in the wild, rabbits nibble on various plants, hay, or wooden sticks to keep themselves stimulated.
Therefore, to keep your rabbits happy, healthy, and stimulated, it is important that you provide them with various materials to chew on.
Besides providing them with their daily nutritional diet, you should have these toys around them at all times.
What Your Bunnies Should Not Chew On
Bunnies are curious creatures that love to chew and nibble on anything they can find.
However, certain materials can be potentially dangerous and unsafe for them.
If a toy or object is not specifically made for bunnies to chew on, you should steer clear of it.
The following are some of these that your bunnies should not be chewing on:
There are certain materials that can be quite dangerous for bunnies to chew on.
This is because if they break a piece off of them and swallow it, that could be risky.
It could potentially be deadly or lead to a tract obstruction that might require surgery.
Such materials include metal, plastic, fabric, or soft rubber toys. Any material that can be broken off into smaller pieces is dangerous.
Most Types of Wood
As mentioned earlier, most types of wood can be potentially dangerous for bunnies if ingested.
Some tree branches can be toxic and poisonous, while others may contain a lot of aromatic oil.
Hence, to stay on the side of caution, it is best that you don’t experiment with many types of wood.
Avoid giving your bunnies sticks that you find outside either.
Apart from getting apple, willow, and aspen tree branches, you must steer clear of other branches and types of wood for your rabbits.
Toys that Have Adhesive or Paint
Make sure that you avoid giving your bunnies toys or objects that have paint or adhesive on them.
Even those that have varnish should be avoided. This is because they can be potentially toxic if ingested.
Hence, it is best to avoid the risk of getting such toys entirely.
How to Pick Out Safe Toys for Rabbits to Chew On
Now that you know about the list of objects, materials, and toys to get for your bunny, you might still have questions.
It does not cost a lot to make your bunnies happy.
Even if you give them a cardboard box, tube, or toilet paper roll, they will happily nibble on them.
Make sure you stick to the type of wood for your bunnies that are safe and steer clear of the rest.
Whichever chew toy or material you get for your bunny, make sure that you provide them with access to hay at all times.
Hay is the best material to keep for your bunnies as it is easily digestible, doesn’t wear down their teeth, and provides nourishment.
Also read: Can Rabbits Have Salt Licks?
Is There a Certain Age When Rabbits Start Chewing?
Rabbits do not start chewing when they are small. During childhood, they only require pellets and food.
However, when rabbits become sexually mature, they require materials to chew on.
This is normally at the age of six to seven months. Rabbits become adults at this age, and so they need to chew on materials to trim down their teeth.
They may also need to chew so as to keep entertained.
Additionally, sometimes they also chew on materials to get the attention of their partner or owner.
Important Note on Chewing
It is important that you don’t provide negative reinforcement or punish your rabbit for chewing.
They should not be discouraged from this activity as it is necessary for their health.
You should instead provide them with positive reinforcement when they chew on the right materials.
Some Common FAQs about Chewing in Rabbits to Keep Teeth Short
Are Pine Cones Safe For Rabbits To Chew On For Teeth?
Yes, pine cones are a natural source of fiber that helps rabbits keep their teeth healthy.
In fact, they make great toothbrushes! The rough surface of the cone helps remove plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth while also providing a natural source of fiber.
Rabbits need to chew on things to keep their teeth healthy and sharp, and pine cones are a great option since they’re readily available and provide a good amount of fiber.
Make sure the pine cones you give your rabbit are free of sap or other sticky substances and be sure to monitor your rabbit while he or she is chewing on them in case they start to choke.
Can Bunnies Chew On Toilet Paper Rolls?
Yes, bunnies can chew on toilet paper rolls. In fact, it’s a great way to keep them amused and entertained. Plus, it helps to keep their teeth healthy and clean.
Just be sure to remove the toilet paper before giving the empty cardboard roll to your bunny.
Can Rabbits Eat Shoeboxes?
Yes, rabbits can eat shoeboxes.
In fact, they’ll eat just about anything! Shoeboxes are made of cardboard, which is a safe and digestible material for rabbits.
Just make sure that there is no glue, paint, or sticker on the shoe box cardboard that can be harmful to your rabbit.
Is Kitchen Roll Safe For Rabbits To Chew On?
The empty cardboard of the kitchen roll is perfectly safe for rabbits. It’s made of cardboard which is safe for rabbits to chew on and also helps them keep their teeth short and trimmed.
Other rabbit articles you may also like:
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- Why do Rabbits Dig at Your Clothes?
- How to Keep Rabbits Teeth Short?
- Is your Bunny Happy?
- What to Feed Baby Rabbits Without a Mother?
- Methods to Keep a Rabbit Hutch Cool in Summer
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- Why is My Rabbit Eating the Wall?
- 10 Best Toys for Rabbits