Bunny-proofing a room or the entire house helps keep those curious little rabbits in good health. Plus, it might save you a bit of money in the long run. Replacement cables and new pieces of furniture are expensive!
Before you attempt anything else, does your bun only chew/dig one particular spot? If so, see if there is anything nearby that your bun could be trying to move and then move it. If not, try discouraging the behavior by covering the spot with a safe, heavy item such as a ceramic tile, Plexiglas, or a low-pile rug you don’t mind sacrificing.
You can also try diluting white vinegar in water (50/50) and then using a spray bottle to lightly treat the carpet with the mixture. Some rabbits dislike the taste enough to stop chewing. The vinegar may also help to remove stains already in the carpet! Keep in mind that anything sprayed on the carpet will leave a bit of residue and may affect the quality of the carpet negatively.
If you need to keep a larger area of the carpet safe, try concealing it completely. A tarp or a large piece of plastic (such as a drop cloth from the paint section or a few of trash bags) creates a waterproof barrier and you can (and should) cover it up with a low-pile area rug , a few blankets, cotton towels, heavy-duty mats, or washable pee pads. Indoor/Outdoor rugs tend to resist stains better while still being plenty soft. Make sure the rabbits have no access to the plastic; you don’t want them chewing it. It’s a good idea to air out the carpet once or twice a month when using this method.
A CarpetSaver is another option, especially if your rabbits don’t chew. It’s a large, washable roll of cotton/polyester cloth that is intended to protect all types of flooring. We haven’t tried it yet, but it might be worth a shot!
Some bunnies love to burrow in soft material which can be found inside of couches, beds, and certain chairs. Try creating a barrier with a large piece of plywood or a flat heavy-duty cardboard box. This works especially well underneath mattresses.
If your rabbits like to go underneath the couch and wreak havoc there, prevent them from doing so by filling the empty space. This could be with a bunched up blanket, a flat storage container (if the space is large enough), or 3-4 pieces of solid wood from the home improvement store.
Table and chair legs can be saved with a “shoe” made from cardboard or PVC pipe. They also make furniture leg protectors and chair socks (we saw some on etsy). Also try covering the legs with lemon juice every few days. The taste might stop the chewing!
There’s also special double-sided sticky tape that can be attached to wooden legs or the side of the couch. No one likes sticky surfaces, rabbits included! It might be enough to deter chewing or scratching. Please use under supervision only.
Transparent scratch guards (here is another one) intended for cats are a great way to save couches. They get attached with a rotating pin. Unfortunately, they only protect small spots. For larger areas, try finding a good slipcover or pad for the whole couch.
Whatever you do to protect you home, make sure you offer your rabbit alternatives. If your bun loves to chew, offer safe sticks, roots, or chew toys. If your bun loves to dig, offer a digging box (shredded paper can be a lot of fun!), an old phone book, or a newspaper. If your bun loves fabric, offer a cotton towel.
While you can try teaching your bun not to engage in certain behaviors by firmly saying “no” every time, digging and chewing are instincts a rabbit can’t ignore. If there are no alternatives, your furniture is still in danger! Keep in mind that punishments such as a “time out” are lost on rabbits and will only cause confusion, stress, and possibly fear.
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