Can Rabbits Damage Your House? (+Top Tips)


You get home from a long day of work and all you want to do is put your feet up and watch some TV. To your horror, the power cable has been completely severed. You sigh, as you’ve yet again become a victim to your very cute, but devious little friend. 

Can rabbits damage your home?

Rabbits can damage your home. If allowed free-roam around your house unsupervised, they may chew through cables, nibble furniture, and damage things such as carpets, curtains and other soft furnishings.

So yes, your rabbit can damage your home – almost all pets can. 

In this article I’m going to look at the classic ways a rabbit can damage your home, but, most importantly, some key ways of stopping them doing this. I’ll also look at some other key areas, such as the financial arrangements that might possibly come into action if your home is damaged by a rabbit.

Rabbit in corner of brick wall

Rabbits Damaging Home – Financials

On witnessing a rabbit damaging your home, you may think something along these lines:

“Well at least I have homeowner’s insurance; I’ll just file a claim in the morning!”

You’d be disappointed to know that many homeowner’s insurance policies including the very popular Allstate Insurance “does not cover damage your pet does to your personal property or your dwelling”.

Additionally if you are renting, many places can refuse to refund security deposits due to damage caused by your pet. Some landlords will also charge pet deposit fees and any repair costs will be deducted from that. Of course there is also the occasional, monthly pet fee that you are charged per month.

This fee is usually built in as another way for companies and individuals to protect their properties from pet damage – but that surely doesn’t mean your other deposits will be safe. 

So now you have a dilemma on your hand, and you sheepishly open up your laptop to browse the web for a new TV cable. But you can’t help thinking – how did this happen? And what can I do from having to buy a new TV able every month? 

Supervision

Having your rabbit supervised during their time in your home is a great way to prevent them from getting into trouble. Rabbits are quiet naturally and in the wild they roam for hours grazing throughout the day.

If you let your rabbit have free reign in your home, it would be best to keep an eye on them when they do. They can very easily squeeze behind couches, go through the crack in the door unnoticed, or start to nibble on your brand new leather briefcase.

Keeping tabs on your bunnies whereabouts will hopefully stop any unwanted behavior before it happens. When your bunny can’t be supervised, there should be a safe place you can put them with limited opportunities for destruction to occur. A crate or a guest room for that would be ideal. 

Prevention

To stop your pet from using your home as their playground, preventing damage from happening is the first step. Just like you “baby-proof” your home, “pet-proofing” your home is a key part of preventing damage. If you are learning the hard way, and the damage is already done – don’t wait and take action!

Believe it or not, it’s best to get on their level and inspect your home. Yes, get on all fours and crawl around your home. You’d be surprised what you can see from their angle! You may have to arrange some things and move them around to accommodate your rabbit. Here are some things I would particularly pay mind to. 

  • Electric cords
  • Electronic devices ie: phones, remotes
  • Potentially poisonous house plants
  • Small garbage cans
  • Easily accessible closet/cabinet doors
  • Rabbit food
  • Potentially toxic products

Luckily thanks to the internet and many DIY websites, there are a lot of quick fixes to these potential risks. A lot of the products that can be used are similar to previously mentioned “baby-proofing” products.
Here are a few to get started!

Pet Cords

Pet cords protect your pets from chewing through insulated cables – unscented and odorless. 

Not only will replacing cords be costly, especially if it’s a device that maybe you don’t own or that is crucial to your home (like your refrigerator cord for example) – this could be potentially dangerous to your rabbit. 

A live wire poses the biggest threat to your small furry friend. A wire that was plugged into a power source could potentially electrocute the rabbit. Injuries included from an incident such as that are (but is not limited to) – mild burns, heart damage, fluid on the lungs, and ultimately (and unfortunately) possible death.

So not only will you be dealing with costs of damage to your home, but an expensive emergency visit to your vet. 

Rabbit on ground next to wooden door

Safety Cabinet Locks 

These are safety latches for cabinets and drawers/doors. 

Securing closets and cabinets will not only prevent your rabbit for gnawing on clothes and getting into your pantry, but will prevent them from potentially ingesting toxic chemicals like laundry soaps, insecticides and cleaning products. Just because something is in a bottle, doesn’t mean it’s safe. 

Rabbits are caecotropes – which means that anything they ingest goes though the alimentary canal twice. This means that rabbits can re-process poisons and other toxic compounds (which adds to the danger of harmful compounds). 

Additionally rabbits are unable to regurgitate – so they really have a hard time getting rid of toxins other than metabolizing them into their system. 

Locking Wastebasket

A locking lid will keep pets out and garbage in. 

You will be fine with large garbage bins, especially those made out of steel to which your bunny cannot chew through. Smaller waste bins pose the biggest threat especially fabric bins, wicker bins, and an accessible bin without a lid. Not only could you come home to a smelly mess staining your room carpet, ingestion of things like tissue and paper towel could potentially block your rabbits digestive tract and yet again you will have another expensive emergency vet appointment to attend. 

Pet Food Storage 

Consider airtight storage to prevent your pet from helping themselves.

Rabbits do not stop eating when they are full. In the wild, rabbits eats when they can for survival because there’s no guarantee there will be food there tomorrow.

Over-eating can lead to digestive problems, a blockage in their digestive tract and life threatening complications. Keeping food secure will not only prevent your rabbit from accidentally over-indulging, but will stop you from having to make an unexpected purchase to replace a week’s worth of food your rabbit ate in the 8 hours you were at work. 

Pet Gate

These are to block off areas that you can’t pet proof.

 Make sure you get a gate without big holes – you would be surprised how they can slip through the smallest gaps! Gates are a great way to close off certain areas, especially areas that have either valuable or irreplaceable items in your home. Be wise when choosing a gate. The holes should be small enough to not allow your bunny to get through or potentially get stuck in the gate, panic, and injure themselves accidentally. 

Bitter Spray 

You can purchase non-toxic but bitter tasting  spray to use on surfaces where your bunny may decide to chew.

This is a great and safe way to deter rabbits from chewing things that you may not able to “rabbit-proof” or that your rabbit decides to continue to pay special attention to despite your proofing attempts. This includes table/leg chairs, baseboards, door jams, etc. Read the instructions carefully for proper application ensuring it won’t damage your property and is safe for your rabbit.

Rabbits can absolutely cause significant damage to your home. Keeping your pet is already expensive as it is. Be proactive to avoid additional yearly expenses.

Curious to see what you may be potentially spending?

According to the New Rabbit Owner

“ It costs about £550 (about $700) a year to keep a rabbit, including insurance and vaccinations, hay and bedding. Treats and toys are additional costs to these. 

So save your pet, your money and your home with these tips and tricks!

[SOURCES]

Jonathan, V. (2021, March 10). How much it costs to buy and keep A rabbit: In-depth guide (2020). Retrieved April 22, 2021, from https://newrabbitowner.com/buying-a-rabbit-cost/

Pet deposits, pet fees, and pet rent: What’s the difference? (2020, April 23). Retrieved April 22, 2021, from <a href="https://www.apartments.com/rental-manager/resources/article/pet-deposits-pet-fees-and-pet-rent-what-s-the-difference

Wag. (2021, April 18). Poisoning in rabbits. Retrieved April 22, 2021, from https://wagwalking.com/rabbit/condition/poisoning-

Amy Benenson

Amy Benenson is a graduate student in Rhode Island, USA. She has been riding horses since the age of 10, and actively competing around the east coast of the US for the last 14 years. She had many experiences, including winning two national finals, training young horses, and working for a professional in charge of multiple top quality competitive horses. Amy enjoys writing on rabbits, guinea pigs, and her beloved horses. You can find out more about Amy at https://mercurypets.com/our-writers/

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