5 Easy DIY Rabbit Toys (step-by-step instructions and pictures)

Do you want to make your rabbit’s world a little more fun and interesting? Then read on to discover 5 easy DIY rabbit toy projects using household items! Rabbits love to chew and dig, but they need safe outlets for these natural behaviors. We’ll explore cheap, stimulating toys you can whip up in minutes to keep your bunny active and entertained. With just a toilet paper tube, plastic ball, or simple box, you can create engaging toys to provide important mental enrichment. These DIY rabbit chews and puzzle toys will prevent boredom while protecting your home from destructive chewing. Your rabbit will thank you for taking the time to make their habitat more enjoyable. So let’s get started!

The Importance of Chew Toys for Rabbits

Rabbits need chew toys for several important reasons. Chew toys help wear down constantly growing teeth, provide mental stimulation, and give rabbits an appropriate outlet for their natural chewing instinct. Providing the right kinds of chew toys is one of the easiest ways to improve your rabbit's quality of life.

Good for Rabbit Teeth

A rabbit's teeth grow continuously throughout its life. The chewing motion wears the teeth down to a normal length and prevents overgrowth. Without this wearing action, rabbit teeth would soon become painfully overgrown and misaligned. This could lead to problems eating and grooming.

Rabbits need to chew on abrasive materials to wear down their teeth. Chew toys provide this essential grinding action. Hard wooden chews are ideal as they gently work to shorten the teeth. Apple tree branches are a great natural chew toy.

Providing chew toys is part of proper dental care for pet rabbits. Get your rabbit in the habit of chewing on appropriate toys to avoid dental issues. Check your rabbit's teeth regularly to make sure they look aligned and are an appropriate length. Seek veterinary care if you notice teeth that appear overgrown or misaligned.

Good for Your Rabbit's Mental Enrichment

In the wild, rabbits spend much of their waking time foraging for food. Chew toys recreate some of this rewarding activity. Working to extract treats or gnaw down pieces of wood provides exercise and mental stimulation. This enrichment wards off boredom and destructive behavior.

Rabbits often chew on inappropriate items like furniture, baseboards, or carpets when they lack more constructive outlets. Providing exciting chew toys redirects the chewing instinct onto positive things. Rotate toys to keep it interesting for your bunny. Offer chew toys anytime your rabbit seems bored to prevent undesirable chewing.

Toys You Can Buy or Find in Nature

There are endless toy options to keep your rabbit entertained. Here are some excellent chew toy choices:

  • Wooden chew sticks – These compressed wood sticks provide hours of chewing time. Look for natural wood free of varnishes, paints, or glues. Apple, willow, and poplar wood are safe choices.

  • Hay and straw chew toys – Compressed cubes and balls made from timothy hay or straw allow nibbling and chewing. These are very abrasive to wear down teeth.

  • Sea grass mats – These tightly woven mats of sea grass strands provide texture to gnaw on. They also encourage natural digging behaviors.

  • Untreated wicker baskets – Sturdy baskets offer spaces to climb inside as well as safe woody edges to chew. Supervise use to avoid chewing plastic or metal parts.

  • Mineral chews – Mineral blocks designed for rodents give rabbits something abrasive and interesting to lick and gnaw on. This also provides trace minerals.

  • Wooden baby toys – Untreated natural wood toys designed for human babies are perfect rabbit chews. Avoid toys with varnish or paint.

  • Household cardboard – Plain cardboard boxes, toilet paper tubes, paper towel rolls, and egg cartons from the recycling bin make free rabbit toys. Supervise use to prevent eating any ink, glue, or staples.

  • Apple tree or willow branches – Fresh branches from untreated fruit or willow trees are some of the best natural chew toys. Just be sure they do not contain pesticides before giving them to your rabbit.

DIY Chew Toys

Making your own chew toys allows you to customize options to your rabbit's liking. It's also very inexpensive. Follow these five easy DIY ideas to create chewing enrichment:

1. Simple Food Dispenser with a Toilet Paper Tube

This easy toy doubles as a tasty puzzle feeder.

Supplies Needed:

  • Empty toilet paper tube
  • Rabbit pellets or small treats like hay cubes or dried fruits

Instructions:

  1. Fold over one end of the toilet paper tube and secure it with a small piece of tape. Leave the other end open.
  2. Fill the tube with a small handful of pellets or other treats.
  3. Fold the remaining open end over and tape it loosely in place. Adjust the tightness of this end to regulate how easily treats come out as your rabbit chews and paws at it.
  4. Give the filled tube to your rabbit and watch them enjoy chewing it open and knocking out treats!

Rabbit chewing on a toilet paper roll toy

2. Hidden Treat Ball

Let your rabbit roll and nibble to release tasty goodies from inside this ball.

Supplies Needed:

  • Small plastic ball with hole, like a ping pong ball
  • Rabbit treats like pellets or hay cubes
  • Non-toxic glue like a child's school glue stick

Instructions:

  1. Apply a thin layer of non-toxic glue around the seam where the two halves of the ball meet. Press the halves together tightly.
  2. Fill the ball halfway with dry small treats.
  3. Seal the ball and make sure no treats fall out of the hole. Add a dab of glue if needed.
  4. Give the filled ball to your rabbit and watch them roll and chew it to get treats out!

Rabbit nudging a hard plastic ball filled with treats

3. Hanging Tubes

Let your rabbit bat around and chew on these fun hanging paper tubes.

Supplies Needed:

  • Paper towel or toilet paper tube
  • Hole punch
  • String, ribbon, or twine
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Punch 2 holes near the top of the tube, directly across from each other.
  2. Cut a piece of string, ribbon, or twine about 18 inches long. Thread it through the holes to create a hanging loop.
  3. Tie securely and hang the tube from a doorway, shelf, or top of a rabbit cage at a height your rabbit can reach while standing.
  4. Watch your rabbit bat the tube around and nibble on it! Rotate with new tubes regularly.

Rabbit playing with a toilet paper tube hung with string

4. Hidden Treat Puzzle Platform

Your rabbit will have fun digging and nosing around this wobbling platform to find treats.

Supplies Needed:

  • A small lightweight plastic lid or tray, like a yogurt lid
  • Small treats like pellets or pieces of dried fruit
  • A larger bowl, tray, or box bottom to contain the wobbling lid

Instructions:

  1. Place a handful of your rabbit's favorite treats into the small lid or tray.
  2. Set this treat-filled lid inside the larger bowl or box bottom to create a wobbling platform.
  3. Show your rabbit the treats sprinkled on top to get them started. Watch them wobble the lid around as they dig for buried treats!

Rabbit nudging a plastic lid filled with treats inside a box

5. Digging Box

Contain your rabbit's natural digging instincts in this fun DIY digging box.

Supplies Needed:

  • Medium sized box or plastic storage bin, at least 12 inches deep
  • Substrate like torn newspaper, shredded paper, or straw
  • Plastic cups and boxes
  • Treats like hay cubes or dried fruits

Instructions:

  1. Fill the box with a thick layer of newspaper shreds, straw, or other safe digging material.
  2. Bury treats and small boxes throughout for your rabbit to uncover.
  3. Set the box in your rabbit's play area and watch them dig like they would in nature!

Rabbit digging in box filled with shredded paper

Top off the substrate and bury new items periodically to keep it interesting. This is a great rainy day activity!

Related Questions

How many treats can you give a rabbit?

It's fine to give rabbits occasional treats, but they should make up less than 10% of daily calories. For an average adult rabbit eating 1/4 cup pellets and unlimited hay each day, treats should be limited to 1-2 tablespoons max. Prioritize healthy treats like hay cubes or chopped fruits and veggies vs sugary processed treats.

How can I keep my rabbit from chewing on wires?

  • Provide plenty of appropriate chew toys to distract your rabbit's chewing instinct.

  • Use plastic cord covers or flexible cable wrap to prevent access to wires.

  • Block access behind furniture and appliances where cords are accessible.

  • Use bitter apple spray deterrent on exposed cords. Reapply regularly.

  • Consider wire-free alternatives like mounting TVs or installing baseboard heaters.

Be vigilant and try to prevent access before a chewing habit develops. Redirect your rabbit's chewing impulse onto positive toys instead of wires to keep them safe.

Reference:
https://rabbitbreeders.us/articles/diy-rabbit-toys/

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