Rabbits poop very frequently, and as a rabbit owner, you obviously don’t want your house to get dirty from your rabbit’s mess. So, to prevent your rabbit from making any mess, you need to train it and learn the right way to do so.
Using puppy pads can prove fatal for your pet because of the usage of chemicals in its production. Rabbit has a natural instinct to chew anything and everything it sees. So, if it ingests puppy pad by mistake, this can prove to be severely dangerous to the rabbit’s health. Like any other pet, rabbits, too, can be litter trained. Doing so will make them understand to do their business at a particular place only and don’t create mess here and there. Letting your bunny move around and roam is also necessary to keep it happy. But make sure it plays freely without causing any kind of accident detrimental to its health, like chewing puppy pads.
So, what exactly makes the puppy pads extremely dangerous for the rabbits? What other alternatives can be used in place of puppy pads? How can litter boxes help, and how to make them? And how can you litter train your rabbit in the best way? Today we are going to answer all these questions.
Why Are Puppy Pads Dangerous?
To make the puppy pads more efficient and highly absorbent, there is the use of multiple layers of different materials to produce them. This is where the main danger exists. When the bunnies chew the puppy pads, then these materials can be highly precarious for them.
To manufacture parts of puppy pads, manufacturers use some sort of plastic. When rabbits eat the pads, plastic can damage their body severely.
As we already said that rabbits are natural chewers. They chew everything that they find interesting. It even includes the things on which they poop.
Rabbits are highly active. They can’t sit ideally, not even when they are doing their business. While pooping, they want something to chew on, and that’s when they eat the puppy pads.
Not only plastic but there is the use of some other chemicals also in the puppy pads. The primary work of these chemicals is to make the pads good enough to absorb the maximum amount of urine and other fluids by expanding. So, if the pad material is ingested, it can create a serious problem inside the rabbit’s body. It can expand in the stomach, which can result in blockages making your little friend sick.
Puppy pads are created for all pets in general. Some chemicals in it attract pets, like dogs and cats, to come and poop on it. These chemicals are particular pheromones that evoke a response. It usually works well on most animals, but rabbits may act strangely due to these chemicals.
Litter Boxes And How You Can Make Them
So, if puppy pads are dangerous for rabbits, what can we use as an alternative? The best choice you have got is a litter box. Rabbits prefer to live in a place that is clean. Therefore, a litter box is something that they will learn quickly to use as they have a frequent urge to go to the bathroom.
Now the question arises, how to make a litter box? It is not a difficult task. The first thing that you need is a shallow box. You should select a sturdy box that is capable enough to resist water. A solid and sturdy box gives a feeling of safety and security to the rabbit.
Another thing that you should keep in mind while selecting the box is to choose the one with short sidewalls. One good suggestion is to use a short-sided plastic storage tote. Short wall boxes work well for rabbits as it becomes convenient for them to take a look outside the box and even hop in and out easily.
Once you have selected a suitable box, the next step is to fill the box with a thin litter layer at the bottom. Place a thin layer that is good enough to absorb the liquid properly. Also, remember to replace the layer from time to time.
Now that you have placed a layer of litter, you need to add another layer to the box. This layer will be of hay. Hay attracts the rabbit and even gives it a more natural feeling. Hay will lure the rabbit inside the box, and it also works nicely to absorb some of the liquid.
Now that your litter box is ready, there is one more thing that you should remember. As rabbits prefer to live in a clean space, you should clean the litter box quite often. At the minimum, you should clean it weekly. But sometimes you may have to do it more often. Rabbits go to the bathroom quite often than most of the other pets. It is because of the high amount of fiber in their diet.
Tips To Train Your Rabbit
When you are a new rabbit owner and want to litter train your rabbit, some things can make your task easier. When you bring your rabbit home, start its training as early as possible. This way, you will not have to deal with unwanted messes. Additionally, once the rabbit is trained, you can play with it freely outside the pen also.
Chewing while doing their business is something that rabbits like a lot. It makes them feel relaxed and comfortable. So, to facilitate this, one thing you can do is place a container of hay close to the litter box. This will be helpful in litter training as it will make the rabbit want to be in the box. It will also assist it in differentiating between the hay in the box and in the container. It will learn which grass to eat and which one to poop on.
Another excellent way to make your rabbit use the litter box is by keeping it in an enclosed area with the litter box. Don’t allow it to go out of the enclosed space until it starts using the litter box every time nature calls. This will help the bunny learn which place to use to do its business and also keep it from making the mess somewhere else.
Rabbits are usually quick learners and very organized too. Once appropriately trained, the rabbits will make it a habit to use the litter box. They will characterize it as the place where they can do their business and do not go anywhere else.
Puppy Pads Alternatives
Sometimes, even after being trained, rabbits seek some other places to do their business. In such a case, the first option that comes to our mind is puppy pads. But, you can use some other things as better alternatives to puppy pads.
Newspapers can be a savior sometimes when it comes to containing some large messes. Rabbits can easily digest newspapers without facing any serious health issues. This makes it an excellent alternative to a puppy pad.
Also, you don’t need to make it a big fuss if sometimes your rabbit poops outside the litter box, but pee’s inside. Rabbit poops can be cleaned easily in comparison to its pee. But, to keep the excretion contained, you can look for some good options, like using a mat under the litter box.
It is highly probable that there can be some reason why your rabbit suddenly stops using the litter box. One of the significant issues is the cleanliness problem. You can try cleaning the litter box properly and replacing its litter and hay. This works in most cases, and the rabbit starts using the litter box again.
Placing the litter box at a different place can also work. Usually, you can notice the rabbit’s behavior and find out the reason behind it not using the litter box.