You will often find rabbit owners giving their rabbits different types of cardboard to play with. It will depend on what the cardboard that you give them to play with. Cardboard often contains glue and other chemicals to make the product. So, ensure that the cardboard you give them to play with it glue and chemical free.
It is also important to keep track of how much cardboard your rabbit eats.
Cardboard is safe for rabbits to play with if you can ensure it has no glue or chemicals. It should not be given as part of their diet. Keep a close eye on how much cardboard your rabbit chews and eats as digesting cardboard with glue or colorings will not be good for your rabbit.
Can Cardboard Be A Dietary Supplement For Rabbits?
Although cardboard is safe for rabbits to eat in very small portions, you do not want it to be their main source of food. It lacks in the basic nutrients that rabbits need like:
The only benefit of cardboard is the fact that it is packed full of cellulose. Cellulose is important to a rabbits diet and can be found in other foods they consume such as:
- Other leafy greens
However, a diet consisting mostly of cellulose and no other nutrients is not a sustainable one. Therefore you should limit the amount of cardboard your bunny eats to about one toilet paper roll per day.
Always ensure you provide your rabbit with a fresh and balanced diet. Fruit, vegetables and pellets form a small percentage of a rabbits diet. The Main part of their diet is hay.
Other Benefits of Cardboard For Rabbits
Cardboard not only provides your rabbit with cellulose, but it also helps keep their teeth healthy.
Rabbits’ teeth grow rather quickly, kind of like human fingernails. Therefore, it is important for them to be constantly chewing on things to keep their teeth trimmed down.
Providing your rabbit with cardboard allows them to chew on something other than your furniture and rugs.
Mental Stimulation From Cardboard
Cardboard also helps your rabbit from becoming bored.
Rabbits are social creatures that require companionship and stimulation. When you are gone at work, they can become lonely or stressed and start acting destructively because of it.
The act of chewing and shredding the cardboard keeps them entertained and happy. We would just recommend removing most of the cardboard once they have finished playing with it.
There are more suitable play and chew toys for your rabbit like the ones below.
Cardboard Promotes Physical Activity
It is important to keep your rabbit active. Cardboard is like a toy for your rabbit. They will play with it by hopping around or possibly through it. They will also pick pieces up in their mouth and carry them around.
You can also build tunnels out of cardboard for them to run through or hang some up for them to jump at.
Is All Cardboard Safe For My Rabbit?
Not all cardboard is created equal, and therefore not all cardboard is safe for your rabbit to consume. It is important not to give your rabbit any cardboard with the following characteristics.
- Industrial strength
- Contains tape
- Contains staples
Inks and dyes can possibly poison your rabbit. Any boxes that are colored or glossy like cereal or tissue boxes contain harmful chemicals.
Industrial strength boxes are too thick for your bunny’s teeth. You want to stick to thinner types of cardboard instead.
Always check for tape and staples before giving your rabbit any sort of cardboard as these can pose as severe choking hazards to your rabbit.
What Cardboard Is Best For My Rabbit?
Toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls are often given to rabbits. They are thin and free from dyes and staples but do contain glue to seal them and we are not sure what chemicals that glue contains.
Flat cardboard boxes that are thinner are also good options but be sure to check to see if they contain any hazardous materials before you give them to your rabbit.
Will My Rabbit Eat All The Cardboard?
More than likely your rabbit will shred the majority of the cardboard and only eat some of it. This of course leaves behind quite the mess for you to pick up.
For this reason, it is recommended you allow your rabbit to play with cardboard within their cage or an easy to clean up area. Otherwise, you will have tiny shredded cardboard pieces throughout your house.
Incorporating Cardboard Into Play and Snack Time
Since it is safe for rabbits to eat cardboard in very small amounts, it’s perfectly okay to hide treats inside for a playtime filled with fun. With toilet paper rolls, you can stuff them with hay or other types of greens and pinch off the ends.
You can also hang toilet paper rolls up that are filled with treats for your rabbit to jump at and knock the treats out of.
Cardboard boxes can be constructed into tunnels that have treats at the end of them. There are many different possibilities of using cardboard during play and snack time.
Rabbits Love Cardboard
Whether the rabbits are using the cardboard to chew on or as a container for their treats, they love it. Cardboard provides many rabbit owners with a cheap and easily accessible option for keeping their rabbits entertained.
Always see the advice of a qualified veterinarian before allowing your rabbit to digest any new foods or chew toys