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I have two 8-month old rabbit pets, and while my house is not very well designed for rabbit-proofing, I have given them a decent chunk of space where they can roam around 24/7.

I feed them a hay based diet, a small amount of pellets and some greens every day. They eat about twice their volume in hay alone. I only give them enough pellets to cover the bottom of their small bowls.

They have wood based toys that they seem to have lost interest in, and I'm worried that hay alone won't be enough to help them keep their teeth in order, in the long run. I sometimes volunteer at a nearby cat shelter, and one of the volunteers there suggested I take home some of the branches laying around (the shelter is surrounded by a very small area of trees). So I decided to bring home a few branches of wood, but I don't want to just give them wood that might be infested with parasites or otherwise harmful bacteria.

Are there some precautions I could take for their safety or if not, what can I give my rabbits to keep their teeth in check? Is hay really enough?

  • It would be smart to wait minimum one day before marking the only one answer as the best one ;) then you discourage others to answer the question too and you loose the option to get more informations or other points of view. – Allerleirauh Jul 15 at 16:50
  • @Allerleirauh You're right, I should do this on other sites as well :D – Novicegrammer Jul 16 at 2:39
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Are there some precautions I could take for their safety or if not, what can I give my rabbits to keep their teeth in check? Is hay really enough?

  1. Make sure that the respective wood is not toxic to the rabbits. Some wood is toxic to everything on Earth.

  2. As for infections, pathogens... just boil the wood in water for at least 30 min. That should be quite enough.

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  • Thank you - I think I'll err on the side of caution and not give it to them – Novicegrammer Jul 15 at 13:01
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    They actually need to nib on smth. Worst case, your furniture and electric cables. Just do some basic research to know what wood you can get your hands on, and if that wood is OK with the rabbits. – virolino Jul 15 at 13:17
  • They ate most of my fruit trees branches without boiling them. – blacksmith37 Jul 15 at 18:22
  • @blacksmith37: of course boiling is not mandatory. Nobody boils wood for the wild rabbits to nibble on. I mentioned boiling because mentioned "might be infested with parasites or otherwise harmful bacteria". – virolino Jul 16 at 5:45
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Fresh wood cut from the right kind of tree would be without risk for your rabbits.

Easy to remember trees are:

  • Hazel
  • Apple (the kind of apples humans could eat)
  • Cherry (the kind of... see above)
  • Pear
  • Plum

(I will add the others, when I find their English names.)

If you cut the healthy twigs fresh from the tree the wood is tasty for your bunnies and you have no worries about fouling or similar things. Additionally, it gives important vitamins and such for your rabbits.

You could give them the leaves too. They will like the variety to their other greens. My rabbits like to peel the skin of and bite the twigs into small parts and after all they let me bigger match-like parts.

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  • Agree , wild rabbits will eat any fruit tree bark and branches. You can also add blue berries, raspberry canes ,rose canes , etc ( I don't know how the handle thorns , but they do). – blacksmith37 Jul 15 at 18:20
  • Yes roses and fruits live a risky life in my garden ^^ – Allerleirauh Jul 15 at 18:55
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Plants that many people can find in their backyards can also be good options for rabbits to chew on. Check out this list of woods, vines and other plant materials that are safe options for pet rabbits.

Safe woods for rabbits to chew: alfalfa, apple (seeds are toxic), arbutus, ash, aspen, apricot, bamboo cane, basil, blackberry, blackcurrant, borage, carrot (no seeds), cat-tail.

Source: thesprucepets.com.

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