Bunnies can suffer from boredom and become anti-social because of it. Especially if they don’t have plenty of chew toys. If they have nothing to play with and chew, your bunny may start biting things you don’t want them to such as wooden boards, doors, or your stairs.
Toys for your bunny don’t have to cost you hard-earned money every week as they chew through them. Rather, there are so many potential toys lying around your house that are absolutely free!
It’s important for your bunny to have many chew toys as a bunny’s teeth will grow constantly throughout their life. Chewing wears the teeth down so they don’t run into any dental problems. So what are some easily accessible chew toys for your bunny?
Related: Why does my bunny grind their teeth?
Bunnies love to dig. In fact, if you see the state of our garden outside, it looks like someone is trying to dig their way out of prison! If you have an indoor bunny or you live in an apartment or house with little to no outdoor space, it can be difficult to find natural areas for your bunny to dig.
Try leaving a towel lying around your home and you’ll find your bunny digging at it. If you anchor the towel down, it will be like an endless digging game for them. Our bunny does this on our duvet in bed. Be aware though, usually, digging precedes peeing when indoor!
Hay Filled Toilet Roll
This is probably the most well-known homemade bunny toy as it’s the easiest to make and everyone has toilet paper. Simply take an empty toilet roll and fill it with hay sticking out of each end. Your bunny will have plenty of fun pulling the hay out to eat and throwing their toy around like a rag doll.
To make the hay a little easier to access, cut small holes around the sides of the toilet roll. Push hay into these holes as well as the two ends so there is hay sticking out in all angles.
You can even cut your toilet rolls into all sorts of shapes and patterns. Bunnies love chewing on the ends of things so giving them plenty of options will keep them very busy.
If you’re into arts and crafts, you can make hanging ornaments for your bunny. Simply, thread a piece of string through empty toilet paper rolls and hang them from something that’s high enough for your bunny to chew on or stand on their hind legs to grab.
Bunnies love to chew wood. It is much stiffer than cardboard and other things they may chew on so they like the resistance for strengthening their jaw and wearing their teeth down.
That is why you may find the baseboards around your house chewed up. It’s important that when you are finding wooden sticks, that they are non-toxic for your bunny. Here is a checklist of safe woods your bunny can chew on:
Wood from trees that produce stone fruits are generally poisonous to bunnies so avoid those at all costs.
Once you have your bundle of sticks, you can tie each end together and your bunny will happily chew through the lot.
Related: What Can Bunnies Chew On?
Paper Towel Roll Stuck In Enclosure
This is something we discovered when we were trying to keep our bunny entertained. We filled a paper towel roll with hay but it was difficult for our bunny to pull the hay out when it was just lying on the ground.
So we put it in between the metal poles of our bunny’s enclosure. It’s a small replica of a hay feeder but the actual feeder is chewable too in this instance.
She is able to sit comfortably and bury her head inside the paper towel roll to pull out hay. Now, this can get a little messy but it’s worth it for our bunny to have some fun.
This is another bunny safe toy that can be filled with hay and cut into all different shapes and sizes. The best paper bags are the ones your takeaways often come in.
Simply cut a few holes around the bag and stuff with hay. Make sure there is plenty of hay sticking out of the bag and plenty inside for maximum enjoyment.
If you have a small garden and you’re growing plants and vegetables, then this probably isn’t the best toy for your bunny as they will be dug up! But an empty garden like our one pictured is the perfect digging spot.
You can see the big hole she has dug up. Digging in the hard soil helps keep our bunny’s nails worn down so they aren’t so sharp.
If you don’t have a garden or don’t want your bunny digging in your garden, you have a couple of alternatives. Firstly, you can use a long pot such as the one in this picture. Fill it with sand or soil and let your bunny dig their way to the bottom. Prepare for some mess! So best to place the pot where spillage is okay.
Secondly, if you have only indoor options, is to make a digging box with a cardboard box. Fill it with shredded paper and you can even place some of your bunny’s favourite treats at the bottom for them to dig for.
The most simple of them all. The cardboard box can provide entertainment for weeks as your bunny revisits the box to chew bits off each time. Cardboard is completely safe for your bunny as it is made up of cellulose, a plant fiber that bunnies digest well, and what they usually eat as part of their normal diet.
Just be careful that the cardboard doesn’t have any glossy print or harmful ink on them as this can be toxic for your bunny. Be sure to remove all tape and glue so your bunny doesn’t eat it.
If you want to make the ultimate play area, you can combine multiple cardboard boxes into a mini fort! Cut holes for doors and combine them to make tunnels. This provides an area your bunny can relax and also play for hours. You can even put an extra hay box inside the cardboard box fort to make it feel extra homey.
Before giving your bunny a pine cone, make sure to properly clean it. You can do this by washing them with a water/vinegar mixture and scrubbing off any dirt. Following that, let them soak for 20-30min before placing them on a tray in the oven at 200°C on bake for 1-2 hours. This will speed up the drying process. The pine cones should start to open up.
Let them cool down before giving them to your bunny to throw around and chew on. To make the pine cone even more attractive, you can stuff the cracks with their favourite herbs for your bunny to dig and chew out.
Phone books are not often recommended as a free bunny toy. This may be because of the glossy cover and fear over the ink on the paper. However, the ink used in phone books is normally soy based so if your bunny loves to ingest the things she chews, there won’t be any problem with the ink being toxic.
Just remove the cover of the phone book and let your bunny spend hours shredded it to pieces! Preferably in a box so you don’t have a large mess to clean up.
Related: What Can Bunnies Eat and Not Eat?
Toys That Aren’t Homemade
We thought we’d include this as sometimes it’s nice to buy your bunny something to play with if they really enjoy it. However, there is only one toy we highly recommend to buy and that is the wooden bridge.
We say this because it serves more than one function. It can be a mini house for your bunny especially if they are a baby and fit in there easily, and it can be a sturdy chew toy for them in the future. It also acts as a bridge as it did for our bunny especially when she was younger.
Our litter box was the bottom of her cage and it was a big jump, in the beginning, to go from there straight to the floor. So we had one wooden bridge for a bridge and one for her house.
Toys for your bunny don’t have to cost you a fortune. You already have consistent food, hay, and litter expenses for your bunny so no need to add to it when you don’t need to.
Be creative with your bunny toys. Remember, bunnies love to dig and chew so creating toys that allows them to do any of these will keep them very occupied and happy.