Do Flemish Rabbits Chew Furniture?


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Rabbits in general love to nibble, whether they are munching on their favorite snack or making a meal out of your favorite furniture. But does this chewing apply to giant flemish rabbits as well? If yes, why do they feel the urge to chew? More importantly, what can you do to stop them before they gnaw you out of your precious furniture and home?

Why Do Flemish Rabbits Chew?

Chewing is a natural and essential behavior for bunnies regardless of the rabbit breed. Given their natural urge to chew, wild rabbits nibble on a wide range of plants and grasses and burrow in their natural habitats. In captivity or when domesticated, rabbits still have the urge to chew. A restless or bored bunny’s need to chew can easily get out of hand and become destructive.

How destructive your giant pet can get will depend on the way they are trained and what they can get their paws on. As such, it is important for pet owners like yourself to devise ways to stop your giant friend from chewing things, especially furniture. There are several reasons why Flemish Giant rabbits chew excessively.

Physical Reasons

There is a biological reason why rabbits are constantly chewing on stuff. For starters, rabbit teeth never stop growing. Regular chewing helps to wear the teeth and keep them trimmed at a healthy length.


In captivity, rabbits may chew on things out of boredom. If your bunny spends a good part of its day locked in its hutch it may seek different ways to keep itself entertained and/ or to get its owner’s attention. Chewing effectively helps it achieve both needs.


Burrowing, to some extent, can be likened to chewing. Female bunnies tend to burrow more compared to males. As a result, female bunnies chew more than their male counterparts.


Hormones can increase the number of destructive behaviors, from chewing to littering everywhere and excessive aggression. An effective way to ward off these urges is by spaying and neutering your bunnies.


Younger bunnies have high energy levels that prompt them to explore every nook and cranny in their vicinity and chew as they investigate. In the wild, outdoor rabbits chew grasses to create burrows. As your giant friend gets older, its need to constantly chew may also decrease but consistency and patience right from the beginning are your biggest training advantage to ward off this destructive behavior.


A lack of regular exercise and fun activities can leave your bunny feeling bored and stressed just like it is for us humans. To keep themselves busy, your bunny may develop destructive behavior like chewing. To avert this, provide regular access to the outdoors or a spacious run where your bunny can hop, run and play safely and freely 24 hours daily.


When stressed, some people tend to grind their teeth. This is true for rabbits too. The only difference is that instead of grinding its teeth, your rabbit may start chewing on your furniture. If your rabbit’s habit of chewing persists, look for things that might be causing it stress in their environment like:

  • Pain or injury
  • A noisy environment
  • The presence of predators
  • Not enough living space
  • lack of adequate food or water


According to the House Rabbit Society, your bunny’s personality may also be a factor. Some rabbits chew when seeking attention. This is true for more outgoing bunnies than the shier types.

How to Stop Inappropriate Chewing?

A bunny that is left to free roam the house looking for things to chew may ingest stuff that is toxic for them if left alone for too long. To help keep your rabbit pet from chewing on everything in sight and to protect it from harming itself in the process, take time to teach it what it is allowed to nibble on and what is off-limits. While stopping your rabbit from chewing completely might not be possible, there are a few tricks that can help manage it.

Destress Your Bunny’s Environment

Investigate your bunny’s environment for things that might stress them out. Some of the things that worry rabbits may include:

Evidence of predators in their environment: Even if it cannot see a cat, dog, bird of prey, or even snakes, the sound or even smell of these animals can be frightening. Predator-proofing its hutch, run, and garden can help ease its anxiety. Also, ensure your rabbit has a box or an enclosed area where it can hide whenever it feels threatened.

Space concerns: At a bare minimum, a giant rabbit needs to be able to stand up in its cage without its ear touching the ceiling. It should also be able to hop at least three times from end to end and be able to comfortably stretch out. In addition to a spacious hutch, your rabbit also needs daily access to the outdoors where they can run for exercise.

Do Regular Health Checks

Some rabbits tend to chew when they are in pain or injured. Take time to inspect your bunny for any signs of pain or injury such as:

  • Dirty bottom
  • Ear mites
  • Plugged scent glands
  • Matted hair
  • Pests and parasites
  • Dirt, redness, or eye discharge
  • Nails that need trimming
  • Overgrown teeth

Give Them Things to Chew on

As stated above, chewing has a constructive purpose for rabbits. It helps to keep their teeth healthy. Otherwise, they may develop major medical problems especially if their teeth are left to grow out without regular trimming. So provide them with things that are safe to chew on and keep their teeth trimmed down.

Consider giving them more hay to chew on. As a rule of thumb, a bunny should consume hay that’s equivalent to its weight to stay healthy. If they don’t chew on the hay you provide, try a different variety such as Timothy hay. You can also talk to your vet about other hay options.

Other safe substances to chew on include branches from willow or apple trees, untreated grass mats, willow baskets, cardboard, and safe rabbit toys. If you give them cardboard to chew on, be sure to remove all staples, tape, labels, and glue beforehand.

Provide an Enriching Environment

No rabbit likes sitting in their cage all day staring at the same walls. Just like some humans have a snack when bored, some bunnies chew because they are bored, even if they are not hungry. Flemish giants need enrichment to live a fun and fulfilling life. Like cats, dogs, and other animals, flemish giants can live a much happier life if they are given activities that stimulate their minds. Without enrichment toys and activities, they can be prone to boredom, which leads to destructive behavior such as furniture chewing, fur pulling, and environmental damage.

Luckily, creating an enriching environment doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it can be free using supplies you already have within your hose. This can be anything like cereal boxes which you can stuff with hay or shredded newspaper. Just make sure these items do not have tape on them.

Providing multiple play items gives your bunny more ways to ward off boredom. If you provide it with different types and sizes of chew toys, the chances are high that you will satisfy their urge to chew. Make sure they can also access the toys in their cage as well. Some enrichment toys include:

Chew toys: If you do not provide your giant flemish rabbit with chew toys, they will find other objects in your home to chew on.

Objects to climb on: Although rabbits are not arboreal animals that use branches to climb around their habitat, they enjoy trekking over obstacles. They love climbing on low-lying objects such as apple crates, half-buried tires, or flat-top rocks. They use these uneven terrains to exercise their hopping muscles and to stay fit.

Provide outdoor time: House rabbits love getting a chance to get into the great outdoors and experience all the sights, smells, and sounds of being outside. Still, even giant rabbits are vulnerable to predators if they are left in the backyard or garden by themselves.

Rabbit Proof Your Home

Remember that a rabbit is not doing anything wrong when it is chewy. This is something that comes naturally to them. As a responsible bunny parent, it is your responsibility to bunny proof your house as opposed to blaming your furry friend for causing problems.

  • Create a designated play area: Proper rabbit-proofing reduces the chances of your rabbit getting into trouble. Do not allow your bunny to free run in your home, especially during the first few days or weeks of introducing them. Instead, set out a designated limited space. Thoroughly rabbit-proof this space to make house training easier.
  • Hide electrical wires and cords: Electrical cords and cables can be hazardous to rabbits. If your bunny chews on a cord, not only could it ingest pieces of wire or rubber, but it could also electrocute itself. So make sure you keep them in a way that your rabbit cannot have access to them. Keep cords and electrical wires out of the bunny’s reach. Use tubings and PVC cord protectors to hide cords and cables that run along the walls and floor.
  • Protect your furniture: Cover up woodwork or furniture that you do not want it to chew. The less items your giant friend can get its paws on, the less damage it is likely to cause. Also, you will have an easier time house training it.
  • Try rabbit repellent sprays: Try applying a bitter apple spray on furniture and items that your rabbit likes to chew on. You can easily find this spray at your local pet store. That said, most rabbits do not mind the taste – in fact, some even like it – so this may be worth a try it usually isn’t effective.
  • Remove any toxic plants: Rabbit-proof your home by removing toxic plants and items.

Spend Time Outside

If you have a secure area, and the weather is not too hot or too cold, you can allow your house rabbits to spend some time outdoors. Spending time outside can be enriching for your bunny. Plus, they can dig and chew to their heart’s content so when they come back indoors, they will be more interested in eating and napping than chewing.

When outside, provide a lot of areas for your bunny to hide so they feel secure. Remember that even giant rabbits are still prey animals Also, make sure that your fence is secure and that the bunny cannot dig under the fence. Ideally, the fence should be buried at least 6 inches to a foot deep in the ground so that even if they dig, they won’t be able to get out.

Play and Then Play Some More

As mentioned earlier, you can stop bunnies from chewing by providing enough entertainment so that they are not bored. Start by filling their environment with good toys. Also, make sure they get a lot of playtime. This can include a short 15-minute training session and spending lots of fun together

Spay or Neuter Your Rabbit

Sometimes, chewing is a hormonal problem. Having your rabbit spayed is likely to erase much of its destructive behavior. You will still need to provide plenty of toys that it can safely chew. However, the rabbit will be much calmer and chill about inappropriate chewing. Neutered rabbits are also easy to litter train.

Supervise and Redirect

Naturally, rabbits that are domesticated do not know what they can chew on and what they cannot. So, it is your responsibility to teach it what is acceptable and what is not. The first step to teaching it is learning its habits by supervising and watching it during its playtime.

This training should start immediately you bring it to your home before it develops bad habits. Whenever your bunny tries to chew on something you do not approve of, firmly say “no” without yelling and clap your hands. Once you get its attention, give it an appropriate toy to chew on.

Get It a Companion

Destructive chewing can be calmed by social interactions. Since you cannot be with your bunny at all times, getting a second or a third bunny can help keep each other company, entertain one another, and cut down on loneliness-related destructive behaviors like chewing.

That said, it is not advisable to pair two unaltered rabbits unless you want them to breed. Also, if you pair two male rabbits, they might not get along fine but two females may get along just fine.

But the best option is to pair two neutered rabbits of the opposite sex. This new playmate can help distract your bunny from chewing furniture.

Give Your Bunny Attention

No matter how many rabbits you have, remember that these are social animals. They thrive in the company of humans. Make it a point to visit your bunny daily and let them hop on your lap and spend some quality time with you. More than anything else, it is crucial that you do not leave your pet rabbit unattended in rooms that are not considered safe for bunnies. The curiosity of rabbits can prove deadly.

Be Patient

Even with training, rabbits take a while to learn new habits and may test your patience along the way. Nonetheless, practice a lot of patience and consistency when training your pet rabbit. Also, refrain from yelling or hitting it if even after training it still chews on your furniture legs. Instead, put it in a timeout for a few minutes before letting it out of its cage.

The Bottom Line

Chewing helps keep your Flemish giant’s teeth healthy. But if your furry friend chews on furniture or something else that you do not want them to, use the tricks outlined above to encourage them not to. If the chewing persists despite doing your best to alleviate the problem, talk to your vet. Although rare, sometimes chewing can be a sign of an underlying health problem. Veterinary care is critical to ensure your bunny has no health problems.


How Long Do Flemish Giants Grow?

The average flemish giant rabbit grows to 2.5 to 3 ft long. Some can reach over 4 feet long when standing on their hind legs or stretched out. According to the Guinness World Records, the longest flemish giant rabbit measures 4 feet 3 inches long, equivalent to 1.3 meters.

Can Flemish Giants Be Trained to Use a Litter Box?

Flemish giant rabbits are relatively smart animals that can be trained to use a litter box. However, you need to be extremely consistent with your litter training to achieve satisfactory results.








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