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Home > Rabbits > What Can Rabbits Safely Chew On? 5 Vet-Reviewed Options

What Can Rabbits Safely Chew On? 5 Vet-Reviewed Options

Group of little rabbits sitting in a feeder with hay

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To help maintain their dental health, rabbits need to chew frequently. Their teeth grow continuously, and chewing food or other safe objects helps keep them worn down to the appropriate length. So, what can rabbits chew on? Keep reading for a comprehensive guide to rabbit chew objects, including items that should never be offered.Divider-rabbit2

The 5 Things Rabbits Can Safely Chew On

1. Hay

cute lop ear rabbit in a cage holding a lot of hay in its mouth
Image by: Ellyy, Shutterstock

Grass hay should make up most of a rabbit’s daily diet. It provides nutrition and functions as a rabbit’s most important item to chew on. Rabbits should have constant access to hay. Chewing the tough fibers helps keep their teeth healthy and keeps them busy during the day, while ensuring their digestion is running smoothly. Timothy, orchard, or brome hays are all good choices for rabbits of any age. Young rabbits can also eat alfalfa hay, but it’s too rich for adults.

2. Leafy Greens

rabbit eating parsley
Image Credit: CJMM, Pixabay

Dark, leafy greens are another beneficial part of the rabbit’s diet that is also a safe material to chew on. Bok choy, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, cilantro, and beet greens are all good choices. Introduce new vegetables to your rabbit one at a time to ensure they tolerate eating them without digestive upset. Leafy veggies should make around 10% of your rabbit’s daily food intake.

Remove any uneaten greens daily to keep them from getting spoiled. Avoid too many greens, like spinach, collards, and kale, because they are high in calcium, which can increase the risk for development of bladder stones.

3. Untreated Wood

Rabbit Biting Stick
Image Credit: Habichtland, Shutterstock

Untreated wood is another option for rabbits to chew on. You can purchase wooden rabbit toys, including products that allow you to hide food and let your bunny forage. These toys serve as enrichment and entertainment as well as safe chew objects.

Rabbits can also chew sticks, but purchasing commercial applewood chew sticks is better than collecting debris from your yard. Stray sticks from your yard may contain insects, mold, or diseases that could be dangerous to your bunny. Ensure your rabbit is merely chewing on the wood and not swallowing large quantities. Ingesting too much wood can cause digestive issues.

4. Cardboard

Rabbit eating cardboard really close
Image Credit: Clauugrc1, Shutterstock

Cardboard is a convenient and inexpensive material for rabbits to chew on. Rabbits can chew any unprinted cardboard without tape, labels, or stickers. You can also save your paper towel and toilet paper rolls for your bunny and provide cardboard boxes to hide and play with for enrichment and chewing. Like with wood, eating too much cardboard can upset your bunny’s stomach or lead to an obstruction. Monitor them carefully to ensure they’re only chewing, not swallowing.

5. Rubber Dog Chew Toys

beagle puppy chewing squeaky toy
Image Credit: tetiana_u, Shutterstock

Some durable rubber dog chew toys are safe for rabbits to chew on. Kong chew toys are a good option, for example. Stick with the small dog sizes to make it easier for your rabbit to chew on them. Avoid offering your rabbit any soft dog or cat toys that can easily break apart or those with added flavoring. Monitor the toy as your rabbit chews to make sure they can’t bite off chunks and swallow them. Replace the Kong when it starts getting worn out.


What Can’t Rabbits Chew On?

Avoid giving your rabbit soft materials like fabric, carpet, and rubber. They aren’t useful in keeping your rabbit’s teeth worn down and are dangerous if ingested. Plastic or metal items should also be avoided since they may break into small pieces and cause a blockage if swallowed.

Rabbits should not chew on wood with strong natural oils like evergreens and citrus. Cedar, pine, hemlock, lemon, orange, spruce, and fir sticks should never be offered. Pits and seeds from fruits like peaches, plums, and cherries should be avoided, as they contain cyanide in variable amounts, which is harmful to rabbits and other animals. All parts of the avocado plant and fruit are toxic for many species as well and should never be offered to rabbits.

Don’t let rabbits chew on painted or stained wood. Also, avoid items with glue, adhesives, or unknown chemicals. If you ever have a question about whether an object is safe for rabbits to chew on, consult your veterinarian.



Chewing is a natural and important activity for rabbits that keeps their teeth healthy and gives the bunnies something to stay busy. The five options you learned about in this article are all safe items rabbits can chew on. Make sure your rabbit always has something to chew in their enclosure. If your rabbit’s teeth grow too long despite the presence of chew toys, you may notice signs of pain, teeth grinding, drooling, weight loss, and reduced appetite, as well as digestive issues, such as gut stasis. Talk to your veterinarian promptly, as dental issues can lead to severe and sometimes life-threatening digestive complications.

Featured Image Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

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