Whether or not pine is safe for rabbits depends on the type, and I will clear things up. Processed pine –which has gone through the drying process – is okay for a rabbit to chew, but the fresh one is not. Many of the pine-made furniture and planks are okay, but you wouldn’t want your rabbit chewing those.
If the pine in question is unprocessed (and is thus fresh), it should not be anywhere near the rabbit’s mouth. Fresh pine usually has some toxic chemical compounds known as phenols that trigger liver issues in bunnies.
The other type of pine you want away from your rabbit is the strong-scented type.
Rabbit And Woods 101: The Woods And Wood-Like Substances (Tabulated)
The Safe Kind
|Queen Anne’s lace
The Toxic Kind
(Some Of The) Safe Woods For Rabbits
Chewing comes naturally to rabbits. Anything that exists before the eyes of a rabbit is worth chewing – be it metal, plastic, or even wood. Like rodents, rabbits need to chew to take care of their ever-growing front teeth. That is why it is vital to ensure that your rabbit chews on the right items.
Since our rabbits are under our care and we wouldn’t want them chewing on anything, it is good to pick the safest options. If we’re going for twigs, barks, or roots, we need to get the best of the best. So, stop your rabbit when you see it chewing on your varnished or painted furniture.
If A Rabbit Nibbles On A Piece Of Unsafe Wood, What Could Happen?
Before anything else, you should have no reason to be anxious if your rabbit is chewing on the wrong wood type. Some of the toxic wood types are too tough, meaning that they don’t even get ingested. But you should be alert to see if the rabbit’s behavior changes significantly. Normal temperament and mannerisms should tell you that the unsafe piece of wood did no damage.
But, as it is with 50-50 situations, always err on the side of caution. Check if the rabbit has been nibbling the piece of wood for a long time. If that is the case, you could be looking at liver and digestive complications.
The point here: only give your rabbit the safe, suitable wood types.
Safe Wood Types
Most bunnies don’t discriminate, but some will have their favorite twig and branches. This is because different wood types have varied appeals and tastes. And once a rabbit doesn’t find one wood type ‘sweet,’ you need to get another.
Fact: many bunny toys available in the market are made from willow twigs. So, that’s an excellent place to start in talking about the safe wood types for rabbits:
You can always get balls made out of willow twigs, give them to rabbits, and indeed, the little ones will enjoy them. Alternatively, you can go for willow sticks.
If you are willing to be a little extra, you can get willow-made furniture or wicker baskets. Whichever item you choose, ensure that it is untreated before the rabbit starts chewing on it.
2. Pear And Apple
These are other safe wood options for rabbits. If you have an apple or maybe a pear tree in your yard, you can pick out the leaves, twigs, or branches. In many exotic pet stores, you will find apple sticks. Since they have a particular flavor, you can bet that your rabbit will enjoy chewing them.
3. Poplar And Birch
You don’t need to buy these – you can get twigs and branches fresh from poplar and birch trees. And also, you don’t even need to dry them. Actually, your rabbit will love the munching on the trees’ leaves.
If you’re really into this wood-chewing and want to do something extra, make some accessories or even furniture using poplar and birch woods. The rabbit will take a lot of time because the wood is naturally sturdy but nothing to worry about – they are entirely safe.
If you have a garden of roses, you should pick out the leaves, twigs, and branches. Then, offer those items to the rabbit because they are magnificent. Actually, you don’t even have to worry about the thorns. Some rabbits will love the flowers, so throw them in there too. It will be so much fun for the little ones.
Like the willow, maple is also used to make rabbit-safe toys. If you go online on into a pet store, you will find maple sticks being sold. Like apple and pear wood, maple sticks have a particular, sweet taste that makes them irresistible to rabbits.
As long as it is neither varnished nor painted, maple is safe to give your rabbit.
6. Blackberry And Raspberry
If any leaves, twigs, or branches of these two fruits are in your yard, go for them and serve your rabbit with goodies. But before you do that, ensure that they are clean.
You need to be cautious while giving the rabbit wood items you found outside. Modern farming methods use pesticides and chemicals, and you wouldn’t want any of those compounds in your rabbit’s system.
Using the tables given in this article, ensure that the leaves, twigs, or branches picked are safe. Obviously, you should avoid the toxic ones, and with the safe ones, you will need to know how they should be served specifically.
Wash all the branches you pick from outside to avoid feeding the rabbit with poison. The cleaning should be thoroughly done as if you are the one to chew on the woody items.
When the item is entirely clean, give it to the rabbit. Be it pine (because pine is safe for rabbits) or any other; your rabbit will indeed love the treat.
I’m Christopher Benjamin, a dedicated Animal Nutritionist at Ethos Veterinary Health with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Michigan State University. My lifelong passion for animals led me to establish AnimalsData.Com. Here, I share expert advice, educational resources, and inspiring stories to empower fellow pet lovers worldwide. Join our community as we celebrate the beauty and diversity of our beloved animal companions!