Chew is a favorite pastime for small pets such as rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs. It is something they can’t live without, as their teeth grow every day. Chewing is an essential part of small pet life. Small pets will find any way to satisfy this need. However, you can control the behavior and ensure your pet’s safety. This article will help you to control your pet’s chewing behavior.
Teeth continue to grow because
Rodents such as rats, hamsters and guinea pigs use their teeth to move their food. Rodents in the wild build their homes, chew obstacles and hunt for food using their teeth. Their teeth continue to grow naturally to withstand all the wear and tear their lifestyle requires. They also consume grass and bark-covered sticks, which can cause their teeth to wear down.
The rodents can be kept as pets, and the cooperative teeth are not allowed to work. The problem is that the rodents’ teeth continue to grow regardless of whether or not they use them. It’s the incisors that continue to grow. They must be reduced to a normal size to ensure they are not dangerous for small animals. Untreated incisors can cause infections and other problems, as well as piercing the skull of rodents.
You now know that chewing is essential to small pets’ healthy lives. They will chew anything they find. They can chew electric wires, wire meshes in their cages, treated wood, houseplants (many of which can be toxic), household chemicals, fresh fruit tree wood, personal or material items, and any other dangerous or harmful materials.
Because pets are naturally ingrained, there is no way they can separate themselves from their instincts. As a responsible pet parent, you can find ways to discourage your pet’s destructive chewing.
Develop discipline through training
Small pets, particularly rabbits, can learn to stop chewing harmful substances. Although they might not be able to grasp the concept completely, constant instruction would help them stop chewing. They are more destructive than other small pets because they are larger than rabbits.
- A little bit of Scolding
If you notice your pet chewing something that isn’t supposed to be chewed, make sure you clap and shout ‘No’. This will cause a shock to your pet and stop it from chewing on the item. However, it is not an effective way to make long-lasting changes. It can also cause unnecessary stress to your pet if it is done for too long. It would help if you only startled your rabbit or other small pet when they use destructive chewing.
- Positive reinforcement
Provide safe and healthy chewing options for small pets, such as sticks, chew toys, and sticks. When your pet is playing with them, reward it with a treat and kind words. Gradually, the pet would realize that chewing on wire or furniture is better than chewing on certain things.
What determines a small pet’s chewing intensity
Individuals may have different levels of intensity when chewing. As in rabbits, for instance –
- Males tend to chew more than females.
- Younger people have more energy and are more likely to be active chewers.
- Rabbits that have been neutered or sprayed may show a reduced desire to chew.
- Active chewing is a common behavior for certain personality types like curious, intelligent, and energetic bunnies.