There can never be too many rabbit toys, and we are all about DIY. There are a lot of posts about toy ideas out there on FaceBook, Instagram…all over the interwebs. When considering what kind of toys you might want to make, though, there are some safety issues we need to point out.
Even when just chewing on a toy, your rabbit ends up with little shaving and bits of whatever the toy is made of in their mouth. They swallow tiny bits of this stuff, even if they don’t actually eat it. Everything your rabbit’s teeth touch has to be safe.
Your rabbit does not care if the toy looks like a carnival. All those bright colors are for you, the human. The colors appeal to us, not the rabbits. And most of the dyes used are NOT safe. If you really want color, get safe untreated undyed wood and use food coloring yourself to create the bright fun colors. Use plain unbleached paper, and un-dyed unbleached sisal, hemp, or paper twines.
(There are animal safe dyes, and some very good toy makers use them. If you are not sure if the colors are safe, ask the maker for verification of what type of dyes are used.)
Elmer’s glue is made so that it is safe when kids eat it (because kids do stuff like that). Glue used to make toilet paper and paper towel rolls is not made to be edible. Yes, we really are saying we don’t like using toilet paper and paper towel rolls for toys. You can use non-toxic glues when making toys yourself, and for toys purchased from a shop, ask for verification that the glues are non-toxic and safe to eat. Sorry, but we advise that you stop saving your toilet paper and paper towel rolls!
Glossy newspapers, wrapping paper, some boxes…all of these things have coatings on them. Chemicals, not meant to be eaten by anyone.
Treated or varnished wood
Wood can be impregnated with chemicals, or can be varnished or lacquered. All very nasty things you don’t want inside your bun. Make sure any wood you give to your rabbit is totally free of harmful treatments.
Plastic and Metal
Any plastic. No. Just no. And really watch those metal hooks too...as soon as your rabbit gets anywhere close to metal pinnings or hooks, that toy is done. Avoid little jingle bells and loose bits of metal.
Look at every single thing you hand your rabbit. Are all the parts of it food safe? Are all the parts and ingredients meant to be eaten?
Rabbits are so sensitive to chemicals and toxins. We can lessen their toxin load significantly, and it isn’t that hard to do. Now that we’ve been party poopers, let’s take a look at some great safe alternatives for your next DIY project!