Animal waste is a problem that pet owners have to deal with daily. There are many ways to deal with animal waste, but some of these methods are more effective than others. If you have a rabbit at home, using an absorbent cage liner is one of the ways to deal with rabbit poop.
However, you must remember that rabbits can poop up to 200 times a day. If you have a family of rabbits, then there would be so much poop around. Pads or cage liners will not be very practical in such a situation. It would be expensive and may not work well for many rabbit owners.
Another option, though, is to use a traditional puppy pad for your bunny.
If you want to use a puppy pad, you must train your rabbit first, so it knows where to go when nature calls. Some rabbits might not be trained and would require other measures to get their job done. Puppy pads seem a good option, but they may have some risks.
Let’s find out if you can use puppy pads for rabbits, and if not, what the alternatives are.
Can You Use Puppy Pads for Bunnies?
Puppy pads can be used for rabbits, but there are some things to remember. First, the pads must be big enough for the rabbit to move around on. Second, the pads must be absorbent enough to handle the rabbit’s waste.
The biggest concern with using puppy pads for rabbits is the size. Puppy pads are typically much smaller than rabbit cages, so the rabbit may not have enough room to move around. This can lead to the rabbit becoming stressed and may even cause health problems.
If you wish to place it elsewhere in the house, you must train the rabbit to use it. Dogs are easy to train, and they are intelligent animals. But it’s not as easy and straightforward with bunnies.
Another concern with using puppy pads for rabbits is absorbency. Puppy pads are designed to absorb a small amount of liquid but not to absorb a large amount of waste that a rabbit produces. This can cause the pads to leak, creating a mess and even harming the rabbit.
Health Risks of Puppy Pads for Rabbits
While it’s possible to train a rabbit at home, it may take some trial and error process to get them completely trained. If you plan on doing that, you will start thinking about getting puppy pads for your bunnies.
It might not be a good idea after all. Let’s see why.
Rabbits may start chewing the pad
Puppy pads are mostly made of plastic material and have absorbent filling inside. As rabbits love to chew on anything they could get hold of, it might become a risk for them as they would want to chew the pads. This is quite dangerous for their digestive system as it is very sensitive. The plastic or the filling could cause blockage in your rabbit’s stomach and intestines, causing serious health problems.
Puppy pads are specially designed to absorb as much liquid as possible, which becomes a threat to your rabbit’s health if it is ingested. This would cause swelling in your rabbit’s stomach. The after-signs could be pain, constipation, and poor appetite.
Chemicals in puppy pads are not safe for rabbits
As many chemicals are present in puppy pads, they may become toxic for a rabbit. Some pads are treated with various fragrances to disguise the unpleasant odor of urine and poop, while other pads are treated with chemical pheromones that attract dogs to use them. These chemicals could irritate your bunny’s sensitive body causing allergic reactions.
Puppy pads can be a choking hazard for bunnies
Puppy pads can also be a choking hazard for rabbits if they chew on them or tear them into pieces. If a rabbit ingests even a small piece of a puppy pad, it could block its digestive tract and cause serious health problems.
If the plastic or absorbent filling inside the pad blocks the rabbit’s digestion, it could lead to gastrointestinal stasis. This happens when the rabbit’s digestion stops, either from bacterial imbalance or a blockage caused by any indigestible material, and it can be fatal if not treated promptly.
When Can Puppy Pads Be Used?
There are some instances when your rabbit would require puppy pads. You first must ensure that your pet does not come in direct contact with the pad. For this, you would need to watch your rabbit closely at least the first few times when you use these pads just to be sure that the rabbit doesn’t start to chew them.
Puppy pads are still used for older or disabled rabbits having incontinence problems. The rapid absorption feature of these pads makes them suitable for maintaining a clean and dry cage. These pads also prevent problems such as urine scald.
You still need to monitor your rabbit if you put puppy pads for him in the cage. Just ensure that these pads are not in direct contact with your bunny. The puppy pads need to be used as the bottom layer having a multi-layered bedding arrangement.
The puppy pads at the bottom can be covered with extra old towels or even a fleece layer. This layer will add a cushioned area for your disabled or older rabbit to rest her body. These layers will soak extra moisture, and the bottom layer of puppy pads won’t be in direct contact with your pet.
If the bunny’s cage consists of a removable tray that separates from the cage, puppy pads can be used to line that area. You would still need to stay away from scented and chemically-treated pads.
The best option is to use cloth pads instead of synthetic pads used for puppies. The cloth pads would not be treated with chemicals and could be easily washed afterward. There will also be no plastic present that may harm the bunny.
These cloth pads can be reused, making them very economical compared to disposable ones. Even if you use these cloth pads, you would still need to watch your bunny closely just to be sure that it doesn’t chew on the cloth and ingest the absorbent filling, which could call for an emergency visit to the vet.
Puppy pads are often marketed as a safe and convenient option for pet owners, but they can actually be quite dangerous for rabbits. In addition to harmful chemicals that may induce allergic reactions in a bunny, puppy pads may also be a choking hazard for these tiny fellas.
Dogs are trained differently as they have different natures and usually obey your commands. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be easy to train a rabbit to use a pad when she needs to poop. Moreover, rabbits make more than 200 poops every day. So, using a pad for this purpose will not be practical and economical.
If you still want to use pads for your bunnies, it is best to look out for cloth pads that contain no chemicals and are used safely. You need to remember that rabbits have a habit of chewing everything they come across. If they happen to chew the pads, it can cause many health problems. Some of these problems could be fatal too.
You can use puppy pads in situations where these can’t be avoided. Even then, you must monitor and ensure that the rabbit stays away from the pads. The pads should not be in direct contact with your bunny but can be used as a bottom lining to avoid mess.