Best Run Flooring for Your Rabbits
The people who are new with bunnies as their pets are seem to give more attention on the purchase of the best hutch for their bunnies. The quality, price and features of the hutch are their top priorities. But there is one more thing which should always be taken into account. It is the place where you are going to place the hutch. The rabbit hutches usually do not come with proper floored bottoms. The floors are usually open. So, it is of absolute importance to do something about the rabbit run floor before you make the hutch operational and put it to use for the rabbits.
The Hutch Placement Options
Even before buying or assembling the hutch, it should be decided first as to where the hutch is going to stay. There are two options available when it comes to the rabbit hutch, indoors or outdoors hutches, both of which are prepared differently and have certain unique aspects.
The indoor hutches are only useful for inside the house while the outdoor hutches work well for both indoor and outdoor rabbit keeping. So, if you want to keep your rabbits inside all the time then go for the indoor hutches, but if you want the freedom of moving them outside at some point then its better to buy an outdoor hutch as it works in both environments.
You can allow your rabbits to skip around inside your house or in the backyard. Some people prefer rabbit exercise pens to hop around or stretch their muscles. So, if you want to keep your rabbits inside for the safety then it is an absolute necessity to make your floor or at least some part of it rabbit proof. This will keep your bunnies safe from injuries and also your home from getting messy any more than it needs to. And if you are going to go with the outside option then it is always a good idea to stay close to your bunnies and never lose sight of them for more than 5 mins because that’s all the time a predator needs to do its work.
The Rabbit Run Flooring Picking Options
So, if you have chosen the best hutch for your rabbits and are ready to keep your bunnies in it, this is the time to consider the best run flooring you want for you rabbits. The run flooring should be safe, relaxing and comfortable for the bunnies. It should be able to provide your bunnies with a friendly environment and a place where they can have a better physical development.
Here are some factors that must be considered before selecting a rabbit run flooring
Try to avoid plastic flooring because of the two main reasons. First this type of flooring can be a bit slippery and the rabbits will not be able to hop around properly and second, the rabbits might chew on the plastic and get harmful material into their system which makes them sick. The plastic flooring can be very troublesome while cleaning as the waste might stick on it.
The carpet flooring is also a terrible idea as it absorbs urinal liquid and gets very dirty very fast. Cleaning of a carpet is a very tiresome job. Some rabbit owners use parts of different carpets as a run flooring which is a safety hazard. The rabbits might chew the carpet which leads to health concerns. Another disadvantage is the urine being soaked by the carpets and get beneath the carpets where it can stick onto the actual floor. Same is the case for using card board as rabbit run flooring.
Newspaper run floor is also a safety concern as the ink is toxic enough to make your rabbit sick if it chews down on the paper. This type of flooring doesn’t last long and needs often changing. Also, if you are training your rabbit for litter box then using a newspaper for both the litter box and the hutch will lead to confusion for the rabbit and the training might not work well in this case.
Outdoor Hutches and Exercise Pens Rabbit Run Flooring
The most common choice of rabbit owners is to keep the hutch outside on grass or on the bare floor. This type of natural surface is quite favourite of rabbits as they are able to chew on fresh grass and hope around in that environment with quite ease. But there are some things that are on you to take care of. It is a good idea to move the hutch after keeping it at the same place after some time. It will allow the grass to grow again after being chewed down by the bunnies. You should also pay attention on keeping the grass floor clean from waste and toxic stuff which can cause harm to the bunnies.
There is however, a danger of predators to the bunnies on the grass floor. So, if you want to keep your bunnies on the grass then be aware of the predators especially foxes that tend to hide beneath the hutch in the burrows. These burrows can often be undetectable so you need to be extra careful of that.
You can also use rabbit exercise pens on grass floors for your rabbits to hop around. Again, keep a look out for predators as the exercise pens are not very secure for the rabbits when they are all alone in there.
Another choice is keeping the hutch on the concrete floor outside. Now this can go in either of the two ways depending mainly on the design of the hutch. If the hutch totally covers its interior and blocks the sun then it’s a good thing as it will give the rabbit a nice shade to relax in the summer. And if the hutch doesn’t totally block the sun then it will cause the concrete to get very hot and can hurt your bunnies. In the winter the concrete might get really cold and cause inconvenience. You can cope with that by using hay on the concrete floor. This will help the rabbits to adjust to the temperature outside.
A piece of plywood covered with hay is always a good idea for the hutches kept outside on the concrete floor as the plywood acts to make the hutch more secure and hay makes the surface soft for the bunnies while giving them a nice snack simultaneously.
Indoors Rabbit Hutches and Exercise Pens Flooring
Keeping your bunnies inside the house can be a bit challenging as you will have to take care of your original floor so that bunnies don’t chew it or damage it by their urine or faeces as well as provide your bunnies a nice and comfortable place to stay.
You can put the hutch directly over the floor such as vinyl floor or some other type without exposing the edges. This will eliminate the chances of chewing it as the rabbits usually chew from the corners of the floor. You can add hay on the floor inside the hutch to give rabbits a softer spot and some snack to keep them busy.
So, if your floor isn’t vinyl then you can always buy a part of vinyl flooring just for the hutch instead of the entire area. Again, keep in mind to keep the edges of the flooring outside the hutch to save it from rabbits chewing it. Plywood covered with hay can also be employed in indoor hutches to keep them bunny friendly but this needs regular cleaning so that the smell doesn’t spread all over.
Final Thoughts and Some Suggestions
Regardless of the flooring you choose for your bunnies, one thing must always be considered carefully. The edges of the flooring must always be outside the hutch because is if they are inside then there is a high chance of bunnies chewing it. This will lead to damaged flooring and health hazards for your rabbits. If the exposed edge inside the hutch is quite wide or it is sharp then the rabbit might stick with the edge or might get a cut of some kind.
As your hutch needs cleaning from time to time, similarly the flooring can’t last long without frequent cleaning. So, it is better to pay little more attention on the condition of the rabbit run flooring while cleaning the hutch. And if you notice that flooring is damaged or unhygienic then it is better to clean it thoroughly or change it entirely.Most rabbits prefer the vinyl flooring or the one with the combination of plywood and hay.
So, use the pointer above to choose a better run flooring for your bunnies that gives them safety and relaxation and also a fun place to hang out and have fun. For a better decision it is good to ask for recommendations from the experts or from the rabbit owners who have experience with the rabbit run flooring. They can give you enough information to make a well calculated and better decision.