6 Reasons Rabbits Will Flip Over Their Food and Water Bowls

Does your rabbit wish to flip over their meals bowls? That is utterly regular conduct for rabbits. I might estimate that about half of the rescue rabbits that I work with toss their meals bowls round in some unspecified time in the future. It may be a mildly annoying conduct in case you’re not anticipating it. But when bowl flipping has turn into a nuisance (particularly if the rabbit is flipping the water bowl) you may make some modifications to discourage or redirect the conduct.

Rabbits will often flip over their bowls both as a result of they’re bored or as a result of they’re attempting to get extra meals out of them. Nonetheless, many rabbits additionally see their bowls as toys and revel in tossing them round for enjoyable.

It’s extra frequent for rabbits to flip their meals bowls than water bowls, however each occur. In case your rabbit is flipping the meals bowl, you might wish to take into account eliminating the bowl altogether. Rabbits are completely okay with consuming pellets off of the bottom. However if you wish to restrict the fiddle your rabbit, strive to determine the rationale behind their bowl-flipping conduct and make some modifications to your rabbit’s setting to assist change their habits.

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Why do rabbits wish to flip their meals and water bowls?

Rabbits all have their very own personalities. The explanations they select to flip over their bowls can usually simply come right down to your rabbit’s explicit quirks and preferences. Nonetheless, these are some frequent causes I’ve observed that rabbits wish to flip their bowls. Within the subsequent part, I’ll go over some methods that you need to use to forestall and discourage your rabbit from tossing their bowls round.

1. They’re on the lookout for extra meals

In case your rabbit all the time flips over their meals bowl once they end their meals, they’re in all probability simply on the lookout for extra. As quickly as my rabbits end their bowl of leafy greens day-after-day, they have an inclination to knock across the bowl as if hoping to search out extra beneath it.

They might additionally flip it over if they’re attempting to get simpler entry to the meals. For instance, in the event that they end the meals on one facet of the bowl, they’ll toss the bowl round and flip it over as a substitute of merely shifting to the opposite facet.

rabbit in a small cage
Rabbits can get bored and grumpy in the event that they’re left in a small cage all day with nothing to do.

2. The rabbit is bored

One of the frequent causes rabbits flip their bowl is as a result of they’re bored. If the rabbit is sitting round all day with nothing to do, they’ll flip over no matter they will simply to alleviate their boredom. It will also be an indication of frustration in case your rabbit doesn’t have sufficient outing of their enclosure to get some train.

3. The bowls are within the mistaken place

Rabbits might be very explicit about their residence decor. In the event that they resolve that the place you set their bowl is just not proper, they are going to toss it round till they prefer it higher. Typically that is the case in case you put the bowl down the place your rabbit likes to relaxation and take a nap, or if it’s in a spot that your rabbit sees as an optimum digging nook.

They might additionally shove the bowl apart if it occurs to be of their manner. Rabbits don’t all the time notice that they will go round objects of their residence. They’ll begin stepping into no matter route they select and if the bowl is of their manner, it is going to simply have to maneuver. That is why it’s usually finest to place bowls in corners or subsequent to a wall in order that your rabbit gained’t ever have to toss them out of the way in which.

4. The meals bowl is just too deep

Some rabbits don’t like to stay their head all the way in which right into a bowl to eat their meals. They like to have the ability to simply see across the edges whereas they’re consuming. The rabbit will flip the bowl over on its facet, or spill the contents utterly in order that they will get the meals extra simply. That is extra generally the issue with smaller rabbits and rabbits who’ve shorter faces.

5. It was an accident

Typically the rabbit simply will get very excited and by chance flips the meals and water bowls over as they’re hopping round. That is what occurs if the rabbit doesn’t choose it up and toss the bowl with their tooth, however as a substitute flips it once they step on it or run into it. 

With hyperactive rabbits, you’ll simply must get the bowls as out-of-the-way as potential to forestall this. If this occurs incessantly, it’s an enormous indication that your rabbit wants an even bigger enclosure and extra space for working round. The extra space they’ve, the much less probably they’ll be to run into objects of their setting.

For rabbits, selecting this up and tossing them could be a type of play.

6. The rabbit is joyful and enjoying

Some rabbits actually similar to to play with their meals bowl. It’s enjoyable to choose it up and toss it round. On this case, you don’t essentially wish to discourage your rabbit from their joyful conduct. As a substitute, you may wish to allow them to maintain that individual bowl as a toy after which swap to utilizing a unique kind of bowl for his or her meals and water (one which’s heavier and doesn’t have a lip).

lip vs non-lip bowls
Bowls with a lip give rabbits a teeth-hold making it simpler to flip the bowl. As a substitute get a ceramic or heavy bowl with straight sides.

11 Tricks to forestall your rabbit from flipping their bowls (or make cleanup simpler)

Now that you’ve a primary thought of why your rabbit may be tossing their bowls round, you may make some modifications to their setting to assist forestall this messy conduct. You clearly don’t have to make use of all of the following tips however choose and select those that be just right for you and your rabbit.

1. Use heavy bowls with no lip

The primary repair for stopping rabbits from flipping their bowls is to vary what bowl you utilize. Select a big, heavy ceramic bowl that doesn’t have a lip for the rabbit to seize onto with their tooth. You additionally wish to be certain they’ve a reasonably flat backside with sides that don’t taper out an excessive amount of, so it’s much less probably the bow will likely be by chance tipped over. Bowls which are dog-sized are my go-to, particularly for water bowls (one thing like this ceramic canine bowl). It’s also possible to strive bowls which are at totally different heights to see in case your rabbit prefers one with shorter sides.

When giving your rabbit a brand new bowl, you may wish to maintain the outdated bowl within the enclosure for a short while so your rabbit can use it as a toy in the event that they wish to. This makes it much less probably they’ll robotically begin attempting to tip over the brand new bowl.

2. Make certain your rabbit has sufficient area

The one repair that helps forestall bowl tipping for many rabbits is ensuring they’ve sufficient area. Most cages which are offered and marketed towards rabbits are literally a lot too small for them. If the rabbit is saved in one in every of these cages for many of the day, they’re extra more likely to turn into bored and annoyed on account of their lack of means to maneuver round as a lot as they need. This results in bored behaviors corresponding to flipping their bowls over and digging out their litter field.

To extend your rabbit’s area, I like to recommend getting a pet train pen (one in every of these pens) and attaching it to the rabbit’s cage in order that they have a everlasting train space. You would additionally look into free-roaming your rabbit in order that they don’t must be saved in a cage in any respect.

how to connect a playpen to a cage
In case your cage is just too small, connect a rabbit playpen to offer your rabbit extra space.

3. Make certain to offer your rabbit a wide range of toys

One other tip that may assist forestall boredom is ensuring your rabbit has all kinds of toys. Rabbits all have their preferences relating to the toys they wish to play with, so testing out totally different toys will aid you discover those that may efficiently distract your rabbit from their meals and water bowls. They don’t must all be costly toys both. Cardboard packing containers, shredded paper, and outdated towels might be loads of enjoyable for rabbits. Take a look at this listing of potential rabbit toys to get you began.

4. Socialize together with your rabbit

Rabbits are social creatures. They do finest once they have loads of time to hang around with folks (or different bunnies) sufficient to satisfy their socialization wants. By spending time together with your rabbit, they’re much less more likely to be bored on a regular basis, making them much less more likely to flip their bowls over in frustration.

read with your rabbit
Attempt studying a e book or another quiet exercise when you sit on the ground the place your rabbit can work together with you.

5. Give your rabbit a small quantity of meals at a time

This gained’t work with the water bowl since rabbits want fixed entry to water, however you can provide them a number of smaller mealtimes all through the day as a substitute of feeding them their pellets . This implies your rabbit gained’t be capable of make fairly as a lot of a multitude with their meals. It’s also possible to take the bowl away as soon as your rabbit finishes their spoonful of pellets. This manner, they gained’t be capable of get within the behavior of enjoying with it.

6. Place meals bowls in a nook

To stop your rabbit from by chance knocking the bowls over or tossing them out of the way in which, strive inserting them within the nook of a room. If you recognize your rabbit has a spot they wish to dig into round a nook, keep away from that individual place and put them a few toes away from the nook, however nonetheless towards the wall-side of their enclosure.

Since rabbits will usually attempt to push and chew on the bars of their enclosure to get past them, you wish to keep away from placing the bowls up towards the facet of the enclosure that faces the room. The rabbit has to imagine there may be nowhere on the opposite facet of the fence for them to go.

7. Place a mat beneath the bowls

If you happen to’re actually scuffling with the mess your rabbit is making, Putting a mat beneath the meals and water bowls will not less than assist with the mess. A pet placemat can not less than catch the meals and water because it spills, making it simpler to wash up later

8. Clip the bowls to the sting of the enclosure

It’s also possible to get bowls that clip to the facet of the rabbit’s enclosure (like this clip-on meals bowl). For many individuals, that is the one factor that works to maintain their rabbits from flipping the meals and water bowls day-after-day.

Clip-on bowls work finest together with a placemat. The clip will forestall the rabbit from selecting up the bowl and tossing it, however it gained’t maintain the rabbit from attempting. Often, because of this some meals and water will splash over the perimeters of the bowl. It should make a a lot smaller mess than earlier than, however there’ll often nonetheless be slightly cleanup obligatory.

9. Hold the water bowl away from the meals bowl

In case your rabbit likes to toss their meals bowl round, however not the water bowl, attempt to maintain the 2 bowls separated. It will forestall your rabbit from flipping the meals into the water bowl, creating a fair larger mess. It should additionally maintain your rabbit from grabbing the mistaken bowl once they imply to seize simply the meals bowl since spilled water makes a a lot larger mess than spilled meals.

treat dispenser ball
You can provide your rabbit their day by day pellets in a deal with dispenser. It will encourage them to maneuver round and forage for his or her meals, to get slightly extra train.

10. Don’t use a meals bowl in any respect

You would put off the meals bowl altogether. Personally, I take advantage of cat deal with balls (this stuff) to feed my rabbits their pellets day-after-day. It retains my rabbits energetic whereas they’re consuming their meals and prevents any bowl-flipping messes. You would additionally simply sprinkle the pellets on the ground and permit your rabbit to graze and eat them as a substitute of consuming them out of a bowl. It’s slightly extra pure for rabbits to eat this manner anyway.

Rabbit bowl vs. a rabbit water bottle
Water bowls are the higher possibility for pet rabbits. If the rabbit tries to flip over the bowl persistently, a water bottle may be higher for you.

11. Add a water bottle

If it doesn’t matter what you do, your rabbit won’t cease flipping over their water bowl, then it may be time to consider getting a water bottle with a spout as a substitute. I actually solely suggest utilizing a water bottle as a just-in-case measure. This manner in case your rabbit flips over the water bowl, they’ll nonetheless have water accessible within the bottle. It is because water bottles are usually not ideally suited for rabbits. It takes much more effort for the rabbits to drink, in order that they often don’t drink as a lot as they need to.

So, strive all the things else first to attempt to maintain the water bowl accessible to your rabbit. Nonetheless, if it doesn’t matter what, your rabbit manages to flip the bowl, then a big water bottle hooked up to the facet of the enclosure is the way in which to go.

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