Question Hi Dr. Krempels,
I am planning on building a playhouse for my rabbit, and I am wondering which types of wood are safe to use. I have read online in various places that solid Pine, Poplar, Maple, Birch, Cherry, and Oak are all okay. Do you agree? What about formaldehyde-free plywood that is now on the market?
Thank you for your input.
Answer Dear Carin,
Yes, all those should be safe, even if bun chews them a bit. The key is to NOT use anything pressure-treated, painted, stained, etc.
I've not used the formaldehyde-free plywood, but would wonder what substitute they put in there as a preservative. It might not out-gas formaldehyde, but if chews, it might not be completely harmless. I just don't know, and the manufacturers aren't telling (as far as I can see).
If the bun doesn't chew the ply, it should be fine to use that.
I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:
RULE #1: THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.
If your rabbits is LETHARGIC
If your rabbit is NOT EATING
If your rabbit is PHYSICALLY INJURED (including broken bones)
I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years.
I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM.
I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.
Organizations Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president
National House Rabbit Society (Board member)
Publications Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide
Education/Credentials Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English
Awards and Honors Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology