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Rabbits/Which wood types are safe for rabbits?

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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.

Carin

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.

Hope that helps.

Dana  

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

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.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

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
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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