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Rabbits/Safe Types Of Wood


Hello Dr. Dana

I want to build my bunnies a wood hiding area. What types of wood is safe? I do not want to use nails since these could cause more harm than good so would it be safe to use a glue? I am not an experienced craftsman so I do not think I could create holes for dowel pegs or even notch the edges for tongue & grove.

I currently give the bunnies cardboard boxes but sometimes it can be hard to find boxes not covered in a waxy film or filled with stickers and tape. Granted I only use plain or natural looking cardboard and remove all stickers/tape. Sometimes after removing everything I have almost destroyed the box.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question and for helping bunnies every where.


Suzie, CupCake, BrownieBoy, Inky, Spot & Fireball

Dear Suzie,

Any type of softwood or hardwood should be safe, as long as it is not pressure treated, painted, or permeated with any type of chemical preservatives or other non-natural substance.  Nails should not be dangerous if they are large, but do avoid small finishing nails, just to be on the safe side.

I would use plywood, rather than particle board.  But sure it is well ventilated before you let the buns use it, as most types of wood will exude formadehyde gas for weeks.  (Personally, I would stick to cardboard...)

Hope this helps.



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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


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:

Find a rabbit vet at 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.


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.

Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

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