Your Bunny & The Holidays
It's holiday season again, a time of year that can be both fun and stressful for you and your rabbit.
In the midst of all your holiday preparations, here a few tips to keep your bunny safe and happy over the holiday season.
Plants & Christmas Trees
Be aware of seasonal plants that are brought into the home.
Despite common perception, Poinsettia plants are not poisonous.
That's not to say your bunny should eat them, since they can cause
mild intestinal discomfort in some sensitive individuals. But they
should not cause serious illness.
Some holiday plants, such as holly, mistletoe and certain types of ivy,
can be toxic. To be especially safe, keep ALL plants and fresh green
decorations up and out of your bunny's reach. Put them in a room where
your bunny doesn't usually romp, or place them high enough to be out of
reach of little teeth.
Pinecones are generally safe distractions, and make festive bunny chew and throw toys at this time of year.
How To Give Pine Cones To Rabbits:
If your Christmas tree has not been treated (with fire retardant,
pesticides, etc) or painted, then it should be safe to chew. Note that
natural chemical compounds in some evergreens may cause the bunny's
urine to turn more orange than usual, but this is not a health concern.
Take a critical look at your tree before placing the ornaments and
lights. Low hanging decoratoins could be inviting toys. On lower
limbs, use safe plastic or wooden ornaments a rabbit can safely nibble,
tug, or steal. Always supervise closely when bunny is loose around the
Lights, Cords, Decorations
Those of you who have Christmas trees also may also have extra
electrical cords and lights, which bunnies can and will chew. If
possible, put your Christmas tree in a room where Bunny doesn't play.
If this isn't possible, you can make your tree "off limits" to your
rabbit by placing a puppy pen around it, or you can use the pen to
section off the part of the room where the tree is, keeping bunny safely
away. This will help keep you and your rabbit safe from chewed
electrical cords and preserve your favorite Christmas ornaments, as
If you put up electrical decorations during this season, make sure the
cords are well out of Bunny's reach. Plastic wire protectors from Radio
Shack may help slow down a curious bunny. However, the wire wrap will
not necessarily prevent a determined rabbit from chewing through the
plastic to the wires. So after wrapping the cords in the wire wrap, you
should still tuck them out of rabbit reach.
Be alert about synthetic tinsel and garland which, if ingested, could
cause tummy trouble or impaction. And be conscious of potpourri. Some
rabbits enjoy nibbling on it, and there's no telling what potentially
harmful chemicals or preservatives might have been used in the potpourri
While wrapping and opening gifts, keep in mind that tape and ribbon are
not good things for rabbits to eat, but they seem to be especially
attractive playthings to some bunnies. As a substitute, give white
tissue paper and you'll enjoy watching some happy playtime.
'Tis the season for candles and fireplaces. Keep the first high out of
reach and the other enclosed so your bunny can't investigate too
closely. Even cold ashes can be harmful, as they are very caustic if
combined with water (including saliva!).
Be aware of low-lying candy, snack bowls, and gingerbread homes, or your
buns will have a (potentially dangerous) feast on holiday treats.
Coffee tables and end tables are usually low enough for a healthy bunny
to easily hop up and partake of your festive offerings. Salty snacks
are particularly risky, since a rabbit can actually ingest a fatal
overdose of salt if she eats too much (e.g., chips, salted nuts, etc.)
Company and the Hubbub of the Holidays
Many families have friends and family members for short or long visits
around this time of year. This will inevitably interrupt your rabbit's
customary routine and atmosphere. If you have family members who don't
understand house rabbits, make sure you take the time to prepare both
your company and your rabbit for what to expect. This could be a great
opportunity to educate your friends and family about rabbits and rabbit
To reduce your rabbit's stress, try to stick as close as possible to her
routine. Make sure you remember to give her plenty of attention and
reassurance. If your bunny is particularly sensitive to noise and
activity, you may even want to move her to a quieter room while your
company is visiting.
Don't be shy about laying down some ground rules for your company, especially if they include children. Never leave your rabbit unsupervised with a child.
Small visitors may be tempted to chase, pick up, or inadvertently
mishandle your bunny. It could take only a second for a potentially
crippling or even fatal accident to occur at the hands of a
well-meaning, but overly affectionate child.
John explaining to Mr. T about Peter and having to be gentle.
If you have guests who are particularly interested in visiting your
rabbit, don't allow them to handle the bunny without first properly
instructing them about safe handling. Let visitors know that a rabbit's
digestive system is very delicate, and though she may be adorable when
she sits up and begs for treats, that giving in and overfeeding her
could be killing her with kindness.
With these precautions in mind, we wish you and your bunnies a fun-filled, joyous Holiday Season!
Welcome to our page! We do our best to provide to-be and current bunny owners up-to-date info on the best care for their house rabbits. When we adopted our first bunny in 2005, there was almost nothing on the internet to tell us how to care for him. Just in the past few years, information has exploded online, and now it can be confusing! We try to simplify it by posting weekly articles on current issues, daily care, concerns, proper feeding, and other info so you can enjoy your house-bun! If you are just finding us, feel free to look through the older posts also. Please email us if you have any questions! Happy bunnies make happy hearts!