Posted: 21 December 2016
It’s nearly that time of year again – Christmas is just around the corner! December is a fun and exciting month for all of us but we should remember that this may not be the case for our pet house rabbits; here are a few tips to ensure you have a safe and happy bunny over the holiday season.
Be aware of the seasonal plants that you’re bringing into your home – for example, poinsettia plants. Poinsettias aren’t poisonous but this doesn’t mean to say that they are okay for your rabbits to nibble on as they could potentially cause some mild intestinal discomfort.
Holiday plants such as mistletoe, holly and ivy can be poisonous. If you plan on adding these decorations into your home then make sure they are completely out of reach of those little teeth.
If you’re adding a real tree into your home then be sure to choose one that hasn’t been treated with pesticides. You should also think about the way you decorate the tree. Low hanging, shiny things may be rather appealing to your rabbit so you could try hanging some wooden ornaments around these areas so your rabbit can safely nibble them, you should always supervise closely when your bunny is around the tree.
Lights and decoration
If you have lights on your Christmas tree then there’s a good chance that you’ll have more cables and sockets laying about which your bunny could potentially chew. If at all possible it might be an idea to try and put your tree in a room where you bunny doesn’t play. If there’s no way of doing this then you could place a guard around the tree or you could use the guard to section off the part of the room where your tree is. This will keep both you and your bunnies safe from chewed up electrical cords.
It goes without saying, but if you plan on putting any electrical decorations up then make sure that the chords are out of bunnies reach, it may be a good idea to invest in some plastic wire protectors.
We wouldn’t recommend going crazy with the tinsel, if your rabbit ingests this it could lead to severe tummy troubles or even worse. The same goes for potpourri, some rabbits may be draw to the sweet smell but there could be some potentially harmful chemicals used in the potpourri you’re using.
Gift wrap and sellotape are not safe for your rabbit to eat but some of the more mischievous bunnies may be drawn to these playthings. As a substitute give them hay wrapped in brown paper. Your rabbit will love unwrapping they paper to get to the yummy hay.
Keep all candles and open flames high up and out of the way of your rabbits. Cold ashes can be as equally as harmful as they are very caustic when combined with water.
Don’t leave any sweets lying about or else your buns will help themselves to a potentially dangerous feast. Coffee tables are probably high enough for your bunny to jump up to help themselves to your favourite festive offerings.
Salty snacks are especially dangerous and if a rabbit ingests too much salt then there could be fatal consequences.
Many of you will have friends and family visiting at this time of year and this will interrupt your rabbit’s routine. If your family members don’t understand how house bunnies operate then make sure you prepare both your company and rabbits for what is to come.
To minimalise stress make sure you stick as closely as possible to your bunnies routine and give plenty of love, attention and reassurance. If you’re bunnies hates noise then you may want to move them to a quieter room while your company is around.
Don’t be afraid to explain the ground rules to your company, especially if they have children. Never leave your rabbit unsupervised around small children as they may be tempted to chase and pick up your bunny and as you can imagine this could be terrifying for them.
If your guests are particularly excited about meeting your rabbit make sure you don’t allow any handling without proper instruction. They should also be aware that a rabbit has a very sensitive digestive system and that they shouldn’t give in when she sits up and begs for a treat. Overfeeding can also have fatal consequences.
With all of these things to keep in mind, the team at Burgess Pet Care would like to wish you a safe and fun filled Christmas.