Holiday Safety

Accidents involving companion animals increase during the holiday season. Let’s look at some specific safety concerns for house rabbits at this time of year.

Parties and guests can cause unintended harm to your rabbit. Visitors may not notice your rabbit underfoot and can cause serious injury by tripping over or stepping on her. Party noise can be frightening for a rabbit. Enthusiastic children or friends who don’t know how to handle rabbits can cause unintentional injury by lifting, carrying or chasing. You can minimize your rabbit’s stress by secluding him in a quiet room or inside his pen in a quiet area while you’re hosting guests.

Natural Christmas trees, pine cones and boughs which were not treated with pesticides, preservatives, flame retardants or artificial colorants are okay for your rabbit to snack on. Natural compounds in evergreens may cause a rabbit’s urine to turn orange — this is normal and not a health concern. Do not let your rabbit eat a treated or artificial tree! Prevent rabbit access to electrical cords. Plastic wire protectors may slow down a curious bunny but will not prevent determined chewers. Cords should be inaccessible — cover or hide them.

If your rabbit will have access to your Christmas tree, the lowest hanging lights, tinsel, garlands and glass ornaments must be out of reach. The bottom of the tree should only have rabbit-safe decorations such as wooden, fabric or felted ornaments or dried out pine cones.

If your rabbit is determined or mischievous, consider blocking access to the tree. Use a puppy pen or similar to create a barricade. Rabbits should be supervised around Christmas trees. Maintain your rabbit’s normal food schedule and portions during the holiday season and be sure to keep candies, cookies, snacks and seasonal plants out of reach.

More info:

by Amy Ramnaraine
House Rabbit Society Educator in Training, Minnesota