The Holidays bring new decor and plants into the house that might make your sweet bunnies curious. With the busy season, you might find yourself not watching your rabbit as closely as you should. Here are some things to watch out for.
Trees & Decorations
With a tree and other decor, please be mindful of the fact that your rabbit likes to chew. A Christmas tree that hasn't been treated with chemicals is usually safe for nibbles, but make sure to double check the place your buy your real tree to see if it was treated or not.
The decorations that cover your tree with are not safe for your bunnies to nibble on at all and should be placed out of their reach to help prevent them from getting to it.
WARNING - FAKE SNOW (FLOCKED SNOW) IS TOXIC TO PETS!
Products with 'fake snow' are very poisonous! It can be very dangerous if your pet ingests any that falls off of the tree, too.
The oils in fir trees can be mildly toxic, which will cause an upset tummy if swallowed. The needles from real trees can get stuck in your pets mouth, throat and paws.
To avoid issues, vacuum or sweep regularly and don't leave your pet alone with the tree. You can also look out for NORDMANN FIR trees which are known as the 'no needle drop' trees and are a safer alternative.
It's common to leave candy, snacks and gingerbread houses out for nibbling on and decorating, but make sure they aren't in an area where you rabbit can start to help themselves. Eating our holiday favourites may make them very sick and potentially die.
Wrapping Paper & Ribbon
While wrapping paper is beautiful, it is because of its beauty that we recommend you keep your rabbit away from it. The colour dyed paper, metal inlays, and other chemicals that make it all stay together aren't good for your rabbit's sensitive digestive system.
Hide your wrapped gifts until Christmas morning, or place them behind a barrier you've placed around your Christmas tree to keep your rabbit safe.
You may wish to give your rabbit a toy to help entertain them and keep them occupied away from the decorations around your home.
We humans are social creatures, but a house full of people can cause great anxiety for your rabbit. We suggest that you move their pen to a secluded room to help prevent any issues.
If you allow your guests to hold your rabbit, do so in a controlled environment, Loud noises, flashing light, etc. can cause your bun axiety. Don't be afraid to lay down the rules for your rabbit's safety!
Snow Globes contain ANTIFREEZE! Be very careful with them. Do not place them close to ledges, where they can fall and break. The liquid is sweet and pets will lick it. It is TOXIC and only takes a very small amount to kill an animal. It is also poisonous to humans.
Up to this day, there is still a common belief that poinsettia leaves are generally poisonous when ingested. It is believed that these holiday decorative plants are poisonous, and countless people have stayed away from the plant along with their pets, including rabbits.
Poinsettia leaves have a bitterness to it that may deter animals or pets from eating them. However, rabbits, in particular, do not mind the bitter taste and still consume them. The leaves contain a milky sap that is irritating to the skin, mouth, and lining of the gastrointestinal tract. You may think that this can lead to poisoning.
However, in 23 years of studying the effects of poinsettia leaves consumption in animals, it turns out that it is not poisonous or harmful to the rabbits. The milky sap generates an adverse reaction to the lining of the digestive tract of the animal that causes mild to moderate stomach upset.
We recommend that you keep them out of reach anyway to avoid your rabbit from getting an upset stomach.
Have a wonderful holiday!
The AARR Board
Perhaps surprisingly mistletoe is poisonous to rabbits, the internationally known Viscum album is all kinds of toxic to rabbits.
So you should take it away from this fellow!
Mistletoes contains glycoprotein lectins that inhibit protein synthesis, leading to cell death, in addition to toxins that act as cardiac depressants.
If large volumes are eaten, it can cause a drop in the heart rate and blood pressure. If any mistletoe was ingested and your rabbit is lethargic and depressed, you should go to the vet immediately. Most cases are mild GI upset only.