The holidays can be full of hustle and bustle. Make sure
your home is safe for your rabbit by remembering these
- Natural, untreated Christmas trees are usually not dangerous to rabbits. Be sure to check for treatments including colorants, flocking, pesticides or fire retardant. Often you can be most assured of this information when purchasing a tree from a "tree farm." The people there will likely be very familiar with their product.
- Eating the needles and wood will leave them with pine-
fresh breath, but doesn't pose a serious danger. This is also true for poinsettias; while ingesting a fair amount of this plant may cause mild stomach upset (which is true for just about any item not in any animal's normal diet), there is no serious danger.
- Consider natural decorations for your tree, and/or make
decorations from non-toxic items found around the house
and in craft stores. With animals in the home, it's the
perfect time to make construction paper garland, string
popcorn and cranberries into garland and using pinecones
- Christmas lights can pose a serious danger if your rabbit has access to chew on the wires. If wires are exposed, cover them in split-flex.
- Don't use tinsel, the thin strips of colored silver, gold or other colors. These small strands are really attractive to pets of all types for some reason, and can cause serious problems if ingested. Likewise, avoid leaving strips of string or ribbon around; while many items can be chewed and ingested, the ingestion of a long string of matter can pose serious problems in the intestines that requires surgery. Some sources recommend leaving ribbons off of packages completely if pets could have access to them.
- To improve safety, you can place a smaller tree on a
table or other piece of furniture such as a sideboard or
chest. The last time we had a tree in our home, we bought
a small 4 ft variety and placed it in the center of our dining room table, laying the presents on the table.
Another option that will provide the highest level of safety while freeing you to decorate with all the lights and glass you wish is to restrict your rabbit's access to the tree. You can set up an x-pen around the tree to keep bunny out, or place the tree in a room that your bunny doesn't have access to. This is sometimes tough, for of course you want the tree in a high traffic area... and you want bunny there too! But, it's an option.