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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Bunny Holiday Hazards,Tips for a safe holiday season
Last Post by Brad T at 12/05/2010 8:49 PM (39 Replies)
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User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
11/28/2006 2:56 PM

This article from Ontario Rabbit Education Organization has some good advice for keeping your bunnies safe this holiday season.

This is the season of ribbons and bows, mistletoe and lights, and holiday cakes and goodies. This is a wonderful time of year, but did you know that many of the decorations and treats of the holiday season may pose a threat to your rabbit? Below are some tips to help ensure a happy and healthy holiday season for your rabbit.

Christmas Tree Hazards
It is very difficult to keep Christmas tree lights and decorations, which are irresistible to many rabbits, out of your rabbit's reach. We recommend blocking off the area around your tree with decorative fencing.
See http://members.aol.com/Mombeanie/ph...ery3.html, and the photo to the right, for a festive way to keep your rabbit away from your tree. Real pine Christmas trees that have not been treated with fire retardant spray are safe for bunnies to chew; however, note that ingesting pine can turn your rabbit's urine orange. This is normal, and should not be a cause for concern. Do not let your rabbit drink the water in the Christmas tree stand, especially if you put sugar or soft drinks in it to help prevent the tree from losing its needles.

If you cannot block off the area around your Christmas tree, please remember to keep electrical cords out of reach. In addition, some Christmas tree decorations pose a threat to your rabbit. For example:

* Tinsel and garlands are a choking hazard and may cause digestive problems if ingested.

* Be sure to hang breakable ornaments or ornaments with small chewable pieces high on the tree, and out of your bunny's reach. Save hard plastic and wooden ornaments (provided that you do not mind if they are chewed or played with!) for the bottom of the tree.

* Do not string popcorn or dried cranberries around your tree if the tree is not blocked off. A few dried cranberries will not hurt your bunny, but don't let him eat too many. Dried fruit should be considered a treat food (See Fruits and Other Vegetables (Treat Foods) under http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Co...&S=5). Rabbits should not eat popcorn (See Mueslix under http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/treat.html).

Other Holiday Hazards
In addition to your Christmas tree, many holiday treats and other decorations can also be dangerous to your rabbit:

* Pot pourri and holiday treats: Keep pot pourri and bowls of holiday "people treats", such as chocolate and nuts, out of your rabbit's reach. Keep in mind that rabbits can jump onto surfaces such as coffee tables and get to bowls filled with holiday treats and pot pourri! See "Forbidden Foods" in http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Co...3&S=5.

* Candles: Do not leave burning candles on coffee tables and other surfaces that your rabbit can jump on to. In addition to being a burn hazard, according to a recent study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 40 percent of candles on the market contain lead wires inside their wicks (usually scented candles), and aromatherapy candles made of paraffin (a petroleum by-product) release carcinogenic soot when burned. See http://www.realmoney.org/articles/candles.htm for more information.  NOTE FROM BINKYBUNNY - Since the above link seems to be broken, here is another helpful link http://findarticles.com/p/articles/...i_66918312

* As with all houseplants, keep holiday plants out of your rabbits reach, and take care to pick up fallen leaves. Some Christmas plants, such as holly and mistletoe, are poisonous. Poinsettias are not poisonous, but may cause stomach discomfort if ingested. See: http://www.rabbit.org/care/poinsettia.html.

* Wrapping paper, ribbons and tape: Ingesting ribbons and tape can be dangerous to your rabbit. Plain white tissue paper is safe for chewing, but your rabbit should not be allowed to consume quantities of other kinds of wrapping paper, especially shiny or foil wrap.

What's all the Hub-bub?
Rabbits love routine, which may be disrupted by holiday parties and the arrival of holiday guests. It is important to try to stick to your rabbit's routine as much as possible. Some rabbits may be bothered more by excessive noise than a disruption in routine. For such rabbits, consider moving the cage out of excessively noisy or busy areas. Keep a close eye on your rabbit - it is even easier to miss subtle symptoms that can indicate illness during the busy holiday season. Finally, always remember to never give a pet as a gift. If that special someone wants a pet as a gift, please adopt a friend from your local shelter after the holidays, when your home is less stressful and you are less busy.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season from the Ontario Rabbit Education Organization.

Please feel free to share any other ideas or suggestions you may have



~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline jacki fullerton
San Francisco
80 posts Send Private Message
12/09/2006 5:35 AM
Thanks for this information, graveheated. Noble loves to poke around the Christmas tree, he especially likes to hide under it and chew on the packages and pine needles. I try to keep him away from it, but he is so curious, he can't help himself.



User is Offline dmh426
Syracuse, New York
435 posts Send Private Message
12/09/2006 5:21 PM
So a holiday tradition growing up is one that I have kept as a single woman. I string popcorn for my tree every year. You have no idea how long it takes to do in one night if you are doing it alone. It was discovered last year during Sophie's first Christmas that she LOOOOOVES popcorn.  So picture this- I come into my living room last year from putting in a load of laundry and Sophie has dragged the popcorn strand off the bottom of the tree and it is wrapped around her as she is laying there quietly munching away. Ahhh. Still have the popcorn strand this year, but I sprayed pine air freshener around the tree skirt and she stay far away from it.



User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
12/09/2006 9:48 PM
I'm glad the air freshener worked!

I was thinking about making a wreath this Christmas, and got lazy and just bought one.  I'm sure a wreath wouldn't have taken that long, so I can't even imagine how long it would take to make a string of popcorn to go around the tree.  Do you do in sugar coating on it? Ya know like carmel, or cherry?  YUMMY!!

My husband and I usually make a whole boat load of cookes - usually over 300 to give away.  It's a recipe that was passed down from his mother, and they are the BEST sugar cookies.  Melt in your mouth, heavenly!  Everyone we give them too freaks out because they are so good.  

I am glad something yummy came from his side of the family because my side of the family....eh...let's just say are challenged  in that area, and they have passed down these stunted cooking skills to me. 

During my single days, I remember I had a tree with three ornaments on it, a black sheep, a white sheep, and a typewriter with a Christmas mouse on it.  Boy, what a sad state.  So I envy you! : )



User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
12/10/2006 7:28 AM
We were going to get a little tree and put it on a stool so that way Fujoe couldn't get to it... well, they ran out of little trees... so.. we got a big one- like 6 1/2-7 feet : D

Found out that Fujoe loves eating it.. We cut off most of the bottom branches, but he'll stand up on his back legs, grab onto a branch and start pulling... what an odd rabbit.. We covered up the stand with a cloth so he can't get to the water, that and we had to hang the surge protector really high.. He would run out of his cage in the morning and starting pulling at the lights near the plug. always doing something that Fujoe..



User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2093 posts Send Private Message
12/21/2006 10:12 AM
DJ and Curly Sue are fascinated by the tree, DJ in particular. He is doing the same as Fujoe, standing on his hind legs to browse the lower branches of the tree. He snagged a mouthful of Pointsettia too. The two of them like laying curled around the tree stand, back legs out, contemplating the state of the world.



User is Offline Anita Stark
Ontario, Canada
200 posts Send Private Message
12/21/2006 2:27 PM
Last year we bought one of those artificial pre-lit trees.  Dh came up with an interesting, yet attractive setup for it this year.  I tried taking a picture but it came out too dark so I will have to take another shot.  Anyways, before we moved into this house, I used to keep my knitting yarn in a big wooden box.  When we moved here I graduated to rubbermaid bins on shelving and the box was relegated to being used to store knick knacks like wrapping paper and ornaments.

I'm not sure what he used as the supporting surface but I came back from a weekend away to find he had set the tree into the top of this box which he had put in the corner of the living room.  It is much too high for Sable to jump onto and we actually get to enjoy a fuller view of the tree because it isn't obscured by the furniture.


Sable's Mom

User is Offline BB Administrator
Geekville
BB Webmaster
343 posts Send Private Message
11/10/2007 7:29 PM
The holidays are approaching so I'm bumping this up from last year and pinning it! If you have any great holiday safety tips and advice to add, or any questions and concerns about holiday hazards, post 'em here!


Fixes Stuff. Thinks about Fixing stuff. Dreams about fixing stuff. Is it fixed yet?

User is Offline medinaserpa
Philomath, OR
248 posts Send Private Message
11/11/2007 9:02 AM
Does eating the needles from the tree harm them? What is in the water that they can't drink?



User is Offline MooBunnay
Dallas, Texas (Allen)
3088 posts Send Private Message
11/11/2007 10:42 AM
This will be my first Christmas with bunnies - so thanks for posting the tips! I'm sure that every single one of my mischevious bunnies is going to try to eat the darned tree...probably the ornaments too...and probably the gifts...and anything else they can get their teeth around! I'm excited to make them all some bunny stockings though, and I have a real fireplace so I'll be able to hang them up!



User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
11/11/2007 11:23 AM
Posted By medinaserpa on 11/11/2007 12:02 PM
Does eating the needles from the tree harm them? What is in the water that they can't drink?



The water bowl for live trees is what they should not be drinking out of. Many times there are additives that people put in it to keep the tree alive and fresh for longer that is not good for bunnies (even if it's natural like sugar) , as well as it can get old and mildewish if it's just be refilled over and over.  Okay for the tree, not okay for bunnies.

Regarding the needles.  There are actually two different answers for that.  You can search the net and find out that there are claims of pine needles puncturing a bunny's intestines, but several of my rabbit savvy vets have said, that since they chew the needles up, it shouldn't be a problem. (or at least they haven't seen it to be a problem in during all of their years of practice) 

so my personal choice is -  I have let my bunnies chew on a a few but I usually don't let them go crazy with the tree. 

 




User is Offline medinaserpa
Philomath, OR
248 posts Send Private Message
11/11/2007 2:44 PM
Oh also I was wondering about the candles. I am using the scented one like posted above they are being kept up high, but I notice that Coney keeps sniffing when they are being burned. My question is, is there something in the scents that is bad for them to breath? Is it the new smells that is causing him to sniff all the time? I like to use the christmas smelling kinds.



User is Offline Tracy
St. Pete Fl.
111 posts Send Private Message
11/11/2007 2:55 PM
last year Mr. Man would just run around the base of the tree and just bat at the lower ornaments. But about a week before I took the tree down He would not go near it...well I found out why. There was a snake in my tree...not a big one but enough to keep Mr. Man at bay.



User is Offline Tracy
St. Pete Fl.
111 posts Send Private Message
11/11/2007 2:57 PM

oh....here is Mr. Man...Loved Him so much


1111157424471.jpg


User is Offline BB Administrator
Geekville
BB Webmaster
343 posts Send Private Message
11/11/2007 4:39 PM
Posted By medinaserpa on 11/11/2007 5:44 PM
Oh also I was wondering about the candles. I am using the scented one like posted above they are being kept up high, but I notice that Coney keeps sniffing when they are being burned. My question is, is there something in the scents that is bad for them to breath? Is it the new smells that is causing him to sniff all the time? I like to use the christmas smelling kinds.


Actually the whole scented candle thing has been a learning lesson for me too, as I love scented candles.  I will be choosing ones made from soy from now on.  I guess the reason that many candles (scented and unscented) are not good is because they are made with paraffin wax and when it burns, the soot that goes out into the air covers our floors, walls, furniture, and it's that residue of soot that is not good for our bunnies....and us. (as well as what is still in the air is not good either)  But since bunnies hang on on the floor and then they clean themselves, their feet, their fur with their mouth, they would be more likely to digest the stuff.  Here is an article that explains it in detail http://findarticles.com/p/articles/...i_66918312

To research it more you can just put it paraffin wax vs soy wax, and you'll get a plethora of information.

Here's a site that I found which was helpful in explaining it in easy to understand terms. http://www.aromaticalternatives.com...bsp;  Of course, they also sell Soy candles, so they'll give you a reason why to buy soy, but the articles they supply are informative anyway.

Hope that helps!  OH, by the way...this is BINKYBUNNY - I'm just in admin mode, and realized that after I wrote up and posted this.

 



Fixes Stuff. Thinks about Fixing stuff. Dreams about fixing stuff. Is it fixed yet?

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
11/11/2007 4:58 PM
Posted By tracy on 11/11/2007 5:55 PM
last year Mr. Man would just run around the base of the tree and just bat at the lower ornaments. But about a week before I took the tree down He would not go near it...well I found out why. There was a snake in my tree...not a big one but enough to keep Mr. Man at bay.



WAIT, hold the boat!  What? What do you mean you had a snake in your tree?  Now THAT's a new one for me.




User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
11/11/2007 11:02 PM
holy cow - a snake in a christmas tree??! that's scary!!! i wonder if it was in the tree when they cut it down? or was it like a pet snake that escaped?


~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline Tracy
St. Pete Fl.
111 posts Send Private Message
11/12/2007 1:16 AM
no...not a pet and it was in a FAKE christmas tree. I grabbed its tail thinking it was a string, a black string that the cat had. and when it pulled from my hand I jumped a mile and screamed.... soon after that it was a dead snake under my broom!



User is Offline Tracy
St. Pete Fl.
111 posts Send Private Message
11/12/2007 1:21 AM
...by the way has anyone seen the wild rabbit attack the snake on Youtube...very funny



User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
11452 posts Send Private Message
11/12/2007 5:07 AM
I have seen that youtube video...Everyone always says if Kokanee came accross a snake she would do the same (tree the snake) because she takes guff from no one!
I seriously cannot believe you had a snake in your tree??!! Especially a fake tree!

Thanks for all the holiday tips! I had no idea pointsietta wasn't poisonous! I am pretty lucky in a way, we always had dogs growing up, so we really never have anything hazardous for pets (like tinsel or pointsietta or candles or popcorn)... Also now that I live on my own, I really don't decorate as we spend so much time at my mum's or my boyfriends mom's house!


Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart
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