Introduction by Amy (that's me)
Well, not everyone celebrates Xmas, but I can't think of many bunny hazards relating to either Hanukkah or Kwanzaa (except knocked-over lit candles, or perhaps a small dreidel disaster). But Xmas has those darn trees and all those glitzy decorations and there are lots of things to watch out for.
One great suggestion that someone on one of my bunny lists came up with: circle the bottom of the tree with 3-foot high shutters, all hinged to form a circle. The presents and cords can be safely hidden inside and it would look gorgeous! Just remember to leave the wood unfinished or stain it with food colouring, in case (in case??) your bunnies decide to sample it.
In our household, we celebrate two holidays. We have a 3-foot tree we put on a table and string the cords out of the bunnies' reach. No tinsel for us, of course. And I check daily for plastic tree needles that may have dropped within bunny range. The electric menorah (I just love them...they're so tacky!) goes in the front window where they can't get at it at all.
My thanks to Lynn Bandura who wrote this month's RabbitRant. It will give you lots of things to think about when it comes to setting up for the holidays.
These are probably the most dangerous part of the tree and of those, tinsel is the worst if ingested. Today's tinsel is made of tough plastic made to look metallic and has a high likelihood of being lethal if ingested.
I don't know if they still make it, but angel hair could likely be another problem. Tho' I don't know for sure, it looks and feels suspiciously like fiberglas and couldn't be good for anybody's/anybunny's digestive tract.
The lights and wiring are a definite electrocution/fire hazard. If the bun chews on the wiring when the lights are on, electrocution is a possibility. Even if chewed when they're off, it could cause a short that would lead to a fire once the lights are on.
Most other ornaments have a potential for problems if ingested. Remember, they aren't designed/regulated with the possiblility of anything eating them in mind.
We've all wondered if eating the needles of real trees is harmless or dangerous, but remember that artificial trees are made of plastics and should also be considered. Any tree that can fall or be pulled down onto a bun could be trouble, so secure it extra, extra well.
For real trees, there are 3 unseen possible (not necessarily probable) potential chemical hazards. The person selling the trees is so far removed from the producers that the likelihood of them being able to answer truthfully whether or not any are on the tree you buy is remote, to say the least.
So, in my over-cautious, ever-fearful opinion, the best thing is to either cut the tree yourself from a place you *know* hasn't been treated with anything, or put up appropriate barriers.
Disclaimer: Amy is not a vet. She is a person who loves rabbits. Please consult a qualified rabbit veterinarian when making any changes that will affect your rabbit.