The holidays are the perfect time to show your loved ones just how much you care, and that fuzzy feeling extends to our furry best friends, as well. If you’re a first-time rabbit owner, you might be wondering about Christmas gifts for rabbits. Luckily for you, there are plenty of fun and exciting ways to share the holiday spirit with your pet rabbit. Check out these suggestions from Nancy LaRoche, chapter manager of the Colorado House Rabbit Society, to help you get started.
Christmas Gifts For Rabbits
While acidophilus tablets won’t necessarily help your rabbit’s digestive system in the same way that they do for humans, they are a great low-sugar treat to offer. LaRoche suggests breaking them into four pieces and offering them one at a time. “Rabbits are more interested in how many treats they get than the size of the treat,” she says.
Toys They Can Chew
Your pet rabbit likely loves anything they can chew, so pick up a few toys that are safe for bunnies. Peter’s Woven Grass Ball stimulates your pet rabbit’s natural desire to play and chew inside or outside the hutch. Switch up the textures with the Kaytee Nut Knot Nibbler, a wooden puzzle toy that encourages healthy chewing and playing.
Bunnies love spots to curl up and relax in, so a cardboard hideaway makes a great option. For a quiet retreat that also doubles as a healthy, high-fiber treat, try Oxbow Timothy Club’s Bungalow Small Animal Hideout.
A New Cage
If your pet rabbit could use a new home, the holidays are a perfect time to pick out a quality abode. LaRoche recommends rabbit cages with shelves or multiple levels, so your rabbit can jump up and down between them freely. Avoid slippery ramps and ones constructed with metal containing zinc; rabbits enjoy chewing on the bars of their crate and can be poisoned by the zinc. The Trixie Small Animal Hutch with Outdoor Run is a good option, and don’t forget to fill it with safe bedding like CareFresh Complete Small Animal Paper Bedding, and provide healthy food, like Oxbow Western Timothy Hay Small Animal Food.
This option won’t be for everyone, but if you’ve found that your pet rabbit really brings you joy, you might consider getting him or her a partner. Keep in mind that you can’t expect your rabbit to like every rabbit you might introduce him or her to, says LaRoche, so find a reliable rabbit adoption place that can pair rabbits properly and that can offer a variety of choices until you find one compatible with your current rabbit. Also remember to always get your pet rabbits spayed or neutered.
Playtime With You
For a gift that will keep giving throughout the year—for both you and your pet rabbit—start a play routine that will keep your pet rabbit active and happy. LaRoche suggests one that involves treats, as they are a great way to your pet bunny’s heart. Put any kind of treat—like greens, acidophilus tablets or a small amount of alfalfa—into a paper bag, then roll it up and tie with raffia. At around the same time every day, drop the rolled-up sack where your rabbit can see it. “They’ll investigate and tear it to shreds to get every little bit of treat,” says LaRoche. “As they get accustomed to this happening around the same time every day, and begin anticipating it, put them in a crate or carrier, covered with a towel, and quietly put the sack on the floor, then let the rabbits find it.” Once your pet rabbit really gets the hang of the game, you can even start hiding the treat behind furniture to introduce a new fun element.
Holiday Gift Hazards for Your Pet Rabbit
There are plenty of ways to spoil your pet rabbit this holiday season, but you’ll want to keep a few things in mind when it comes to your rabbit’s health. “Avoid anything made with zinc or with zinc in it,” cautions LaRoche. You’ll also want to shy away from commercial wrapping paper and ribbons for wrapping presents for your pet rabbit. “It may not look as enticing to you as wrapping paper, but newspaper will be a lot more fun, and safer, for your rabbit,” LaRoche says. “Also avoid using slick magazine paper for anything you give rabbits, as the inks have heavy metals in them. Cardboard and newspaper are just fine.”
Keeping your pet rabbit happy and healthy will be important for you for the duration of his life. Use this holiday season to give a Christmas gift for rabbits to spoil your new bunny and show him how much you care.
Cheryl Lock is a writer and editor who lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, daughter and cat, Penny. Her work has appeared in dozens of newspapers, magazines and websites, and she’s written about everything from pets and politics to parenting, travel and food. Find more of her work at CherylLock.com, or follow her passion for travel on her blog at WearyWanderer.com.