Rabbits can do a lot of damage to your garden. As they need plenty of space to run around, letting them roam freely around your garden is probably something that you are keen to do. You need to ensure that not only are you keeping your rabbit safe, but you are also looking after your garden. 

(Some of these tips can also work for protecting your garden against wild rabbits that are destroying your plants!)

 

Remove anything dangerous  

Whilst you might want to let your rabbit roam around freely there are a few hazards in the garden that you need to protect them from. First of all, remove anything dangerous from the garden such as things that could fall on or injure your bunny!  

Rabbits love to graze on grass but you need to remember that if you cut the grass, don’t give your rabbit any of the grass cuttings as they can rot and upset their stomach.

You may be worried that your bun won't only be grazing on grass, but on your plants too. So, you should fill your garden with plenty of rabbit friendly plants that they can nibble on throughout the day. 

 

They will need some good quality hay to munch on so take a look at the different variations of hay that we offer. 

 

 

Poisonous plants you should keep away from

Rabbits can be very curious creatures, and so they will be tempted to chew anything in their way. But not everything that they eat outside will be safe. You should really have an idea of what plants might be harmful. 

Not all plants are toxic to rabbits, some are perfectly safe, and some may cause a mild upset stomach. However, many are life-threatening if ingested by a bunny. So, it is important that you can recognise the symptoms of plant poisoning as well as know which plants are more likely to be harmful. 

Some general points to remember are that anything that grows from a bulb should be considered as dangerous to rabbits, for example, garlic bulbs are known to be quite toxic. You should also keep rabbits away from almond trees, nuts are not necessarily harmful to rabbits, but they provide them with the wrong balance of nutrients. 

Take a look below at some more plants that are poisonous. This is not a complete list however and should be used as a guideline. 

  • Acacia twigs and flowers
  • Anemone
  • Antirrhinum
  • Apricot twigs and seed kernels
  • Arum
  • Azalea - twigs and all parts
  • Beans - any type
  • Bluebell
  • Brugmansia (aka Angel Trumpet)
  • Bryony
  • Buttercup
  • Celandine
  • Convolvulus (aka Morning Glory)
  • Daffodil
  • Dahlia
  • Delphinium (aka Larkspur)
  • Evergreens
  • Feverfew
  • Flowering Elder
  • Foxglove
  • Hemlock
  • Holly twigs
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris
  • Ivy-any part
  • Lilly of the Valley
  • Lupine
  • Mistle Toe
  • Monkshood flowers
  • Oleander-all parts
  • Peach seed kernels and twigs
  • Periwinkle
  • Plum twigs, seeds, and leaves (fruit flesh is fine)
  • Poppy
  • Primrose
  • Rhubarb
  • Roseweed
  • Snowberry
  • Snowdrop
  • Spindleberry
  • Sprouts-potato
  • Tomato-leaves
  • Tulip
  • Wax plant
  • Wisteria 

 

Symptoms of plant poisoning 

If you see your rabbit eating a potentially dangerous plant, then you should call the vet immediately – don’t wait for symptoms to appear. But, if you haven’t been watching your bunny's every move, then you might not have seen them eating a poisonous plant, which means you won’t know unless they start to show symptoms. 

You know your rabbit best and can tell when something is wrong, but some plant toxicity symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea or blood in their poo
  • Seizures
  • Not eating
  • Drooling
  • Pale gums

 

Rabbit repellent

If you love rabbits, you might wonder what the harm is in letting wild rabbits roam around your garden. But wild rabbits can be aggressive as they are very difficult to tame, and they also carry harmful diseases that can be passed onto you and your bunnies. 

The best thing to do to protect yourself, your bunny and the wild rabbit is to use safe rabbit repellent which you can spray over your garden and on your plants. There are many rabbit repellents that you can find online, but your best bet is to go for something natural. 

For example, rabbits don’t like the smell of chilli. You can make your own repellent if you mix chilli with garlic powder. Add some water to the mixture and leave it for a couple of days. Then you can strain it and add some drops of dishwashing soap. If you pour the mixture into a spray bottle you can spray your plants. 

Another simple yet effective way to keep rabbits out of your garden is to soak corn cobs in vinegar and leave them around the perimeter of your garden.

 

Keeping rabbits out with fencing 

The simplest way to keep wild rabbits out of your garden, and keep your bunnies in, is with fencing. We recommend using a metre high chicken wire fence (with another 6 inches buried in the soil). 

The fencing will deter wild rabbits but if you have your own bunnies then you need to rethink the mesh fence. As wild rabbits carry diseases, they could pass them on via nose-to-nose contact through the mesh. You could build another fence beyond it to ensure that the wild rabbits don’t get close enough. 

 

Find out more

There’s a lot more to learn about rabbits so keep an eye out for more advice, how to’s and fact files on rabbit care.

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