During warmer weather, it is exciting and fun to let your rabbit have more freedom by exploring your garden. However making your outside area safe and secure for your rabbit can be a bit of a challenge. By following our top tips you can minimise the dangers both to your bunny and to your garden by rabbit proofing!
However good a job you do at rabbit proofing your garden, we recommend that you do not leave your rabbit unsupervised at any time. You may lose sight of them in amongst the plants, but if left for any length of time on their own, rabbits are instinctively curious and will always be driven to try to get out. We also recommend microchipping rabbits just like dogs and cats, then at least if the unthinkable happens and bunny escapes, you have a much better chance of finding them.
Secure all boundaries
The first thing to consider is the perimeter of your garden. Rabbits will be constantly testing the boundary so make sure there are no gaps anywhere! They can squeeze through surprisingly small spaces. They will also burrow and dig underneath fences and hedges, so consider sinking wire mesh into the ground if your rabbit is going to spend a lot of time in your garden. Rabbits can bite through fine gauge chicken wire, so use heavy duty mesh instead.
Don’t forget the gate
You will need to put wire mesh across any rabbit sized gaps under gates. Sometimes gates don’t close well so make sure yours is secure and possibly fit a lock so that no one can come in inadvertently letting bunny out.
Fence off areas you want to keep your rabbit away from
Use small gauge wire mesh to fence off areas such as vegetable patches or special flower beds. You cannot expect your bunny to know which your prize plants are! Sharp teeth can strip bark from trees and shrubs within minutes, and you should also be aware of any plants in your garden that might be poisonous to your rabbit. Either fence them off, or preferably don’t have any!
Rabbits can jump and climb
Rabbits are good climbers so beware of any escape routes over walls or old tree stumps that you may not have considered.
Provide shelter and safe places for your bunny to hide
If your bunny feels safe, then they will be less likely to feel the need to burrow or dig to make their own safe place. It is natural for a rabbit to try to hide themselves away from the threat of any predators, even if you know there aren’t any, they do not.
Put away anything that may fall on your rabbits
They are inquisitive creatures and will investigate stacked furniture, garden tools etc. and in doing so could hurt themselves if these things fell on them.
Lock away any garden chemicals such as weed killers and insecticides
Make sure toxic chemicals that could be harmful to your bunny, have not been used in the garden. Make sure all garden chemicals are out of reach and preferably locked away, so bunny cannot come to any harm.
Do a sweep of the garden before you let them out
Clear any rubbish, cigarette butts, and other general debris from your garden. Rabbits will chew anything and everything and can make themselves very poorly if they eat such things!