Those of us with rabbit family members know that rabbits aren't just for Easter anymore—they are a joy any day of the year.

Outside Rabbit? Don't FALL for it!

Cool days and falling leaves make us want to savor the last of the pleasures of summer and perhaps share it with our rabbits. However, bringing a bunny outdoors to romp in the leaves is never a good idea, and even bringing leaves inside for them to play in can be extremely dangerous, too.

Poisonous plants

Before allowing your rabbit to eat or come in contact with any plant, you should be aware of the plants that are toxic to rabbits. Here's the House Rabbit Society list. Anything brought in can also carry harmful pesticides and fertilizers. Although we see squirrels collecting acorns, both acorns and oak leaves are toxic to our bunnies. Many plants found in yards all over Long Island are also on the list including azaleas, many ivies and evergreens, and the bark, twigs and leaves of cherry trees, to name just a few. Mold found on autumn leaves is also extremely toxic to rabbits.

Dangers from backyard wildlife

Leaves can harbor fleas and ticks. Perhaps the most deadly parasite is raccoon roundworm: rabbits who ingest leaves or grass where infected raccoons have visited are at risk.

We never advocate bringing a rabbit outdoors since they can easily fall prey to cats, dogs, raccoons and predatory birds in our area. They can be literally frightened to death even if they aren't touched, or severely injured trying to flee. It only takes a minute.

We can enrich our companion rabbits' lives with toys as simple as an empty toilet paper roll stuffed with hay or a pile of junk mail to dig through—safer by far than the outdoor offerings of fall. Coming soon are safe ways to share the holidays with your rabbits and good sources for toys for your furry kids.

Other LIRRG articles:

Rabbits for all Seasons, Winter: How to Have a Hoppy Holiday

Rabbits for all Seasons, Spring: There is no Retirement Home for unwanted Easter bunnies

Rabbits for all Seasons, Summer: Beware of Heat Stroke and Fly Strike