If you are an owner of a rabbit, you have possibly noticed that they will eat just about anything you give to them. This is because rabbits are herbivores, meaning they should have a diet that consists of only fiber-rich foods.
The central portion of your rabbit’s diet should be hay, and you should offer them fruits as a treat once or twice a week. Of course, you can give some fruits like apples to your rabbit whenever. However, some fruits should be given in moderation or not at all. So, can rabbits eat regular and dried cranberries?
It is perfectly safe for your rabbit to eat cranberries as a treat. However, these fruits have a lot of acid in them, which can irritate your rabbit’s digestive system. In addition, when it comes to dried cranberries, they typically have a lot of sugar that is added to them. Cranberries have a high amount of natural sugar by themselves, so the extra sugar is not very healthy for your rabbit. You can still feed them to your rabbit, but provide them as a rare treat, about once every week or two.
As you continue to read this article, we will be discussing just how healthy it is for your rabbit to eat cranberries. Along with that, this article will also provide you with a myriad of other fruits you can give your rabbit as a treat.
Is It Okay If My Rabbit Eats Cranberries?
While eating dried cranberries or even regular cranberries is not the healthiest snack for your rabbit, it will not kill them either. Even if your rabbit has gotten into a lot of cranberries, the worst thing that would happen is they would get a tummy ache. Their cranberry-induced tummy ache will pass in a day or two at the most.
It is perfectly okay to give your rabbit a couple of cranberries as a treat once every week or two. However, if your rabbit has a particular taste for dried cranberries, try to find a sugar-free pack. You want to look for sugar-free dried cranberries because tons of sugar is added to dried cranberries to make them taste better. Not only that, but cranberries have tons of natural sugar in them as is.
Giving your rabbit a lot of sugar is not suitable for their health and can lead to weight gain and digestive issues. Feeding your rabbit lots of sugary foods might also discourage them from eating foods that are naturally healthy for them. This is why it is okay to give your rabbit cranberries as a rare treat. However, there are much more nutritious alternatives, so it might be wise to drop the cranberries from their diet entirely.
Can Rabbits Eat Dried Fruits?
There are much healthier dried fruit alternatives to feed your rabbit than cranberries. Your rabbit might enjoy snacking on dried apples, mangos, or pineapples. All of which are healthier and just as tasty.
Raisins are another great alternative to dried cranberries and are widely available. Raisins are possibly the healthiest dried fruit to give your rabbit. They are packed with vitamins and minerals and a good amount of fiber that your bunny needs to digest things properly.
Something to keep in mind is that all dried fruit typically comes with heaps of added sugar. So if you want to feed your rabbit dried fruit as a snack, look for sugar-free options. This is just as important for raisins as it is for dried cranberries. Grapes like cranberries are packed with natural sugar, although not as much. Thus grapes and raisins should be given as a treat sparingly.
What Should I Feed My Rabbit?
When it comes to the regular diet of your rabbit, the most important thing is fiber. Rabbits are herbivores and only eat plants. With that said, the most important thing you need to be feeding your rabbit is hay.
Hay should make up 80% or more of your rabbit’s daily diet. There are many different kinds of hay, some that are healthy and others should be avoided. Most veterinarians recommend that you feed your rabbit Timothy hay because it is good, well-rounded hay available year-round.
Timothy hay is an excellent choice for a few reasons. It has a mix of leaves and stems from timothy grass giving your bunny a few different textures while they eat. Timothy grass works excellent for rabbits with delicate digestive systems and provides tons of fiber. Not only is timothy hay full of all the needed fiber your rabbit needs, but it is also very low in protein, which is the perfect mix for your rabbit’s digestive tract. Timothy hay is also low in calcium and is better suited for fully grown rabbits.
What Vegetables Can I Feed My Rabbit?
There are many other types of hay that you can feed your rabbit, and they all have their pros and cons. But rabbits will love eating some fruits and vegetables on occasion. So when it comes to your rabbit’s favorite food, look no further than some healthy vegetables.
Adult rabbits should not be given more than two cups of fresh veggies each day. Dwarf breeds and rabbits weighing less than five pounds should consume no more than one cup of fresh vegetables each day. It is best to use a variety of two or three veggies. Add one new vegetable at a time, and keep an eye out for loose stool or diarrhea. Rabbits have sensitive stomachs, and changing up their diet too often can lead to some digestive issues.
Most vegetables that you can buy at your local grocery store are perfectly healthy for your rabbit to eat. However, there are a few exceptions to this. For example, your rabbit should never eat potatoes, beans, corn, seeds, or nuts. These foods can be pretty difficult for your rabbit to digest and can cause blockages and other serious problems in their digestive system.
Here is a small list of vegetables that you can feed your rabbit daily:
- Carrot Tops
- Brussel Sprouts
- Bell Peppers
- Radish Tops
- Bok Choy
- Herbs Including Dill, Mint, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, Oregano
- Lettuces Including Green Leaf, Boston Bibb, Red Leaf, Arugula, Romain
- Sprouts Including Radish, Clover, Alfalfa
Here are some vegetables that can be given to your rabbit. However, they should be given sparingly, no more than one or two times per week.
- Whole Carrots
- Collard Greens
- Dandelion Greens
- Broccoli (stems and leaves only, no stalks)
What Fruits Can I Feed My Rabbit?
Fruits are another food that your rabbit will love eating. However, fruits are high in natural sugars, making your rabbit addicted to them. With that said, fruits should only be fed to your rabbit as treats throughout the week. You can either give them fruits as a small meal or as sparse treats that you give them daily.
Fruits are like junk food for rabbits. Although they are very healthy, feeding your rabbit too many fruits can lead to a few side effects. Firstly, because of the high amounts of sugar in fruits, feeding your rabbit too much fruit can cause your rabbit to gain weight. Obesity in rabbits has its list of adverse effects like difficulty moving, myiasis, bumblefoot, and GI stasis. Furthermore, too many fruits can make your rabbit addicted, causing them to turn away from the healthier foods that they should be eating instead.
You can do a lot of cool things with fruits. For example, giving your rabbit an apple slice or a grape at the beginning of the day when you wake up is a fantastic way to form a bond with your bunny. Not only that but some rabbits can be taught tricks with the use of fruits as treats. Much like dogs and other animals, giving them a super tasty snack for doing a task will teach them how to do something and increase the strength of your bond with them.
There is a standard rule when it comes to giving your rabbits fruits. When feeding your rabbit fruits, the maximum you should give them is 1 to 2 tablespoons per day at max. This is equivalent to a slice of apple or pear and up to 2 grapes.
With that said, here is a list of healthy fruits that you can give your rabbit as treats.
- Berries Including Blueberries, Strawberries, Cranberries, Blackberries, Raspberries
One thing to remember with fruit is to take out all seeds. As previously stated, sources are a no-go food for rabbits. Too many seeds can lead to serious health issues. However, fruit like bananas and strawberries that have tiny seeds pose little to no health risks. Just be sure to feed fruits to your rabbit in moderation.
What Foods Should I Avoid Feeding My Rabbit?
As with all animals, there will be food that you should avoid feeding them. Some can be poisonous to them, while others do not agree with their digestive system.
Below is a list of foods that you should avoid feeding your rabbit.
- All Beans
- Iceberg Lettuce
- All Nuts
- Dairy Products
- Turnip Greens
Rabbits have a very sensitive stomach and should eat hay as a considerable portion of their diet. However, it is perfectly safe to give your rabbit a cup or 2 of vegetables as a meal per day. Fruits are also healthy to give your bunny. However, because of their natural sugar, they should be given in small amounts.
When it comes to dried fruits like cranberries, go for brands that add no extra sugar to their mix. However, you can remove dried fruits from your rabbit’s diet altogether.