I don’t know about you, but rabbits are one of my favorite animals. They are cuddly, cute, and often enjoy being held. Feeding a Rabbit isn’t as complicated as it may seem, but it does require a bit of research beforehand. Rabbits enjoy a wide variety of foods, but it’s important to understand what they can and cannot eat.
Can Rabbits Eat Strawberries?
Yes, fresh strawberries are perfectly safe for Rabbits but should be given in moderation. Rabbits love Strawberries and strawberries can be a regular part of a rabbit’s diet. They should be given as treats and limited to 1-3 tablespoons per day for an adult rabbit.
Rabbits need to have a well-rounded diet. Fruits are completely acceptable, including strawberries, but only if the rabbit is eating other nutritious foods. In this article, we will go over rabbit nutrition and diet. We’ll also look at the type of nutrition rabbits require and go over other safe fruit and vegetables for rabbits.
Too Much Sugar is Bad
Rabbits have a complicated gastrointestinal system and are designed to handle foods that are high in fiber. They are also sensitive to sugar and put on weight very easily. Many fruits are low in fiber and high in sugar. The higher the fiber content the better the fruit is for the rabbit.
Rabbits aren’t designed to regularly digest foods high in carbohydrates. Anything that has a lot of sugar and is high on the glycemic index should be given in limited quantities. This includes all fruit and starchy vegetable like carrots, which they love.
Rabbits can become sick, relatively quickly, if they do not have proper nutrition in their diet. Too much sugar and not enough fiber can cause them to become overweight, anemic, and lead to further complications down the road.
As a guide and not a rule, you want to limit your rabbit’s intake of most fruits to 1 to 3 tablespoons per day, for an adult rabbit.
One of the problems with fruits and starchy vegetables is that rabbits love them so much that they can develop a preference for them over other, less starchy food. Too much fruit can cause rabbits to become picky eaters and reject the food that is needed to maintain health.
Feeding Strawberries To Your Rabbit
As mentioned already, strawberries need to be limited to 1-3 tablespoons per day per 5lb’s. This usually equals one medium to large strawberry or two small strawberries. They can be cut up or given to your rabbit whole. If you are incorporating other fruits in your rabbit’s diet then you should rotate the strawberry days with the other fruits.
Strawberries should be rinsed well before given to your rabbit. Make sure there is no mold or rotten areas. They should be as fresh as possible. If you haven’t given strawberries to your rabbit before, wait and see how their eyes light up and the sight, taste, and smell. Rabbits love strawberries!
Rabbits should not eat dried fruit of any kind. This includes dried strawberries and other fruit. It can upset their GI tract and make them sick. Do your rabbit a favor and avoid dried fruits at all costs!
Rabbits Need Fiber
Rabbits need to have a variety of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals in their diet. This is, relatively, simple to do thanks to the pelleted food available these days. The pellets are formulated for rabbits and include most of the nutrition they need but are not an adequate source of fiber. Rabbits do best on a diet that combines pellets, hay, and fresh fruits or vegetables.
Rabbits are herbivores, and like other herbivores, they have to have fiber moving through their G.I. tract daily. If their diet is lacking in fiber it could cause their digestive system to slow down or stop completely. This can lead to health conditions that can be deadly.
Rabbits Should Consume More Hay Than Anything Else
The bulk of a rabbit’s diet should be hay. 75% to 80% of the food they consume everyday needs to be fiber and hay has plenty of it. The regular chewing of hay also prevents rabbits’ teeth from becoming overgrown. They can eat a variety of hay but the most common ones are timothy, oat, coastal, brome, Bahia, and wheat hay.
Since rabbits’ teeth do not stop growing, the chewing of hay grinds their teeth down. Overgrown teeth can be a problem and interfere with your rabbit’s ability to chew food. Hay should be made available at all times for rabbits to chew on. Their teeth should be checked by a vet on their annual check-up.
Can Rabbits Eat Vegetables?
Yes, rabbits can eat vegetables but there is some debate as to which vegetables are harmful and which aren’t. There are some myths associated with feeding vegetables to rabbits that have yet to be proven. It’s frequently said that vegetables give rabbits diarrhea. This is, mostly, untrue. Depending on the person, or the website you are on, you’ll find a variety of contradictory information.
Most vegetables, except for onions, are safe for rabbits but some are better for them than others. Remember, they are herbivores and need a lot of fiber in their diet. Anyone who doesn’t think that rabbits eat vegetables in the wild doesn’t know what they are talking about.
Wild rabbits are programmed to avoid certain foods, such as onions and seeds. Pet rabbits, while they need to be guarded, still have the instinct to avoid the harmful vegetables. I’m not advocating you put an onion in your rabbit’s cage to see what he does but pointing out that the idea that vegetables are bad for rabbits is misinformation
Fresh, leafy green vegetables are the most nutritious, except iceberg lettuce, and are great for rabbits. This includes kale, parsley, basil, mint, and romaine lettuce.
Starch vegetables, like carrots, should be given in moderation.
List of Vegetable Rabbits Can Eat
- Romaine Lettuce
- must be cut up to help them digest the strings
- Broccoli Rabe
A cool trick, if your rabbit isn’t drinking enough water, is to cut up the vegetables and serve them in a dish with some water mixed in at the bottom. Not too much though. They will end up drinking the water with the food as they eat.
Fruits Rabbits Should Avoid
Onions Are Poisonous To Rabbits. Out of all the foods to avoid onions are on the top of the list. Rabbits should not be fed onions under any circumstances. They naturally avoid them but if the onion is sweet enough the rabbit may taste it. Onions can make rabbits sick and can also kill them.
Apple seeds can kill your rabbit. Apples are fine to feed your rabbit but be sure to cut it up and take out the seeds. Apple seeds are poisonous to both humans and rabbits. They may not kill a human but rabbits have been known to die from eating the toxic seeds of Apples. Don’t just throw half an apple in the cage and walk away, take the seeds out first!
Processed and cooked human food can make your rabbit sick. Rabbits aren’t like other animals that can process a variety of foods. They aren’t garbage disposals either and shouldn’t be treated as such. Because of their complicated gastrointestinal makeup, they should not be fed any type of cooked or processed human food. So no feeding leftovers to your rabbit!
Foods To Avoid:
- Apple Seeds
- Seeds of all kinds
- Yogurt & dairy
- Dried Fruit
- Food meant for other animals
- Dog food
- Cat food
- Hamster food
- Bird Seed
- Processed Treats
- Iceberg Lettuce
Can Rabbits Eat Grapes?
Yes! Rabbits love grapes and they make a good treat for them after they have eaten their regular food. They should be given sparingly though since they are high in sugar and low in fiber. 1 or 2 grapes per day, if not giving any other fruit, is a good portion. Be sure to buy seedless grapes! Rabbits and seeds don’t mix well. Also, remember not to feed your rabbit raisins or any other dried fruits.
Can Rabbits Eat Bananas?
Yes, rabbits can eat bananas. As with any fruit, bananas should be given to your rabbit in moderation. 2 to 3 tablespoons should be the maximum daily portion size. You can partially peel a single banana and break small chunks off each day. You will go through about a banana and a half per week this way.
Remember, do not feed dried bananas (or other fruit) to your rabbit. They can only eat a banana if it is fresh.
Monitor Your Rabbits Weight
If you notice your rabbit gaining weight then cut the amount of fruit you are feeding it in half. Rabbits love sweet fruits but a little goes a long way. Overweight rabbits may look cuddly and cute but it’s not good for their health.
So now you know that rabbits can eat strawberries and other fruits and vegetables. Strawberries are my favorite fruit to feed to rabbits. Probably because of the excitement it provokes in them. If you are going to feed your rabbit fruit, remember to limit it to 1 to 3 tablespoons per day.