Rabbits simply love eating and if you have a pet bunny, you must enjoy the enthusiasm your pet shows to most foods! Rabbits generally require green leafy vegetables, fresh hay, clean water and pellets for a well-balanced diet. But can rabbits eat strawberries and other sweet fruits?
Can rabbits eat strawberries?
Yes, in small amounts and occasionally only. Rabbits enjoy eating strawberries. Although rabbits can make vitamin C on their own if they are healthy and consume good healthy foods, strawberries function as a good source for it.
However, there is an issue due to the high sugar content found in strawberries. The digestive systems of rabbits are not designed to process starch and sugar. While your rabbit may be able to manage digesting one or two strawberries, large quantities or frequent feeding of this fruit may cause it to get sick.
Strawberries and other fruits are preferable to any commercial treats found at pet stores. These treats are often high sugars and fats. You should never offer your rabbit human snacks such as pasta, breads, chips or cookies as they are high in carbohydrates. And remember that chocolate is dangerous for rabbits and should never be given to them at all!
Can baby rabbits eat strawberries?
Baby rabbits have very sensitive and sometimes still developing digestive systems that cannot process sweet foods at all. So if you’ve just got yourself a baby rabbit, you must not feed it strawberries or any other sweet foods at all! The best food for baby rabbits is alfalfa as it has a higher sugar and protein content.
How to introduce strawberries to your rabbit?
Strawberries are okay to be fed to your rabbit in small amounts. If your rabbit has not eaten strawberries ever before, you have to be careful while introducing them to him. Give it one strawberry and see if it likes the taste. Once it has eaten it, observe it carefully during the day. In case, it is allergic to it or of its digestive system is unable to process it, your rabbit is likely to have soft poo. In that case, you must not give it strawberries again. Wait for a few days before trying any new foods with it.
If your rabbit does not display any signs of discomfort and its digestive system appears to be accepting the strawberry without any issues, you can be relieved that you have one more item to add to your rabbit’s diet. Most rabbits are able to digest strawberries without any problems and enjoy them as treats. As treats should only be given occasionally, you should feed your rabbit strawberries only once in a while.
When your rabbit eats any foods with carbohydrates, the carbohydrates will remain undigested all through the rabbit’s digestive system. Once they reach the end of the digestive tract, they will be fermented right away by the bad bacteria. This will lead to diarrhea and bloating, making your rabbit feel dehydrated. It will lose its appetite and become sluggish. If this happens, you must take your pet to a good veterinarian for the right treatment.
What should your rabbit eat?
If you want your rabbit to have a healthy life, it needs a balanced diet with low starch content. Fresh Timothy hay is the best food component for rabbits because the fiber found in it stimulates and helps good bacteria to grow in the rabbit’s digestive system. It also helps in producing vitamin B which improves the rabbit’s energy levels and appetite. Hay is to be the main part of your rabbit’s diet and should be available to it all the time. Rabbits’ teeth continue to grow and eating hay helps in wearing them down. Apart from Timothy hay, rabbits also like oats hay and grass.
While selecting hay, you should check that it smells and looks fresh. Stale hay has a bad odor and looks brownish. You can always buy it in bulk from a nearby farm as that will be less expensive in comparison to being bought at the pet store. Store it in an airy and dry place.
The second most important food for your rabbit is an assortment green leafy vegetables. It is important to take a few precautions while feeding your rabbit any vegetables. Most of the ones found at supermarkets come from farms where pesticides have been used frequently and in large quantities. These chemicals are often layered on the surface of the vegetables. Wash them thoroughly with fresh water before feeding your rabbit. Don’t use soap as any residue of it can cause further problems for your rabbit’s health. While introducing new vegetables to your rabbit, choose one at a time.
Pellets are also important for your rabbit to have a healthy life. As they are specifically designed for rabbits, good quality pellets will ensure that your rabbit gets all essential nutrients in case any of these are missing in your pet’s regular meals. Pellets should form approximately 15% of the rabbit’s diet. Always choose good quality pellets by a reliable company and look for the manufacturing date and the expiration date.
The last and very important component of your rabbit’s diet is fresh and clean drinking water. You must ensure that the bowl is always clean and that the water is replaced regularly. If your rabbit does not drink sufficient water, it can become dehydrated very quickly.
To return to the initial question, can rabbits eat strawberries, the answer is yes, but you should use strawberries as treats only and occasionally.
Additionally, remember to introduce any new foods to your rabbit slowly and in small amounts, including strawberries. Observe your pet for any unusual behavior. If you pet bunny doesn’t show any discomfort or soft stool, you can continue feeding him strawberries in moderation.