To keep your furry friend happy and for their perfect health, a nice mix of hay, pellets, vegetables, and freshwater is an ideal combination.
Definitely, you have to follow a few do’s and don’ts while considering whether to feed your bunny strawberries or try a different treatment.
Why do bunnies love strawberries?
Bunnies are concentrate selectors or picky eaters. Rather than eating just anything, they select the tastiest bits of food. Strawberries are sweet and sugary, and that is why rabbits love strawberries because they taste nice.
Are strawberries safe for bunnies?
Strawberries are juicy, sweet, bright red, and romantic fruit that contains sugar, Vitamin A, C, K, fiber, and minerals like magnesium and manganese. But is this fruit good for your rabbit, or may cause any damage to their health?
The staple diet of a rabbit should be high fiber content with a sensible balance of other foods. Bunnies consider fruits as their favorite, and they can eat strawberries also without any ill effects. Strawberries have a sugary punch. That is why you have to control your bunny’s diet carefully, or you will end up with a tubby bunny.
Allowing your bunny to eat strawberries as much as they want is just like letting your child eat sweets and candies all day long.
What amount of strawberries is safe for the rabbit?
It is essential to measure a correct-sized portion of strawberries carefully for your rabbit. The ideal option for this is to calculate the weight of your furry friend to get the correct amount of strawberries for them. Generally, rabbits can weigh anything between 2 to 14 lbs, and the ideal portion size of strawberry treat per day occasionally for your bunny is 5 grams or a teaspoon full per 2 lbs of body weight.
Why is it necessary to manage a small portion of strawberries?
The digestive system of bunnies is not able to handle fruits and vegetables. It is why you cannot serve strawberry or any other vegetable and fruit to your baby rabbit (bunny). Baby rabbits cannot start eating the same food as their parents until they are over eight weeks. So never give them strawberries before eight weeks. It is good to avoid sugary treats for rabbits from a very young age and serve them strawberries as an occasional treat only. Though your pet rabbit is obsessed with these berries so much you have to manage the small portion of a strawberry treat for them due to the following reasons:
- All the vegetables and fruits, including strawberries, have lots of carbs and sugar, while the appropriate diet for bunnies must have high fiber and low carbs and sugar.
- Strawberries are full of sugar content, and too much sugar can affect the gut flora of your rabbit. Sugar in strawberries encourages the growth of bad bacteria, and it may cause nutrition absorption issues, stomach upsets, bowel movement problems, and diarrhea.
- Additionally, excessive sugar affects the life quality and grooming ability of rabbits. The carbohydrates present in sugar have high calories that can make your rabbits obese or overweight and shorten their lifespan. Excess sugar can also be very damaging to your pet’s teeth.
- Rabbits have a ‘’LAGOMORPH’’ digestive system that is specially designed to digest cellulose. Sugar, fats, and carbohydrates are difficult to digest in this digestive system.
Benefits of strawberries for rabbits:
Strawberries can serve as a healthy treat for rabbits when given in a controlled amount. The benefits of rabbits eating strawberries are:
- Strawberries contain antioxidants that help your furry friend’s body to fight off free radicals. These antioxidants like anthocyanin also help rabbits to keep their heart-healthy.
- Strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C that helps the rabbit to stay healthy and overcome stress.
- Strawberries also provide magnesium that helps to prevent bladder sludge from excess calcium.
How to feed strawberries to your rabbits
Follow the golden rule of introducing any food to your furry friends!
‘’Introduce any new food, especially fruits, to your small pet in small amount and slowly’’. After introducing a small portion of a strawberry treat to your pet bunny, observe any unusual behavior keenly. If you examine any discomfort, bloating, gas, diarrhea, stomach upset, or soft stool, stop feeding him strawberries.
Always try to give your bunny organically grown strawberries or clean them thoroughly with water to wash any pesticides, insecticides, or remnants.
Strawberry plant for bunny:
The leaves and stems of strawberry plants are completely safe for the pet rabbit to eat. These are less sweet. That is why maybe your pet might not find these parts of the plant as impressive as the strawberry itself.
Rabbits can nibble the flowers, shoots, and tender leaves of the strawberry plant. The leaves of strawberry plants are healthier than fruit. But always wash leaves, shoots, and flowers before giving them to your rabbit to get rid of spray or any pest repellents.
Strawberry tops and dried strawberries for bunny:
Strawberry tops include stem and little green leaves of the fruit, and these are entirely safe for your furry friend to eat. Just make sure to wash them before giving them to your bunny.
Drying fruits to make an excellent snack is a popular trend these days. Drying fresh fruits increases the fiber content in fruit, but it breaks down and destroys the vitamins present in the fruit. The major point is that drying cannot affect the sugar content of the fruit, but concentrate it into a smaller package. The addition of preservatives to prevent fruits from turning brown is another negative point of dry fruits.
Giving dry strawberries to your bunny means you are giving too much sugar to your pet, and it can make them sick.
So, it is a big yes that your bunny can eat strawberries!
But! Because of being too sugary, it is not very healthy for your furry friend when given in high quantity. Strawberry plant leaves and tops are completely safe for rabbits; however, the fruit is only good in small quantities as an occasional tasty treat.