Humans have found many adorable ways of showing their affection for their beloved pets. Some like to play ball with them, some cuddle them lazily and others simply share the food. We feel that sharing is the kindest and most lovable gesture in the world. While we do admire your sentiments, the action of sharing whatever you are eating with your pets, especially rabbits, is not a wise one. The thing that you find so delicious or fresh may just be the very food item that poisons or chokes your rabbit to death. Now, this tragedy should never happen. You must research every food item’s safety value for your pets before you feed them. In today’s discussion, we will focus on the beetroots. Is it safe for your rabbit to eat beets? This is the main question that we will try to answer in this discussion.
Beets: An overview
Beetroots, more commonly known as beets, are used not only as a food but as color and medicine as well. Greeks, Romans, Egyptians. All these fine Homo sapiens cultivated beets for different purposes. However, the most popular use of beets has been the one in the food industry. Beets can be eaten boiled, raw, even roasted, or in different dishes and salads. This is a highly versatile vegetable, usually purple though other verities exist as well. 100 grams of beets can provide about 43kcal of energy. The vegetable has immense nutritional value, something that we will discuss at a later stage in this article, with reference to rabbits of course!
Can rabbits eat beets?
Without beating around the bush, let us first answer the question around which this whole debate is constructed. Can rabbits eat beets? The short answer is yes, rabbits can eat beets. However, if you leave this page after reading this one line, you will fail to grasp the complexities that are associated with this matter. Just because rabbits CAN eat beets does not mean that you SHOULD forcefully feed them this vegetable. There are finer details about the quantity and manner in which these beets must be presented to your rabbit. We have all of these covered in the upcoming passages. Also discussed in this article are the pros and cons of beet consumption for rabbits.
The benefits of rabbits eating beets
At this point in the discussion, it is important to understand what does your pet stand to gain from eating beets. Let us have a look at the health benefits that your rabbit might gain from eating beets.
Firstly, beets have very low-fat content. This means that your pet has a very little chance of becoming obese, in case the furry friend takes a liking to this purple vegetable. Less fat content is always desirable in a domesticated rabbits’ diet. Beets are enriched with a great amount of fiber. Fiber is very beneficial for your pet’s digestive system, as it speeds up the processes taking place in the animal’s GI tract. The risk that your rabbit might suffer from a condition like constipation is greatly reduced, thanks to high fiber content. Hmmm. What else? Oh yes, the beets contain vitamin C. It has an important role to play in preventing your rabbit from diseases like scurvy. The vegetable has a very low sodium content, which is most desirable for the normal health of your pet.
Risks associated with rabbits eating beets
We must be honest with you; there is another side to this story. Not everything is rosy (should we say purple?) in a world where rabbits are eating beets. The beet is fine, but if your rabbit gets hold of its roots, then you have a problem staring at you. Roots of beetroots are enriched with starch; this will turn your crazy furball into some kind of apathetic creature. Also, your rabbit might start peeing in reddish-purple shade; this can raise a false alarm. There is nothing wrong with the hare if that happens, but there is always a chance that people might panic and do something stupid. Oh, and the pretty looks can be spoiled too, in case your beloved pet has white fur. The deep purple color of beets can be hard to get out of the rabbit fur.
Some important considerations
Well, firstly, you must know that beetroots are available between November and April. Canned beets are an option that we will talk about in a little while. You must be careful when you are buying beets for your rabbit. There should not be a compromise on the freshness of the vegetable, an indicator of which is the smooth roots and the characteristic reddish-purple color of the vegetable. Avoid buying beets that still have leaves attached to them; they are not healthy for your rabbit. Modern-day vegetables are heavily sprayed with chemicals and pesticides of all sorts. Try to lay your hands on organic beetroots, if you can manage that. Otherwise, please make sure that you wash them with clean water, thoroughly. Rabbits have a very sensitive digestive system; they can be affected by chemicals in a very severe manner.
How many beets are OK for your rabbit?
This is important. What is the safe amount of beets that your rabbit can have, without causing any major health issues? Beets have very high sugar content, this can attribute to diseases like diabetes and whatnot. Hence, you need to be careful about the quantity. Complex calculations will tell you that one teaspoon of beets is enough for two pounds of body weight. However, speaking in simpler terms, you should offer beets to your rabbit as a treat. This is the best way to introduce something new in your furry pet’s diet. It also gives you a chance to monitor the rabbit’s response to the beets. As for leaves of beets, people say one cup per day is ok. We advise against that, dispense with leaves altogether. Why take a risk when you already have other leafy vegetables to feed your best friend?
Rabbits and canned beets
BIG FAT NO. Canned beets are most likely full of starch and sugar. Both of these elements are harmful to your rabbit’s health. Sugar leads to metabolic problems, salt is no good either. That is not all though. The canned version of beets is likely to be rich in additives of all sorts. These preservatives are going to cause immense distress to your furball. Surely, you do not want that to happen to your beloved pet? Remember, no canned goods are good for your furry friend. The additives make them a proper health hazard.
Ok, conclusion time folks. We wish we could go on, but limited time and space have us folding up our notes already. Nevertheless, we hope that you learned something, if not everything from this discussion. Your rabbit can eat too many beets by mistake; it would be your fault if that happens. Please make sure that you store vegetables at a place that is not easily reachable for your furball. In case you feel things are getting a bit out of hand, it is always ideal to get a vet on board. Avoid playing the quack!