Rabbits are one of the most adorable pets one can own. These furballs can brighten up even the darkest of days. And one of the best parts of owning a rabbit is the fact that they will be by our side for a long time. Rabbits have an average lifespan of eight to fourteen years.
However, for our rabbits to live to their fullest, they need all their dietary requirements to be met. Rabbits are herbivores, which means they derive all their nutrition from plant-based matter, including fruits and vegetables. They also need to eat a good amount of hay because hay is rich in fiber and a rabbit’s digestive system needs ample amounts of fiber. This is mainly because rabbits have a unique digestive system that allows them to process food at super-fast rates. As a result, your rabbit is constantly hungry and can even go as far as eating thirty times in a single day.
Considering just how much rabbits eat, we are usually tempted to offer them whatever we can find at home, and a lot of times, we find ourselves wondering: can rabbits eat herbs? After all, herbs do fall under the plant category, and they’re great for our health, so surely, they must be safe to offer.
If there is one thing that all pet owners should remember is that just because a certain food is safe for human consumption, the same may not extend to our bunnies, owing to the fact we are two entirely different beings. Our digestive systems, nutritional requirements, and food tolerances vary a great deal. And so, we need to do our research from a rabbit’s perspective.
The second thing you should know is that before offering your rabbit any sort of new food, and if you aren’t sure about whether it is safe for them, make sure you do your research. For rabbits, not all plant-based material is safe, and so you need to know what to feed them and what not to.
We’re here to make things easy for you, and so we’ve delved into whether rabbits can eat herbs and, if they can which, ones which are safe to be given to our rabbits.
Can rabbits eat herbs?
The good news is that, yes, rabbits can eat herbs. However, that doesn’t mean you should throw caution out of the window and offer all sorts of herbs to your rabbit. While there are perfectly safe and healthy herbs you can and should offer your bunny, there are some that can be dangerous to their health and should be avoided.
Let’s look at some of the safe herbs that can be given to our rabbits.
Basil is a great option to offer to your bunny. Even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy the taste of this herb and will love it. Basil is often recommended as an aid to your rabbit’s digestion, but it is also high in calcium content and so should not be treated as an everyday food for your rabbit. Feeding your rabbit basil should be paced out.
Another great herb to add to your rabbit’s diet and is often a fan favorite amongst our bunnies. Cilantro is rich in antioxidants, which help your rabbit’s immune system fight off several infections, especially in the digestive system. It is also high in fiber, which is a great digestive aid. The good news is that cilantro can be added to your rabbit’s everyday diet.
Dill has a lot of nutritional benefits for your rabbit and makes for an excellent treat. Dill can be fed to rabbits to increase the minerals and vitamins in their bodies. The antioxidants present in dill help fight off diseases, and the high fiber content will help in preventing GI stasis from affecting your rabbit’s health. Most of the treats that we offer our rabbits are high in sugar (which is why they are treated as a treat). However, since dill is a herb and herbs don’t have sugar, this is a safer treatment to offer your little bun.
Lemon balm is a very useful kind of herb that can be included in your rabbit’s everyday diet. It is laden in health benefits for your rabbit and is especially great in reducing gas and bloating that your rabbit may be suffering and also works great as a stress reducer.
If your rabbit suffers from gastrointestinal problems, lemon balm will do wonders!
Mint has a place on the list of rabbit friendly herbs. The menthol present in this herb is known to relax not just your rabbits but all other animals, intestines!
However, you need to introduce this herb to your rabbit in small amounts, in the beginning at least. Too much of this herb can cause your bunny to suffer from loose stools.
While oregano is perfectly safe to be given to rabbits, the chances are that they probably won’t like it. Oregano is known for its strong smell and taste, and it may be too much for your rabbit’s taste buds. If your rabbit does seem to enjoy the taste, make sure to offer them fresh oregano and not dried ones. Dried oregano isn’t nearly as beneficial as fresh oregano.
Parsley makes for a great choice to offer your rabbit as long as you do so in moderate amounts. It is high in both calcium and oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is known to block calcium and other minerals from being absorbed into the system and can lead to kidney stones in your rabbit’s system.
If fed in moderation, it will be a great source of vitamins and minerals for your rabbit once every few days.
While herbs are safe to be given to rabbits, you need to do your research about which ones are safe and which aren’t, as well as how much you should be giving your rabbit in their meals. Happy feeding!