Can Rabbits Eat Strawberries (Fruit, Leaves and Tops)? Are they Safe?

Rabbits are great pets and will eat almost any food that you offer. However, they require a balanced diet. So aside from carrots and lettuce, you need to include some hay, pellets, fruits, and vegetables. When it comes to fruits, there are some that may be safe for us humans, but not to them. Also, a rabbit’s digestive tracts are very sensitive. It takes time for their system to adjust to a new variety of food. As a pet owner, you might be thinking, “can rabbits eat strawberries?”.

The short answer to this is yes, but only as a treat. In this article, we’ll be talking about important things concerning your pet rabbits when eating strawberries.

Can Rabbits Eat Strawberries? 

Yes, Rabbits can eat strawberries, but not all the time. In fact, they enjoy eating strawberries. However, you should never allow your pet rabbits to eat as many strawberries as they like. Just like humans, rabbits should not consume too much sugar as this can result in health problems. 

can rabbits eat strawberry tops

Do Rabbits Eat Strawberries?

Most rabbits will love to have a treat like strawberries. Strawberries are sweet and they will enjoy eating them. However, this doesn’t mean that you can include them as part of your rabbit’s regular diet. Also, don’t worry if your rabbit does not eat the strawberry you offered them. You’ll just need to find an alternative sweet treat for them.

Benefits of Strawberries For Rabbits

Strawberries are not only a tasty treat for your rabbits, but also comes with many health benefits.

The best thing about strawberries is their high water content. They contain around 91% of water, which will surely keep your pet rabbits hydrated.

Strawberries also contain high levels of Vitamin C. But unlike humans, rabbits have the ability to produce their own Vitamin C from glucose. So this benefit isn’t a convincing reason to give strawberries to your rabbits. 

can bunnies eat strawberries

However, it’s been suggested that rabbits who suffer from stress, depression, and anxiety may find relief from eating fruits with high levels of Vitamin C. You should also be aware that excessive Vitamin C intake can damage your rabbit’s kidney. So it’s best to let them eat strawberries moderately.

Strawberries are a rich source of antioxidants (compounds that protect cells against free radicals). As a matter of fact, they are on the list of the top 20 food sources of antioxidants

Anthocyanins are antioxidants found in strawberries. This is the reason why strawberries have a red color. It also prevents humans and rabbits from having heart disease.

Strawberries are also extremely rich in magnesium. Magnesium is very important for rabbits since they are more likely to develop a sludgy bladder. This is because rabbits absorb all the calcium from their diet more than the amount required. And they only rely on urine secretion to remove excess calcium. 

Strawberries also contain a fair amount of fibers, which plays an important role in improving your rabbit’s digestive health.

Folate, also known as Vitamin B9, can also be found in strawberries. It is very important for your rabbit to have normal tissue growth and cell function.

Are Strawberries Safe For Rabbits?

While there are foods that humans can eat safely, there are some that can be toxic for your rabbit. Fortunately, strawberries are not one of them. Strawberries are not toxic for your rabbit, in fact, they love them. Pet owners can choose to feed their rabbits with rabbits, but only occasionally. Your rabbit’s regular diet should not include strawberries as some health problems may arise.

are strawberries good for rabbits

Are Strawberries Bad For Rabbits?

Even if strawberries are not toxic and considered safe for your rabbits, there are still some disadvantages when feeding them to your bunnies.

One major drawback of strawberries is their high levels of sugar.

Rabbits have a very specific diet. The reason for this is that they do not have a peristalsis or the constant movement of the stomach that helps in digesting their food. 

That is why rabbits require a diet that is high in fiber, but with very low sugar levels.

For rabbits, most fruits are sweet treats. However, their digestive system cannot endure a large amount of sugar. Lots of sugar in a rabbit’s regular diet can lead to diarrhea, bloating, gas, and stomach pain. In addition to that, it’s also possible for them to suffer from health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and tooth decay.

The serving size of strawberries depends on your rabbit’s size. On average, one medium strawberry at most twice a week.

You should also wash the strawberries thoroughly. This way, you can get rid of the chemicals or pesticides that may cause harm to your rabbit. Also, don’t forget to cut them into small pieces to avoid any choking hazard.

Don’t feed your rabbits with dried strawberries. Why? It’s because any dried fruit has a sugar level that is three times more than fresh fruit.

Apparently, rabbits find strawberries quite addictive. Many rabbits will usually refuse to eat the normal food that you prepare. This is also a reason why you should just give your rabbits strawberries as a treat, and never on a regular basis.

Just like us humans, some rabbits are also allergic to strawberries. So if you think that your bunny is suffering from an allergic reaction after eating strawberries, bring your pet to the veterinarian right away.

How to Introduce Strawberries to Rabbits?

If it’s your first time feeding your rabbit with strawberries, introduce them slowly to avoid any problems. As stated earlier, some rabbits are allergic to strawberries. After feeding them with strawberries for the first time, observe them for at least one day. If there is no problem, then feed them again after a few days. If you see any allergic reactions, stop feeding them with strawberries and see your veterinarian immediately.

Can Rabbits Eat Strawberry Seeds?

Yes, strawberry seeds are not on the list of what rabbits can’t eat. This means that they are not toxic for your rabbit. However, as mentioned earlier, it’s only safe when taken moderately.

Can Rabbits Eat Strawberry Leaves?

Yes, there’s no problem in feeding your rabbits with strawberry leaves. They love to chew on anything as long as they like it and this keeps them entertained. But you still have to observe them from time to time as it can be a choking hazard for your pet bunny.

can rabbits eat strawberry leaves

Can Rabbits Eat Strawberry Tops?

Just like the strawberry seeds and leaves, rabbits can eat strawberry tops. It’s best to offer them when fresh and cleaned. 

Can Rabbits Eat Strawberry Jam?

No, strawberry jam is absolutely one of what can rabbits not eat. Strawberry jams contain a large amount of sugar which is harmful to your rabbits. This will cause them to have an upset stomach. Not only will it cause them stomach pain, but it will also cause many health problems. So to protect your pet rabbits from any risks, never allow them to eat strawberry jam.

Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Strawberries?

You should never feed your rabbits with any cooked strawberries. Rabbits are herbivores and they only rely on raw foods to get their nutrients. Their stomach can’t handle any cooked food, including strawberries. So any food that you find in the “what can rabbits eat list” must be offered fresh and raw to your rabbits. Not only is it healthy, but it also doesn’t take much effort on your part.

Can Baby Rabbits Eat Strawberries?

Unlike adult rabbits, baby rabbits have a lot more sensitive gastrointestinal systems. That’s why you should avoid feeding baby rabbits with any fruits or vegetables until at least 12 weeks of age. Take it slow when you’re introducing them to some fresh fruits and vegetables. You should observe any adverse side effects for at least 24 hours before feeding them again. If everything is perfectly fine, you can feed them again without anything to worry about.

Summary

Yes, rabbits can eat strawberries, but they should be offered as an occasional treat. You should never include strawberries or any sugary fruits in your rabbit’s regular diet. If you’re wondering what can rabbits eat on a daily basis, it’s hay, some fresh vegetables, and a few pellets. The most important part of a rabbit’s daily diet is hay.

There are also many benefits for rabbits that are found in strawberries. These benefits include high water content (which keeps them hydrated), high levels of Vitamin C, and a rich source of antioxidants and magnesium.

do wild rabbits eat strawberries

While there are many benefits to feeding rabbits with strawberries, there are also some disadvantages included. Strawberries contain high levels of sugar (which can cause many health problems such as diarrhea, bloating, gas, stomach pain, heart disease, diabetes, and tooth decay) and some rabbits are allergic to them.

Rabbits can eat all parts of strawberries, including the seeds, leaves, and tops. But before serving them to your rabbits, make sure to wash them thoroughly first. This will remove any chemicals and pesticides on it that may be harmful to rabbits. Also, to prevent your bunny from choking, you have to cut them into small pieces. 

You should never feed strawberry jams and any cooked food (including strawberries) to your rabbits. 

Take note that baby rabbits have more sensitive gastrointestinal systems than adult rabbits. You have to wait at least 12 weeks for them to be able to eat any fruits or vegetables. Also, you have to observe them carefully after feeding as there can be bad side effects or allergic reactions. 

References:

  1. WebMD, ‘Antioxidant Riches Found in Unexpected Foods’, https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20040617/antioxidants-found-unexpected-foods, Accessed – 18 May 2021
  2. RWAF, ‘Urolithiasis (urinary sludge and stones)’, https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-health/further-reading/urolithiasis/, Accessed – 18 May 2021

Posted by Veronica Jones

My name is Veronica Jones, owner and the writer of VetGuru. For as long as I can remember I have had pets! I have had so many pets during my lifetime, and many more to come I hope. For the most part, I will be writing about dogs and cats, but I also have experience with other pets as well.

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