Strawberries are a favorite snack of many people, and pet owners tend to think that they can be entirely harmless to animals, regardless of their species.
But can rabbits eat strawberries? Do they provide them with any type of health benefits? Can there be any risks involved in you feeding your rabbit one strawberry here and there? Find out the answers to all of these questions below!
Benefits of giving strawberries to your pet rabbit
This type of fruit is quite rich in a number of nutrients that your pet might not be able to get somewhere else. As such, giving your bunny strawberries on occasion is a good idea, especially if you want them to enjoy a large number of antioxidants that can fight inflammation.
Out of all the vitamins that strawberries are rich in, some of the most significant ones we can note here are vitamin C and folate (also known as vitamin B9). Both of these are important and do different tasks inside your pet’s body.
For example, vitamin C is considered a highly anti-infectious agent, which means that to some extent and given an excellent immune system, your bunny can be somewhat protected against infections if they get a good amount of vitamin C from their diet. This nutrient is considered an antioxidant, so it not only positively influences the immune response but also naturally decreases the aging process.
As for folate, it basically protects the cells inside your rabbit’s body and ensures that most processes occur normally.
Additionally, strawberries contain vitamin K, another nutrient that has a positive effect on animals’ bodies – it both makes it possible for the blood to clot properly in the event of a cut, for example, and it also influences the way a bunny’s bones grow.
This fruit is rich in a wide range of minerals, with some of the most significant ones being iron, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus.
Potassium is another essential mineral that, along with sodium, calcium, and phosphorus, regulates the exchange of substances from one cell to the next.
As you can imagine, all of these nutrients can benefit your rabbit’s health, so long as you give them limited quantities of strawberries.
Low in calories
Compared to some other kinds of fruit, strawberries do not contain as much sugar. That means that they do not pose the risk of increasing your bunny’s blood sugar to dangerous levels.
Also, they are not very high in calories, so you’re not going to risk exposing your bunny to obesity or diabetes in the long run, even if you feed them this fruit as a snack.
Can feeding strawberries to rabbits be risky?
If you have been caring for your bunny for a while now, you probably know what their diet is supposed to look like. Fruit and veggies should be a minor part of their diet and should be considered snacks rather than the main source of nutrition.
Giving your pet massive amounts of any type of fruit, whether that be strawberries or something different, can cause some problems. Some bunnies may be allergic to this food and might experience digestive distress, especially if you’ve never fed them strawberries before.
This is why it is highly recommended that you always start with very low amounts of any type of fruit or veggies.
Besides, strawberries have a somewhat bad reputation because unless you purchase an organic variety, they might contain traces of pesticides and weed killers.
And as you know, in their case, you can’t remove the peel and therefore get rid of these chemicals. In time, these substances can put your pet rabbit at a higher risk of developing certain diseases, including cancer.
How many strawberries should you give to your pet rabbit?
If your bunny is a huge aficionado of this fruit and there’s really no way of going about things other than you giving them this snack on occasion, we suggest that you keep the quantity to a minimum.
Rabbits that are older than the age of 3 months should get less than one strawberry per week just to be on the safe side of things. Large bunny breeds might be able to eat more without experiencing any negative reactions, but that doesn’t mean that you should feed them two or more strawberries in one serving.
Strawberries and baby bunnies
The diet of baby bunnies, meaning those that haven’t gotten to their 3-month birthday yet, should be strictly composed of recommended foods.
Consequently, young rabbits should have a diet consisting of only alfalfa pellets and alfalfa hay. These supply them with the nutrients they need, especially protein and calcium, which they require as they are still growing.
Frequently asked questions
Can rabbits eat the tops of strawberries?
The tops of strawberries usually have one leaf attached to them, so the answer needs to address this fruit component. If you’ve bought organic, they should be safe enough for your bunny to munch on, although they’re not ideal in terms of nutrition, so they’re not going to provide them with the same health benefits as the fruit itself.
Can you feed your pet rabbit dried strawberries?
No. Dried strawberries are a no-go for rabbits as they tend to become much richer in sugar during the dehydration process. Consequently, they might risk increasing your pet’s blood sugar too much.
Can rabbits die after eating strawberries?
While the fruit itself is safe, at least theoretically, it could be contaminated with various substances or just carry bacteria and other germs from the way it was stored and shipped. Unfortunately, besides thoroughly washing the strawberries before giving them to your rabbit, there’s no way you can eliminate these risks altogether.
Can rabbits eat strawberry stems?
The stems of this fruit are also safe, especially if they haven’t been sprayed with any particular substance to kill insects or anything else. So yes, if you give your bunny strawberries that still have the stems attached to them, the likelihood of your pet experiencing any unpleasant symptoms is low.