Ever wondered if basil is safe for your rabbit’s consumption and what the health benefits might be? Can rabbits eat basil?
Gather here, this might be for you.
Rabbits are herbivores, and while we know hay makes up to 80% of their diet, there’s that tiny percent for pellets, clean water, and leafy greens, which are all mandatory for your rabbit to stay healthy and happy.
In this post, we have other vegetables you can feed your rabbit and also everything you need to know where basil is concerned, but let’s take this one step at a time.
Can rabbits eat basil? Do they love it?
Basil is a herbal plant, with its origin in India, and there are different kinds: we have Thai basil, sweet basil, cinnamon basil, lemon basil, lime basil, and a lot more.
With its strong flavor and scent, basil can be a great supplement to a rabbit’s hay, but you have to check with yours to know if she enjoys eating it. Nonetheless, it’s a safe plant for your rabbit.
And if she does love eating it, make sure you give it in moderation; remember, hay will always be the most important part of your rabbit’s diet.
Also, if you’re incorporating basil into your rabbit’s diet for the first time, make sure to take things slow.
For instance, just like introducing a new kind of hay to a young rabbit, that’s how it should be when it comes to vegetables too. Check for any adverse effects after mixing it up with their old food.
Do they like it? Are there any allergic reactions? If there aren’t any problems with it, then you’re good to go.
Can rabbits eat sweet basil every day?
Although packed with calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and K, rabbits can’t eat sweet basil every day. Doing that would lead to an excess of nutrients present in the plant being transferred into your rabbit’s body.
So, a rabbit shouldn’t munch on that every day, even when served as a supplement to hay.
The thing is, basil can be given as a treat once or twice a week, but when it becomes too much, your rabbit might start to reject their real food, which contains more nutritional benefits than basil.
Can rabbits eat basil stem?
Rabbits can eat basil stems with the leaves, but remember to chop them up into smaller pieces to prevent your rabbit from choking on them. Also, monitor them whenever they’re eating to be on the safe side.
The average size of 1-2 stems is safe for your rabbit’s consumption as too many vegetables can cause digestive issues.
Can I feed cooked basil to my rabbit?
Cooked food is great for humans, but it is never good for a rabbit. As much as you wouldn’t attempt to eat raw food, don’t make giving cooked basil an option for your rabbit.
Here’s why: your bunny gets enough nutrients from their raw vegetables, and cooked food isn’t good for a rabbit’s stomach, so it would be great to avoid it.
Can a baby bunny eat basil?
A baby bunny can’t eat fruit or vegetables until she’s about 12 weeks of age, as younger rabbits have a sensitive gastrointestinal system.
I understand rabbits in general have sensitive stomachs, but this is different as feeding them what they can’t eat yet could complicate things for them.
Take it this way, just as babies can’t eat food meant for adults, the same goes for baby bunnies.
What are the health benefits of eating basil?
As I’ve already said, basil contains potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and vitamins A and K. One of the perks of feeding this to your rabbit is that it has low sugar, and we all know sugar isn’t beneficial to rabbits.
Let’s talk more about the nutrients in this plant: First, Vitamin A is good for the rabbit’s eyes, while Vitamin K helps them clot blood when needed and it also helps them stay healthy.
Basil also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that help fight inflammation. It also helps lower blood glucose levels in their blood, but as much as it has great benefits, there are also downsides when you feed your rabbit too much basil.
When should I stop feeding basil to a rabbit?
Balance is essential to a pet’s diet, but what if your rabbit eats too much of it or is allergic to this herbal plant? What are the signs to look out for?
- Any signs of discomfort in your rabbit
If any of these signs are present in your rabbit, take them for a vet visit. And even if it isn’t, keep an eye on your rabbit.
Remember to always balance out their meals, and if they are allergic, don’t feed them again. There’s a wide range of other vegetables to feed them with.
How to make sure the basil is safe enough for a rabbit?
Below are steps to follow through on ensuring that even when you feed basil to your rabbit, it never becomes a problem for you and your pet.
- There are always chemicals in a plant, so before feeding it to your rabbit, make sure you wash it twice or thrice to make it safe for them to eat.
- Check for parasites to avoid causing problems for your rabbit.
- Do not feed overly ripened basil as it could cause diarrhea and stomach upset. In the case of rabbits with health conditions like kidney problems, do not feed basil to them.
For safety purposes, you might decide to grow your own basil, as it won’t take much of your time, or be careful when making your purchase.
As always, if you don’t think it’s safe, never feed it to your rabbit. They have sensitive stomachs and anything could mess up their body systems.
What other plants can rabbits eat?
If you want other plants that are safe for your rabbit’s consumption aside from basil, then consider giving the list below a try:
- Goats Rue
- Common Nettle
- Swiss Chard
- Hawthorn berries
Safe herbs your rabbit can eat:
- Lemon balm
- Clover (in moderation. can cause gas)
Basil is a great herbal plant, safely packed with healthy and nutritional benefits, and though your rabbit might like this or not, it’s worth giving it a try.
Remember to feed in moderation without the exception of other vegetables and keep experimenting with new food ideas.
You can do this while mixing it with hay because, that way, your pet and yourself are happy, and there you have nothing else to worry about!