Rabbits have a boring diet because it consists of grass and hay for the most part. Whether you are bored of feeding them the same thing over and over or you want to treat your rabbit to something more flavorful, you’ll need to know what food is safe for a rabbit.
Almost any houseplant is safe for a rabbit, but most people would rather sacrifice some of their food than their gardens. In this article, you will discover what human food items bunnies can eat alongside how often you should feed them said items.
Toward the end, you will find out the best practices for safely treating your rabbit. Bookmark this post for future reference, and let’s get started.
What Human Food Can Bunnies Eat?
If you feel like your rabbit is looking at your food with longing eyes, you know you cannot simply feed him a chunk. In this section, we will explore which food items that humans eat are also safe for rabbits’ extremely sensitive digestive tracts.
Rabbits find it difficult to digest human food that requires serious acid influx for proper digestion. They also can’t process food items that have plenty of liquid content. This makes bananas the perfect treat for rabbits. Bananas don’t have a higher water-to-fiber ratio and are pretty soft, which means they are easier to digest. Feed your rabbit a quarter of a banana twice a month.
Who doesn’t love strawberries? If you’re enjoying strawberries and your rabbit is nearby, you can offer him half a strawberry. If the rabbit is a dwarf variety, this would need to be cut further down. Rabbits can easily nibble through a strawberry and digest its ‘fruity’ part. Make sure not to do this more than once a week, though.
Rabbits can safely eat raspberries, but it is easy to overfeed them this small fruit. You have to make sure they don’t consume more than a spoonful of raspberry for every 7 lbs of body weight. A rabbit can consume raspberries once a week provided it hasn’t had any other fruit that week.
Rabbits can digest cucumbers because of their soft pulp. The outer layer of cucumber is crispy, which makes them tastier for rabbits. Try to give more of the outer skin than the inside pulp to your rabbit, and limit this treat to once a month. Cucumbers don’t have as many calories as fruits, so even if you stray from a once-a-month frequency, your pet will remain in shape.
The odds of you enjoying asparagus are quite low, so if you plan to feed it to your rabbit, chances are that you’re doing this for variety. It is a fair vegetable to include in your rabbit’s diet once or twice a month.
Asparagus is generally healthy in the human diet, which makes you think it is healthy for your rabbit as well. But when it comes to a rabbit’s diet, asparagus is as much of a treat as raspberries. It should be included as a small deviation and never as the main diet.
Rabbits can sometimes consume too much of a watery vegetable and end up getting diarrhea. That’s why celery should not be a treat you give your rabbit often. But during summers, this can be a nice supplement to include in his diet once a week (if the rabbit is fed no other veggies or fruits).
If you’ve bought Curly Kale in the spur of motivation but can’t bring yourself to eat it, you are due for some good news and bad news. The good news is that your rabbit can eat Kale, and the bad news is that it cannot eat a lot of it. You can feed small bits of Kale to your rabbit once a week if there are no other veggies in his diet.
Curly Kale is one variety of Kale, and you might wonder if standard Kale can also be fed to a rabbit. While it is okay to feed regular Kale to a rabbit now and then, consistent Kale consumption can be harmful to the animal.
If you’ve heard that lettuce is toxic to rabbits, you might be surprised at this entry. Iceberg lettuce can indeed harm a rabbit since it contains lactucarium. However, romaine lettuce doesn’t have as much lactucarium. The greener parts of romaine lettuce can be given to a rabbit once a month.
Rabbits can eat cherries as long as the serving is slowly introduced to the rabbit’s diet. If the rabbit is not accustomed to it, limit his first exposure to half a cherry. You need to remove the pit. The feeding frequency for cherries is the same as any fruit: once every week at maximum. If you feed cherries to your rabbit, you cannot feed him any other fruit that week.
One of the most oft-recommended treats for rabbits is cranberries. The rabbit must be over 7 months old before he can properly digest cranberries. Limit cranberry treats to once a week initially, then gradually increase it to twice a week if the rabbit isn’t eating any other fruits.
Blackcurrant berries are healthy and nutritious but should be given to rabbits sparingly. These barriers can act as an occasional treat but cannot be fed to rabbits regularly. Their alkaline nature doesn’t harm the animal’s stomach, but their calorie content does put an exercise burden on the rabbit. Rabbits already chew a lot to expend their energy. Imagine what an over energized rabbit will do to the house furniture.
You can share a slice of apple with your rabbit. The fruit has a largely alkaline effect, and its skin can be good for a rabbit. Whenever you feed apple slices to your rabbit, make sure he consumes the fruit with the skin on. A grown-up rabbit can stomach apple slices (1 to 2) once a week. Please note that this can cause obesity.
An adult rabbit can digest peaches with relative ease. There are no chemicals in the fruit that can produce long-term negative effects either. That’s why peaches are great carefree treats for rabbits. But just like with any fruit, peaches can cause obesity in rabbits, so they should be limited to “occasional treat” status.
Rabbits can consume watermelon, and they love it to the point where you might be tempted to offer more. However, watermelon is best fed to a rabbit once a month. It is very sugary for a rabbit’s metabolism and can contribute to weight gain.
Watermelon seeds can also be problematic, though adult rabbits don’t usually have an issue with them. If your rabbit has not been introduced to watermelon, make sure the initial dose is small.
Papaya is healthy enough for rabbits to the point of being packaged as a rabbit snack. It contains enzymes that can help break down food that might otherwise upset the rabbit’s digestive system. Still, papaya isn’t exempt from the downside of fruits in a rabbit’s diet: calories. Feeding papaya to your rabbit can make him gain weight.
Apricot kernels can be deadly for animals, which makes most pet owners overly cautious about feeding the fruit itself to their pets. An apricot is safe for a rabbit’s diet as long as it is limited to once or twice a week. The apricot pit must be removed, and no more than 1/3rd of an apricot should be offered to a 6lb rabbit.
Small amounts of Kiwi can add variety to your rabbit’s diet. So whenever you’re making a fruit salad or simply feel like treating your bunny, you can cut a small piece for him. Make sure you don’t treat him too often with kiwi or any other fruit.
Rabbits can consume mango bites, which is why dried mango pieces are often packaged as bunny treats. Please note that mangoes are pretty high in calories, which means they should be given only to rabbits that are underweight or very active.
A pineapple is yet another tropical fruit that you can offer to a rabbit. But try not to give your rabbit more than half a slice of pineapple once a month. Any more than that can start causing gas, which can be very painful for the rabbit.
Best practices for treating your rabbit
As you might have noticed, there is no black-and-white answer regarding what rabbits can eat besides hay and grass. The following section covers the best practices for treating your rabbit.
- Treat an adult only – Younger rabbits have very sensitive digestive tracts that aren’t capable of processing treats that adult rabbits can.
- Don’t compound treats – You can give your rabbit an apple slice every week. Or you can feed him strawberry bits every week as well. But you cannot feed him a whole strawberry and two apple slices within a week.
- Use the one-treat-a-week metric – You can cut tiny pieces of five different fruits and feed a small portion of the mix to your rabbit. Since calories are the most significant concern, reducing the quantity to once a week is ideal.
- Use gradual exposure every time – It might seem like your rabbit loves the treats you offer him, but his stomach might not like what it is not ready for. That’s why you should make sure that it gets a sample. Any fruit or veggie you introduce must be given in a small portion alongside other food.
- Low calories + Low acidity – The two main aspects you need to avoid when giving your rabbit anything besides hay are densely-packed calories and high acidity. Rabbits might experience heartburn if the fruit/veggie they eat has a net-acidic effect. Rabbits love calories in the short term, but their bodies aren’t built to process fruits and veggies in large quantities.
Rabbits can eat fruits and vegetables once or twice a week, depending on the type of fruit or vegetable. As a rule of thumb, any treat that the rabbit consumes should not be calorie-dense or very acidic. Moreover, the treat did not produce gas in the rabbit’s digestive tract. Refer to the post above to find out the human foods that the adult rabbit can consume.