Rosemary is a popular herb that many people grow in their gardens, and it is often used in cooking. If you’ve just picked a few sprigs, you might be wondering whether this strongly-scented plant is safe for feeding to a rabbit, or if you should give it a miss.
Rosemary is safe for rabbits in small quantities, and you can allow it to have a sprig or two in its treat bowl every so often. It’s got a powerful, bitter flavor, so not all rabbits will enjoy it, but it isn’t harmful, so you may want to offer some to your rabbit and see what it thinks.
Is Rosemary Safe For Rabbits?
Yes, rosemary is considered a safe option for rabbits to have on occasion, although you may not want to offer it too frequently in case it causes digestive problems.
Rabbits are opportunistic grazers and they do like to consume a wide variety of foods, so the more different options you can add to your rabbit’s food bowl, the happier it will be. Of course, you need to make sure that everything you give it is safe, but rosemary checks this box.
This herb will offer a few benefits, including vitamin A, which is good for your rabbit’s eyes and immune system. It also contains calcium, which helps to build strong bones, and iron, which is important for the circulation of oxygen in the body.
Furthermore, it contains manganese, magnesium, folate, and vitamin B6, so it makes a good part of a balanced diet.
Will My Rabbit Like Rosemary?
This is difficult to know without trying it, because rabbits all have individual tastes and rosemary is a strongly flavored herb. Many rabbits will reject it because of its bitter, astringent flavor, although they might nip off a leaf or two. Other rabbits will eat whole sprigs and look at you hopefully for more.
It really depends on the bunny, so the only way to tell is to give your rabbit a small piece and see how it responds.
How Much Rosemary Can My Rabbit Have?
Rosemary should be fed to your rabbit in moderation, even though it is healthy. Your rabbit needs to get the bulk of its food from hay or grass, and eating a lot of rosemary could prevent this from happening. You should only give your rabbit a small sprig of rosemary per helping, mixed with other greenery and vegetables.
A rabbit’s digestive system depends upon it consuming a lot of fiber in order to keep moving. Hay is very fibrous, and therefore rabbits must eat mostly hay (or grass) to ensure that their bodies properly process their meals and their digestive system works as it should.
A rabbit that does not eat enough fiber because it is filling up on treats instead can end up sick and miserable. If the food is staying in its guts, it is at risk of a condition known as GI stasis, and this is very serious. Food will ferment inside the rabbit’s body, causing gas buildup and major discomfort.
In really serious situations, this could kill your rabbit, so it is important to ensure that this balance is not upset at any point,
How Should I Introduce Rosemary To My Rabbit?
The first time you give rosemary to your rabbit, you need to make sure that it doesn’t cause any upset to its digestive system. Although rosemary should be safe, every rabbit is different, so it’s always a good idea to check.
Cut a small sprig of rosemary, about half the length of your thumb, and wash it before putting it in your rabbit’s food bowl. Don’t give your rabbit any other new foods at this point, and watch to see if it eats the rosemary.
If it does, keep an eye on its droppings and behavior over the next couple of days and make sure that these seem okay. If your rabbit is pooping and eating normally, it should be fine to give it rosemary in the future.
If your rabbit has a bad reaction, don’t give it rosemary again, but choose other foods. If the reaction is serious, call your vet and discuss the symptoms, but a small amount of rosemary should not cause this.
How Often Can I Give My Rabbit Rosemary?
Although rosemary is healthy, it’s better not to offer it too frequently. Rabbits both require and enjoy having varied diets, so it’s a good idea to keep rotating the safe treats that you offer and trying new things.
You can offer rosemary a couple of times a week if you like, but it’s better not to give it more frequently than this. If you grow your own rosemary and therefore have a steady supply, putting a small sprig in the treat bowl on a regular basis should be helpful, not harmful, but remember to offer lots of other options too.
What If My Rabbit Won’t Eat Rosemary?
It’s pretty normal for a rabbit not to eat rosemary, because this herb has a strong, unusual flavor, and not all bunnies enjoy it. If your bunny rejects rosemary the first time that you put it in the food bowl, it’s okay to remove it and try again later.
If your rabbit consistently rejects rosemary, however, there is no point in repeatedly putting this treat in its bowl. Simply try other foods that it may prefer, because you will only be wasting the rosemary otherwise. Rabbits don’t need to eat rosemary, so if your bunny doesn’t want to, pick other options.
Rosemary is a pretty healthy choice for your rabbit, and it contains some good vitamins and nutrients which will help to keep the rabbit healthy. It has the added advantage of being a free treat if you grow your own, and if your rabbit loves it, you can offer it a small sprig a couple of times per week.
However, many rabbits find rosemary challenging because of the strong flavor, so you may have to find other herbs if this one keeps getting rejected.