Although cartoon rabbits seem to exclusively enjoy chomping on carrots, real rabbits enjoy a much more varied diet. Pet rabbits mostly eat hay, pellets, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Rabbits can eat most fruits and vegetables, but some plants are harmful to rabbits even though they are safe for humans. That means that you should check if a food is rabbit-safe before giving it to your pet.
Luckily, strawberries are safe for rabbits to eat! However, strawberries should not make up the bulk of your rabbit’s diet as they are not healthy for rabbits in large quantities. Before feeding your rabbit some strawberries, here is what you should know.
Are Strawberries Safe for Rabbits?
Strawberries are perfectly safe for rabbits to eat. In fact, they are packed with nutrients that could help keep your rabbit healthy.
Strawberries are high in water but have a comparatively low caloric and sugar content, especially when you compare them to other fruits. Too much sugar and too many calories can be harmful to rabbits, so this means that strawberries are a relatively healthy treat for your bunny.
Strawberries are also low in calcium. Although rabbits need calcium to maintain strong bones, the daily recommended serving is relatively low. Too much calcium can cause digestive issues and problems with passing urine. Unlike many other treats, strawberries are not rich in calcium, so they can help balance your rabbit’s calcium levels.
However, strawberries are rich in vitamin C and manganese as well as other vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to rabbits. These fruits also have a very high fiber content. The bulk of a rabbit’s diet should consist of fiber-rich foods, so strawberries can contribute to their daily serving of this valuable nutrient.
How Often Should Rabbits Eat Strawberries?
Although strawberries are safe for rabbits to eat, they are only safe in moderation. Strawberries, like most other fruits, are very high in sugar. Rabbits love sugar, but that does not mean that it is good for them. Too much sugar can cause your rabbit to become overweight or in severe cases, cause gastrointestinal issues such as stasis.
Your rabbit can have a small serving of fruit or a sugar-rich vegetable every day as a treat. Treats are important because they help keep your rabbit healthy and help you check their well-being. If a rabbit that normally loves fruit does not come running for its treat, that could be a sign that it is sick. However, too many treats could make your rabbit sick and spoil it so it does not eat the food that is actually healthy.
You should switch out which treats you give to your rabbit so that you feed it a balance between fruits and vegetables that are sugary and those that are a little healthier. You can feed your rabbit strawberries two to three times a week.
This rule applies to adult rabbits only. Baby rabbits should not have fruit of any kind until they are about 12 weeks old. That is because their systems are still developing and even a little sugar can harm them.
What Is the Best Way to Give a Rabbit Strawberries?
The right serving size when giving a rabbit some strawberries is about one to two tablespoons, which equals about one medium-sized strawberry. If you have a dwarf rabbit, you should decrease the serving size as the recommended daily serving of sugar for smaller rabbits is below that.
You can feed your rabbit a whole strawberry—even the tops. However, monitor your bunny to ensure that it does not choke on the fruit. Smaller rabbits or younger ones may get so excited about the prospect of a delicious strawberry that they start eating too fast and could choke! You can cut strawberries into small pieces if you are worried about choking.
You should only feed your rabbit fresh strawberries. Dried or frozen strawberries often have added sugars to help preserve them, but those sugars could be harmful for your rabbit. Before feeding your rabbit any fruit, you should wash it thoroughly. Even organic strawberries could be covered in harmful waxes or pesticides.
Rabbits can safely eat strawberries as long as they are consumed in moderation. Strawberries are high in fiber and other nutrients, but they are also high in sugar, which could lead to weight and digestive issues for your rabbit. An adult rabbit can have one to two tablespoons of strawberries per serving a few times a week.
Before giving your rabbit a strawberry, wash it first to ensure that there are no harmful pesticides or chemicals. Always go for fresh strawberries instead of frozen or dried strawberries or strawberry-based treats.