Yes, rabbits can eat blueberries as a treat. Adult rabbits can have one or two large blueberries, or up to four small blueberries per week.
Make sure you wash the blueberries and make sure they are ripe. If they’re not quite ripe (still green) or overripe (soft) then they will make your rabbit sick.
Health Benefits of Rabbits Eating Blueberries
As well as being sweet treats, blueberries contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals which massively benefits rabbits when they’re eaten.
- Water: About 84% of a blueberry is water. It’s crucial for hydration, healthy bowel movements, and to help prevent overheating.
- Vitamin A: For your rabbit to have healthy skin and vision.
- Vitamin K: To reduce the chance of blood clots, help good bone health and strong blood flow.
- Folic acid: To enhance red blood cell reproduction and boost their immunity.
- Potassium and magnesium: To help your rabbit sleep and support muscle relaxation.
- Phosphorus: To strengthen bones and teeth (working alongside calcium).
- Antioxidants: Including anthocyanins, myricetin, and quercetin. These remove free radicals and keep your rabbit healthy (amongst other things).
Risks of Rabbits Eating Blueberries
You need to make sure your rabbit doesn’t eat more blueberries than they should (up to two large or four small berries). If they do, they could face problems related to blueberries having extremely high sugar and vitamin C contents.
The high sugar content can lead to obesity, dental issues and fussy eating. In small portions, blueberries are okay, but eating too many too often can cause a lot of upset for your rabbit.
- Obesity: Gaining weight by consuming so much sugar can eventually lead to obesity. At this stage, your rabbit can have trouble with their skin, heart, and other health issues.
- Dental health: Too much sugar can cause teeth decay and their teeth can overgrow if they’re eating too many sugary foods and not fiber-rich foods that they need.
- Fussy eating: If your rabbit has a strong sweet tooth, they might fill up on sugary treats and reject their main diet. Treats should be given to your rabbit at most twice a week.
Too much vitamin C can lead to kidney damage. Rabbits usually produce as much vitamin C as they need, so eating fruit rich in vitamin C can quickly lead to them having too much.
There are also some things you need to look out for when you’re feeding your rabbit blueberries. You need to carefully wash and check the berries, rinse off pesticides, and confirm there are no parasites in the blueberry.
Also, make sure that the blueberry is ripe. Rotten fruit can cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems for your rabbit. Under-ripe blueberries wouldn’t taste good and can also cause stomach upset.
Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Blueberries?
No, rabbits shouldn’t eat cooked blueberries. The cooking process decreases the nutrients massively and makes them softer. In general, your rabbit should eat raw food, which is better for their teeth and healthier for them.
Can Rabbits Eat Frozen Blueberries?
Yes, rabbits can eat frozen blueberries. You should follow the same portion size as you would with fresh blueberries (i.e. four small berries or two large). This is an especially enjoyable way for your rabbit to have treats in the warmer summer months.
Can Rabbits Eat Dried Blueberries?
Yes, your rabbit can eat dried blueberries. However, by drying the blueberries out, the water is removed but it retains all the sugar. Although rabbits can eat these, you need to seriously limit the portion size because of how sugary it is. Fresh blueberries are the best, followed by frozen, and then dried.
Can Rabbits Eat Blueberry Leaves?
Yes, rabbits can eat blueberry leaves. As long as you wash them thoroughly to make sure that there are no harmful chemicals or pesticides on them. This goes for homegrown blueberries and ones you’ve bought from the store.
Can Rabbits Eat Blueberry Stems?
Yes, rabbits can eat blueberry stems. They are safe to eat, you just need to make sure that you rinse them and make sure they’re clean of any chemicals or pesticides.
Can Rabbits Eat Blueberry Jam?
No, rabbits can’t eat blueberry jam. It has an extremely high sugar content and has other ingredients that aren’t nutritional or healthy for rabbits. Stay away from any products that have blueberries mixed with other ingredients.
What Other Berries Can Rabbits Have?
As well as blueberries, rabbits can safely have blackberries, strawberries, and rasberries. There are plenty of other fruits you can give your rabbit in moderation. Remember to always check if a food is rabbit-friendly and how much they can have in one portion.
What Do Rabbits Eat?
Rabbits should have a diet consisting mainly of fiber-rich hay. They also need a variety of fresh vegetables, pellets, and water. The final part of their diet is treats, like blueberries. Rabbits can have treats a couple of times per week as part of a healthy diet.