Yes, rabbits can eat raw snap peas as a treat. The leaves, stems, and peas themselves are all safe to eat. There are a bunch of health benefits your rabbit can gain from eating snap peas, but you’ll need to limit the portions so they don’t overeat and get sick.
An ideal portion for your rabbit to eat is one pod of snap peas for every four pounds that your rabbit weights, or two tablespoons worth.
Snap peas are sometimes called sugar snap peas but refer to the same vegetable.
Which Part of the Snap Pea Plant Can Rabbits Eat?
Rabbits can eat all parts of the snap pea plant – the leaves, stems, and pods. Make sure that you buy organic where possible and always wash the pea plant thoroughly to remove any traces of pesticides from it.
- Snap pea leaves: Two cups of leaves are the perfect amount for a daily snack. This should be a variety of leaves, of around five different leafy greens mixed together.
- Snap pea pods: One pod or two tablespoons is an ideal amount. Since this is a treat, your rabbit can only have this once or twice per week. Make sure you alternate the treats weekly for variety.
You can feed your rabbit snap peas at any stage of their growth – when they’re fresh and green, and even when they’re immature (which means they’re smaller).
Health Benefits of Rabbits Eating Snap Peas
Snap peas contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, and minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, and many more.
Eating snap peas can benefit your rabbit by:
- Strengthening bones: High levels of calcium contribute to the health of your rabbit’s bones and teeth.
- Boosting the immune system: Antioxidants and minerals in snap peas provide a boost to your rabbit’s overall general health.
- Aiding digestion: Snap peas are easy to digest and contain fiber that is essential for smooth digestion.
- Healing tissue and muscle: Protein in snap peas helps your rabbit’s skin and muscles to grow and repair.
- Maintaining a healthy heart and kidneys: Aided by the many vitamins your rabbit gets from snap peas.
Risks of Rabbits Eating Snap Peas
Snap peas are sugary and can be harmful to your rabbit’s health if they overindulge rather than eating snap peas as an occasional treat.
Some of the risks include:
- Obesity: If your rabbit eats too many sugary treats like snap peas, they’ll start gaining weight and can end up becoming obese. Once they’re obese, rabbits develop issues with their skin, heart, mobility, and more.
- Dental issues: If rabbits eat a lot of sugar, their teeth can rot. Another related problem is the overgrowth of teeth if your rabbit eats the wrong type of food.
- Digestive issues: If your rabbit eats the wrong type of food, they can have trouble digesting and getting all the nutrients that they need. Not eating enough fiber, in particular, can cause serious problems for your rabbit.
- Addiction: If your rabbit becomes accustomed to sugary snacks too often, they may reject their regular food and crave extra sugar.
As long as you control the portion sizes and feed your rabbit a balanced diet, you should be able to avoid a lot of these issues.
How to Introduce Your Rabbit to Snap Peas
If you want to give your rabbit snap peas for the first time, follow these steps:
- Make sure your rabbit is at least three months old. Until this point, they won’t be able to digest anything except hay and pellets.
- Measure half a tablespoon of snap peas.
- Serve the snap peas along with hay and water.
- Monitor your rabbit over the next 24 hours. Watch out especially for diarrhea, lethargy, and changes in appetite.
- If they have no issues, you can increase the portion next time.
- If your rabbit doesn’t react well, remove any remaining snap peas from them and keep an extremely close eye on them. Take them to the vet if you’re worried.
The key when introducing any new food to your rabbit is to go slowly. You know your rabbit best so keep a close eye on them and
Can Rabbits Eat Dried Snap Peas?
No, rabbits can’t eat dried snap peas. By drying out the snap peas, they lose their water content and become a choking hazard. With snap peas, stick with fresh ones, and if there aren’t any fresh ones available you should skip them and choose another treat.
Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Snap Peas?
No, rabbits can’t eat cooked snap peas. When vegetables are cooked, the texture is changed and the nutritional value is decreased. They’ll be too soft for your rabbit’s teeth and aren’t worth it if they offer no health benefits.
Can Rabbits Eat Snap Beans?
Yes, rabbits can eat snap beans. Similar to snap peas, they are safe to eat in moderation as long as they’re raw. The portion size is similar to snap peas as well – two tablespoons of snap beans for every four pounds that your rabbit weighs.
Can Rabbits Eat Garden Peas?
Yes, rabbits can eat fresh garden peas. As long as they’re still green and raw, rabbits can enjoy a small number of garden peas as a treat. One teaspoon of peas for every two pounds that your rabbit weighs is the recommended amount for the treat.
What Else Do Rabbits Eat?
Rabbits should eat a balanced diet consisting of fiber-rich hay (a constant supply), a variety of fresh vegetables (once or twice per day), clean drinking water (always), store-bought pellets (once per day), and occasional treats (foods like snap peas would count as treats and should be given once or twice per week).