Yes, rabbits can eat strawberries as a treat. Two tablespoons of sliced strawberries are the perfect quantity for a treat. As they’re a treat you should only give them around once to twice per week.
Don’t be alarmed when it looks like blood is dripping from your rabbit’s mouth after eating strawberries – it’s normal! Because of the red juices, the fur around your rabbit’s mouth can stain. Carefully clean it if you can so their fur doesn’t get matted.
How to Prepare Strawberries for Rabbits
Before preparing the strawberries, wash them thoroughly to remove any pesticides from the skin.
Also check that they haven’t gone off – if they’re moldy, soft, or have a strange smell then they can’t be given to your rabbit. If you can get organic strawberries or grow your own organically, those are best.
On the flip side, don’t feed your rabbits strawberries when they are under-ripe. Ideally, you need a middle ground when the strawberry is fresh and at its best.
The strawberries need to be cut into small pieces. These can be mixed with other food or served by themselves. This treat should be given along with a balanced diet of hay, fresh vegetables, pellets, and water.
If your rabbit hasn’t tasted strawberry before, you should give them a very small slice and monitor them over the following 24 hours to make sure they digest it okay. If so, you can slowly increase the amount of strawberry up to two tablespoons. If not, they will need to see a vet.
Health Benefits of Rabbits Eating Strawberries
Eaten in moderation, strawberries can provide several health benefits. The juicy red fruit contains:
- Lots of vitamin C (to help their immune system).
- Antioxidants (to fight off disease).
- Fiber (to make a healthy digestive system).
- Calcium (to strengthen bones and teeth).
- Water (to help your rabbit stay hydrated).
Strawberries are also very tasty, so they can be given as a treat and used to train rabbits.
Risks of Rabbits Eating Strawberries
Strawberries contain natural sugars and in very small amounts they are fine. But in too large amounts they can lead to health problems so it’s important to feed them in moderation.
If not, your rabbit might end up with dental problems, obesity, and digestive issues. Signs of too much sugar include diarrhea, bloating, and stomach pain.
Strawberries should be in addition to a balanced diet. As they don’t contain anywhere near the amount of fiber or nutrients your rabbit needs, it’s crucial that they get what they need from the rest of their diet.
Which Parts of a Strawberry Can Rabbits Eat?
Can Rabbits Eat Strawberry Leaves?
Yes, rabbits can eat strawberry leaves. They can be mixed with other leafy greens or given by themselves. They contain nutrients that are beneficial to rabbits and rabbits in the wild would eat these too.
Can Rabbits Eat Strawberry Seeds?
Yes, rabbits can eat strawberry seeds. They are not harmful (unlike most other seeds). Rabbits can digest strawberry seeds with no issue.
Can Rabbits Eat Strawberry Tops?
Yes, your rabbit can eat strawberry tops. The top (consisting of the stem and green leaves) are safe for rabbits to eat, but make sure you wash them thoroughly first to prevent chemicals or pesticides clinging on.
Can Rabbits Eat Strawberry Plants?
Yes, rabbits can eat strawberry plants. They are safe for rabbits to eat, but taste far less sweet than actual strawberries – so your rabbit might not be as interested in them. Make sure you wash them before giving them to your rabbit. If you grow strawberries at home, keep a close eye on your rabbit around them or they might be gone before you get the chance to pick them yourself.
Can Rabbits Eat Dried Strawberries?
You shouldn’t give your rabbit dried strawberries. The combination of added preservatives, high levels of sugar, and little vitamins make dried strawberries far more healthy than the fresh versions. If you do give your rabbit dried strawberries, it should be half a tablespoon at most to account for the high sugar.
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Strawberries?
No, baby rabbits can’t eat strawberries. It’s advised to wait until around one year of age before introducing new foods into your rabbit’s diet. You may get away with starting earlier than this, but you run the risk of causing internal problems in their sensitive stomachs.
Can Rabbits Eat Strawberry Flavored Products?
No, your rabbit shouldn’t eat strawberry-flavored products. Foods like strawberry jam make bad snacks for your rabbit due to excessive sugar and other ingredients that are added to the products. As a rule of thumb, if it isn’t a fresh strawberry, then it should be avoided.