Rabbits are amazing pets and food lovers. Just carrot and lettuce are not enough for your rabbits; they also require a balanced diet.
The main part of Rabbit diet consists of fresh hay, grass, and fresh clean water but if you are feeding fruits like strawberries to your furry friend than maybe question came into your mind can rabbits eat strawberries? OR
What are the pros and cons of feeding strawberries?
If you are in search of these questions read the article below.
- 1 Can Rabbits eat strawberries?
- 2 Benefits of Strawberries
- 3 Are Strawberries Bad for Your rabbits?
- 4 How Many Strawberries Can Rabbit Have?
- 5 How to introduce strawberries in diet?
- 6 How to serve strawberries?
- 7 Frequency of feeding
- 8 FAQs
Can Rabbits eat strawberries?
The answer is YES, rabbits can eat strawberries. Strawberries are not toxic to your rabbit. Most rabbits can digest them. Strawberry plants are also good for rabbits.
Strawberries are not berries contrary to their names. A berry is a fruit that contains one or more seeds that have three layers and they come from one flower.
On the other hand, strawberries are also called false fruit or aggregate accessory fruit (means that all of their flesh is not derived from an ovary).
Benefits of Strawberries
Strawberries are not only tasty food for rabbits, but these also have many health benefits. Here is the nutrient profile of strawberries (100grams):
- Calories 32 kcal
- Water 91%
- Sugar 4.9 grams
- Fat 0.3 grams
- Carbohydrates 7.7 grams
- Protein 0.7 grams
- Fiber 2 grams
Strawberries contain a large amount of water content (these have 91% water) which can help keep rabbits hydrated.
Strawberries are also rich in vitamin C, but rabbits are quite capable of producing their own vitamin C from glucose, so this is not a very compelling reason to give strawberries to rabbits.
However, it has been suggested that stressful, depressed or anxious rabbits may benefit from fruits that have high vitamin C content.
Strawberries are extremely rich in antioxidants (compounds that help defend cells from free radicals). In fact, it is consistently rated as one of the top 20 foods having high antioxidant value.
Basically, antioxidants that strawberries are famous for are anthocyanins, which give them a beautiful red color. These antioxidants are also supposed to help prevent heart disease in rabbits and humans.
Strawberries are a rich source of magnesium. It is important for rabbits because they are prone to developing bladder sludge (it is the thickening of the urine with calcium salts that never convert into stones).
Unlike other animals, rabbit absorbs all the calcium for their diet more than their required amount. So they rely on urine secretion to get rid of excess calcium.
Strawberries contain a decent amount of fibers that are important to feed the friendly bacteria in the rabbit gut and improve digestive health.
Vitamin B9, folate also present in strawberries is important for normal tissue growth and cell function in rabbits.
Are Strawberries Bad for Your rabbits?
While strawberries are not poisonous and are generally considered safe for rabbits, but there are some drawbacks of feeding strawberries to rabbits.
The main disadvantage of strawberries is its high sugar content.
Rabbits have a very particular diet. The reason is that they do not have peristalsis (it is a constant movement of the stomach that helps rabbits to digest their food).
As a result, rabbits require a diet high in fiber, but very low in sugar.
The digestive system of the rabbit cannot tolerate a lot of sugar; a large amount of sugar in the diet can cause bloating, gas, diarrhea, and stomach pain in many rabbits. Also, too much sugar can lead to health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and tooth decay.
You should always feed strawberries at a moderate level as a special treat or training tool.
Strawberry feeding can cause bladder sludge to appear. One of the main symptoms of bladder surge is blood in urine, straining to urinate, frequent urination and visible sediments in the urine.
How Many Strawberries Can Rabbit Have?
You should not feed more than two tablespoons of cut strawberries at a time, around the size of your thumb.
One medium-sized strawberry is enough for your bunny. Never feed them in excess it will cause serious issues to their tummies.
How to introduce strawberries in diet?
The first rule in feeding rabbits and their delicate stomachs is: If in doubt, don’t let them eat! Rabbits have strong taste buds and will try anything even if it is poisonous.
If you have never fed strawberries to your rabbit than introduce them slowly take a week to avoid any upset. Sometimes rabbits cannot tolerate certain foods.
At first, only give a small number of strawberries and wait for 24 hours if nothing goes wrong than feed again after few days.
If you feel any change in their potty, stop feeding them strawberries and feed something else.
You should feed them a different kind of fruit twice a week because variation is good.
How to serve strawberries?
If you want to serve strawberries, you should know the correct amount to feed your bunny. Your concern for your rabbit can give them a long and healthy life.
Frequency of feeding
You shouldn’t give fruits, especially strawberries, to your rabbit every day because it will make your rabbit addicted to fruits and reject their food. Feed them small amounts of strawberries occasionally, from time to time.
Fruits are a treat in your bunny diet and the treat can make up about 5-10% of the daily diet. You should avoid feeding the same treats. You should always feed them treat after they finish their hay and vegetables.