Rabbit Diet: Is It Safe For Rabbits To Eat Blueberries?

Rabbit eating blueberries

 

Everyone loves blueberries. Or at-least they should. After all, Blueberry falls under the elite category of being a superfood. And there is a reason for that. Blueberries are a nutrition powerhouse, they are low in calories and rich in antioxidants, fibres, Vitamin K and manganese. But do they also pack a nutrition punch when fed to your rabbit? Should you let your bunny munch a few blueberries? It’s time to find out.

What’s So Great About Blueberries?

We probably don’t need to tell you how great blueberries are: they are abundant in flavonoids (which give them their purple hue), Fibres, vitamins K, vitamin C, Manganese and an array of antioxidants, with only 80 calories per cup. Here is the chart from blueberry.org which showcase all the nutrition one will receive with just a cup of it:

Are Blueberries safe for Rabbits?

Yes, blueberries are completely safe for your rabbit. These water-rich and low-calorie treats are not only a better snack but will also keep your Bugs Bunny hydrated.

When offered, your furry friend would happily eat as many blueberries as you offer, which brings us to the next question: How many blueberries can you give to your bunny?

Although incredibly healthy, Rabbits should only be given 2 or 3 blueberries in a week. 

Blueberries, just like with any other fruit such as Apple or Watermelon, contain a fair amount of sugar in the form of Fructose. Although naturally occurring, sugar in any form does not sit well with Rabbit’s digestive system. 

Unlike humans, rabbits have a very sensitive digestive system. So it becomes really important for you as a pet parent that you practice moderation when it comes to feeding anything to your bunny with an exception of hay and water.

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How To Feed Blueberries To Your Rabbits

There are just a few things that you need to keep in mind when feeding your little friend some blueberries:

  1. Wash the Berries: Make sure to thoroughly wash the blueberries before you feed it to your bunny. The skin should be free from any pesticides or chemicals that were sprayed while growing them.

    If you want to be extra sure, there are plenty of veggie wash products available in the market which claim to remove pesticides and other harmful bacteria from fruits and vegetables.

    You can also try to buy organically grown berries which are free of pesticides and chemicals.

  2. Practice Moderation: Too much of anything is good for nothing. Rabbit’s digestive system is not capable of handling a large amount of sugar.

    Fruits in general are high in sugar so make sure to keep the fruits as an occasional treat and should not make the most of their lunch or dinner.

  3. No blueberries for the baby rabbits: Sadly, the baby rabbit’s digestive system is not mature enough to savour this delicious fruit. It is advisable that your baby rabbit be at least 12 weeks old before they are introduced to this sweet treat.

    And when you do introduce blueberries for the first time, start with just one and look out any potential adverse side effects.

    If they do not behave abnormally post eating it the first few times, you can gradually increase the portion size. Although as mentioned earlier, the portion should be enough to keep it as a treat and not to satisfy their hunger pangs.

Source: Tiny Pets Tube

What Does a Typical Rabbit Diet Consist of?

Rabbits are herbivores by nature and need a diet which is high in fibre and nutrients but low in calories. 

Hay comes to the rescue. Hay is just grass which is cut and dried so that it can be used as animal fodder. It is a common food for a variety of pets like rabbits, sheep, goats etc. 

It is extremely rich in fibre and Rabbit can munch on it all day long without having to worry about any digestive problems. The fibre from hay is beneficial for 2 reasons:

  1. Fibre has a proven track record for keeping the gut healthy. It also helps in normalising the bowel movements.

  2. Rabbits have open rooted teeth which means their teeth grow throughout their life. If they don’t chew enough everyday, the teeth tend to overgrow. Overgrown teeth can damage the tongue & oral skin(also called oral mucosa) and introduce dental diseases.

Chewing hay helps with filing their teeth to prevent overgrowth and keeping them in proper length and shape.

A quick look at more relevant topics related to our rabbits:

Bottom Line

Blueberry is a great snacking alternative for your little furry friend. Rabbits like all things sweet and blueberries are exactly that. However, they should only be allowed 2-3 blueberries a week. 90% of their daily diet should always consist of hay, water and a little bit of pellets. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can rabbits eat blueberry leaves or stems?
    Leaves and stems are safe for your rabbit to eat. Most likely, Rabbits won’t eat the stem but just nibble on it for some time before moving on.

  2. Can you feed Rabbits dried Blueberries?
    A big NO! Rabbits like everything raw and even if not, you should never feed your rabbits anything processed. Processed food contains a lot of sugar, preservative and flavoring chemicals which can prove fatal for them.

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