Basil is our most favorite herb. When added to pastas, curries and sauces, it takes the taste to another level. While it is loved by us humans, is it safe for rabbits? Can rabbits eat Basil? If yes, then how much basil should be given to them and what are its benefits? We have compiled this guide with answers to all of these questions. By reading this article, you’ll be able to pamper and nourish your furry friend in a better way. So, keep reading till the end!
Can Rabbits Eat Basil?
In case you’re looking for a short answer, then YES. Rabbits can eat basil. But before you head on to the grocery store or your herb garden to pluck a bunch of basil leaves, take a moment and know about certain important things. Below is everything you need to know about this beautiful herb and its goodness for bunnies.
Nutritional Information Of Basil
Just like other herbs and greens, basil has an excellent nutritional profile. It not only enhances the flavor of your dishes, but also offer a great nutritional value. Approx. 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves contains about :
Nutritional contents of basil 1/4 cup
If we talk about the other facts, basil has a good amount of Vitamin A, which is very crucial for you as well as your rabbit. The same generous 1/4 cup of basil leaves offer about :
|317 iu Vitamin A|
|1mg Vitamin C|
|9mcg Vitamin K|
Nutritional contents of basil 1/4 cup
Should You Offer Basil To Rabbits?
Yes, you can give basil to rabbits to eat but you need to give it in the right amount and at the right times. A good idea is to feed basil with some other food items in moderation. Further, if your bunny is prone to issues like kidney stones and urinary tract infection, then either give it once in a week or avoid giving it completely if the rabbit is suffering from kidney stones. This is because basil is very high in calcium and it can add to kidney issues.
Is Basil Good For Rabbits To Eat?
Absolutely! Basil is full of nutrition and has zero fat plus low sugar which makes it a perfect choice for rabbits. It’s a healthy treat which will not only keep your bunny healthy but will also satiate it. But this is only true to the healthy rabbits with no urinary tract issue or kidney problems.
However, this doesn’t mean you should only give basil to your rabbits to eat. Instead, stick to a proper balanced diet and add basil as a small part of it.
Don’t be afraid if your pet accidentally ate some of this beautiful herb, stay assured that it will only offer excellent health benefits to the bunny. Here are some of the health benefits of basil :
Basil is considered as a superfood due to its excellent nutritional profile. This is the reason why more and more people are including it in their diets in the form of juices, smoothies, salad and cooked dishes as well. It serves the same advantages for rabbits as well. It keeps them healthy and disease-free.
Basil prevent and protect your bunny from cell damage. Further, it is a powerhouse of many antioxidants that help in eliminating the free radicals that can result in cellular damage and even cancer.
- Reduces The Risk of Cancer
Because it contains a high quantity of antioxidants, basil reduces the chances of cancer and other deadly diseases. Not just cancer, it can also reduce the risk of heart diseases, arthritis, respiratory tract infection. Moreover, it also reduces the signs of ageing.
- Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Basil also has many anti-inflammatory properties that can help a rabbit to overcome diseases like arthritis and other related issues. Further, it strengthens the bones and joints of the rabbit and keep them active and healthy.
Is There Any Negative Side Effects Associated With Basil?
In general, basic is not toxic for rabbits. Most rabbit without any kidney or urinary tract related issue don’t face any side effect on eating the herb. However, excess of anything is bad. You should make sure that your bunny is not allergic to basil. In case if he is, he might not behave well on eating the herb. There can be side-effects like itching, diarrhea, vomiting etc.
Do Rabbits Enjoy Eating Basil?
So, now we have discussed that Basil is an absolutely great choice for rabbits as the herb is very healthy and nutritious and you should definitely include it in your rabbit’s diet. But does a bunny really enjoy eating it?
The answer is highly subjective. While some bunnies enjoy eating the herb, others seem to dislike the smell and taste. The best way to know whether your pet likes or dislikes eating the herb is to feed them a leaf or two and see how they react. If they like it, then good!
How Much Basil Can A Rabbit Eat?
Just like any other treat, basil should be given in moderation. This will ensure that your rabbit gets all the possible health benefits of basil without having any side effects.
Once you have determined that your pet likes eating basil and they’re appreciating the new addition to their diet, you can increase the quantity. Here is a little chart you can refer to :
- Baby Rabbits – No basil should be given
- Young Rabbits – No basil should be given
- Adult Rabbits – 2 stems or about 1/4 cup of basil leaves
Moreover, you can give your bunny basil as its fresh food requirement. Further, if your pet has already had enough fresh food, you can reduce the above-mentioned quantity to half. Also, if you’re feeding them for the first time, offer only one to two leaves to check their response.
Just like when you introduce every new food, you should monitor your pet after feeding him basil for the first time. Make sure there are no signs of discomfort, bloating, diarrhea and vomiting.
Basil as such doesn’t cause any of the aforementioned issues. It even helps a rabbit to deal with indigestion and abdominal discomfort. But still, it is very important to keep an eye on your pet until you’re sure that they’re good with this herb.
So, as long as everything goes well, you can later on increase the quantity of basil.
How Often Should You Feed Basil To A Rabbit?
You can easily offer basil to your pet once or twice a week without worrying about its side effects. However, if you’re feeding them other calcium-rich foods, then cut back the amount and frequency of basil in your pet’s diet.
What Are Some Healthy Alternatives Of Basil For A Rabbit?
If your rabbit doesn’t like the taste of basil, then instead of pushing it to eat basil anonymously, try feeding other healthy fresh food items. While it’s true that basil is rich in nutrition, there are some other herbs and greens that are equivalent to it and are loved by bunnies as well. Here is a list of some of the best alternatives to basil in a rabbits diet :
- Swiss chard
- Carrot tops
- Radish tops
- Veet greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Butter lettuce
- Bok choy
- Yu Choy
- Bell pepper
The good idea is to keep changing the food items by rotating trough different seasonal greens and fruits. This will keep your bunny happy and will offer the best health benefits to him. Further, rotating the menu will also prevent the build up of oxalate which when combines with calcium result in kidney stones and urinary sludge. Moreover, don’t feed any spoilt food or table scraps to your bunnies. It may risk their lives!
If you’re new to parenting a bunny, you might want to know what a rabbit’s balanced diet looks like. With that in mind, here is what you should feed your bunny :
Rabbit’s Well-Balanced Diet
Rabbits love to eat a wide variety of foods. These foods are very important for their overall health and well-being. The best part is, the foods rabbits eat are within their reach. These include grasses, herbs, different vegetables and fruits. They happily munch these things.
While it is very tempting to offer commercial treats to your pets, you should keep it limited and treat them with natural food as far as possible.
Here is a clean and happy diet for your rabbit :
Fresh hay is the first and most important component of a rabbit’s diet. The best types of hays include timothy, orchard, oat etc. Provide your bunny with enough quantity of hay which it nibble all day. It helps to keep the digestive tract on point and prevents other digesting related issues. Moreover, keep the hay fresh and dry, don’t let your bunny eat soiled and old hay.
Include a recommended serving of high-quality rabbit food in your rabbits daily diet. Make sure the food is fresh and is from a reputed manufacturer. Read the label on the package well to give them the right quantity according to their age.
Include a cup of fresh leafy greens and a spoon or two of crunchy vegetables per pound of your pet’s body weight. Break up this quantity into several meals per day.
Include about a spoon of fruit per 2 pounds of your pet’s body weight. Don’t overfeed the fruits as they’re very high in sugar. Better to give it in moderation. Moreover, ensure that the fruit you’re giving to your rabbit is safe for him.
Apart from these things, there are two other things you should consider giving your rabbits to maintain their health and happiness.
Fresh Supply of Water: Make sure your pet has access to clean and fresh water all day and night. Use clean water bowls and replace water every day after rinsing them.
Chewable Toys: Rabbit’s teeth don’t stop growing, hence it needs plenty of chewable to keep his teeth strong and of the right length. Some good chewable toys include loofah pieces, applewood sticks, pieces of coconut shell etc.
Other Related Questions
Is basil safe for my rabbit?
Yes, basil is absolutely safe for your bunny. It’s one of the best natural treat you can give your bunny. You can give basil to your pet once or twice per week to maintain their health. Moreover, keep in mind that overfeeding the herb is not a good idea, so keep the quantity limited. Further, if your bunny is very young or is suffering from kidney issues or bladder sludge, keep Basil away from him.
Can I Give Thai Basil To My Rabbit?
Yes, you can feed him Thai basil but make sure you’re serving in the recommended quantity and at the right times.
Can I Give Lemon Basil To My Rabbit?
Yes, all the varieties of basil are equally healthy for rabbits if given in moderation. But before introducing a new herb, make sure your bunny likes it.
Can I Give Sweet Basil To My Rabbit?
You can give sweet basil to your bunny after making sure he’s ok with eating it. Further, keep the amount in moderation and don’t feed it more than twice a week.
Can Basil Make A Rabbit Sick?
While the chances are rare, there can be some conditions when basil can make a rabbit sick. This is mostly possible when your bunny has consumed a larger quantity of basil at one time or if he is allergic to this herb. If you continuously feed large quantities of basil to your pet, it might result in kidney and bladder issues.
A majority of rabbits like basil to eat and it can be a great addition to their natural diet. Just make sure that you’re offering it in moderation along with other essential things like hay, rabbit food and other veggies.