Have you ever been happily snacking away on your couch, only to find your pet rabbit is intensely interested in what you’re eating? As natural foragers, rabbits have a keen sense of smell to lead them to their next delicious meal.
Before you go feeding your rabbit directly off your plate, you should take a few precautions. Rabbits are herbivores, and therefore their digestive systems are significantly different from humans. What might pass as great nutrition for people can often be harmful to rabbits. Or even deadly.
So, we’ve decided to cover the ins and outs of a variety of common household fruits and veggies that you may be wondering about feeding to your rabbit. In this article, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about a snack adored by almost every bunny: Blueberries!
While bunnies definitely can eat blueberries, there are a few things you should know before you make these fruits a regular part of their diet. So, you’ll be learning about blueberries’ nutrition facts, health benefits, and potential dangers before getting some guidelines on how to feed your rabbit – and how much.
Yes! Rabbits can Eat Blueberries
Oh, rabbits most certainly can eat blueberries… And they absolutely love them, too! In fact, most rabbits will gladly nudge, lick, and otherwise generally bother you any time you have a fresh fruit in your hands. The University of California’s Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources backs this up, citing that fruits (like blueberries) can make up a portion of a rabbit’s diet.
Nutrition Facts for Blueberries
Nutritionvalue.org provides a great insight into what makes blueberries a popular snack choice for humans and rabbits alike. Some of blueberries’ most remarkable nutrition qualities include:
High in Vitamin C and Vitamin K
High in sugars
High in antioxidants
Comprised of 91% carbohydrates, 4% protein, and 5% fats, blueberries are a sugary treat.
Health Benefits and Dangers of Blueberries for Rabbits
While blueberries’ Vitamin K is helpful for the health of your rabbit’s blood, vitamin C is not a necessary nutrient for your rabbit. In fact, if fed to your rabbit too often or in too large quantities, the excessive Vitamin C can cause kidney damage.
Antioxidants are important for maintaining general cellular health, but blueberries’ high sugar content make them a less than ideal regular food source for your rabbit. Given sparingly, they can contribute to your rabbit’s health and happiness.
How to Feed Blueberries to Your Rabbits
Berries are one of the most convenient occasional treats for rabbits, as they can be doled out individually. Never cook or otherwise process blueberries, as this will both degrade their nutrition value and make your rabbit dislike them; rabbits prefer everything raw.
Be sure to look for organic blueberries to feed your rabbit. Because they’re not treated with pesticides or chemicals, they’ll be easier on your bunny’s immune and digestive systems.
How Many Blueberries Should I Feed My Rabbit?
While no rabbit needs to be fed blueberries, it’s true that larger rabbits can get away with a sugary treat more often than small rabbits. Because of their bigger muscles and more robust digestive systems, breeds like the Checkered Giant can burn off the calories of high-carbohydrate snacks like blueberries more quickly; a Dwarf Hotot might easily put on weight even from a small number of fruits.
Introduce blueberries to your rabbit’s diet slowly, as an excess can cause diarrhea. 3-6 is a good place to start for larger breeds, while a single blueberry may be all that a dwarf rabbit’s digestion can handle.
Types of Blueberries to Feed Your Rabbit
Always choose fresh, raw blueberries to feed your rabbit – never from frozen! While frozen berries still taste very good, their nutritional value is diminished by the processing. And with occasional treats like fruit, you should try to make them as healthy as possible for your rabbit.
Final Thoughts on Feeding Blueberries to Your Rabbit
Rabbits of all sizes and breeds are huge fans of all types of fruit, but this doesn’t mean that you should feed it to them regularly! While rabbits certainly can eat blueberries, you should reserve them as an occasional treat because of their high sugar content.
Thanks for reading today, and we hope you’ve learned everything you needed to know about feeding blueberries to your rabbit. Good luck keeping your bunny friends away from your snacks!