Strawberries are among the most common and valued fruits of the spring season, not only for their great taste but also for the nutritional benefits they provide. For this reason, it is common that when this season arrives, many caregivers wonder if their pets can consume this fruit, especially in the case of guardians of herbivorous animals such as rabbits.
If you are also wondering about Can rabbits eat strawberries, don’t hesitate to join us in the next Best Pets Lover article, in which we will explain everything you need to know about this fruit in the diet of rabbits.
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Can rabbits eat strawberries?
The answer is: YES, RABBITS CAN EAT STRAWBERRIES but with the following exceptions…
How to give strawberries to a rabbit? Rabbits can eat strawberries only in small quantities and on certain occasions, that is, from time to time and not always. Strawberries have both benefits for your rabbits, and can also have counterproductive effects.
Rabbits can be given strawberries as they can digest them, although if you give them too many they are likely to have intestinal and weight problems. Similarly, strawberries are good as food for guinea pigs, although, like rabbits, intake should be limited.
How many strawberries can rabbits eat?
The amount of strawberry recommended by veterinarians for both guinea pig and rabbit feed is one tablespoon of chopped strawberry. The strawberry should be about the size of a thumb, as a larger strawberry would exceed the recommended dose.
As for the frequency, the ideal is that treats do not exceed 10% of your rabbit’s diet. You can give your rabbit a strawberry every two weeks, for example, always after hay to prevent your rabbit from getting used to the taste of the strawberry and rejecting its food.
Are strawberries good for rabbits?
Rabbits are herbivorous animals whose diet must be based on three fundamental elements :
- Hay (80%).
- I think (5%).
- Fresh food (15%).
The fresh food fraction should be made up mainly of green leafy vegetables and other vegetables. However, occasionally a small amount of fruit may be offered.
Strawberries are on the list of foods suitable for rabbits since they do not contain any compound that is toxic to their organism. However, like all other fruits, they should be offered in very limited quantities for two reasons:
- Its high content of easily digestible sugars can cause the proliferation of harmful bacteria in your intestinal tract or the abnormal accumulation of gas in the digestive system (tympanic).
- Most rabbits tend to show great interest in this fruit, due to its sweet taste and juicy texture. Therefore, if it is administered too frequently, it is likely that rabbits will begin to reject dry food (hay and dry food), which should constitute the bulk of their diet.
Therefore, although rabbits can benefit from the nutritional value and flavor of strawberries, it is important to offer them in moderation to avoid any detrimental effects on their health. In the following sections, we will detail in what quantity this fruit should be administered to rabbits.
Benefits of strawberries for rabbits
In this section we collect some of the benefits that strawberries can provide in the diet of rabbits, provided they are offered in moderation:
- They are low-calorie fruits: the fact of including strawberries in the diet of rabbits does not lead to a notable increase in the energy value of their ration, which is a great advantage for maintaining stable body conditions in these animals. If you are interested, you can consult the following article on Rabbits with obesity: detection and diet, to have more information on the subject.
- They are a good source of fiber: Fiber is a fundamental nutrient in the diet of rabbits. As well as directing gastrointestinal travel and energy consumption, it keeps up with digestive wellbeing by forestalling the presence of pathologies like mucoid enteritis.
- They are very rich in vitamin C: in fact, their content of this vitamin is even higher than that of oranges.
- You contain minerals: such as iron, iodine, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.
- They contain flavonoids known as anthocyanins: these compounds act as powerful antioxidants, thus helping to delay cell aging.
- Its taste: strawberries are usually an exquisite delicacy that few rabbits reject, therefore, it is one of the fruits that you can use as a reward to train your rabbit. Receiving this reward can be a great incentive for learning new tricks or commands. However, you must remember that the fact that rabbits show a great interest in this fruit does not mean that they can eat it in large quantities.
How to give strawberries to rabbits?
First of all, you must wash the strawberries to eliminate possible traces of contaminants or pesticides present on their surface. After that, you must dry them well, because if they are wet and your rabbit does not consume them at the moment, they may ferment and proliferate dangerous bacteria.
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People are used to consuming strawberries by removing the sepals or green leaves that crown the fruit, however, this is the most recommended part for rabbits. Therefore, we recommend that once washed, cut the leaves along with a small amount of fruit ( approximately half a centimeter ) and offer them to your rabbit in this way. This way you can enjoy all the flavor and nutritional benefits of strawberries, without involving a large contribution of undesirable sugars.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that strawberries should only be offered fresh. Dehydrated strawberries or in preparations such as jams or compotes should never be added, due to their high sugar content. It is also not recommended to offer them too cold (frozen or directly taken from the refrigerator), but they should be served at room temperature.
Dosage of strawberries for rabbits
As we have already mentioned, fruits should not be part of the rabbits’ daily ration nor should they be provided in large quantities, because their high sugar content can have very negative consequences on their health.
Therefore, we recommend that when you decide to include strawberries in your rabbit’s diet, you do so in moderation. The healthiest way to do this is to offer them as a reward, sporadically.
As a guideline, you can provide one or two strawberries a week (remembering that you should only manage the green leaves with a small amount of fruit), although this amount may fluctuate relying upon the variety and size of the animals.
So that you can learn more about the rabbit’s diet, we leave you the following video with toxic foods for rabbits that you should not offer.
How often you should provide strawberries
You should not eat strawberries every day. You do not want your rabbit to become addicted and reject their usual food. Provide strawberries from time to time. Always feed him after eating hay and vegetables.
Treats can get around 5-10% of your daily bunny diet. Be that as it may, try not to take care of similar kinds of treats and try not to take care of just organic products. Try swapping them out with root vegetables like carrots or beets.
Always remember to introduce any new food to your rabbit’s diet slowly and in small amounts, especially fruit. Observe your pet rabbit for any unusual behavior. If your rabbit doesn’t show any discomfort or loose stools, you can continue giving them strawberries. Moderation is key! Feed it twice a week with another type of fruit. Variation is good.
How and in what quantities to give strawberries to the rabbit.
Strawberries are a real delicacy, we like them a lot and the rabbit loves them. . However, it is possible to make him eat them only by correctly following some instructions.
Previously we have said that strawberries not only provide numerous benefits to the rabbit’s body but that they are rich in sugars if they are not taken correctly they can cause some annoying problems, especially in the intestines, such as diarrhea.
It is good before adding them to the rabbit’s diet. make sure you are not allergic to this fruit but also memorize these three “guidelines”, to be sure of how and especially in what quantities we can make the rabbit eat strawberries.
- Quantity: the rabbit can eat strawberries but be careful with the portions, a medium strawberry is more than enough. If you cut it into small pieces (because you are preparing a fruit salad) never exceed two tablespoons.
- Frequency – The fruit is certainly good for the rabbit’s body, but only if eaten occasionally. It is recommended to feed it a maximum of twice a week.
- Variation: The rabbit’s palate mustn’t get used to a single “flavor”. So we alternate more fruits in your diet: strawberries but also pineapples, raspberries, and oranges, we can also include apples, pears, and plums, the important thing is that they are free of seeds and pits.
We can conclude by saying: yes to strawberries with rabbit but in moderation and if we realize that he has secretly eaten too many to avoid “diarrhea attacks” let’s take him immediately to the vet.
It is recommended to offer your rabbit a varied palette of fruits or treats. Strawberries and other fruits (apples without seeds or stems, blueberries, melon without seeds, orange including peel, blackberries, plums without seeds, pears without seeds or stems, raspberries, peaches without seeds or pineapples) must respect the 2 tablespoons rule.
Extra sweet fruits such as bananas (between 1/2 inch and 1 inch), grapes (1 or 2), or dried fruit (2 or 3) should be fed in even smaller amounts.
Rabbit’s regular diet
Rabbits cannot digest carbohydrates such as dairy, grains (bread, pasta, rice, crackers, and cereals), legumes (beans), and starchy vegetables (potatoes or corn). For example, avoid yogurt drops. No sticky texture foods! No chocolate because it is toxic to rabbits. Nothing high in sugar.
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Strawberries are preferable to any commercial treat found in any pet store. But try to keep in mind that your rabbit mainly needs these foods:
- fresh hay
- green leafy vegetables
- A couple of pellets! about 10%
- Plenty of fresh, clean drinking water
Watch for any signs of diarrhea in the next 12 to 24 hours. If you notice any change in his behavior, stop feeding him any kind of treats and give your rabbit full access to hay and water.
Wash your rabbit’s fur after eating these delicious treats. They get quite dirty and these fruits can destroy their beautiful appearance. Don’t use cold water. Be careful, they don’t like to get very wet! So keep it simple. I recommend that you feed your rabbit strawberries twice a week.