Rabbits are very smart and social. It won’t take very long for your rabbit to figure out that you eat lots of good foods and how to beg you for handouts.
But should you give your begging rabbit a sweet strawberry for a treat? It is hard to resist those begging eyes, but you also want to keep your bunny safe!
In this article, we review everything you need to know about rabbits and strawberries.
Can Rabbits Eat Strawberries
The short answer to the question can rabbits eat strawberries is yes.
Strawberries can be a good way to supplement your rabbit’s staple diet and add in beneficial nutrients as well as dietary enrichment.
Learn Whether Rabbits Can Eat Strawberries
In this short and focused YouTube video, you can get a quick overview of whether rabbits can eat strawberries and how much to offer at one time.
You can also learn about how to feed strawberries for the very first time so your rabbit’s digestion has time to adjust to this new fresh fruit.
Are Strawberries Bad for Rabbits to Eat?
Strawberries are not bad for rabbits to eat. Interestingly, rabbits in the wild that have never been pets have been observed to eat fruits. But often the only fruits a wild rabbit would ever have access to is berries.
Strawberry plants grow low to the ground and this puts the ripe, fresh berries well within a wild rabbit’s reach as they are foraging.
In fact, as Home Guides points out, far too many homeowners who start a backyard garden find out the hard way that rabbits not only love the fresh ripe strawberry fruits, but they seem to like the young and tasty green plants too!
This observational data makes answering the question of whether strawberries are bad for rabbits much easier than answer this same question about many other fruits.
Strawberries can be good for rabbits to eat. But they must be prepared and served properly, which is what we will discuss in the next sections here.
Are Strawberries Safe for Rabbits to Eat?
The best way to find out if strawberries are safe to feed to your precious bunny is to make two types of inquiries.
The first inquiry is to your pet’s veterinarian, who will be able to tell you if strawberries can add any important nutrients to your rabbit’s regular diet.
The second inquiry is to other rabbit owners who can tell you if their pets tolerate strawberries well and seem to like them.
So let’s find out what the answer to each of these inquiries might be!
Veterinary guidance for feeding strawberries to rabbits
As Vet Explains Pets points out, strawberries are not only a native (natural) food for wild rabbits, but they are also full of nutrients that can benefit rabbits.
In short, strawberries are perfectly fine to feed to a rabbit.
Rabbit owners talk about offering strawberries to their rabbits
The House Rabbit Society explains that strawberries are on the shortlist of perfectly safe fruits to feed to a pet rabbit.
This means that as long as you follow the preparation guide you are about to read, you can offer strawberries as a treat food to your rabbit safely.
Are Strawberries Healthy for Rabbits to Eat?
Strawberries are safe and healthy for rabbits to eat as long as they are prepared properly.
As Best Friends Animal Society highlights, no fruit should be offered to your rabbit more than twice per week.
But strawberries are high on the list of safe fruits and offer plenty of nutrients to your rabbit. Medical News Today reports on the health benefits of one cup of sliced strawberries.
- 53 calories.
- 1.11 grams of protein.
- 12.75 grams of carbohydrates.
- 3.3 grams of fiber.
- Vitamin A: 28 IU.
- Vitamin C: 97.6 mg.
- Vitamin B-9 (Folate): 40 mcg.
- Phosphorus: 40 mg.
- Magnesium: 22 mg.
- Potassiume: 254 mg.
- Iron: 0.68 mg.
- Calcium: 27 mg.
So it is easy to see that strawberries really can deliver a powerful nutritional punch to supplement your rabbit’s regular diet of hay, grasses, pellets, and vegetables.
Should Rabbits Be Given Strawberries to Eat?
As House Rabbit Diet points out, strawberries should only be fed to adult rabbits.
In rabbit ages, this generally translates to mean a rabbit that is at least six months old.
The reason it is important not to feed any type of fresh food (strawberries or others) when your rabbit is still young is because of your pet’s digestive tract.
The whole gastro-intestinal system is still growing and developing, as is your rabbit’s overall immune response. Very young rabbits might be more sensitive to fresh foods that contain more water and sugar.
This could cause loose stools, diarrhea, and tummy upset. But if you wait until your rabbit is an adult, strawberries should be well tolerated in moderation.
Offering Strawberries to Your Rabbit for the First Time
Speaking of moderation, let’s talk about how to offer your rabbit a fresh strawberry for the very first time!
This is a three-step process you should follow with care to make sure your pet has the best experience trying strawberries for the first time.
The first step is to prepare the strawberry so that it is safe for your pet rabbit to eat.
According to EWG (Environmental Working Group), strawberries sit right at the top of what that group calls the “dirty dozen.” This is a list of the “dirtiest” produce when it comes to contamination with pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides.
If at all possible, try to only feed your rabbit (and yourself) organic strawberries that have not been treated with these chemicals.
If it is simply not possible to grow your own strawberries or find organic strawberries locally, then you can use a produce wash or make your own with warm water and dish soap to remove the toxins from the fruit.
It is safe to feed the strawberries with the leaves and stems still attached if you want to do that.
For step two, you want to cut the strawberry up based on its size. If it is small, cut it in half. If it is medium, cut it into quarters. If it is large, cut it into six equal portions.
Only offer your rabbit one portion for the very first feeding. Offer the strawberry alone and apart from any other fresh foods.
For the third step, you want to wait at least 24 hours and watch your rabbit see how your pet reacts. Do you see any signs of digestive upset or diarrhea?
If not, it is likely that your rabbit tolerated the strawberry well and you can add this fruit to the regular treat rotation each week.
How Often Can You Feed Oranges to Rabbits?
Rabbits typically enjoy fruit and especially sweet strawberries when they are in season.
And now that we have looked at their nutrient content, we know that strawberries are one of the best fruits to feed to rabbits.
However, strawberries, like all fruits, should only be offered as a treat and not as a dietary staple.
As such, feeding strawberries to your rabbit once or twice per week is perfectly fine