There is no better fruit than the strawberry, regardless of what people told you about apples and doctors. What beats a ripe, plump strawberry? Nothing, that’s what! Not to mention that strawberries are so deeply embedded in our diets. We cover them in chocolate, we extract their flavor to put them into other foods, we even put them into pies!
Not to mention that strawberries make great and healthy snacks for us humans. They’re sweet, but they’re also rich in vitamins like vitamin C and are a great source of antioxidants. But what about rabbits? Can rabbits eat strawberries? And if so, is there a limited? Are strawberries dangerous?
We’ll answer the question of can rabbits eat strawberries as well as other important questions pertaining to rabbits and strawberries. Including some you never thought of! As a rabbit owner, or quite possibly the owner of several rabbits, you want to feed your rabbit right, and we’re here to help!
So, Can Rabbits Eat Strawberries?
Yes. In fact, rabbits love strawberries! While rabbits love all sorts of fruits, strawberries and bananas seem to be their absolute favorites. The entire strawberry, including the top, is perfectly safe for your rabbit to eat. The plant itself, while not exciting save the strawberries, are edible. Most rabbits seem to not care, however.
Why strawberries are favorites of rabbits are unknown, but some guess it’s due to their sweet flavor or the aroma. Possibly the bright red color draws the eyes of rabbits. Regardless of the reason, your bunny or bunnies will love fresh strawberries. So yes, rabbits can eat strawberries without a problem. But, should they?
Are Strawberries Good For Rabbits?
Yes. Strawberries are a surprisingly healthy fruit for both humans and animals. If you look at the USDA listing for strawberries, you’ll find that while they have a high water content of 91% the strawberry is chock-full of antioxidants. While further research is needed, antioxidants can be beneficial to prevent heart disease in rabbits.
These fruits also contain an impressive amount of magnesium. Rabbits are prone to calcium build up, which leads to bladder sludge. A very unpleasant illness where the urine becomes like sludge as the body tries to rid itself of the excess calcium. Magnesium helps prevent this, and strawberries are actually helpful in this regard.
Finally, strawberries have a good amount of vitamin C, although your rabbit likely gets plenty of this vitamin already. Still, a strawberry makes a great fruit supplement to their regular diet.
Can Strawberries Be Bad For Rabbits?
For all their benefits, the one downside of strawberries is they’re a sugary fruit. One strawberry can contain nearly a full gram of sugar. Being high in sugar, and very sweet, your rabbit will be drawn into eating strawberries and only strawberries. They might even ignore their other rabbit food like hay and pellets, which they do need.
Fruits high in sugar should be given as treats. Too much sugar in your rabbit’s diet can and will lead to obesity and other illnesses related to high sugar intake. This is why strawberries should be considered as treats.
How Do I Prepare Strawberries For My Rabbit?
The first thing to do is to wash off the strawberry. This is quite easy, but you want to always practice this to ensure the health of your rabbit. Unwashed strawberries could potentially carry harmful pesticides or bacteria! This can get your rabbit sick, or worse. However, you should wash all fruits and vegetables your rabbits eat.
Some rabbit owners enjoy feeding their bunnies chopped strawberries. This way they can control the intake. Other owners prefer to offer their rabbit the whole strawberry. Rabbits tend to not be very picky when it comes to chopped or whole, although smaller rabbits may need to be offered chopped strawberries if a whole one is too big.
How Many Strawberries Can My Rabbit Eat?
Can rabbits eat strawberries? As we established, yes. Rabbits can eat strawberries non-stop, in fact. And this isn’t a good thing at all. Because of the fruit being rich in sugar, too many strawberries can make your rabbit sick. Because these fruits are over 90% water, they can disturb your rabbit’s sensitive digestive system.
As a good rule of thumb, only offer a strawberry twice a week. And make sure it is only one strawberry per rabbit. If you have more than one rabbit, watch them when offering fruits so one rabbit won’t try to steal another’s fruit. Eating more than one strawberry at a time isn’t going to hurt your rabbit, but it’s a bad habit.
Can Rabbits Eat Dried Strawberries?
What do rabbits eat in the wild? Fruits and vegetables. A rabbit in the wild isn’t going to find a bag of dried fruit unless it’s looking through someone’s trash or finds a bag carelessly tossed aside. This is to say never feed rabbits any dried strawberries or any other dried fruit for that matter.
For us humans, dried fruits are a healthy snack. Or so we like to think. In actuality, many dried fruits are loaded with sugar and chemicals. While we won’t feel the affects, rabbits certainly will. The high sugar concentration mixed with the chemicals used for drying and preserving just aren’t healthy for a rabbit.
This isn’t to say that if your rabbit eats a bit of dried fruit they’ll get sick. Rather, they might want dried fruit over real fruits and this isn’t healthy for them. Dried strawberries, and other dried fruits, are an absolute no. The same goes for any canned fruit or fruit cups, which are worse given the slimy syrup and preservatives that are packed in.
Can Rabbits Eat Strawberry Jam?
Would you feed your rabbit jam or jelly? If you said yes, you really shouldn’t give them fruit preserves. Much like dried fruits, jams and fruit preserves are high in sugar. Not to mention that the slick texture may upset their stomachs or get tangled in their fur.
The idea is cute, but save the jam for yourself and the raw strawberries for your rabbits.
Do Rabbits Care If Strawberries Are Organic Or Not?
No, they don’t. To us, organic strawberries sound better on paper than plain ol’ strawberries. Fewer pesticides and chemicals. To a rabbit, it makes no difference. A strawberry is a strawberry. They’re red, they’re sweet, and as we established they need to only be provided twice a week at most.
While some rabbit owners may swear that organic strawberries are the best, the reality is that it’s not going to make much difference. So long as any rabbits you have are given a healthy and diverse diet with nutritional supplements, you can expect them to live long, happy lives.
Can Rabbits Eat Strawberries Grown At Home?
If you want to go the organic route, but don’t want to pay the organic prices, why not try growing strawberries at home? This guide provides the basics on how to grow your own strawberries, and these fruits aren’t hard to grow at all. They’re more suited for spring and fall compared to summer, however.
Why stop at strawberries? Some rabbit owners plant entire gardens just for the fresh foods to feed their bunnies. While this is certainly commendable, not everyone has the yard space for a full-fledge garden just for your rabbit. Some don’t even have a yard!
Strawberries, and other foods your rabbit can eat, can be grown in pots or small patches of land. Try it yourself as a side project, and who knows, you might have a green thumb!
Can Rabbits Eat Wild Strawberries?
Yes, but they shouldn’t be offered any. Wild strawberries might be a common sight where you live, and you may be tempted to pick some for your bunny. While these fruits should be safe for you once you wash them off, it’s better for your rabbit to be fed strawberries bought at a store or grown at home.
What Can Rabbits Eat That Are Like Strawberries?
If you’re looking for a fruit that has all the benefits of a strawberry, but are also smaller, try cranberries! These yummy fruits are a favorite of both rabbits and their owners! Cranberries contain plenty of antioxidants and magnesium, at the cost of higher concentrations of sugar.
If you want to feed your rabbits cranberries, the same rules apply as with strawberries. Only use them as treats, a few berries at a time, never offer dried or canned cranberries, and always clean your fruit off before presenting it to your rabbits.
That should answer your question can rabbits eat strawberries. They most certainly can, and will love to chow down on these sweet fruits, but like all fruits moderation is key. No more than two strawberries a week, and make sure they’re fresh. Never dried, canned, frozen, made into a jelly, or baked into a pie.
The key component of a healthy diet for your rabbit is plenty of hay and pellets. With a mix of greens and some fruit, you’ll have all that you need to keep your rabbit happy and healthy!