Strawberries are deliciously sweet fruit, and you may find that your pet rabbit loves to eat your homegrown strawberries when they play in the garden. Or maybe your bun tries to steal strawberries out of your breakfast bowl.
But can rabbits eat strawberries? Should they? Are these fruits safe for bunnies?
Rabbits can eat strawberries, and they love them. A rabbit can safely eat the whole strawberry, strawberry top (the leafy bit on top of the fruit), seeds, the stalk, and leaves of a strawberry plant. However, strawberries are high in sugar so should only be fed to your bun as a treat every now and again.
Want to know more about strawberries and your pet bun? We’ve got all the info for you right here.
Can Rabbits Eat Strawberries With Skin?
Rabbits can eat strawberries with skin and seeds. These juicy fruits, which technically aren’t berries – they are aggregate fruit – are completely safe for rabbits.
If you grow strawberries, you may have discovered that wild rabbits love eating your strawberries before you get to enjoy them. Domesticated rabbits are like their wild cousins – they also love strawberries.
However, only feed fresh strawberries to your bun.
Cooked, canned, dried, or frozen strawberries are not safe options, and neither are strawberries in jam or jelly as the sugar concentration is way too high, and these may contain preservatives (that might not be bunny-safe).
But fruits and vegetables with a high sugar content should only form 0 to 5% of your rabbit’s diet. Strawberries are given as treats when you bond with your rabbit, when you train them, and sometimes just because they are so cute.
However, make sure to wash any strawberries thoroughly before giving them to your rabbit. Pesticides on strawberries are harmful to your rabbit.
Benefits of Feeding Strawberries to Rabbits
There are various benefits of feeding strawberries to rabbits (when done in moderation!).
Here are the benefits of strawberries:
Moderate Amount of Fiber
Strawberries contain a moderate amount of fiber, which is good for your rabbit. These animals are herbivores, and they need a lot of roughage (fiber) in their diet to keep their digestive system running as smoothly as possible and to wear down their ever-growing teeth.
But while strawberries contain some fiber, your bun can’t live off strawberries alone. They need their unlimited supply of hay and twice-a-day feedings of pellets and leafy greens.
Still, strawberries are a healthy treat to feed your bun.
Low in Calcium
Strawberries are low in calcium, and this is great news for rabbits.
Like humans, rabbits also need calcium to grow strong and healthy bones, but too much calcium causes issues like kidney stones, sludge, and bladder stones.
High in Antioxidants
Strawberries are rich in antioxidants like Vitamin C. Antioxidants help protect rabbits against oxidative damage from free radicals (like UVA rays from the sun and pollution). This helps prevent cancer and various other diseases.
High in Water
Strawberries have high water content. In fact, about 90% of a strawberry’s weight is made up of water.
If your rabbit isn’t drinking water, feeding them strawberries as treats can help hydrate your bunny a bit.
Or you can cut the strawberry into small slices and add them to their water bottle or water bowl to entice your bun to drink more water.
Risks of Feeding Too Many Strawberries for Rabbits
While strawberries as a treat are beneficial for your pun, here are the risks if your rabbit eats too many of these red heart-shaped fruits:
Strawberries are high in sugar – for your bun; for you, they are healthy.
Rabbits don’t need sugar in their diet for energy, and too much sugar will cause weight gain. An obese rabbit is an unhealthy rabbit as they can’t groom themselves and struggle to move, which leads to serious health problems.
If your rabbit eats too many strawberries, it can result in gastrointestinal distress or even cause GI stasis.
Just like too much sugar isn’t healthy for a person’s teeth, excess sugar from strawberries and other treats are bad for your rabbit’s teeth.
How Many Strawberries Can I Give My Rabbit?
Strawberries shouldn’t be a normal part of your rabbit’s daily calorie intake. Instead, rabbits should eat strawberries that are cut into pieces as treats.
In general, a 6-pound rabbit can have less than 2 tablespoons of treats for the day.
A 2-pound rabbit can have 2 teaspoons of treats, while a 10-pound rabbit can have 3.5 tablespoons.
A small or dwarf rabbit can have one small to medium-sized strawberry as a treat. But cut this up so as to not overwhelm your bun’s digestive system if they gobble it up.
A medium-sized rabbit can have 1-2 strawberries.
A large rabbit can have 2-3 strawberries as a treat. But again, feed slices of the strawberry to make it last longer. The 2-3 strawberry allowance as a treat is for the day. No other treats should be fed.
Also, don’t feed only strawberries as the treatment of choice. Variety is good, so limit the strawberry treat to once or twice a week.
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Strawberries?
Baby rabbits (kits) should not eat strawberries.
When rabbits are born, they drink milk from their mommy rabbit until they are at least 2 months old.
At the 3-4 week mark, solid foods should be introduced. Alfalfa hay and alfalfa pellets are ideal.
When the kits are 7-8 weeks old, they’ll mostly eat solids (pellets and hay) and drink some milk while they are being weaned off.
At 3 months old, the rabbits should be introduced to leafy greens, and only when they are 6 months old, should you introduce treats because their digestive systems will be fully formed. Hence, no strawberries before they are 6 months old.
My Last Bunny Thoughts
Pet rabbits can eat strawberries. The good news is that strawberries are not toxic to rabbits – not the fruit, the seeds, the leaves, or the stalk of the plant.
However, only a small amount of strawberries should be fed to your rabbit. These fruits are treats.