Rabbit owners agree that the moment they decide to own one at home, one of their important priorities included making sure that their pets are fed properly. If you are also planning to have one, being informed about the type of foods that should be given to them is important. After all, it should be noted that not all foods edible to humans are safe for rabbits. In fact, some of them may even be harmful to the health of your rabbit.
Timothy hay, freshwater, and the commercially available rabbit pellets make up the main diet of rabbits. Other food aside from these, needs to be served occasionally. Fruits and vegetables can also be healthy and can be given as delicious treats to your pets, but they still need to be given to them in moderation.
How about raspberries, then?
Rabbits love berries. Is it safe for them to eat raspberries? If you own a rabbit, determining whether it is safe or not to eat raspberries is vital. Let us take into consideration the impact of feeding your rabbits with raspberries, and their effects on your pets’ health.
What You Need to Know About Raspberries
Raspberries are edible fruits that belong to the rose family. All over the world, it is a recognized commercial fruit crop. There are different species of raspberries, which include blue raspberry, red raspberry from Europe, Australian raspberry, Asian raspberry, and others.
These fruits are among the favorites of many people. Aside from being very delicious and refreshing, raspberries are also very healthy. They are filled with dietary fibers, and prove to be a source of Vitamin C. One thing amazing about raspberries is that their overall sugar content is only at 4%.
Raspberries may be eaten fresh or can be served as an ingredient in many desserts. Many people love including raspberries in their preparation of herbal teas. Among the many reasons why raspberries are loved by many is because they offer several health benefits to people.
Does it mean that they are safe for your pet rabbits?
Safe for Rabbits?
When it comes to feeding raspberries to your rabbits, there are a few considerations that should be given attention. For one, in general, raspberries are safe for your rabbits. As such, if your rabbit has consumed some raspberries lately, there is no need to worry. In fact, they are good snacks for your pets. The good news is that raspberries are not included in the list of foods that are considered as poisonous for rabbits. They can even eat raspberry canes and leaves, though they may not really like their taste.
One interesting thing, however, is that rabbits cannot consume frozen raspberries. It is also best to avoid feeding your pets with dried raspberries due to their high sugar content. If you decide to give raspberries to your rabbits, feed them with fresh ones. Another important thing is to ensure that you are only giving the right amount of raspberries to your rabbits. They are healthy for your pets, given that they are consumed in small amounts.
How Much is Enough?
Raspberries are known for their high acidic content. For this reason, it is best not to feed your rabbits with raspberries each day in huge amounts. Raspberries may be given as occasional treats, but not a regular part of their diet.
Just like with other fruits, raspberries may also result in health problems if your pet consumes too much. Among the most common health concerns are diarrhea and bloating. Feeding your pets with huge amounts of this fruit may lead to obesity and diabetes.
The recommended and safe amount of raspberries for pets is one tablespoon every day, but not each day. Giving them raspberries about two or three times a week is already more than enough. In this way, you can offer a variety in the diet of your rabbit, making sure that your rabbit stays healthy.
Another thing, as mentioned earlier, is that dried raspberries are not that safe due to their higher sugar content compared to fresh ones. This means that they should only be fed to your pets in smaller amounts, and only sometimes.
What Will Happen When Fed Too Much
By nature, rabbits are not designed to have a digestive tract that digests sugar effectively, unlike humans. Small amounts of sugar can easily pass through without any problems and side effects. However, too much sugar can tend to upset their sensitive digestive system.
The intestines of rabbits are filled with both good and bad bacteria. Good bacteria cannot digest sugar, which means that it simply turns into food for bad bacteria. Bacteria that is well-fed easily multiplies and too much presence of bad bacteria can take its toll on the stomach of your rabbit. Bacterial overgrowth such as this may result in bloating, stomach pain, gas, as well as the loss of appetite.
To be safe, all fruits, raspberries included, should not cover more than 10% of their diet. In fact, some rabbits may not even tolerate the suggested one or two tablespoons worth of fruit each day. This means that it is important to cut their daily portion down until you notice that their tummy is no longer upset.
It is highly recommended to contact your veterinarian or breeder for any questions related to the health and diet of your rabbits. There are also options online that you can ask, such as forums that may include other rabbit owners.
Raspberries vs. Commercially Available Treats
Regardless of the claim of sellers, commercially available treats may not be as healthy as the real thing. Raspberries are way better than these alternative choices in several aspects. There is a likelihood for commercially available treats to be processed, thus losing on the vitamins and nutrients that your rabbits need.
If it is possible to feed organically grown raspberries or other fruits, it is even better. Raspberries are not bad, and they just need to be given in moderation. Your rabbits will certainly thank you for that, and would even love you more!
As clearly explained above, raspberries are safe for your rabbits. However, they should not be fed to your pets in huge amounts, due to its high sugar and acidic content. If you want to avoid health problems and side effects on your beloved pets, you may want to give them a moderate amount of raspberries. Rabbits that are moderately fed with raspberries become healthier.
Feeding your rabbits with raspberries in moderation is not only a safety precaution, but it also cuts down a huge mess, especially since rabbits are light-colored. As an alternative option, you may want to feed your rabbits with leaves, as they are quite good for your rabbits when given in moderation, thanks to their astringent properties. Just like other fruits out there, your rabbits should consume raspberries only as a treat, and not as part of their regular diet. Even though you may find it difficult to resist the pleading eyes of your rabbit, it is for their interest for you to observe self-control when giving them only a small portion of fruits every day.