Can rabbits eat blueberries? Yes! Blueberries are perfectly safe as a very occasional treat.
But blueberries don’t contain any nutrients that your rabbit won’t already get from their regular diet. And they are very high in sugar.
So, too many blueberries can cause an upset stomach, weight gain, and dental issues.
Only give your rabbit one or two blueberries a week if your bunny loves this fruity treat.
Can Rabbits Eat Blueberries?
It is perfectly safe for you to offer your rabbit a couple of blueberries. You don’t need to panic if your bunny has managed to scoff down one or two behind your back.
Rabbits are herbivores. This means that they feed exclusively on plants. They get all of the nutrients that they need from plant matter.
In the wild, rabbits will eat a huge variety of fibrous green plants, and can even impact general plant growth in the environment.
So, it makes sense that owners would want to give their bunnies plenty of variety in their domestic diets.
Blueberries aren’t a necessary part of rabbit diets. But, they can be a nice occasional treat for your rabbit.
Do Rabbits Like Blueberries?
Blueberries are small round fruits that are high in sugar and antioxidants.
It’s likely that most rabbits will love them thanks to their high sugar content.
But, this doesn’t mean that you should let your bunny eat as many blueberries as he or she wants.
In fact, doing so can result in a poorly rabbit with an upset stomach!
If your rabbit fills up on sweet sugary treats like blueberries, they are also less likely to eat enough fibrous greens and hay.
So, their teeth and dental health would also suffer. They could potentially even develop nutritional deficiencies.
Are Blueberries Good for Rabbits?
Blueberries are safe for rabbits to eat as an occasional treat. But, what health and nutritional benefits can this small fruit offer to our bunnies?
For humans, blueberries are often labelled a superfood. These berries are high in antioxidants and vitamins such as Vitamins C and K.
Studies have shown that blueberries can have a positive impact on learning and memory in older animals.
So, as an occasional treat, this fruit is a great choice for our bunnies.
However, blueberries aren’t all good. There are a few downsides to consider before adding this new food to your rabbit’s diet.
Are Blueberries Bad for Rabbits?
An occasional blueberry as a treat is generally not bad for rabbits.
But, blueberries can cause problems if your rabbit eats too many at once, or if they become a large part of your bunny’s diet.
The main problem with blueberries lies in their high sugar content. But, another issue involves the Vitamin C they provide.
High Sugar Content
Blueberries, like most other fruits, are high in fructose. This is partly what makes them taste so great to us and our pet bunnies!
The occasional sugary treat won’t harm your rabbit. But, eating lots of blueberries at once could cause a stomach upset, leading to diarrhea and vomiting.
On top of this, as a regular part of your rabbit’s diet, too many blueberries could lead to obesity, fussy eating, and dental health.
Obesity can contribute to a number of other health issues in rabbits. And, if your rabbit is eating too many blueberries, they may fill up on this treat and start to leave their regular rabbit food.
This can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Of course, all that sugar isn’t great for your rabbit’s teeth either, being a major cause of tooth decay.
Rabbit teeth grow continuously through their lives. So, they need plenty of fibrous hay and fresh grass to grind them down rather than sugary blueberries.
Vitamin C Content
Unlike us, rabbits don’t actually need Vitamin C in their diet, as they produce it themselves.
In fact, giving bunnies Vitamin C can potentially lead to health issues.
For instance, excess Vitamin C can cause kidney damage.
So, overall, it’s best to keep blueberry treats to a minimum for your rabbit’s health. They will likely enjoy this snack, but it should not form a regular, large part of their diet.
Can Rabbits Eat Frozen Blueberries
Frozen blueberries are safe for rabbits to eat. But, the same restrictions apply as to fresh blueberries.
You should only ever offer a frozen blueberry as an occasional treat.
Most bunnies will enjoy nibbling at a frozen blueberry in those hot summer months.
But, if your rabbit doesn’t, you can always stick to fresh ones.
Can Rabbits Have Blueberry Leaves?
Blueberry leaves and plants are safe for rabbits as long as they are washed and have no harmful chemicals on.
Whether you grow your own blueberries, or you’ve bought a blueberry plant from a store, you must wash anything you’re giving your rabbit.
Chemicals used as a pesticide on plants and leaves can be really harmful to our bunnies.
So, you must wash blueberry leaves before offering them to your bunny.
Can Rabbits Eat Dried Blueberries?
It’s better to give your rabbit fresh or frozen blueberries than dried blueberries.
The drying process will remove water from a blueberry, but not other qualities, like it’s sugar content.
Essentially, the high sugar levels will be concentrated in a smaller form.
So, these little treats are just as sugary as fresh blueberries, even if they look smaller and more harmless.
Try to stick to fresh or frozen blueberries as a treat for your rabbit.
How Many Blueberries Can I Give My Rabbit?
The majority of your rabbit’s diet should be made up of fresh hay, supplemented by lots of leafy greens.
Treats like blueberries should only be a very small part of your rabbit’s diet. And, serving size will vary depending on the size of your rabbit itself.
For larger rabbits, one or two blueberries once or twice a week is generally okay. Although, if your rabbit stops eating the rest of their food in favour of these treats, you should stop offering blueberries.
Owners of smaller rabbits should reduce this number to 1 blueberry.
And, when first offering this treat, watch your bunny to ensure they’re not experiencing any sensitive stomach problems.
If they develop issues like diarrhea or other signs of feeling unwell, it may be best to stick to other tasty treats.
Other Foods Rabbits Like
It’s always a good idea to check online before offering your rabbit a new food. If your bunny doesn’t love blueberries, you can try one of the following treats instead:
Can Rabbits Eat Blueberries?
Most bunnies will enjoy blueberries as an occasional treat. But, you should monitor your rabbit’s general health, dental health, and weight carefully when introducing treats into their diet.
Too many blueberries can lead to stomach upsets, obesity, tooth decay, and kidney problems.
What’s your rabbit’s favorite way to enjoy blueberries? Do they prefer fresh or frozen? Or, just the plant leaves?
References and Resources
- Bakker, E. S. ‘Herbivores as Mediators of their Environment: The Impact of Large and Small Species on Vegetation Dynamics’, Wageningen University & Research (2003)
- Willis, L. (et al), ‘Recent Advances in Berry Supplementation and Age-Related Cognitive Decline’, Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care (2009)
- Subash, S. (et al), ‘Neuroprotective Effects of Berry Fruits on Neurodegenerative Diseases’, Neural Regeneration Diseases (2014)
- Smith, M. (et al), ‘Rabbits: From the Animal’s Point of View, 3: Rabbit Nutrition’, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (2009)
- Stapleton, N. ‘The Chubby Bunny: A Closer Look at Obesity in the Pet Rabbit’, The Veterinary Nurse (2014)
- O’Connor, A. ‘Ask Well: Fresh vs Dried Blueberries’, Well (2013)