Can rabbits eat strawberries? Yes, rabbits can eat strawberries safely, but only in very small amounts and when washed. They might taste great, but fruits like strawberries are high in sugar, so they should be saved as a treat for your bunny. Your little lagomorph’s main diet should be made up of hay, grass, and leafy greens to give proper nutrition. They are digestible and non toxic, but too many treats like strawberries can cause stomach upset, obesity, and dental decay. Today we’ll share tips to help you work out exactly how many strawberries you can feed to your bunny, and how often. Bigger breeds like Flemish Giants can have slightly more than smaller breeds like the Netherland Dwarf. We’ll also look at strawberry tops, plants and leaves, which are lower in carbohydrates and a great occasional treat.
Are Strawberries Safe For Rabbits?
Strawberries are safe for rabbits to eat in very small amounts. But, did you know, they technically aren’t actually berries! Strawberries are actually an aggregate fruit. They aren’t poisonous or toxic to rabbits. But, some bunnies could be allergic to strawberries, and too much sugary fruit can cause stomach upset.
Plus, sugary snacks aren’t great for our rabbit’s teeth. Rabbit teeth never stop growing, so they need fibrous foods like hay to grind them down. Soft, sugary food like strawberries won’t manage this! Let’s look at strawberries for rabbits in more detail.
Rabbits and Strawberries
Rabbits are herbivores. So, they live off a plant based diet, and eat no meat. Rabbits need lots of fiber in their diet. So, they should always have access to either grass or hay. This fibrous food helps them to grind down their ever-growing teeth.
Hay, grass, and leafy greens should make up the majority of your rabbits food. Fruity, sugary treats like strawberries should only be given occasionally.
Strawberries do contain soluble and insoluble fiber. But, nowhere near the levels that rabbits need, or that can be found in hay and grass. Strawberries are mostly made up of water. But other nutrients they provide include: carbs, sugar, and protein.
This fruit is also a great source of vitamin C. This is great for immune and skin health in humans, but can rabbits have strawberries and receive the same benefits?
Rabbits actually get the majority of the vitamins they need from leafy greens. So, they health benefits of strawberries don’t outweigh the negatives.
Why Do Rabbits Like Strawberries?
So, we now know bunnies can eat strawberries safely as a treat. But, why do rabbits like strawberries so much? Most fruits, including strawberries, are very sweet and sugary. So, rabbits will love them because they taste nice.
Rabbits are concentrate selectors – which might be why you think your rabbit is a picky eater! This means that they will select the tastiest bits of food, rather than just eating everything. So, if you give your rabbit the choice between a juicy treat, like a strawberry, and a dandelion leaf, he will likely go for the strawberry.
Let’s take a closer look at why this can be problematic.
Are Strawberries Bad For Rabbits?
Bunnies can eat strawberries as a treat. But this fruit contains a lot of sugar, so it should not be a regular part of your rabbit’s diet. Excess sugar can cause obesity. But, it can also be very damaging to our pets’ teeth.
Rabbits need fibrous food like hay and grass to make up the majority of their diet. Hay will grind down your rabbit’s teeth, and help to prevent abscesses. So, strawberries are only bad for rabbits if they eat too many of them! Eating strawberries as an occasional treat will be lovely for your bunny.
Rabbits should never eat unwashed strawberries, even as a treat. This is because the pesticides used to grow these plants can remain and be really harmful to our pets if ingested.
Make sure you properly prepare strawberries before giving them to your rabbit, by washing them and chopping them into smaller pieces.
Are Strawberries Good For Rabbits?
We’ve answered: can rabbits eat strawberries. But, are strawberries good for bunnies? Strawberries are a great treat to add to your rabbit’s diet. It helps to encourage your rabbit to eat new things. Plus, it provides fiber and a variety of vitamins, whilst still being low in carbs.
Some rabbits will react badly to strawberries, just like any new food. So, make sure to watch out for any signs of stomach upset, or discomfort in your rabbit after giving them strawberries for the first time. And don’t give your rabbit too many, as this can lead to similar problems.
Can Rabbits Eat Strawberry Tops?
So, we know rabbits can eat strawberries. But can rabbits eat strawberry tops? The tops of strawberries include the little green leaves and stem of the fruit. These are safe for your rabbit to eat.
However, you need to make sure to wash them before giving them to your bunny. This will stop any harmful pesticides or chemicals from getting into your rabbit’s stomach!
Can Rabbits Eat Strawberry Plants?
Can bunnies eat strawberry plants? Yes! The leaves and stems from strawberry plants are also safe for your rabbit to eat. Your rabbit might not find this as interesting as the fruit itself, because it is less sweet.
But the same rule applies as before. It is best to wash this before giving it to your rabbit, especially if you spray any pest-repellents onto your plants.
Can Rabbits Eat Dried Strawberries?
A popular trend recently is to dry fruit as a nice snack. The process of drying fruit can break down and destroy vitamins found in fresh fruit. But, it does increase the fiber content.
Drying fruit does not remove any sugar, it just concentrates it in a smaller package. Plus, sometimes preservatives are added to prevent the fruit turning brown.
It is best to stick to fresh strawberries if you want to give your rabbit a treat, as they will still get the vitamins this fruit offers. They will get all the fiber they need from hay and grass.
If you do give your rabbit dried strawberries, only give them a VERY small amount. The sugar is concentrated into a smaller piece, so it’s very easy to give your rabbit too much and make them sick.
My Rabbit Ate Strawberries, What Should I Do?
If your rabbit has eaten a strawberry, you don’t need to worry. It is most likely fine. However, if your rabbit has gotten into your fruit patch and eaten a LOT of strawberries, make sure to keep an eye on them.
Too much sugary fruit can give your bunny a bad stomach. So watch for any signs of upset.
If your rabbit experiences any ill health, you should always contact your vet.
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Strawberries?
Baby rabbits don’t start eating the same food as their parents until they are over 8 weeks old. So rabbits under 8 weeks should never be given strawberries. When your rabbit is over 8 weeks, it will start eating the same diet as its parents – hay, grass, and leafy greens.
It’s best not to give baby rabbits sugary treats from a very young age. When they’re starting to eat fresh food, stick to leafy greens and healthy vegetables.
When they are a little older, you can start introducing strawberries as an occasional treat. Just remember not to give too much. Younger rabbits should not eat as much of a strawberry as older, fully grown rabbits.
Can Rabbits Eat Strawberries Every Day?
Can bunnies eat strawberries every day? You should not feed your rabbit strawberries every day. Strawberries have a lot of sugar, and don’t provide as many nutrients that bunnies need as green, leafy vegetables and plants.
You can give your rabbit some chopped up strawberry as an occasional treat, Generally, one medium sized strawberry will be enough per serving.
Rabbit Strawberry Treats
You always need to wash strawberries before giving them to your rabbit. But there are some other great ways you can serve them as a treat.
- Fresh chunks of strawberries
- Pieces of strawberry added to regular leafy greens
- Slices of fresh strawberries.
Alternatives to Strawberries for Rabbits
There are plenty of other healthy treats you can give to your pet bunnies. Take a look at some of our other guides to check what food is healthy for your rabbit.
Can Rabbits Eat Strawberries – Summary
So, let’s recap! Yes, rabbits can eat strawberries. But this fruit is very sugary. So, only give it to your rabbit as an occasional treat in very small amounts.
A medium sized strawberry will be enough for your bunny to enjoy without giving them any problems. Too many sugary strawberries could give your rabbit an upset stomach, and cause tooth decay.
Have you given strawberries to your rabbit, or another type of berry? You can let us know about your experiences with rabbits and strawberries in the comments below.
References and Further Reading
- Meredith, A. ‘Is Obesity A Problem in Pet Rabbits’, Veterinary Record (2012)
- Emrichova, J. ‘Patulin – Induced Changes in Haematological Parameters of Rabbits Fed By Strawberry Leaves After Chronic Exposure’, Animal Welfare (2013)
- Meredith, A. ‘The Importance of Diet in Rabbits’, The British Rabbit Council (2007)
- Meredith, A. ‘Rabbit Nutrition – An Overview’, Vet Times (2007)
- Smith, M. (et al), ‘Rabbit Nutrition: What You Need To Know’, Agriculture and Nature Resources (2009)
- Sinatra, S. ‘Is Dried Fruit Healthy Or A Sugar Bomb’, Heart MD Institute (2018)