Can Rabbits Have Blueberries?
The wheel and the chewing blocks seem doable, but our hearts break for our bunnies’ limited diets. Like any good pet owner, you want to maximize the amount of pleasure your furry friend experiences on a daily basis, so you go scrounging through the refrigerator for foods that are both healthy and exciting. And, of course, you find blueberries. These little round superfoods are highly praised as treats for our sweet teeth, but can we share them with our bunnies?
Can you give your rabbit blueberries?
The answer: yes, rabbits can eat small amounts of blueberries as a treat—but they should not eat them in large amounts. If you want to share this food with your pet, treat it the way you would treat dessert in your own diet. Think of blueberries as cupcakes for bunnies.
Fruit is one of the best treats you can give your rabbit. Unlike highly processed, brightly colored rabbit treats, blueberries are absolutely loaded with all sorts of nutritional goodness. These beautiful berries contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and many beneficial phytonutrients.
They are also among the best sources of antioxidants, which are thought to have powerful protective effects against a wide variety of diseases. This is because antioxidants destroy free radicals, which are highly charged, highly reactive particles that can damage the body cells they come into contact with. Some cells die as a result of this damage.
Other cells suffer genetic mutations, which are thought to lead to many of the illnesses that plague all species as we age. Everything from arthritis to dementia to cancer may be caused—or, if not caused, at least exacerbated by—the activity of free radicals. Antioxidants kill free radicals, which heads off cell damage and may protect your rabbit from various diseases.
If blueberries are so great, why do we have to give them to our rabbits in such small quantities? Aren’t our rabbits supposed to be vegetarians?
Rabbits are herbivores, but their digestion is more specialized than many other small plant-eaters. Whereas the average squirrel will do rather well on a diet high in fruit and nuts, bunnies need roughage above all else. Your rabbit’s diet should consist mostly of hay and fresh pellets, which will keep their weight down and their gastrointestinal tract in working order.
Rabbits rely on high amounts of dietary fiber to keep food moving through their digestive system. Without the large amounts of roughage found in hay, they are at an increased risk of developing constipation or gastrointestinal stasis. Gastrointestinal stasis, which occurs when food fails to empty from the stomach and cecum, can be fatal if it goes on for a long period of time. If your bunny already seems to be suffering from digestive issues, it would be wise to wait on introducing any new foods to their diet.
Because blueberries are higher in sugar and calories than standard rabbit food, they can contribute to weight gain if given in excess. And, contrary to popular belief, rabbits will eat fruit in excess if you give them the opportunity! Just like humans, bunnies often fall prey to their own sweet teeth, and they will gorge themselves on fruit if you don’t measure out their portions for them. Feeding your rabbit too many blueberries can also spoil them. Like a little kid who refuses to eat anything other than Poptarts, your bun may turn up their nose at their hay and pellets in the hope that you will give them fruit.
By rabbit standards, fruits are fairly high-calorie foods, so it is important to practice portion control. If your bun is already a little on the pudgy side, consider holding off on the fruit—focus on low-calorie vegetables instead.
Things to Consider
So, yes: your rabbit can eat blueberries! These bright little berries are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that can help nourish and protect your rabbit from disease, but they should be used as treats rather than dietary staples. Blueberries should never make up a large part of your rabbit’s meals, but they are the perfect dessert.
Can rabbits eat other fruits? Find out by clicking below!
- Can Rabbits Eat Avocado?
- Can Rabbits Eat Melon?
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- Can Rabbits Eat Strawberries?
- Can Rabbits Eat Raspberries?
- Can Rabbits Eat Pineapple?
- Can Rabbits Eat Peaches?
- Can Rabbits Eat Oranges?
- Can Rabbits Eat Pears?
- Can Rabbits Eat Mangoes?
- Can Rabbits Eat Kiwi?
- Can Rabbits Eat Grapes?
Rabbit Eating Blueberries Video: