Can Rabbits Eat Blueberries? At What Age Can They Start?
Blueberries are considered a superfood and the ultimate nutritious treat for those looking to live in the healthier way. However, healthy people usually care about the health of their pets as well. For that reason, it is not unlikely that a pet rabbit owner who also enjoys blueberries saw a can lying around once and wondered: Can rabbits eat blueberries?
Those little munchkins are known for wanting to chew on things, but we should be very responsible with how we feed them and how we introduce things to them, especially when they are very little. Taking care of a pet is definitely not an easy job, but with so much information available, there are no excuses to start learning and to give your pet the healthiest life that you can. In this article, we will elaborate all about the health benefits of blueberries in rabbits, how safe they are and which quantities are appropriate for what ages.
Blueberry Nutrition And Health Benefits Of Blueberries For Rabbits
Blueberries are wonderful for nutrition. They are all the way packed with super important nutrients. They contain dietary fiber, which is extremely important for rabbits. Additionally, blueberries contain antioxidants like anthocyanin and flavanol (which help maintain homeostasis in rabbits while reducing the risk of disease), minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium, (which help strengthen tissues and encourage growth) folate and Vitamin B6 (which aid in the overall well-functioning of the organism).
They are also pretty high in sugars, because, like most fruits, they contain plenty of fructose. Although blueberries are considered lower in sugar for us humans, by rabbit standards, they are pretty high up there. Blueberries are also a rich source of water, providing good hydration. These are just some of the many health benefits of blueberries.
Are There Downsides?
Well, yes. You should look at blueberries for rabbits the same way you would look at chocolate for yourself. Something so high in sugar and calories (rabbits have naturally evolved to prefer low-calorie food) although it tastes good, is not very beneficial for your rabbit’s health. In order to reap the nutritious benefits, you need to be very careful with the amount of blueberries you give to your little furry friend, as too many blueberries can be very harmful.
Also, do not give any blueberries or similar foods to your rabbit if it is still very small. Until twelve weeks, rabbits should only eat hay and a regulated amount of rabbit food, otherwise you can really put them at risk. Read on to find out how many blueberries rabbits can have when they are older.
What Amount Of Blueberries Can Rabbits Eat?
Continuing on with the chocolate analogy, no matter how much you really want to eat a whole chocolate bar every other day, it is definitely not good for your health. Identically, your rabbit will probably really love blueberries and ask you for more, but one or two blueberries a week should be more than enough.
Remember to thoroughly wash the blueberries with fresh water in order to ensure that any pesticides that can be on the skin are splashed away before they can harm your little furry friend. There is no need to cut the blueberries or to mush them, as they are already quite small and easy to eat. What else can rabbits eat? Well, blueberry leaves and twigs are a good idea, only if you have access to some that are grown naturally and organically, pesticide free.
Make sure to introduce blueberries slowly and limit the consumed amount to one or two per week. During the rest of the week, when your furry friend can not eat blueberries, try to give them other fruits and veggies for variety, but always remember to focus on them being healthy and consuming mostly hay and leafy greens.
Can Rabbits Eat Blueberries Conclusion
Not only can rabbits eat blueberries, but they make for a delicious treat that your favorite little furry friend will devour within seconds. Filled with nutrients and antioxidants, small, round and super easy to eat, blueberries are just perfect. They are so good that your rabbit will probably beg you for more. Do not give in though, because, just like there are many health benefits of blueberries for your rabbit, there are also downsides that you have to watch out for.
Blueberries are so delicious because they are high in sugar content and that, in excess, will probably cause digestive issues and weight gain for your little furry friends, and we want to stay as far away from that as we can. In order to ensure that there are no mishaps, wash the blueberries thoroughly with water, even if they are organic, and introduce them slowly to your bunny, paying attention to their stools and how they react to being given blueberries.
Since they are small, there is no need to cut them. If you have access to blueberry twigs and leaves and you are sure they are pesticide free, you can proceed to introduce them as well. Just remember that balance is key and that your rabbit needs much more than a few blueberries to be healthy and happy. Also, keep in mind that blueberries are definitely not ideal for baby rabbits, so wait until your furry friend is old for them to be able to enjoy this treat!