Treats

All treats on this page should be considered as candy to your rabbits. They are delightful to your rabbit but provide no significant useful nutritional content and increase the amount of calories and fat in the diet. If overdone, they may cause digestive upsets. Most rabbits can tolerate treats in small amounts. You have the option of never feeding any of the food listed on this page if you wish and stick with pellets, fresh herbs, and vegetables as treats — a much healthier alternative. This page only hopes to consolidate all foods that are safe if fed occasionally and in very small amounts.

Each of the feeding recommendations below are based on daily consumption of only one type of treat. If you decide to feed multiple types, feed less of each. Omit the following treats if your rabbit is overweight.

Fruits

Fresh fruits are a better alternative as treats to rabbits than most commercial brands. In the wild, these would be special high calorie foods obtained only at certain times of the year.[1] Fruits should be no more then 10% of the diet or about 1/2 teaspoon per pound of body weight per day.[1][2] Because these are high in natural sugars, it is important to limit their consumption no matter how much your bun begs for more. Acute episodes of GI stasis and dysbiosis are common following ingestion of a large volume of fruit.[3]

A list of acceptable fruits are the following:[1][4][5][6][7][8]

Below are some links with more information about safe fruit treats to feed your rabbit.

See Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Data for more information about the nutrition content of fruits.

Grains

In the wild, rabbits do not normally eat large amounts of grain, except for certain seasons.[11]

If you decide to continue to feed these foods to your bun, heed the following advice. Do not feed any to rabbits under 12 weeks.[2] They should also not be fed to obese rabbits. Rabbits may have no more than 1/2 teaspoon per pound of body weight per day.[2]

Some safe treats are the following:[2]

  • Rolled oats or barley
  • Unsugared whole-grain cereals such as Corn Chex, Cheerios, and bite-sized Shredded Wheat
  • Dried whole-grain bread and whole-grain crackers

A table of appropriate cereal treat feedings has been obtained from the Colorado House Rabbit Society.[2]

Seeds

Seeds are very high in fatty oils and are usually only eaten by wintering animals. As a result, seeds should be fed very rarely. Do not feed at all if your rabbit is overweight.

If you decide to feed seeds, the following types of seeds are safe.

  • Flax (linseed)
  • Melon (e.g. watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew)
  • Pumpkin
  • Safflower
  • Sunflower
  • Squash

Make sure that these seeds are unsalted. Feed no more than one or two seeds per 4 lbs of rabbit a day to prevent weight gain. Make sure that the seeds are part of a balanced diet with plenty of hay and veggies.[13] You may wish to hull the seeds since the shell is indigestible, but the hulls also provide lots of fiber for a rabbit.[14]

Below are some relevant discussions about feeding seeds to rabbits.

Dairy

However, MediRabbit does note, [15]

Yogurt diluted in water can nevertheless help rabbit suffering from intestinal bacterial disturbances et diarrhea, by protecting the endemic bacterial flora and allowing it to grow.

Homemade recipes

Online rabbit treat stores

Further reading

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 House Rabbit Society, Suggested Vegetables and Fruits for a Rabbit Diet
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 LaRoche, N. (2012). Diet Details. Retrieved 26 August 2015 from http://coloradohrs.org/diet-details/ Diet Details
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Varga, M. (2013). Textbook of rabbit medicine. (2nd ed.).
  4. San Diego House Rabbit Society, Suggested Fruits
  5. Kathy Smith, Fruit Treats
  6. kanin.org, Rabbit-safe fruits and berries
  7. MediRabbit, Camilla Bergstrøm, Feeding the house rabbit 4: Fruit and Berries
  8. Michigan Humane Society, MHS Rabbit Care
  9. RabbitTalk. (2012). Prickly Pear Cactus – Opuntia sp? Retrieved 5 April 2016 from http://rabbittalk.com/prickly-pear-cactus-opuntia-sp-t10352.html
  10. Ruiz-Feria, C.A., Lukefahr, S.D., and Felker, P. (1998). Evaluation of Leucaena leucocephala and cactus (Opuntia sp.) as forages for growing rabbits. Retrieved 5 April 2016 from http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd10/2/luke102.htm
  11. House Rabbit Society, Elizabeth Te Selle, Natural Nutrition Part I: The Importance of Fiber
  12. 12.0 12.1 House Rabbit Society. (2011). Treat Foods. Retrieved 19 August 2015 from http://rabbit.org/faq-treat-foods/.
  13. Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Food. (n.d.). Can Rabbits Eat Sunflower Seeds? Retrieved 30 March 2016 from http://www.naturalrabbitfood.com/can-rabbits-eat-sunflower-seeds/
  14. Harcourt-Brown, F. (n.d.). Sunflower seeds. Retrieved 30 March 2016 from https://www.harcourt-brown.co.uk/media/diet/sunflower-seeds/view
  15. 15.0 15.1 MediRabbit.com. (n.d.). Can rabbits eat yogurt or dairy products? Retrieved 30 March 2016 from http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/GI_diseases/Food/yogurt.htm
  16. MediRabbit.com (n.d.). Corneal lipidosis or lipid deposit in the cornea of rabbits. Retrieved 30 Oct 2017 from http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Eye_diseases/Disorder/Lipid/Lipid_en.htm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *