Have you seen the “vampire bunny” videos on the internet? They aren’t actually vampire rabbits, but when they eat raspberries, they quickly turn into evil, vicious looking little fluffballs. The videos are hysterically adorable, but it poses a good question: are raspberries healthy for bunnies?
Can You Give Rabbits Raspberries?
Berries are generally considered a wholesome option for a bunny’s snack, but they have to be given in moderation in order to be considered healthy. Fruit of any kind needs to be fed in small amounts to avoid overloading your rabbit with sugar. They’re certainly a healthier option than store-bought bunny treats, so before buying an expensive bag of treats, consider giving your bunny a healthier (and cheaper!) option.
What Happens if Rabbits Eat Too Many Raspberries?
Rabbits aren’t born with a digestive tract that effectively digests sugar. Small amounts can pass through without causing any side effects, but too much sugar upsets their entire digestive system. The intestines are filled with good and bad bacteria. Since the good bacteria can’t digest sugar, it becomes food for the bad bacteria. Well-fed bacteria multiply tenfold when they’re well-fed, and too much bad bacteria is really hard on your bunny’s stomach. This kind of bacterial overgrowth results in stomach pain, bloating, gas, and inappetence.
Fruit, including raspberries, shouldn’t make up more than 10 percent of a rabbit’s diet. Some rabbits can’t even tolerate the recommended one to two tablespoons of fruit per day, making it necessary to cut their daily amount down until their stomach isn’t upset anymore.
Feeding Raspberries to Bunnys
Despite those previously mentioned videos, your rabbit’s raspberries should ideally be cut up. This isn’t just a safety precaution (rabbits can get very excited when they’re eating something delicious), but it’s also going to cut down on a very big mess, especially on light-colored animals. If you have leaves, those are also safe (in moderation) and quite good for rabbits due to their astringent properties.
Like every other fruit, your rabbit should only get raspberries as a treat. It’s hard to resist the sweet begging and big brown eyes of a pleading rabbit, but it’s truly in their best interests to only get a small amount of fruit every day.
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