Most rabbits love treats and most owners find it very difficult to resist a begging bunny. However, a diet containing too much fat and sugar can lead to obesity, loose stool, and other serious health problems for your rabbit.
So, does this mean that you shouldn’t give your rabbit treats? No, but you do need to be careful about which ones you choose and how much you feed. You don’t want your bunny to get sick because you thought you were being kind by giving him variety in his diet!
Treats should be a very small part of a rabbit’s diet. People food such as cookies, cereals and bread should not be given to rabbits. These foods are too rich in carbohydrates and may contribute to a fatal case of enterotoxemia, a toxic overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in the intestinal tract. In addition, keep in mind that chocolate is poisonous and should never be fed to your rabbit.
Be cautious about feeding commercial rabbit snacks to your pet. Many times commercial rabbit treats are portrayed as being nutritious and good for your pet, but this is not so. Yogurt drops, for example, are very high in sugar, and should be fed sparingly, if at all. Treats with seeds, corn and grains are high in fat and not easily digested.
Fruits and some vegetables are surprisingly high in sugar as well. Limit fruit intake to only 1-2 tablespoons per 5 lb. body weight per day. Feed less if your rabbit is overweight. Limiting fruit intake will prevent your bunny from developing a sweet tooth, filling up on treats and ignoring his healthy foods.
Some fruits to give as treats:
- Apples (no seeds)
- Cherry (pits are toxic)
- Honey Dew Melon
- Peaches (pits are toxic)
- Raisins (Remember: Each raisin is the same as one grape, so don’t feed too many!)
- Craisins (Dried Cranberries)