Rabbits make fantastic pets. They are so cute and pretty easy to look after. Similar to any other animals, rabbits like to eat.
I always try to give my animals the most natural and healthy food that I can afford.
As with cats and dogs, you can give them the occasional treat to add a variety to their diet. By adding treats to their diet you will genuinely make them happy. However always be careful with the amount of treats that you feed them, and you should always take care to feed them in the proper manner, and never overfeed them.
One thing that is vitally important is that you make sure your bunny has access to clean, fresh drinking water either in a bowl or through a dripper bottle.
There are several foods that can not be digested by rabbit’s so be careful with your choice of rabbit treats and the same as you would with dog and cat treats always give them in moderation. They should not make up the bulk of their diet.
In my previous article on rabbit food I talked about how you should always try to follow the natural diet of a wild rabbit as much as possible, always make sure there is lots of grass and hay for your bunny to graze on, you can also add pre-purchased rabbit pellets online or from a reputable pet food store, they can also have vegetable greens and leaves.
Table of Contents
- Feeding your rabbit properly
- Reasons to give rabbit treats
- Choosing the rabbit treats
- What to give your rabbit as a treat
- Foods that must be avoided
- Best rabbits treats
Feeding your rabbit properly
As I mentioned above one of the most important parts of a rabbit’s diet is grass and hay. According to animal experts and nutritionists, 80% of the rabbit’s diet should be grass and hay.
They can (and do!) eat hay and grass all day so always make sure that fresh hay is accessible to them, and if you keep your rabbits in a hutch or pen that you move it around the garden so it has fresh patches of grass to feed on.
Your bunny will get all the fiber, minerals and vitamins that it needs through hay alone. But of course, if they just ate this all the time then chances are they would get bored.
Yes giving them the occasional treat really does cheer them up!
However, by giving them treats not only can you make your rabbit happy, you and your bunny will bond but they can also get extra vitamins and minerals that are not available usually. To start with, you can try different types of grass and hay such as ryegrass, oat, wheat and timothy hay. You can also give them legume hay with clover, alfalfa and lucerne.
Try mixing these up to see what your rabbit prefers. Some rabbits may not like all of them (but they are all safe for your rabbit to try!)
If you notice that the hay starts to get damp or moldy then always take it away (this is great to add to your compost heap if you have one!) and replace it with new, fresh hay. If your rabbit eats old moldy hay it can become ill.
Reasons to give rabbit treats
Rabbits, believe it or not, can be trained just the same as dogs and cats can, and by giving them treats whilst training they tend to learn quicker.
Try calling your rabbit’s name as you offer them the treat, they will eventually start to realize when you are approaching and come to you and look out for you. Remember, rabbits by their nature are quite shy and timid creatures, so by adding some treats to their diet can really help you bond and allow them to become more confident.
They also can aid in the health of your rabbit (as long as given in moderation and of course the right treats).
Choosing the rabbit treats
Rabbits can have a really sensitive digestive system. If you want to give a treat to your rabbit then you must know what to offer them aside from their usual diet of grass and hay.
Treats must always be offered in a small amount. In fact, as the stomach of a rabbit is so small then a mere tablespoon of food as a treat is considered enough for them.
For a relatively larger rabbit, up to three treats can be offered every day. Make sure you give them small portions so it can be digested easily.
What to give your rabbit as a treat
Many rabbit treats can be natural and grown quite simply in your garden, and chances are that you have some tasty treats that your bunny can eat in your kitchen already.
For rabbits, vegetables are considered as a safe and tasty treat.
- Try your rabbit with peas, artichoke leaves, pumpkin, peppers, spring greens, romain lettuce, cauliflower, squash and celery leaves.
- Items like carrot, cabbage, spinach, beetroot, Brussels sprouts and broccoli can be offered from time to time.
- Grapes, blackberries, apricots, bananas, melon, kiwi, pears, pineapples, plums and strawberries can be given to the rabbits as a treat.
- Tomatoes can be given to the rabbits too. However, it is better to get rid of tomato leaves. They can be toxic for rabbits.
- It is possible to offer apple in small bits at the same time.
- If you are feeling tropical try some small chunks of dried pineapple.
Try to keep fruits down to a minimum as they contain a lot of sugar which can be bad for bunnies!
Plants and herbs
- Rosemary, dill, oregano, mint, thyme and sage are considered safe to give to bunnies and they generally enjoy them.
- They also like clover and dandelion leaves as well.
If you are unsure of what a particular plant or herb is, never feed it to your rabbit as it could be dangerous.
If you believe a plant or a herb has been treated with a toxic chemical, do not give it to your bunny, even after washing it. If you believe your rabbit is sick from eating something with a potential pesticide on, take them immediately to a vet.
Foods that must be avoided
These three things must be avoided:
- potato leaves
- tomato leaves
- rhubarb leaves.
These things are considered toxic for the rabbits.
Also, never feed rabbits candy bars, chocolates, gummy treats or processed food items.
Best rabbits treats
Okay, so apart from the treats that I mentioned above let’s look at some of the best rabbit treats that you can buy to give your bunnies.
1. Kaytee Timothy Biscuits Baked Apple
These treats are great for the overall healthiness of your rabbits teeth as they promote natural chewing.
They also contain no artificial colors or preservatives and add nutritional variety to your bunnies diet.
2. Vitakraft Pet Rabbit Slims with carrot nibble sticks
These USA made chew treats are made with fresh grains and carrots and are a really tasty treat for bunnies.
What I like about these treats is that they seem really light, so that my rabbits can digest them easily.
3. Oxbow Simple Rewards baked treats apple and banana
There baked treats are really rich in fiber so they are great to aid in your rabbits digestion.
Made with real fruit they come in nicely sized pieces (whereas some treats I have found that I have to break to make them a bit smaller for my smaller rabbits) these are really easy for rabbits to chew on.
4. Kaytee Forti Diet Pro Health healthy bits
Another great selection of treats from the Kaytee brand, these treats can also be given to guinea pigs and chinchillas.
My rabbits definitely love the taste of these treats, and they contain some great nutritional benefits as they are made with high quality seeds, grains and honey.
Highly recommended and a great way to bond with your bunny whilst training them.
5. Ware Manufacturing Rice Pops
These treats from Ware Manufacturing are made with just rice and corn and are really crispy and crunchy, rabbits will literally love to chew on them.
Whilst aimed at smaller caged pets, like mice and gerbils, I do give these in small amounts to my rabbits as well, as they are great for their teeth and jaws because they are so chewy! The rabbits definitely seem to love them!
6. Kaytee Fiesta Banana Flavor Yogurt Dipped Treats
Another amazingly tasty treat from the guys at Kaytee.
I have to be honest, these treats look and smell so good I am tempted to try them myself! They are perfect to spoil your little furry thumper with and they come in a really handy resealable bag, which is a huge plus for me as when playing with my rabbits occasionally my dog will come up and try to stick his nose in.
So there we have it, some of the best treats for bunnies that you can grow at home or purchase right now.
What do you feed your rabbits? We would love to know.
Simply leave a comment below.