Mad About Berries

Can Rabbits Eat Blueberries?

If you’ve got a pet bunny, you will want to provide it with everything that can make it happy and healthy. With that being said, there are definitely some things that your rabbit shouldn’t eat. So the question is, can rabbits eat blueberries?

Rabbits can technically eat blueberries without any adverse effects on their health. However, if a rabbit is given too many blueberries, the berries’ high fructose content could lead to health issues in rabbits. Therefore, blueberries should only be given to rabbits on rare occasions.

Published: December 20, 2022.

So while it seems like blueberries are a safe food for rabbits, the issue may still leave you with more questions! In this article, we’ll go over why blueberries are good for rabbits and why they might be bad, as well as some answers to frequently asked questions on the topic!

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Can Rabbits Have Blueberries?

If you have a rabbit who is your fluffy, cuddly pet, you will need to know whether or not it is safe to feed the little fellow berries. Rabbits do actually enjoy the taste of blueberries and will be absolutely happy to eat them.

However, that does not mean that blueberries eaten in the same large quantity humans enjoy them, is actually good for them.

Therefore, while it is true that rabbits can eat blueberries, let’s go over both the pros and the cons of feeding them to furry friends.

Pros of Feeding Blueberries to Rabbits

Rabbits can enjoy blueberries as much as we can, so let’s take a look at the good that can come from feeding them to your fuzzy pal.

  • Blueberries are rich in water – Rabbits actually need more water than the average mammal! For example, while dogs that weigh 5 times as much as the typical rabbit need 150 milliliters of water each day, rabbits need exactly the same amount! Blueberries are made up of water by 84% of their total structure, so that’s excellent!
  • Blueberries are antioxidants – The common blueberry is chock full of flavanols and anthocyanins. This means that they are rich in health benefits that can clear up your rabbit’s blood flow, lower heart disease, and diabetic risk, and even drop blood sugar levels.
  • Blueberries are high in protein – Rabbits do not absolutely need fruit to survive, but one of the perks of blueberries is that they contain quite a bit more protein than other fruits like grapes or mangoes. Rabbits do need protein to thrive, so this is a great perk of adding an occasional blueberry to their diet.
  • Blueberries contain Vitamins – Rabbits need vitamins just as much as we do, actually! Your pet rabbit will have healthier blood flow, better skin, and even better eyesight when given Vitamins K and A, which are found in blueberries.
  • Rabbits enjoy blueberries – The truth of the matter is that rabbits in the wild are used to instinctually eating hay and the stems of plants, which is what they may go for when eating your blueberry crop. However, rabbits at home love the fructose content in blueberries when they first get to try them out!

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Cons of Feeding Blueberries to Rabbits

As many benefits as there are to eating blueberries, not just for us but for rabbits, there are actually quite a few downsides, too. In order to protect your pet bunny’s health, let’s take a look at the cons of feeding blueberries to rabbits below:

  • Rabbits can become spoiled for fruit – Again, it is not typically noted that rabbits in the wild enjoy eating blueberries. They would rather go for the grazing foods their species needs to survive. However, pet rabbits who are given too much fruit, including blueberries, can come to expect it and prefer high-fructose food.
  • Blueberries have more sugar than is healthy for a rabbit – Rabbits do not need excessive amounts of sugar. The sugar that is found in too many blueberries can cause digestion issues. Your rabbit may be unable to pass food correctly and may bloat. Too many blueberries too often can even lead to obesity in a rabbit.

Though the cons are not too many, they are strong enough reasons to try and be sure that you only feed blueberries to your rabbit on rare occasions: about one or two blueberries every week should cover it!

How to Feed Blueberries to Rabbits Healthily

Since we’ve established that rabbits absolutely can eat blueberries without experiencing toxic poisoning symptoms, let’s go over how to make sure you can introduce these blueberries to the rabbit’s diet without overdoing it.
Introduce these blueberries to your rabbit’s diet very slowly. Simply give your rabbit just one blueberry at the start of the week. Then, see how the rabbit digests it over the next day or so. If your rabbit does not become sluggish or reluctant to eat, that is a good sign.

Also, make sure you notice the droppings of your rabbit. If they remain firm, it is a sign that the blueberry has not disrupted the rabbit’s digestive health too much.

From then on, you can feel free to give your rabbit one blueberry a week and perhaps even bump it up to 2 blueberries a week. We do not, however, advise giving your rabbit any more than that for its own safety and overall health.

How to Protect Blueberries From Rabbits

Maybe your situation is different! Perhaps you do not have a pet bunny you want to offer blueberries to, but instead are trying to care for your crop of blueberries in your garden. If you worry that rabbits may start snacking on your blueberry bushes as part of their wild diet, we have a quick guide on how to protect the crop from these cute pests!

  • Get Ready For Winter – Rabbits tend to gravitate toward munching on the stems and leaves of a blueberry bush, damaging the crop and structure of the plant when it is cold out. Though this isn’t the season for fruit, it can still be a problem for your garden. Therefore, wintertime is the time to shore up your blueberry defenses!
  • Understand the Signs – Rabbits are quick creatures and great at hiding from human view. If you aren’t sure whether or not rabbits are invading your blueberry bushes, check for the signs: look for chewed-down stems and an absence of leaves, especially near new growth.
  • Measure a Barrier Correctly – The best way to protect your blueberry plants is by creating a barrier out of wire or chicken mesh. However compact rabbits may look, remember their superpower is leaping! Make sure the wiring you cut is at least 2 feet above the surface of the ground around your blueberry plant.
  • Fence off the Bush – Create a fence out of the chicken mesh or wire material we mentioned earlier, and make sure it is secured around the blueberry bushes. This little fence can be in place year-round, but it is most effective from early autumn through the spring season when rabbits will be looking for food most determinedly.

Ultimately, it is not too hard to keep rabbits from chowing down on those blueberry plants you’ve worked so hard to cultivate. All you need is two-foot-high chicken wire to surround the blueberry bushes, and even in the wintertime when they are hungriest, rabbits will not be able to destroy your garden!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If you have more questions on the topic of blueberries and whether or not rabbits can eat them, check out the list of answers we have compiled for you below!

How many blueberries should a rabbit eat?

Rabbits may, when they are pets and spoiled toward fruit, be excited to eat whole handfuls of blueberries. After all, blueberries are rich in fiber and water, and they are very sweet, making a good treat for rabbits. Unfortunately, rabbits should only eat one to two blueberries at a time, with a week between servings!

As previously mentioned, this will keep your pet rabbit from becoming bloated and experiencing other digestive issues as a result of being fed too much fructose content in the form of blueberries.

What fruits are toxic to rabbits?

One of the all-time most toxic foods that can ever be fed to a rabbit is avocado. Avocado is technically a fatty variety of fruit that holds a fungicidal toxin. This toxin is called persin. Persin is deadly to rabbits, although it is completely harmless when eaten by humans.

If your rabbit does eat avocado, it may not cause death right away. Instead, look for worrying symptoms like refusal to eat, fever, bloating, and other signs of illness. This may indicate that the persin is harming your pet rabbit, and you should consult an animal healthcare professional.

Can rabbits have blueberries every day?

As previously stated no, it is not a good idea to give blueberries to rabbits every day. Blueberries are tasty treats every once in a while for rabbits, but if rabbits have more than just one or two blueberries in the course of an entire week, it could really hurt their digestive system.

This is because blueberries are very high in sugar content. You may find yourself with an obese rabbit suffering from an upset tummy if you give it blueberries every single day!

What kind of berries can bunnies eat?

Rabbits can handle berries, despite their high sugar content, as long as they are only enjoyed one to two times over the course of a week. With that being said, as long as that guideline is followed, it is possible to feed bunnies the following berries:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries
  • Raspberries

As long as you do not go overboard in feeding these to your rabbit, you should have a happy, healthy pet!

What foods are fatal to rabbits?

As previously stated above, perhaps the most fatal thing you can feed to a rabbit is an avocado fruit because of the deadly persin toxin, which affects a rabbit’s health so negatively. However, this is not the only food that can cause severe illness or even death in a rabbit.

If a rabbit eats chocolate, it can be very problematic for the little animal. Additionally, fruits that contain seeds or pits with cyanide can be fatal to rabbits if consumed too often. Some examples of these include loquats and apples, as well as peach pits.

In terms of veggies, garlic, raw onions, and leeks are all highly disruptive to a rabbit’s digestive system. They should also stay away from iceberg lettuce and rhubarb.

It should also go without saying that a rabbit’s healthiest diet cannot consist of any dairy, meat, or eggs.

What fruits can rabbits have daily?

Only a few fruits should be eaten by a rabbit every day, and even these should be in small, fresh quantities. These can include apples and pears. As long as the amount you give your furry friend does not exceed 1 or 2 tablespoons, it should be okay to feed your rabbit with these foods every one or two days.

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In conclusion

To sum it all up, whether you have rabbits as pets and need to understand their dietary limits, or you have blueberries in your garden and want to protect them if rabbits pose a threat, you’ll need to know that rabbits can indeed eat blueberries.

As we’ve discussed at length above, blueberries are not toxic for rabbits, and the little critters definitely enjoy them. If you have a rabbit as your pet, you’ll need to know that you can’t feed blueberries to your rabbit more often than 1 or 2 blueberries every week because their high fructose content can lead to health problems for your furry friend.

However, rabbits in the wild obviously take care of their own diet and might be tempted to find their way into your garden and enjoy the sweet blueberries you are growing if you don’t take steps to prevent this. If you don’t want rabbits eating your blueberries, we recommend protecting them by fencing them in with chicken mesh at least two feet high.

As long as these precautions are taken, neither your pet rabbit nor your garden blueberries will be damaged by interacting with one another!

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