Whenever you adopt an animal, it can usually go without saying that you are going to want to give that animal the best life that you can.
Aside from offering regular food, water, and any other things that your pet might need, there might come a time when you want to feed your pet some treats. With some animals, however, it can be a little bit risky to try and decide what kind of treat to offer your pet.
Take rabbits as an example. Millions of people all around the world adore and own rabbits of their own. Rabbits are commonly kept as an outdoor pet, where they have the opportunity to jump around and be in an environment not unlike what they would be in if they were in the wild.
Many people enjoy giving their rabbits vegetables and fruits as treats because of this. The question then becomes a matter of what you can and cannot feed your rabbit.
While most people know about what fruits and vegetables are safe for rabbits to digest, not a lot of people know about what kind of herbs rabbits can eat.
Whether you are growing a garden that your rabbit might have access to and you want to make sure that the rabbit remains safe or you simply just want to know if you can feed your rabbit certain herbs, it is important to know what herbs rabbits can and cannot eat.
One common herb that people might be wondering about is going to be rosemary. Rosemary is a common herb that people grow and it is used in a plethora of dishes.
Many people grow rosemary in their gardens, so there is also the question of whether you might find a sickened rabbit that accidentally ate the rosemary you are growing.
No matter where you are getting your rosemary from, you can feel confident in knowing that rosemary is actually considered one of the safest herbs that a rabbit can eat. If there is any herb that you want to feed your rabbit to begin with, rosemary might be a good start.
Just remember that your rabbit’s main food should be hay.
Rabbits and Rosemary
Rosemary is commonly considered one of the safest herbs that you can feed a rabbit, of course barring the possibility that the rosemary you are feeding your rabbit was treated with pesticides. As long as the rosemary is all-natural and has not been treated with any chemicals, your rabbit can enjoy it as a treat from time to time.
One thing to keep in mind when feeding your rabbit some rosemary is that rosemary does have a tendency to cause diarrhea in moderate quantities. When feeding your rabbit some rosemary, you will want to begin in moderation and you should not feed your rabbit much more than you would put as a garnish on your food.
After all, a rabbit’s central diet should be the rabbit food that you have purchased for the rabbit, hay, and grass, and not herbs. Herbs should be the garnish dessert of your rabbit’s main course.
Another thing to keep in mind when feeding your rabbit some rosemary is the fact that because rosemary has a very strong smell to it, some rabbits may not be inclined to try it at first. If you are determined to feed your rabbit some rosemary, you should try masking it with other herbs so that its smell is a little bit more tolerable for your rabbit’s sensitive nose.
When all is said and done, rosemary makes for an excellent herb to begin introducing your rabbit to the world of more than just pellets and hay. Rosemary is incredibly safe for rabbits and as long as you are only using small amounts of all-natural rosemary, you will not run into a problem with feeding it to your rabbit.
What About Other Herbs?
Now that you have a good sense about whether rosemary is safe for your rabbit and how much rosemary you can feed your rabbit at a time, you might find yourself wondering about other herbs that you could feed your rabbit.
There are plenty of herbs that you can choose from, but there are also many things to keep in mind when you are experimenting with new foods for your rabbit.
Curious about other foods? Read Can Rabbits Eat Sweet Potato? and What Happens if a Rabbit eats Rice?
Always remember to start off in small moderation at first, and to go slowly when feeding your rabbit. It is highly unlikely that your rabbit will have an allergic reaction to freshly grown, organic herbs, but it is still a possibility and you do not want to give your rabbit too much of an herb that it could be allergic to.
Additionally, when letting your rabbit outside of its hutch, you should always keep an eye on what it is eating.
Rabbits love plants, and unfortunately, they will not stop eating if they come across a plant that is dangerous for them. This leaves it up to you, as the owner and caretaker of the rabbit, to ensure that your rabbit has no chance of coming into contact with any herbs or other plants that are going to be dangerous for your rabbit to consume.
Some of the herbs that rabbits can safely eat, and will often enjoy, include basil, oregano, parsley, dill, cilantro, caraway, sage, tarragon, lavender, peppermint, lemon balm, and comfrey.
Again, remember to start out with feeding your rabbit some of these herbs in moderation first. Some of the herbs that have a notably strong scent, such as peppermint and lavender, may not be the easiest for your rabbit to try at first because of the strong smell. However, all of these herbs are completely safe for your rabbit to eat.
Your rabbit, to some extent, can also eat the clovers that are growing in your yard. You will want to keep an eye on your rabbit if you do have clovers in your yard though. Clovers fall into a bit of a grey area when it comes to whether or not they are safe for your rabbit to eat.
Eating one or two clovers at a time is certainly not going to cause problems for your little rabbit, and the rabbit will likely enjoy the clovers as well. With that being said, it has been shown that too much clover can cause intestinal distress and bloating in rabbits that have a more sensitive digestive system.
Because you have no way of knowing just how sensitive your rabbit’s digestive system is, it will always be smarter for you to err on the side of caution and leave clovers to be better suited for grazing on the ones that make their way into the rabbit’s hutch.
What Should You Avoid?
Now that you know about the herbs that your rabbit will likely enjoy, there are also many herbs that you should try and keep your rabbit away from, as they can be toxic to your rabbit’s small and sensitive body.
The herbs that you should stay away from include agave leaves, aloe, amaryllis, bloodroot, buttercups, belladonna, eucalyptus, hemlock, milkweed, oak leaves, poppy, and ragwort.
This might be just a small selection of what your rabbit should avoid, but these are some of the most common herbs that you will encounter with your rabbit.
When you know what to avoid and what to keep your rabbit from eating, you can rest assured knowing that your rabbit is going to be living the best life that it can with you and the safe herbs that you feed it, such as rosemary.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.