Can rabbits eat spinach? Absolutely! However, you don’t want spinach to be the all in all in your rabbit’s diet. Variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to feeding a house rabbit. A balanced diet that includes leafy greens, root veggies, grass hay and fruits will make for one healthy and happy bunny.
If you’re going to have a house rabbit, it’s important to learn about his care. This includes knowing what kinds of foods make up a healthy rabbit diet. If your rabbit lived in the wild, he’d probably eat whatever plants, grass, seeds, fruit and twigs he could find. With your house rabbit, however, you can be selective in the meals you provide. A nutritious diet will help your bunny grow healthy and strong and reduce the risk of digestive problems. What constitutes a healthy house bunny diet?
House Rabbit Food
Grass hay should be your first food choice for your house rabbit, regardless of the variety. Grass hay is rich in vitamins, calcium and protein which Bunny needs for healthy teeth and good digestion. Alternating between different types of grass hay will give your bunny variety in his diet. Alfalfa hay, however, should be reduced to a minimum due to its high calorie content.
As herbivores, rabbits love fresh, leafy greens, fruits and other vegetables. Veggies will provide your bunny with the vitamins, minerals and fiber he needs to grow. Spinach, in particular, is rich in Vitamins A, C and E and contains such minerals as iron, calcium and potassium — all of which are essential to your rabbit’s health and development.
Unfortunately, spinach also contains organic acids called oxalates that can make Bunny sick if consumed in large amounts. So although spinach can be included in your rabbit’s diet, it shouldn’t be the main course on a daily basis. Spinach could be a weekly supplement to Bunny’s meals, complementing such foods as grass hay, leafy greens, carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, apples and strawberries. Oxalates can also be found in radish, parsley, sprouts and mustard greens.
Fresh, raw vegetables and fruits will be Bunny’s delight. If you have a garden, you could serve your rabbit freshly picked greens right out of the ground. Just be sure to wash and dry the food before serving. Fresh foods will also add moisture to your bunny’s diet which will aid in bladder movement. Avoid serving greens that are yellow or moldy as they could cause digestive problems.
How Much Food Should Your House Rabbit Eat?
In addition to varying your rabbit’s food, you should also consider how much he should eat daily. A healthy serving would measure to about one cup of food to every 2 pounds of rabbit weight. This amount could be given all at once or scattered throughout the day.
Diversity in your rabbit’s diet will enable him to enjoy different tastes and textures as well as benefit from a wide range of nutrients. Don’t forget to rotate foods with oxalates and high sugar/starch content as Bunny can benefit from their nutritional value if they’re served in limited amounts and less often.
What Foods Can be Harmful to Bunny?
Avoid giving your rabbit legumes (peas, beans, etc.) or grains as they can cause gastro-intestinal problems. Onions, leeks and chives should never be part of your rabbit’s diet as they can lead to blood defects.
As mentioned earlier, foods with a high starch or sugar content (root veggies, broccoli, and cauliflower) can be given but in limited quantities and less frequently. Fresh fruits such as apples and strawberries can be given in small portions as well or be used as special treats to help you bond with your pet. Dried fruits can be given sparingly due to their heavy concentration. As rabbits aren’t very good at controlling their appetite for sugary or starchy foods, you’ll have to be careful not to overdo or you may wind up with one round and plump bunny.
Go slow when adding new foods to your rabbit’s diet as Bunny’s digestive system needs time to adjust to the food’s components. Introducing new food at three day intervals is a good rule of thumb. Keep an eye on your rabbit’s stools to ensure he’s digesting new food properly before moving on. If stools are soft several days in a row, remove that food from Bunny’s menu. By keeping tabs of the food you serve and your bunny’s reaction, you’ll have a good idea of what constitutes a safe and healthy house rabbit diet.