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Can My Rabbit Eat Spinach?

Last Updated: 22.10.19

 

Using a stackable rabbit cage is a very good way of saving space and effort when breeding rabbits. Professional rabbit cages ensure safety and comfort to your precious pets. Being equipped with all the right accessories, they make it a lot easier to care for pet rabbits. The special flooring of these cages is safe for rabbits.

Understanding a rabbit’s basic feeding needs and housing requirements is key and it should be done before actually getting a pet rabbit. These cute animals are known to be easily bred and cared for. However, there are some general guidelines a rabbit owner should follow to ensure a long and thriving life for its pet.

Given that rabbits have continuously growing teeth, is it important to provide a diet that is rich in fibers and also helps to keep their teeth at an optimum length. Also, a varied menu is advised for pet rabbits. The general rule to go by is to keep a balance and feed small amounts of the appropriate foods while rotating treats.

 

What should a rabbit eat?

Hay is the most important ingredient in any rabbit’s daily menu. There are many types of hay available, most of them being suited for all rabbit age groups and breeds. For instance, timothy hay is very rich in fibers and can be offered in unlimited amounts. The hay quality is of utmost importance since moist and moldy hay can make rabbits ill due to its high toxin level.

Pellets are an even type of rabbits food that helps to prevent selective feeding. They come in a large variety of sizes and have many ingredients. Some are better suited for baby rabbits that are just starting to take solid food while others are made especially for pure breed rabbits. Since they are enriched with vitamins and minerals, pellets are a very good choice in rabbit feeding.

Vegetables should be provided to rabbits on a daily basis and in small amounts. There are some vegetables that are good for a rabbit’s health, while others are not advised to be given to rabbits at all. All vegetables should be fresh and very well rinsed with plenty of clean water before serving them to avoid any intoxication with chemicals or pesticides.

Fruits could be offered to bunnies as treats in small amounts. The total weekly amount of fruits given to rabbits should not exceed 10% of the total food amount. If possible, it is better not to peel the fruit skin off. All served fruits should be as fresh as possible, ideally organic too, and very well rinsed with clean water to remove any undesired substances.

Should rabbits eat spinach?

Spinach is a green, leafy plant native to Asia. The high level of nutrients alongside vitamins, minerals, and iron make it a good choice for both humans and rabbits. For human consumption spinach can be cooked, served fresh, or preserved by freezing or dehydration. Rabbits, however, can only eat it as fresh as possible.

Spinach is good for rabbits as long as you only feed small amounts of this vegetable. It should be given to pet rabbits on a weekly basis or twice a week, at most. It is best for your bunny’s health to gradually introduce spinach in the weekly menu, as with any other new vegetable, while closely watching for any stool changes that may appear.

Spinach has a high oxalic acid content. The oxalic acid in spinach will bind magnesium and calcium together. When these two elements bind together they become insoluble. This fact is potentially harmful to rabbits in two possible ways. First, bladder stones may appear, due to the insolubility of these two elements. Secondly, the bone system may become deficient.   

This is mainly the reason for giving spinach to bunnies no more than once a week. If you overfeed spinach to rabbits, the risk of developing bladder stones becomes quite high for them. This condition could become life-threatening if not detected on time or left unattended for too long. Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to vegetables in a rabbit’s diet.

 

Can rabbits have spinach leaves, stalks, and roots?

Spinach leaves are the part of the spinach plant most commonly used in feeding rabbits. It is also the part of the spinach plant that gets all the pesticide and other chemical treatments before being harvested; therefore, make sure that spinach leaves get thoroughly cleaned before reaching the food bowls of pet rabbits.

Spinach stalks and stems have a considerably higher fiber content than the leaves do, so they are preferred in a rabbit’s diet. Also, their crispy texture makes bunnies love them since chewing is a rabbit’s favorite activity. Clean, fresh stalks and stems should also be given to rabbits once a week, as part of the treat rotating system.

Spinach roots have a high sugar level content because that part of the plant is where all the energy is stored. Besides not being able to clean the roots very well, the high sugar content makes spinach roots a not so suitable rabbit treat. It would be better to cut them off and completely avoid serving them to your furry friend.

Can baby rabbits eat spinach?

Giving spinach to a baby rabbit is not advised. Because of calcium and magnesium binding together, their bone development could be disturbed. Since baby rabbits have a very high growth rate, their bones need all the calcium and minerals available to grow strong and healthy. Any disruption of this process is not healthy for the baby rabbit.

Also, because baby rabbits have such sensitive digestive systems, gradually introducing spinach leaves in their diet could prove to be a challenge. It is best to wait for a little while and start giving this vegetable when rabbits are closer to adulthood. An idea would be giving spinach stalks first since they are easily digestible compared to spinach leaves.

 

What foods and treats are not advised?

Any type of human food that has been cooked or processed is to be avoided in any bunny diet. Chocolate is very rich in sugar and rabbits cannot tolerate such high sugar levels. If eaten, chocolate can make bunnies ill. The same goes for yogurt treats, as well. They are quite high in sugar and saturated fat; therefore, they are not healthy for bunnies.

Bread or other foods that are high in carbohydrates, like crackers, are not advised for two main reasons: the artificial ingredients found in these types of food are unhealthy for pet bunnies and they take a long time to get digested, which is harmful to rabbits. Because of their particular digestive system, food staying in the colon for too long may lead to acute diarrhea.

Avocado is one fruit to be completely avoided in any rabbit’s diet due to it very high-fat content. Even a small piece of avocado could cause a lot of damage to a rabbit’s health. Just like avocado, rhubarb is a vegetable to be avoided because it can be poisonous to rabbits. Although rhubarb is quite a common garden plant, it is seldom eaten by rabbits.

 

 

 

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