Humans are advised to take care of their health and more so, eat a balanced diet. It doesn’t go without the popular saying, “Prevention is better than cure.” When you eat the right things, it is easy to avoid and overcome diseases or infections if they get a chance to show up. Most times, they don’t show up.
A balanced diet is an advisable feature for your rabbit’s health. Your rabbit’s diet is not complete without fruits and vegetables. What we all call ‘treats’. But the same way humans can be allergic to certain foods and they get their health and well-being affected, rabbits should avoid some foods too. Making the right choice for your rabbit’s fruit treat is essential. Is cranberry the right choice?
Can Rabbits Eat Cranberries?
The simple answer is Yes. Rabbits can eat cranberries. The first thing that worries a rabbit owner is the danger of indigestion when a rabbit eats or tries a new food or fruit. Cranberries shouldn’t give you much of that worry because as long as you feed your rabbit little by little, there will be no digestion problem.
Asides from that, cranberries contain nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B6, Calcium, Protein, Fiber, Lysine, Copper, etc. It contains 87% water and 12% carbohydrate. Hence, there are no harmful substances in cranberries.
Or maybe except for its large amount of sugar. This can only be harmful if you feed your rabbit too many cranberries or you try to soothe their sweet teeth by giving them cranberries every day. Avoid that.
What Type of Cranberries are Safe for Rabbits?
Thinking about this in terms of species, all cranberries are safe for your rabbit’s consumption. There isn’t much difference in the nutrients and as long as you measure and monitor the way your rabbit eats them. It is sure to be safe.
However, fresh cranberries are the safest form of cranberries for your rabbits. Fresh food is always best as long as it is washed and the source doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. Fresh, clean cranberries are the safest. It doesn’t mean dried or frozen cranberries are not safe though.
Should You Freeze Cranberries Before Feeding Rabbits?
Freezing cranberries is one of the ways to preserve the fruit and increase its durability. People prefer not to eat cranberries raw because of their underlying bitter taste and prefer to keep them frozen after adding sugar or other additives. This kind of cranberry is not advisable for your rabbit.
If instead the cranberries are frozen as they were bought, fresh and clean. Freezing the fruit allows the nutrients to remain stored on the inside and thereby enables the rabbit to enjoy a healthy fruit later.
Should You Give Your Rabbit Unprocessed Frozen Cranberries?
As mentioned earlier, freshly stored cranberries do not pose any danger to your rabbit. The fruit can be thawed afterwards and given to your rabbit. Thawed frozen cranberries have a mushy feel that makes rabbits enjoy them and allows them to be easier to eat.
The precaution to be taken is only in how much you give to your rabbit. Do not overload your rabbit with cranberries or make it into a daily diet. Cranberries should only serve as a treat.
Can Rabbits Eat Processed Frozen Cranberries?
Processed frozen cranberries are a no. Every processed cranberry is a no. By adding preservatives or any other thing to cranberries, it becomes dangerous for your rabbits to eat such.
Processed frozen cranberries can affect the digestive system of your rabbit. If by processing, sugar is added to the cranberries, the excess sugar can cause dental problems for your rabbit. Sugar is known to damage rabbit teeth. And in order cases, your rabbit can become obese. This is dangerous for the rabbit’s health.
Can Rabbits Eat Raw Cranberry Sauce or Jellies?
The simple answer to this question is no. Cranberry sauce is used as a side dish to turkey at Christmas or during Thanksgiving. While humans enjoy cranberry better as a sauce or jelly because of its improved taste and smoothness, it is not safe for your rabbits.
Cranberry sauce while being made may contain more sugar, preservative, high fructose, corn syrup, and others. These extra ingredients are not safe for your rabbit and you should avoid them at all costs.
Can Rabbits Eat Dried Cranberries as a Food Source?
Rabbits can eat dried cranberries but it is not advisable. Dried cranberries are not advisable because through the process of drying, a large amount of water is removed and the other nutrients in the fruit are concentrated, as well as the sugar content. Don’t forget that too much sugar is bad for your rabbit and can affect its health. Hence, dried cranberries are not advisable.
However, if you want to feed your rabbits dried cranberries, you can make sure to slice that up and give them only once a week. Do not be tempted to make it a main diet for the rabbits. A rabbit’s main diet is hay, grass, and water. Treats should be in little quantities. More so, do not feed your baby rabbits any form of cranberries. Make sure your rabbit is seven months old or more.
If not careful, dried cranberries can choke your rabbit. Hence, be very cautious when you feed them with dried fruit.
Is It Safe to Feed Your Rabbit Dried Fruit Combinations?
There are some other dried fruits that rabbits can eat. Such as dried mango, blueberries, etc. However, since these fruits contain sugar too, they shouldn’t be given to the rabbit in large quantities. This makes you wonder if you can take small bits of every dried fruit your rabbit can ingest and combine them as a treat. Don’t do it.
Combining numerous dried fruits doesn’t reduce the amount of sugar, it escalates it. It is advised that sugary treats shouldn’t be given to a rabbit on the same day, and I’ll add that it should even be the same week. Sugary treats are advisable only once or twice a week. You can draw a timetable of which week and when to give your rabbits these different dried fruits. Don’t combine them on the same day.
Should You Feed Raw Or Cooked Fruits to rabbits?
The best type or form of fruit to give your rabbits is raw fruits, not cooked fruits. By cooking fruits many nutrients can be altered or removed, this makes it difficult to decide if it is still proper for your rabbit to consume.
If you have to give your rabbits fruits at all, don’t cook or process the fruits. Feed them to your rabbits raw and fresh. Some can be frozen but avoid cooking them.
We started by understanding the importance of a balanced diet in rabbits’ health. Cranberries make an excellent choice for a rabbit’s treat but not in excess and when your rabbit is obese or has other digestive problems.
Do not overload your rabbits with cranberries and make sure they are fresh. If they are frozen, don’t serve processed food. Dried cranberries are not altogether bad either.
All in all, watch out for your rabbit and make sure it remains healthy while giving it a treat.