Rabbits love fresh leafy greens. They enjoy the soft crunch they feel in their mouths when they chew on vegetables and other greens. Due to this ecstatic feeling, bunnies will eat anything they can fit in their mouths.
These emotionally intelligent creatures cannot differentiate between good and bad for their health. That is where a pet owner is responsible. Before introducing anything to your pet rabbit, ask if rabbits can eat that food. So, can rabbits eat spinach?
Yes, spinach is a safe food for your pet rabbit. However, due to its nutritional value, it is to be given in moderation to your pet. Spinach should be treated as a treat and only occupy 5-10% of your bunny’s weekly diet once in a while.
An almost unlimited amount of hay should dominate your rabbit’s diet. Only 10-15% should be vegetables, and 5-10% should be fruits or other healthy treats. Rabbits are fragile and require a balanced diet for a long and healthy lifespan.
Spinach has essential nutrients for your bunny but can also cause harm if given in excessive quantity. Keep reading to know more about spinach’s effects on your bunny.
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How Often Should You Feed Spinach to Your Furry Friend?
It is best to give your bunny spinach twice a week. You should not give spinach as a solo veggie to your bunny. Mix it up with other vegetables so that the spinach is in moderation. You can measure the number of greens as 1 cup of vegetables for each 2lbs of your bunny’s weight.
Furthermore, spinach is a high-oxalate leafy green. Be sure not to mix it with other oxalate vegetables, as too much of that can severely harm your precious pet’s health.
Oxalates Are Bad for Your Bunny Rabbit
Oxalate is a natural toxin present in spinach that can cause your pet rabbit to suffer physically and emotionally. It is not poisonous like insect repellents or toxic plants. Oxalate is a food toxin that can cause disturbance to your rabbit:
- It can upset your bunny’s urinal tract
- Cause irritation to the skin
- Make your bunny’s mouth itchy
Even though the benefits outweigh the cons, spinach should be given to your bunny with caution due to oxalates.
Avoid These Pairings to Reduce Oxalate Quantity
Giving your precious furry friend a daily dose of spinach can be dangerous due to its high oxalate content. Plus, giving it a mix of other oxalate-carrying greens can cause your fragile rabbit double trouble.
To avoid overfeeding oxalates to your bunny rabbit, do not give the following vegetables as a mix:
- Swiss chard
- Beet greens
- Radish tops
If you do feed your rabbit spinach, you should, in moderation, be careful to mix it with vegetables that have nutrients other than oxalates.
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How to Feed Spinach to Your Rabbit?
Bunnies are fans of fresh food. They will not approve of canned or cooked vegetables or fruits. If you buy spinach from a store, ensure it is fresh, pesticide-free, and not wilted. It is best to get organic spinach straight from a trustworthy farm. However, store-bought spinach is OK if you thoroughly wash it before giving it to your precious rabbit.
If you plan to store spinach for a couple of days, store it in the refrigerator. Do not pile it with other vegetables to prevent molding.
Do not give yellow spinach to your bunny. It will wiggle its tail in disapproval and not eat it. It can also cause an upset stomach for your rabbit.
When giving big leaves to your tiny bunny, it is best to chop them into smaller pieces to avoid any choking hazards. Your bunny will appreciate the ease of eating and will love to chew on the freshly cut spinach leaves.
How Does Spinach Benefit Your Rabbit?
Spinach is a tasty treat for your rabbit. The bittersweet taste combined with a fresh crunch feels like a blast in your bunny’s mouth. Apart from these, spinach has plenty of health benefits for your precious pet:
High Fiber Content
Spinach is very good for supporting your baby rabbit’s digestive system as it is fiber-rich. A rabbit’s digestive system is peristalsis, which means it does not have constant movement. The fiber in your bunny’s diet is responsible for smooth bowel and digestive movements for a perfect metabolic system for your furry friend.
Great Water Source
Spinach is 91% water. A hydrated bunny rabbit is a healthy animal. Your bunny must stay hydrated to avoid unwanted skin irritations or digestive troubles.
Rich in Vitamin A
Rabbits have fragile bodies and bone structures. They require plenty of vitamins to help them prevent various ailments. The vitamin A in spinach helps them with steady body development.
Spinach contains vitamins and minerals needed to keep your rabbit healthy and happy. Besides vitamin A, spinach also contains vitamins C, E, and K. Additionally, it has calcium, folic acid, magnesium, iron, manganese, and potassium.
You do not need to worry about a chubby bunny with spinach because 100 grams of spinach only has 23 calories.
Risks of Feeding Too Much Spinach to Your Pet Rabbit
Overfeeding spinach to your pet bunny can cause the poor guy to suffer severe health conditions. You should only give your pet rabbit a small amount of spinach twice a week. If you give too much spinach to your rabbit, the following risks can happen:
- Oxalic acid can make minerals insoluble, putting stress on your bunny’s stomach and blocking it. It can be fatal for your pet.
- It can stop the digestion of magnesium and calcium, resulting in urinary tract problems, itchy skin, and bladder stones.
- Spinach is a high-calcium food. Too much calcium is hard for your bunny’s kidneys and causes stones to form.
Yes, feeding too much spinach to your bunny sounds terrifying and can be fatal for your rabbit. However, if you take care of your rabbit’s spinach portion, this leafy green can benefit your pet rabbit.
The benefits of spinach are more than the risks. Keep a keen eye on your bunny when introducing spinach to it, and you are good to go.
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Signs that Spinach is Not Suiting Your Furry Bunny
When introducing any new food to your pet rabbit, always try a small amount of it. Keep a check on your bunny for 24 hours and observe any adverse behavior or changes in fecal matter. If you see no allergies, you can feed your pet the food.
After giving your precious rabbit spinach, observe your bunny for the following signs of an allergic reaction:
- Your bunny’s eyes might be red than usual.
- Your rabbit’s eyes are watery and teary.
- Your furry friend has irritation in its face. Your rabbit will rub its paws against its face to ease its discomfort. In extreme cases, it might also rub its face on the floor.
- Your pet is dry sneezing. Dry sneezing is when no mucus of water comes out of your rabbit’s nose. Such sneezes are an allergic reaction to something your rabbit has eaten or touched.
If you notice any of the above signs, stop giving your pet spinach. It is best to book an appointment with a vet immediately and get your bunny medically examined by a professional.
Keep your bunny calm. To relieve your pet’s elevated anxiety due to this discomforting allergic reaction, you can pet its head or rub it between its ears while you wait for the doctor.
Spinach is the perfect treat for your bunny rabbit as it contains all the essential nutrients for your pet’s optimal health. However, with its good aspects, spinach has a risky side too. It is nothing you cannot manage with a bit of extra observation, measurement, and care.
Raising a rabbit is like raising a human baby. They require equal attention, sweat, tears, and love. As a voiceless creature, your pet rabbit will not be able to speak about its pain and discomforts. You will have to walk that extra mile to ensure your bunny’s smooth and easy life.
Always research foods before introducing them to your bunny. Do not give a huge amount right away. Test the waters first. Having a pet is a huge responsibility, but it is not an impossible task. With excellent observation skills, devotion, a keen eye, love, attention, and lads of snuggles, you will successfully raise a healthy bunny rabbit.