Rabbits are the sweetest pets. They are harmless and will not bother you because their favorite hobby is munching. Bunnies would practically eat anything you give them. Bunnies love hay, greens, fruits, and flowers, being grazing animals. However, not all plants are your furry little guy’s friends. So, can rabbits eat watercress?
Yes, rabbits can consume watercress but in a moderate ratio. Watercress is packed with nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. Too much of it can create an imbalance in your bunny’s digestion.
Your bunny’s diet should include hay, greens, and fruits. 80-90% of your pet rabbit’s diet should be hay, 10-15% veggies, and 5-10% fruits or flowers. A well-maintained diet is a sure way to a healthy and happy bunny. As a pet owner, you have to provide your furry baby with the best of the best. Keep reading to know more about what is good for your bunny!
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Why Should You Feed Watercress to Your Rabbit?
Watercress contains many fruitful things that can benefit your bunny’s health and immune system. Adding a little bit of this plant to your bunny’s daily greens can help your bunny stay fit and strong. Following are some benefits of watercress for your precious pet:
- It is high in Vitamin A. It is good for your bunny’s eyes and vision. This vitamin also keeps your bunny’s organs fresh and working to perfection.
- The Vitamin C present in this plant strengthens your bunny’s immune system. It also helps your bunny’s wounds heal quicker.
- Watercress is high in antioxidants. These antioxidants help your furry friend with stress, cell damage, and chronic diseases like arthritis.
- These greens are heart-friendly. They keep your bunny’s heart strong and prevent the chances of stroke and heart attack. Furthermore, watercress also regulates blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Watercress is high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which are great for bone health. These elements make this plant beneficial for bone strength, skeletal development, and bone cell growth.
How to Give Watercress to Your Pet Rabbit?
There is a way of feeding and preparing food for your bunny. Rabbits are tiny creatures with fragile immune systems and digestive tracts. Furthermore, they cannot swallow bigger bites.
To ensure your bunny has a smooth meal time, you must do the following:
- Wash the watercress thoroughly with cold water.
- Make sure you remove all the pesticide and insect repellent from the plant.
- Check for any worms or insects that your bunny might eat accidentally.
- Look for mold or wilted leaves. Do not feed your bunny those.
- Give a small number of leaves to your bunny to chew.
- You can also give your rabbit juiced or blended watercress. Mix it with its regular food to make it interesting for your rabbit.
- Watercress should be introduced to your pet slowly. Give your bunny a small amount and see how its body reacts to it.
- If all goes well, you can continue to give watercress to your pet from time to time.
- If the watercress does not suit your rabbit, stop immediately and take your pet to the vet.
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Is It Possible for A Rabbit to Overfeed on Watercress?
Watercress has a calcium potency. For humans, it is not harmful, and we can eat it as we like. However, that is not the case with our furry friends. Rabbits are herbivores. Their bodies are designed to eat uncomplicated foods. Too much calcium is bad for your bunny. It can cause various health issues and stresses for your rabbit.
Any type of overfeeding is discouraged when it comes to rabbits. Nothing but hay is the only food you can give your bunny in unlimited amounts. Nonetheless, even with hay, you need to balance the other requirements of your bunny with veggies and fruits.
You can give your pet rabbit watercress once or twice a week in a meal. Do not give watercress as the only green for a meal. Mix it with types of green to balance. The day you decide to add watercress to your pet’s meal, choose low-calcium foods that day. So, your bunny’s calcium intake does not over exceed normal.
Signs that Watercress is Not Suiting Your Bunny
Your bunny cannot tell you when it has an upset stomach or is in pain. Like babies, you would have to observe your rabbit. Having a pet is an enormous responsibility. Before you dive into the bunny cuteness, make sure you are mentally prepared to raise a furry little friend.
While feeding watercress or any other new things to your bunny, keep an eye out for unusual behavior. You would have to notice and judge your bunny’s allergic reaction, if any, from the cues of its behavior. Your bunny might not get sick right away, but it will certainly start showing signs of the watercress not suiting it.
Here is a list of signs you can look out for to see if watercress is not agreeing with your precious little pet:
If after eating watercress, your pet rabbit exhibits signs of respiratory issues like difficulty breathing, it is a sign that your bunny is allergic to watercress.
Your rabbit’s fecal matter normally looks like little round pellets. The clear indication of diarrhea would be the loose stool. If you notice that your bunny has lost control over its bowels and has watery fecal matter, the watercress is upsetting your rabbit.
Bunnies have big eyes, depending on their species. Some have big eyes, and others have extraordinarily large eyes. However, as a pet owner, you would be familiar with how your bunny’s eyes look on a normal day.
If you notice any change in your rabbit’s eye size, or if they look smaller than usual, your poor furry friend’s eyes are swollen. That is an unusual thing to happen to your bunny. If you have been feeding your furry baby watercress, that must be it.
What to Do If Your Bunny Shows Aversion Signs to Watercress?
If you notice that your rabbit is showing any of the symptoms listed above, contact your bunny’s vet immediately. Rabbits are sensitive creatures with even more sensitive emotional states. If they remain sick even for a short time, their emotional health starts to deteriorate.
Do not wait to go to the vet. You should calm your bunny by giving light pets on the head or a scratch between the ears until you reach the vet. Once you are at the clinic, tell the details to the professional.
Remember to tell him how long it has been and how much watercress you fed your precious pet before it started reacting. It will help the animal doctor to create the perfect remedy for your suffering furry baby.
Also Check Out: Can Rabbits Eat Flowers?
Substitutes for Watercress
There is no need to be sad over the fact that your bunny is allergic to one of the most nutrient-filled greens. There are plenty of options that you can give to your bunny in its daily diet to ensure your furry friend gets what it needs. Here are a few:
If the watercress does not agree with your bunny or you are too concerned about its calcium levels, you can give your bunny harmless salad leaves. You can add romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, endive lettuce, and escarole lettuce to your furry little guy.
Basil plant also has calcium, magnesium, and antioxidants. It will help your bunny with bone strength.
Parsely is another yummy substitute that your bunny would love. However, keep an eye out for loose stools with this herb.
This gorgeously aromatic plant has bone benefits for your bunny and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Oregano also has calcium in it which makes it the perfect substitute for watercress. It is also good for your bunny’s bones and teeth.
Bunnies need your undivided attention, especially when they are out of their pen. You need to be alert and keep a sharp eye on where your bunny goes, what it does, and what it eats.
As a pet owner, you are responsible for your furry baby’s mental and physical health. Before feeding your bunny anything, research it and do a trial run to check for any allergies. This hard work will pay off with your bunny’s health.
Furthermore, these care tips will reduce your stress about your bunny’s fragility and will keep the little guy out of trouble. Bunnies do not just get physically ill.
Once a rabbit has contracted a disease, its mental health starts to decline due to unwanted anxiety. Prevent this from happening by taking care of your pet and giving it all the love it needs.