Basil is a plant that is considered both an herb and a spice. It has a sweet and pungent taste that not everyone likes. However, is it safe for rabbits? This article will give you an overview of basil and its effects on rabbits.
What do you know about your rabbit’s diet?
Like us humans, rabbits also need a balanced diet to keep them healthy. Basically, there should be enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can help them develop and grow properly.
While their average daily nutrient is much different from ours, all rabbit owners need to know more about their pet’s specific diet.
A rabbit’s diet is very easy to prepare since most of what consists of it is easily accessible. Rabbits are herbivores, which means they love anything green and leafy.
The most important part of a rabbit’s diet is hay. There are different kinds of grass hay that you can choose from, such as Oat grass hay, Timothy grass hay, and orchard grass hay.
It’s crucial to give rabbits an adequate amount of food every meal since it will ensure their growth and help keep their teeth strong and at the correct size.
If possible, give your rabbits an unlimited supply of hay that they can nibble on any time they want. Remove any leftovers from hours ago and replace them with a fresh new batch.
If you’re planning to add some leafy greens or vegetables to your rabbit’s diet, make sure to add a tablespoon with every two pounds of your rabbit’s weight.
Do not overdo it and just give it to them maybe two to three times per week. The same goes for adding fruits to your rabbit’s every meal. Keep in mind to always provide your rabbit with fresh, clean water 24/7.
Nutritional Facts about Basil
Now that you know some more information about a rabbit’s diet, it’s time to learn more about basil. This plant is considered a spice that adds flavor to any dish, but how nutritious is it? Continue reading below to find out the nutritional benefits of feeding basil to your rabbits.
Low Blood Sugar
One of the best benefits that your rabbit can get from basil is that it can help lower the blood sugar level and reduce the risk for diabetes. This condition can also affect rabbits, and it can become fatal for them if left untreated.
Basil can help lower the glucose number in your rabbit’s bloodstream and reduce the risk of any sugar-related sickness or condition.
Antioxidants and Anti-inflammatory Compounds
Over the past few years, several studies have shown that basil is an excellent source of antioxidants or anti-inflammatory compounds.
These compounds will help reduce inflammation inside your rabbit’s body and keep them active and healthy. They also help cleanse the body to prevent any disease or sickness.
Unlike every other plant, basil can possibly help detoxify your rabbit’s bloodstream and make it easier to fight off any infection.
There are some harmful toxins that basil can easily kick out of your rabbit’s system and help them build the antibodies they need to fight off the infection.
Rich in Vitamins
Lastly, basil is known as a plant with high vitamin content. The two main vitamins that help your rabbits are Vitamin A and Vitamin K. Vitamin A is responsible for improving eyesight. In contrast, Vitamin K helps the blood to clot easier when needed.
Can Rabbits Eat Basil?
To answer the question, yes, rabbits can eat basil but not every day and not as a meal itself. Rabbits need enough fiber to grow healthy, and basil does not have enough fiber.
The best way to feed basil to your rabbits is by mixing it with their regular food. If you want to provide your rabbit with nothing but the best, mix hay with pellets and greens like basil, cabbage, or spinach.
Can Bunnies Eat Basil?
In the previous question, we were able to find out that you can feed basil to adult rabbits. Here, we will discuss if it’s okay to feed basil to bunnies or baby rabbits. As we all know, baby rabbits have more sensitive digestive tracts than adult rabbits.
For this reason, it’s safe to feed fruits and vegetables to rabbits that are 12 weeks old and above. If they have not yet reached that age, keep their diet strictly hay so that they can grow properly.
Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Basil?
It’s important to remember that you should not give your rabbits cooked basil or anything cooked. Their stomachs won’t be able to handle any cooked food so just keep everything raw and easy to eat for your rabbits. You don’t need too much effort in preparing your rabbits’ meals.
Can Rabbits Eat Basil Stems?
Basil stems are essentially the same as basil itself, so it is safe to feed them to rabbits who are 12 weeks old or above. Just keep in mind that it is still a choking hazard, so observe your rabbits when feeding them.
The stems are not too hard to eat, but you can make things easier for your rabbit by cutting them in medium lengths so that your rabbit can safely nibble on them with ease.
Harmful Effects of Basil on Rabbits
Since we’ve already explained that basil can be fed to rabbits, this next part will show you the harmful effects of feeding too much basil to your rabbits.
Like other plants, basil can have detrimental effects on your rabbit, mainly the GI. Take a look below to learn about the harmful effects of basil on rabbits.
Feeding basil to your rabbits daily can cause many problems since Basil is low in fiber. That’s why it’s recommended to be given to your rabbits twice or thrice a week only.
Without enough fiber in their diet, their stool will turn watery and eventually lead to Diarrhea. If not treated immediately and adequately, this condition can become a more significant problem for you and your rabbit.
There are many ways to treat Diarrhea in rabbits, such as a change of diet, hospitalization, syringe feeding, or fluid administration. The best way to prevent Diarrhea in rabbits is to give them a proper diet and nutrition, with hay as their primary food every meal.
If basil is overfed to your rabbits, the loss of fiber may result in Gastrointestinal Stasis or GI Stasis. This can be very dangerous for your rabbits since it can cause a lot of pain and even death.
GI Stasis can cause muscular contractions in your rabbit’s digestive tract, which can cause an imbalance.
Look out for the signs that your rabbit may have GI Stasis, such as hunched posture or teeth grinding. Other symptoms include loose or watery stool and excessive gases.
If you see any of these signs, you may first feed hay to your rabbit to increase fiber in their system. For worse cases, visit a veterinarian for more information.
Other food that you can give to your Rabbits
At this point, we are now done talking about rabbits and basil, but you may be interested to know what other types of food you can offer your rabbits. If you want a lot of food options to choose from, you may check this video below.
Fear not, for we have listed some of the most recommended fruits and vegetables that you can give to your rabbits.
Just make sure to not make these foods your rabbit’s main meal, but perhaps a treat to add in every now and then. Without further ado, here are some fruits and vegetables for your rabbits.
While the world may be absorbed with cartoon rabbits who love eating carrots, it’s safe to say that they shouldn’t be fed daily to a rabbit.
Even though it is very nutritious and beneficial to a rabbit’s health, it also has a high amount of sugar content which can be harmful even in the most minor way possible. Consider giving it to them as a treat or mixed with their regular feed.
Brussel Sprouts are one of the best vegetables to feed your rabbit. It is packed with many good nutrients such as Fiber, Manganese, Folate, and Vitamins A and K that can give your rabbits what they need to grow strong and healthy.
You can mix it with their feed or as a treat given to them twice or thrice a week.
The last on our shortlist is Cucumber. It’s an excellent choice for treats since you can only feed it to your rabbits once a week and just a tablespoon full per rabbit.
This juicy vegetable should not be provided to your rabbits for two consecutive days since it can cause the same health issues as basil.
By this point, you should know that you can feed basil to your rabbits for as long as you do it at their recommended age and serving. There are foods that you should only feed to rabbits in moderation since they can cause harm if they are overfed with it.