Some fruits and vegetables could be potentially dangerous for your rabbit, but thankfully, lemongrass is not one of them. Giving your rabbit lemongrass is not only safe, but it is an excellent way to give your rabbit something crunchy to chew. Although lemongrass is safe for your rabbit, give your rabbit only a small amount daily. Eating too much lemongrass could upset your rabbit’s stomach, leading to vomiting or diarrhea.
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What Is Lemongrass?
Lemongrass is a naturally occurring grass that is found in sub-tropical parts of Asia, Africa, and Australia. These grasses are commonly grown on the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. Although called grass, lemongrass is a herb widely used to cook various recipes. Because of its taste and crunchy texture, lemongrass is a favorite among rabbits and is often used as a tasty treat.
How Do I Find Lemongrass for my Rabbit?
Giving your rabbit lemongrass as a treat is a wonderful idea to give your rabbit the necessary vitamins and minerals. Lemongrass is crunchy and tasty and can provide much-needed enrichment. If you purchase lemongrass from the grocery store for your rabbit, be sure to buy organic lemongrass. Organic vegetables will be free of pesticides and herbicides, potentially harmful to your rabbit if ingested.
Another option is to grow your own lemongrass at home. Lemongrass grows well in warm and tropical climates and can be a good container garden herb. Always be sure to harvest your homegrown lemongrass with scissors. Simply cut a small amount to give to your rabbit when it is time for its weekly treat. You never want to give your rabbit lemongrass cut with a lawnmower. The oils and gasoline in the lawnmower could potentially leak onto the lemongrass, making your rabbit sick.
How Can I Give My Rabbit a Healthy Diet?
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Keeping your rabbit healthy revolves around giving your rabbit a healthy diet. In the wild, rabbits will naturally forage and nibble throughout the day, so providing a continuous supply of food for your rabbit to graze is essential.
Your rabbit should have an unlimited supply of hay and grasses. Having fresh hay and grasses is preferred, but dried hay and grasses can also provide your rabbit with the necessary fiber and minerals. Some favorite grasses for pet rabbits include barley hay, bromegrass, wheatgrass, oat grass, barn hay, and dried grass oat.
Some rabbit owners will also supplement their rabbit’s diet with pellets made of packed hay and grasses. Pellets help supplement your rabbit’s diet giving them enough food and vitamins to keep them healthy. Pellets are particularly helpful for an increase in fiber. Daily treats and fresh, leafy vegetables are necessary to give your rabbit the right vitamins to stay healthy.
How Much Fresh Grass Should a Rabbit Eat?
Grass and hay should make up the bulk of your rabbit’s diet. Healthy grasses like wheatgrass, timothy, and oats should account for at least 80% of your rabbit’s diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables should make up another 10-15%. Pellets that are high in fiber and high-quality should only make up about 5% of your rabbit’s diet.
You need to give your rabbit a continuous supply of hay and grass, not limiting their intake. Keep treats, fruits, and vegetables to a minimum to not upset your rabbit’s digestive tract or upset their caloric intake balance.
What Are Good Treats For My Rabbit?
Rabbits love a rewarding treat, especially if you try to encourage good behavior. Treats are an excellent way to bond with your rabbit, however, too much of a good thing can be trouble. Be sure to monitor treat intake and only give your rabbit a treat once or twice per week. Some excellent treats for your rabbit include:
- Fruits – Giving your rabbit the occasional piece of fruit will give it essential vitamins and minerals and reward your rabbit with something sweet and tasty. Some excellent fresh fruit options for your rabbit include mangos, apples, kiwis, berries, and pears.
- Vegetables – Leafy vegetables are always preferred for your rabbit. Give your rabbit broccoli, spinach, kale, mint, or fennel.
- Herbs and Grasses – Just about any grass is great for a rabbit, but limit the amount of lemongrass and alfalfa grass. Lemongrass is a great crunchy and delicious treat for your rabbit.
- Commercial Treats – Be cautious when purchasing commercial treats, as several of these are high in fats which could be dangerous for your rabbit. Black oiled sunflower seed treats are a wonderful option but should only be given in limited amounts.
What Grasses Are Dangerous For Rabbits?
Just about any grass, lemongrass included is healthy for your rabbit. You’ll want to give your rabbit a mix of grass and hay types to ensure its diet remains balanced. Most grasses intended for rabbits are commercially available at the pet store. Supplemental grasses can be purchased from the grocery store as long as they are organic and free of pesticides.
If you want your rabbit to graze the grasses found in your yard naturally, you’ll need to take some special precautions to ensure you do not inadvertently poison them. You’ll want to keep your grass as organic and natural as possible, not using any pesticides or chemicals that could be toxic for rabbits. Some natural fertilizers may be alright but always check with your veterinarian first to ensure added chemicals are not harmful.
Further, consider which wild animals may frequent your yard when your rabbits are not outside. Some wild animal urine can be dangerous for rabbits, potentially carrying disease. If possible, keep wild animals away from the grasses in your yard intended for rabbits with fencing. These precautions should also include preventing neighborhood dogs from frequenting your yard.
What Should I Do If My Rabbit Eats Toxic Food?
While most all grasses and hays are safe for your rabbit, there is the potential that your rabbit could become poisoned from pesticides or herbicides used to treat the grass. Always be aware of any troubling signs or symptoms that your rabbit has become poisoned. Look for lethargy, diarrhea, twitching, increased breathing and heart rate, or even seizures.
If your rabbit has been poisoned, immediate action is needed. First, call your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian can walk you through procedures at home or recommend emergency treatment to help your rabbit. If you cannot reach your veterinarian, the ASPCA has an animal poison control center. Call (888) 426-4435, or visit their website for medical advice and treatment options.
Rabbits enjoy a varied diet that offers plenty of minerals and vitamins essential for a healthy life. Various grasses and hays should make up about 80% of your rabbit’s diet. Supplement the remaining diet with leafy, fresh vegetables and a small amount of high-quality pellet food. Your rabbit should get a variety of hays and grasses, including lemongrass.
A lemongrass treat is a great option for your rabbit because it is crunchy and tasty. However, always limit the amount of lemongrass your rabbit eats each week. While lemongrass in small quantities is entirely safe for your rabbit, too much lemongrass can cause digestive distress. Lemongrass can be purchased at the grocery store, however, only organic lemongrass that avoids herbicides or pesticides is recommended.