Rabbit treats! One Bunny's Review
by Autumn, a rabbit. Transcribed by Tracy, a human.
When I was asked to give my two cents on treats, I jumped at the chance. I mean literally, I binkied at the idea of taste-testing all these yummy treats. I was like a bride-to-be taste-testing wedding cakes. What bunny doesn’t like treats? That’s a rhetorical question. There is not a bunny alive that doesn’t like some kind of treat. We might not all like the same treats, but we do like them.
Just like humans, bunnies have different tastes and needs. Also like humans, too much of a good thing can be bad for our health. We are really good at begging and learn quickly which human we need to befriend to get the most out of our begging attempts. For me, that human is dad. Here are some of my favorites treats:
Fresh fruits make great treats. Some of us would eat fruit until we burst. So, it is up to you to limit our intake. Eating a whole banana for a bunny would be like letting a human kid eat a whole box of sugary cereal. Bananas seem to be the most popular fruit. Blueberries are also popular, although I don’t really care for them.
Freeze-dried fruit is convenient to have on hand. Just be sure that the only ingredient is the fruit itself, nothing else. Oxbow makes freeze-dried fruit treats that are readily available at most pet stores, and online at Amazon and Chewy. CVS carries Golden Emblem Abound freeze-dried fruits. Just be sure to look at the back of each package, as they have more than one brand and some of them do have added sugar.
Oxbow Organic Barley Biscuits are known as “cookies” in our house. Mom thinks I don’t notice that she breaks them in half sometimes, but I do. Bunnies can do math. If you usually give us two treats, we know when we are still owed a second. We also know if the one you gave us was half the size as normal.
Bunfectionary uses whole Timothy hay, with vegetable and fruit purees in their Bunny Biscotti. Using the whole Timothy hay helps our teeth and digestive system. They make a variety of flavors and they taste really good. Plus it’s fun to say, “I’ll have a biscotti, please.” Triangle Rabbits sells them at special events and sometimes on our website. My favorite crunchy treat is Sparkle’s Haylo Original Tasties with edible wrapping from Doctor Doogs’s Bunny Pharm and Flophouse. It gets two thumbs up from me. Well, if bunnies had thumbs, mine would be up. Seriously, though, edible wrapping!!! Brilliant! Ken and Charri Everson use acid-free paper colored with plant-based dyes. They make a large variety of supportive items for your bunny’s health. Every purchase helps support the bunnies living in their bunny sanctuary. Most items are made on demand, so they are fresh.
Hay and hay cubes
Hay cubes are good for your bunny’s teeth and they keep us busy, but be sure to look at the ingredients.
Kaytee Timothy Hay Cubes are probably the most popular because they are available just about everywhere. However, these cubes have alfalfa mixed in with the Timothy hay. Alfalfa can be too high in protein for most bunnies. So, because of that, mom doesn’t give these to me as often as I would like.
Mom recently found two other brands of Timothy hay cubes that only use one ingredient: Sun-cured Timothy hay. She found Sun Seed All Natural Timothy Cubes at a local PetCo one day. Yesterday she ordered Brown’s Natural Timothy Hay Cubes on Chewy.com. They haven’t arrived yet, but I can’t wait to give them a try.
Different types of hay can be considered a treat. Orchard hay can be a bit sweet in taste, so toss it in a bowl and serve it at your next dinner party.
Willow and kudzu
Dried willow and kudzu leaves taste great! They can also help calm a bunny’s upset stomach or entice your bunny to eat, if they aren’t eating much. It’s important that the trees have not been treated with pesticides or grown in a polluted environment, like next to a highway. My local supplier in the Raleigh-Durham, NC area is Renee DuBose. She drives to Georgia to get her inventory. She also has apple sticks, which help keep our teeth worn down. They are also fun to chew.
Not all tree branches or leaves are bunny-safe. Please check with a bunny-savvy vet or go to the House Rabbit Society website for more information.
Fresh herbs can be given in your bunny’s salad at mealtime or saved as a special treat at a different time of day. Not all bunnies like all herbs. Again, just like people. Some people hate cilantro, while others can’t get enough of it in their guacamole or salsa. To be clear, don’t give your bunny guacamole or salsa, just the cilantro. I like parsley and basil the most. I don’t like cilantro or dill, but other bunnies love it.
Never feed seeds, nuts, or yogurt dipped treats to bunnies
Seeds, nuts, or yogurt dipped treats should never be given to bunnies, even though there are commercially made bunny treats in pet stores that include them and are labelled, “for bunnies.” These “bunny” treats can cause all sorts of health issues, including GI stasis.
Autumn runs The Bossy Bunny Facebook page.
House Rabbit Society: www.rabbit.org. Great resources on what to feed your rabbit.
Doctor Doogs’s Bunny Pharm and Flophouse: www.DrDoogsbunnypharm.com
Renee Dubose (Willow and Kudzu treats for sale): firstname.lastname@example.org