Can rabbits eat basil? The first thing you should think of is that rabbits are herbivores. Therefore, they will love it if you’d offer them veggies or fruits just like basil.
However, some foods are healthy for us humans but not for our pets.
As a pet owner myself, I make sure that the food I feed my pet, Thumper, is safe and suitable for him.
Responsible pet owners make no compromise on their pet’s diet. This is only possible if one has proper and authentic knowledge on pet diet. Perhaps, it must be the reason why you’re reading this article.
Just keep on reading to learn more about rabbits’ diet in particular basil!
Can Rabbits eat Basil?
Sure, rabbits can eat basil.
But before we discuss why you’d want to consider feeding basil to your pet, you might want to know this fact:
Your pet rabbit belongs to lagomorphs, a family in which their system are made to digest hay, leaves, fruits, twigs, branches, other kinds of greens and nothing less.
In simple terms, the food your pet likes is not hard to find as it is almost found everywhere.
You don’t need to spend a fortune just to keep your pet healthy, unless you’re willing to spend on high-end food products sold for rabbits.
What’s amazing about Thumper is that he’s not that choosy; that’s why it’s not hard for me to take care of his diet.
Now let’s go back to basil:
It is a herb which resembles green leafy vegetables but its scent can be quite strong.
Dont worry though!
Basil is suitable for your rabbit; not only is it nutritious, but it is also low in sugar, which is ideal for a rabbit’s diet.
Just make sure that your pet is not experiencing any urinary tract or kidney problems before serving this treat.
So, if you are a gardener who loves to cultivate herbs, then lucky for you! You can just grab your rabbits’ snack anytime you like!
Basil And Rabbits
Basils are great seasoning for some dishes, which most of us love!
However, humans would tend to eat basil less because of its strong flavor. Similar is the case with your pet rabbit.
Therefore, you’d want to be careful when feeding basil to your rabbits as its strong scent can put off your little fellow.
Don’t worry about its scent though; it’s just natural to most herbs.
Oregano and rosemary leaves also are herbs that bring out a pungent smell.
The pungent odor of these herbs may get in the way of your pet enjoying its snack.
Regardless, your pets can still enjoy basil despite its strong aroma because there are sweet and Thai basil that you could buy or plant in your backyard, these types of basil have no strong scent when compared to other types of basils.
Nevertheless, it would still depend upon your pet’s liking (as rabbits have their preference when it comes to their meals).
Some may like basils while others don’t.
You never know if your pet will like basils unless you let them try!
How To Introduce Basil To Rabbits?
If you are growing herbs in your garden and finding it a waste to throw your basils, why not try to feed them to your rabbit?
Here are the ways to introduce basil to your rabbit:
Step #1. Mix basil with your rabbit’s usual meal
Try mixing basils to your pet’s usual meal or other herbs and veggies available in your garden.
Adding herbs to your rabbit’s diet is commendable as they are filled with nutrients good for your pet’s body!
I suggest you try mix cilantro, rosemary, oregano, and of course, basil to your pet’s usual hay and green veggie mixes (such as lettuce, cabbage, spinach, kale, celery, watercress, and escarole) to spice up its daily meals.
Step #2. Be cautious on your serving
However, be mindful of the vegetables you’d be feeding your pet as some may be high in oxalate or calcium, which are the usual cause of bladder stones.
Moreover, please limit the number of vegetables or herbs you feed them; and serve them alternately.
Step #3. Observe your pet’s response towards the food
When introducing new food to your pets, observe their response and behavior towards it. This is important in assessing the impact of the given treat on your pet’s body.
If your rabbit gets a runny stool after serving it basil, then stop giving it to your pet immediately.
Always remember that every rabbit has different reactions and preferences to food; as a pet owner, be careful and always choose what’s best for your rabbits.
And never forget to serve them food in moderation!
How Much Basil Can Rabbits Eat?
After you feed basils to your rabbits and they seem to like it, you might want the appropriate amount of it to feed your pet.
If you are taking care of bunnies, you might as well wait for them to grow up as basils are not yet suitable for them.
For adults, two basil leaves or less would be enough if you’re still trying it out for your pet.
During this time, rabbits are already eating fresh food, so gradually offer them small amounts of basil and see if they would like it.
Again, you want to monitor your pet if it shows signs of distress, bloating, and diarrhea, which will signal you to stop feeding them basils.
You don’t have to worry as basils are not dangerous to your rabbits; it’s just their body’s reaction telling you that they would instead stick to their usual hay menu.
Basil can be an aid for your rabbits with digestive discomfort, so be at ease.
If they are starting to like basils, you can slowly add more to their meals until they’re eating the full amount.
Frequently Asked Questions
I know- you still have many questions in your mind.
Don’t worry, we’ll answer that. Just read further!
#1. How often should rabbits eat basil?
Feed basil to your rabbits only twice a week or as long as they get used to it.
However, if their usual diet is high in calcium, then you’d want to lessen the amount of basil your rabbits eat to avoid health complications such as bladder stones, which are painful for your pets.
#2. Can rabbits eat sweet basils?
Sure, why not! They might even like it better than the other kinds of basil as it has no sharp taste.
Just remember: Feed your rabbits an adequate amount no more than twice a week.
#3. Can basils cause sickness to rabbits?
Yes, it could, but in rare cases, basil will cause rabbits to be sick.
I believe that the main reason why they get sick is when they are overfed all at once.
You might get too excited that you forget to introduce basil to your rabbits slowly. It can result in diarrhea.
In some cases, large amounts of basil can be the root of kidney and bladder problems of your rabbits.
Also, these problems are experienced if their diet consists of high doses of calcium, oxalates, or worse, both.
Nevertheless, it would be best if you’d consult your veterinarian regarding your pet’s diet to ensure its safety.
Can rabbits eat basil? Basil is like a green veggie that you can feed your pet with no worries.
This herb will not ruin their stomach at all; it will benefit them.
So the next time you see basil around your garden or market, pick it and serve it to your pets as a snack. Ensure moderation to avoid overfeeding.
I hope the information form this article will encourage you to add basil to the list of your pet’s snacks. If you notice some signs of upset digestive system, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
Thank you for reading!
Maria Schultz is a talented writer and a passionate animal lover who brings her expertise in the pet industry to the Petcosset team. With a degree in English and years of experience writing for various pet-related publications, Maria deeply understands the latest news and products in the pet industry. She is dedicated to providing pet owners with the most accurate and up-to-date information to help them take the best possible care of their small friends. When she’s not writing about pets, Maria can often spend time with her beloved pets, including a rescue dog and several cats.