Do you enjoy sitting on the front porch watching wild rabbits frolic through your yard? If so, you aren’t alone. Seeing little bunnies enjoying themselves is not only peaceful but fun. For those of us that also own pet rabbits, it’s common to wonder if tame bunnies can do the same thing. That’s what we’re here to answer.
For rabbit parents who are curious about the safety of grass for their hop-along pal, the answer is yes, your bunny can eat grass. As with so many things we feed our pets, however, there are a few things you should keep in mind and watch for to ensure this yummy snack is completely safe for your rabbit. Let’s learn more about rabbits and grass so you can keep your bunny happy and healthy.
Is Your Grass Safe for Your Rabbit?
With grass being the go-to food source for most wild rabbits, you may think it’s safe to let your bunny enjoy a taste of your backyard grass whenever they want. While grass is considered a safe food for your rabbit, that doesn’t mean any grass will do. Let’s learn a bit more about whether the grass in your yard is safe for your bunny and help you understand more about what to offer them.
Chemicals and Pesticides
If your yard isn’t looking its best or has been ravaged by insects, chemicals and pesticides are common things to place on your lawn and help it come back to life. Unfortunately, if you’ve done this, allowing your rabbit to frolic in the yard and enjoy the grass isn’t a great idea. These chemicals can easily make your rabbit sick. It’s also important to know what’s happening in your yard. Certain animal feces and urine can also be dangerous for your bunny to ingest. If you haven’t treated your lawn with chemicals, and have good knowledge about potential animals that may visit, you can safely let your bunny munch.
While it may sound like a good idea to allow your rabbit to have grass clippings after the yard has been mowed, it’s actually not. Once your grass has been cut, a process called fermentation takes place. This is the chemical process of breaking down a substance using microorganisms, yeasts, and bacteria. The longer the grass lays after being cut, the more dangerous it can become for a rabbit. Fermented grass can easily make your bunny sick and shouldn’t be given to them. Instead, before mowing the lawn, cut your bunny some fresh grass to let them enjoy.
Introducing Grass to Your Rabbit
Knowing that your bunny may like a bit of fresh grass doesn’t mean you should rush straight out and grab it by the handfuls. Your pet rabbit doesn’t have the same reactions to new foods as wild rabbits. Instead, you should start slowly when introducing grass or any new food to your bunny. Offer them a small amount to start. If you see no stomach issues, and your bunny likes it, of course, you can routinely give them a bit to enjoy. If issues present themselves, speak with your veterinarian. They may prefer that you avoid grass if your bunny’s stomach doesn’t handle it well.
While eating grass will help fulfill your pet bunny’s natural instincts, it shouldn’t replace their hay. The Timothy Hay most pet rabbits eat is high in fiber and excellent for their digestion. By adding a grass box or access to fresh, safe grass while your bunny is playing, you can introduce grass as a part of their diet while they still get the nutrition they need from their hay.
Eating grass is natural for rabbits. If your pet bunny shows interest in new foods, fresh grass clipping can make a great treat. Always remember to avoid the grass that has been treated with chemicals, recently been mowed, or could be easily accessed by wild animals. By keeping these important tips in mind, you can easily offer your bunny a bit of fresh grass from time to time.
Featured Image Credit: TesaPhotography, Pixabay