By Jade Perry, Behavior Specialist
Got a green thumb? As springtime approaches and the weather warms up, you may want to start thinking about what to plant in your garden or what to pot in your home. If you have a pet rabbit or know someone who does, you may want to consider planting them some tasty treats this year! Rabbits can eat a variety of leafy greens and vegetables, but did you know that they can also eat certain flowers?
A healthy diet for rabbits consists of unlimited hay, fresh greens, some pellets and the occasional fruit. Hay is essential in a rabbit’s diet because it promotes a healthy gut and maintains dental health. Fresh greens offer additional nutrients and also provide moisture in the diet which is good for kidney and bladder function. High fiber pellets provide additional calories, protein, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Fruits are considered more of a treat and should be given in moderation, as bunnies have a sweet tooth and would choose to eat sweets over their veggies! Just like fruits, flowers can be a tasty treat for your bun to enjoy from time to time.
Rabbits can eat a variety of flowers. You may even notice dried rose petals or mint in some botanical grass mixes you can find at your local pet store. Rabbits can also enjoy these flowers and herbs fresh! As long as the plants and flowers are grown organically, are pesticide- and chemical-free, they are perfectly safe for your pet to consume in moderation.
Paired with a balanced diet, the following flowers are safe for your bun to snack on:
Roses: The leaves and stem are safe to chew, but the petals are especially tasty!
Daisies: The flower, stem and leaves are all safe for consumption. While not the most nutritious, the leaves do provide some extra protein.
Sunflowers: These giant blooms are very tasty! It is safe for rabbits to eat the flower, stem, leaves and seeds, although they are high in fat. The seeds especially need to be given in moderation or they can cause digestive issues.
Mints: Just the plants and flower (not the candy!)
Bell Flowers: These are also known as campanula and are completely edible with their leaves being slightly more nutritious.
Nasturtium: This brightly colored flower is completely edible, even the seeds. In fact, they are so tasty you may want to try them yourself!
Lavender: Not only calming for you, but for your bun, too. It can be enjoyed fresh and dried.
Pansies: This exuberant bloom is completely edible, and another one that is tasty enough that you may want to try it yourself.