Can rabbits eat raisins?
Yes, rabbits can have raisins, but they would be considered a treat for your rabbit. Raisins, although they are not toxic to rabbits, do contain a lot of sugar, seeing as how raisins are grapes with the moisture removed, it raises the sugar content a considerable amount. Although your rabbit is capable of digesting sugar, too much of anything sweet will cause your rabbit some tummy troubles and can contribute to weight gain which puts additional strain on your rabbits’ body.
How many raisins can my rabbit eat?
Since raisins are a treat, they should not really be included in your rabbit’s daily food intake. Your rabbit should have no more than one to two raisins a week. Any more than one to two a week could lead to obesity, sugar dependence and an unhealthy addiction for your rabbit so it is important to stick to this recommendation of one to two raisins per week to ensure your rabbit is healthy.
See my recommendations for better rabbit treats here.
The benefits to my rabbit having raisins
Just because raisins are a treat and should only be given in moderation, does not mean that they do not contain some benefits. Raisins are a great source of potassium and iron. Although your rabbit should not be eating enough raisins to rely on them for these benefits, any extra boost of potassium or iron will not hurt anything. To be frank, the nutritional value of a raisin to a rabbit is minimal and is really just a nice treat or “junk” food for them.
How to properly store raisins for your rabbit
After opening a box of raisins, they can be placed into an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator. This will make sure that the moisture is regulated, and mold cannot grow which will keep them as fresh as possible for your rabbit. Since your rabbit shouldn’t be given more than one or two raisins a week, if no one else is consuming them it will take quite a while to get through a box of raisins. Keeping them in the refrigerator will ensure optimal freshness.
Raisins that are left out and exposed to air will lose moisture, harden and be tough to chew. Your rabbit will enjoy them more if they have more moisture.
If you have left your raisins out or you do so by mistake, not to worry! Dry raisins can be rehydrated by steaming them over boiling water for two to three minutes. You will want to make sure they have completely cooled down before giving them to your rabbit.
When can my rabbit have raisins?
You should not give any fruit, especially dried fruit such as a raisin to a young rabbit. They cannot properly break down the sugars and it will cause them tummy trouble that could lead to serious health issue including their death. Young rabbits have a sensitive digestive tract. We recommend waiting until your rabbit is at least one year of age. Once your rabbit is of age then, and only then, should you start providing treat items such as raisins.
Once you decide to introduce raisins it is important to be patient and start a slow pace, give your rabbit an exceedingly small amount, maybe half of a raisin and see how they react and if their poop maintains frequency and consistency. If you are unsure if your rabbit is ready for a treat such as raisins, then you can always discuss this with your vet before giving them any treats such as raisins or fruit. If you have decided to give your rabbit a raisin and you notice a change in their poop, personality, or behavior then you should get them in to a vet immediately.
Although it is unlikely that your adult rabbit will have a medical issue after consuming half of a raisin, all rabbits are different, and it is imperative to keep an eye on them after introducing anything new to their diet. This is out of an abundance of caution, but it is a simple step to take to make sure your rabbit is safe.
About the Author
My name is Vanessa and I love my buns. My current house rabbit is Mr. Bunny, he is a black and white Dutch that just turned 9 years old.
I believe that rabbits are a magnificent animal that make great pets for SOME people. My mission is to share what I have learned about rabbits over the past 20 years to improve the relationship between our pets and us. Please contact me or comment if you have any questions or comments.