Can You Give Your Rabbit Cilantro?

June 11, 2016  

Generally speaking, rabbits are low-maintenance pets. If you think taking care of your dog or your cat is easy enough, you will find it even easier to take care of a rabbit as a house pet. Just give them a stack of hay, a huge piece of lettuce leaf or pellets and your pet bunny should be fine. However, if you want to be strict in terms of your rabbit’s daily diet regimen, it is best to have a mix of hay and green leafy vegetables so he or she has a variety to munch on. Like humans who love variety in the food they eat, rabbits also appreciate different mixes of hay and green leafy vegetables from time to time for their meals. If you have a small patch of herbs planted in your backyard, you can also include that in his diet. Herbs such as basil, dill, oregano, rosemary and the like are safe to include in his meal.

Can I Give My Rabbit Cilantro?
Yes.

Cilantro is a popular type of herb in Southwestern Asia, in Europe and also in North Africa. Cilantro is also called by other names like Chinese parsley and coriander. Cilantro is a popular herb used in making pesto, tikka masala recipes, salsas, soups, chutneys, salads and as extra flavorings for lamb, pork and Mexican dishes. A lot of people say that cilantro tastes unpleasantly and similarly like soap, but the experience definitely changes once you get used to it.

Feeding your rabbit should not be an issue as herbs are just like any green leafy vegetable that you feed your pet rabbit with. Herbs have high cellulose and high fiber which are great for a rabbit’s digestive system.

However, not all herbs can be fed as the general bulk of a rabbit’s diet. At the end of the day, a stack of hay and fresh and clean water should still form the main part of your pet rabbit’s diet. Not all rabbits can appreciate herbs given herbs’ powerful scent and taste. Just as we humans are not immediately attuned to having herbs finely chopped on our soup, your pet rabbit will not necessarily eat cilantros even if it is a green leafy vegetable. That said, it is best to give cilantro from time to time and not have it replace hay or any green leafy vegetable that your pet rabbit already learned to eat. Like treats, give cilantro sparingly in small portions and should not be treated as a meal substitute but rather just supplements.

Along with cilantro, basil, dill, peppermint, rosemary, sage and thyme are other kinds of herbs that you can feed your pet rabbit, but these also have equally powerful scents and tastes. Also, like cilantro, these should be fed to your pet rabbit sparingly and as infrequent as possible. If you choose to give herbs like cilantro to your pet rabbit, consider it a treat that you give every other day. Wild garden herbs, flowers, and weeds like chamomile, lavender, sow thistle, yarrow, dandelions, clover leaves and goose grass can also be fed to your pet rabbit, but in small and moderate portions.

If you want treats that your rabbit can surely love on the first instance, give him or her a piece of fruit that does not have seeds in them. Good examples of fruit treats are apples, bananas (even banana peels are okay), grapes, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwis, papayas, oranges, pears, pineapples and plums. The reason why fruit treats must be fed in moderation is that these have a high presence of carbohydrates and sugar in the form of fructose. Limit fruit treats every other day or just to two tablespoons per day.

Happy rabbits are those that are fed well, and this disposition usually reflects on the pet owner’s responsibility and consistency in mapping out their daily meals. If you ever plan on giving your pet rabbit other kinds of green leafy vegetables, pellets, herbs or fruits that you are a little weary about, consult your veterinarian for sound advice. When introducing new food or treats to your pet rabbits, make sure that you introduce it as slowly as possible since you would not want to upset your pet rabbit’s digestive system with an unusual and seemingly foreign meal. Introducing new food one at a time should do the trick in adding variety to your pet meals while at the same time maintaining their digestive system’s homeostasis. Your rabbit’s tolerance to food depends greatly on how their digestive systems receive it.