Like a few other herbs, mints are safe for rabbits. However, rabbit owners should not feed them in large quantities. The only foods that should come first when feeding a rabbit are hay, pellets, fruits, and veggies. So, the answer is yes but with reservations.
And what happens when a rabbit overeats mint? The first and most apparent issues will come from GI complications, and they include loss of appetite and painful bowel movements.
Now, let’s look at the nitty-gritty details that come up when rabbits and mints crisscross.
Rabbits And Mint
What Exactly Is Mint?
First, let me set the records straight. This read is talking about the actual plant and not the minted candies or menthols. The plant is also known as Mentha and is part of the Lamiaceae family, including spearmint and peppermint. Mint is taken as a herb and is mainly used as a condiment for food, whether dried or fresh. If you want to reduce your sugar and sodium intake, you can use mint as a substitute seasoning.
Mints are plants rich in dietary fibers, some proteins, minerals, and vitamins. That explains why it is used in gums, toothpaste, candies, and cosmetic products too. If you are wondering where you can find it, visit your nearest grocery store to get it.
What Minty Parts Can Rabbits Feed On?
Well, mints have leaves, flowers, stems, and roots, and these parts are available for the rabbit to nibble on. However, the question begs – which ones can rabbit safely and comfortably eat? Let’s go through each one of them to find out:
1. The Leaves
The most utilized parts of the mint herb are the leaves. So, they are more likely to be edible than all the other parts. Rabbits will chew on mint leaves when you present them, provided you don’t give too many. The leaves can either be eaten dried or fresh.
But why feed mint leaves to rabbits? Well, they are aromatic to the taste since they bear the most oils. Actually, when we talk about mint in candies, toothpaste, or condiments, the focus is the leaves.
2. The Flowers
If you didn’t know, mint plants bear small flowers which are organized in clusters. Also, they come in different colors. So, can rabbits eat mint flowers? Well, they can. Actually, people who are looking for a minty-er taste than what mint leaves bears to go for the flowers. This is because they are more aromatic.
3. The Stems
Unlike leaves and flowers, you won’t find people using mint stems in toothpaste or as condiments. In cooking, they are not taken as a minty standard. But that does not mean that they don’t bear the sharp, chilly taste.
Long story short – you can give your rabbit mint stems. It will surely like the minty flavor, but ensure that the stems are only a few.
4. The Roots
Well, mint roots have zero value, especially in terms of nutrition. While they may not be toxic, you won’t want your rabbit to be chewing on nothingness. So, stick to the leaves, flowers, and stems of these mint plants.
Is Mint Beneficial To Rabbits Health-Wise?
Well, yes – mints are pretty beneficial, and feeding them to rabbits is rewarding. This is on top of the aroma and the taste that the plant bears. The following list gives it all to you:
1. Proper Digestion
Herbalists use mints for making medicine to treat different GI issues. If your pet rabbit is experiencing stomach problems like diarrhea, you can add some tiny mint leaves to its water. It will help in soothing indigestion and other forms of stomach upset.
2. Brain Performance Boost
This is right for peppermint. If you give your pet rabbit peppermint essential oils, cognitive functions, memory, and reasoning will be better. And there’s nothing better than having an intelligent rabbit.
3. Proper Diet
Because of their soft stems and tender leaves, mints are an excellent element to add to rabbit food. They have a good taste that the rabbit will enjoy.
On top of that, they are low in calories and sugar but high in fiber. If you know anything about a rabbit’s diet, it needs fiber since it is an essential nutrient.
4. Antioxidant Richness
Many herbs have become popular because of their antioxidant properties. Once you feed your rabbit with any edible part of the mint plant, you’re bettering its health.
Feeding Mint To Rabbits 101: Hot To Do It
Wash the mint stems, leaves, or fruits before giving them to the pet rabbits. Since many plants these days are grown chemically, washing will help deal with the pesticides resting on them. A clean mint part means that your rabbit won’t be exposed to toxic chemicals.
Since the flavor can be a little too strong, trying cutting the mint into tinier pieces. Then, sprinkle and mix it on the rabbit’s food.
Feeding Mint To Rabbits 101: Risks To Consider
This discussion goes beyond the menthol mint. Since we’ve already identified that rabbits can eat mint, it is vital to see any risks. Before you throw in the minty pieces into the rabbit’s food bowl, think about the following things:
1. Mint Type
We’re not thinking about the menthol – the discussion is now on all types of mints. Not all of them are good; some – like pennyroyal – are toxic to the core. If you wish to give your rabbit any kind of mint, stick to lavender, rosemary, peppermint, and lemon balm.
2. The Status Of The Rabbit
By status, I mean age. Be advised not to give mint plants to rabbits that are still lactating. If you do, the doe’s milk will dry up, meaning that the kits will have nothing to suck. During the same nursing time, you should avoid mints together with sage and parsley.
Question answered – rabbits can eat mints. If you’re giving it to them for the first time, start slow. The quantity is to be limited and should only be increased if the rabbit does not react vigorously.
Importantly, do not forget to speak to your vet before you give the new food. This read is just a mere expression of a collective opinion and should not be substituted for expert vet advice.
And never forget this – a rabbit will live well if it gets all the needed nutrients.
Since you enjoyed the read, you may also need answers to the following questions:
1. Can Rabbits Eat Pistachios?