Dill, scientifically known as Anethum graveolens, is an annual flowering plant in the celery, parsley, or carrot family Apiaceae whose leaves work as a culinary herd and its seeds are a popular spice.
If you use this herb to seasons your dishes like fish, potatoes, grains, vegan seafood, soups, and so on or have it in your garden, you may want to know if it is safe your rabbits or not, i.e., should let your rabbit eat this herb that widely grows in Eurasia or is it harmful to my pet?
Can rabbits eat dill?
Rabbits can eat dill leaves (dill weed), stem, or flowers or baby dill. They are safe (not toxic or poisonous). However, only give them a small amount of this annual herb as a treat every few days.
Most bunnies will love dill, which has a grassy taste that is slightly lemony with some sweetness and slight bitterness that reminiscent anise-like licorice flavor. However, being one of the rabbit-resistant plants, it is normal for some bunnies to ignore it.
Beyond the new taste and texture, fresh dill weed a nutritional powerhouse, i.e., is rich in vitamin A, riboflavin (B2), folate (B9), vitamin C, manganese, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It also has smaller amounts of thiamine (B1), niacin (B3), vitamin B6, phosphorus, zinc, and sodium.
Also, it is rich in antioxidants that will support immunity and minimize oxidative stress damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants include flavonoids (prevents the body against heart disease, stroke, and some kinds of cancers), terpenoids (protects against support heart, liver, kidney, brain, and heart disease), and tannins (has antimicrobial activity).
However, don’t feed dill seeds to your bunnies since besides presenting a choking risk, they are unhealthy. They are high in carbohydrates and fats while low in fiber, yet ideal rabbit diets should be low in fats (1-3%), low in carbohydrates, and higher in fiber.
You don’t want your bunny to end up obese, suffer from enteritis, gastrointestinal issues, diarrhea, bloating, among other problems. Even while in the wild, these pets hardly eat nuts, seeds, or grains.
Finally, no pickled dill since pickling makes it very salty. Excessive salt isn’t healthy for rabbits. Similarly, please don’t give them cooked one or any other cooked food.
Feeding dill to your bunnies
As already mentioned, bunnies should eat dill as a treat. Keep the amount to 1-2 small twigs once a week. Remember, all treats shouldn’t exceed 5% of your bunny’s total daily calorific intake.
From the 5% limitation, you should be able to gauge what amount of treats to give them to stay with this limit considering commercial rabbit treats, fruits, non-leafy veggies, and herbs fall in this category. However, don’t forget to keep varying them.
Secondly, go for organic sources and start small to give their tummy time to adjust to the new food and introduce only a single new food. If it doesn’t cause any stomach problems, you can increase the amount to 1-2 twigs.
Finally, instead of giving them the whole twig, consider cutting it into smaller pieces and sprinkling them over their veggie mix.
Besides dill, other safe herbs include basil, parsley, cilantro, tarragon, lavender, mint, oregano, among others.