Twigs and shrubs
The twigs and branches of several trees are a great source of enrichment for your guinea pigs. You can put large branches inside their run and bundle up the smaller twigs and tie them to the sides of the run. Here are some examples:
- Beech (not the nuts
- Blackthorn (not the fruits)
- Crab apple
- Hawthorn (but remove the thorns for piggies)
- Hazel (not the nuts)
Safe fruit and vegetables to grow or buy
It is important to remember most fruit and vegetables aren’t normally part of a rabbit’s diet. Naturally rabbits feed on large quantities of hay/grass and a wide variety of wild weeds, herbs and bark. Feeding any of the below in large and regular amounts can lead to digestive, urinary or weight issues and should ideally be mixed in with a variety of fresh forage.
As an extra, occasional treat, you can give your pets a small piece of apple or pear. Rabbits also love to eat strawberry leaves, blackberry leaves and raspberry leaves.
- Brussel sprouts
- Carrot tops
- Curly kale
Plants, fruits and vegetables to avoid
- Lettuce and many fruits, are the most common cause of loose faeces in rabbits – and have limited nutritional value
- Carrots are ok in small amounts, but are extremely fattening.
- Pet shop treats such as yoghurt drops, chew bars etc are very fattening and can contribute to poor dental health.
- Wild garlic
- Lords and ladies – common in damp or woody areas.
- Any plants with bulbs
- Buttercup leaves and flowers can cause extreme discomfort and in some cases be fatal
- House plants such as the spider and rubber plant
You should avoid all muesli-style feeds, as they’ve been proven to be one of the most common causes of fatal dental and digestive disease. Colourful treats, sticky honey based treats, salt licks and mineral blocks can all be harmful to your rabbit and are unnecessary. If you’re feeding a good quality, natural diet, you’ll not require any form of supplements.