Rabbits love treats. The problem is that a lot of the treats sold for rabbits in pet stores are not very good for them. There’s too much added sweetness or there are pieces of corn or other vegetables that aren’t good for rabbits.
If you make your own treats, you’ll know exactly what’s in them. You’ll be able to make sure that your rabbit is getting healthy treats that won’t mess up their gut. And they’ll be much cheaper too!
What kinds of treats are safe for rabbits?
In general, the best treats for rabbits will be fresh or dried fruits and vegetables. You can also offer them hay based treats that have been flavored with yummy fruits or vegetables. Some rabbits will have different tastes than others, so you’ll have to experiment with different flavors to find the ones that your rabbit likes best. (learn more about healthy treats for rabbits)
Fruits and vegetables that are safe for rabbits to eat:
- Bell peppers
What foods to avoid:
How many treats should a rabbit have in a day?
Even these healthier treats should be kept to a minimum. We want our rabbit’s main food to be a grass-based hay, such as timothy hay. So try to keep the amount of treats you give your rabbit to 1-2 Tablespoons per day. For most of the recipes I have listed below, you’ll only want to give them one or two treats per day unless you make them into smaller sizes.
Other considerations for these recipes
- Wash vegetables and appliances before using them for rabbit treats. Make sure to rinse off the fruits and vegetables to avoid adding any residual dirt or pesticides into your rabbit treats. You also don’t want to contaminate the rabbit treats with people food, so make sure to wash any tools and appliances thoroughly before using them.
- Other fruits and vegetables can be added and replaced in these recipes. You don’t have to use the fruits and vegetables that I use. If your rabbit prefers different foods, simply add them in or make the substitution.
- Store homemade treats in the refrigerator or the freezer. You can leave the treats in an airtight container on the counter for about a week, but if you expect them to last longer than that, you’ll want to keep them in the refrigerator. If you are making them in bulk, you’ll want to keep extras in the freezer.
- Grind pellets and oatmeal with a blender. You can use whatever kitchen equipment you have to grind up the pellets and oatmeal in these recipes, but the fastest way to pulverize them will be to use a blender or food processor.
1. Raisin wheels
These are cute little dehydrated treats that resemble little wheels. They are made with yummy banana and a raisin poked into the middle. Raisin wheels are treats that can also act as a fun toy for your rabbit as they figure out how to get the treat out of the cardboard lining. (find out why it’s safe for rabbits to eat cardboard)
- ¼ cup of rabbit pellet dry food
- 1 Banana
- ½ cup of hay dust
- 2 cardboard tubes
- 16 raisins
Time: 1 hour
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Blend the pellets into a dust and mash the banana.
- Combine the bananas and pellet dust. Mix in the hay dust. It should be the consistency of a dough. Add extra water if necessary.
- Cut the cardboard tubes into rings about ½ an inch to 1 inch thick
- Add the banana pellet mixture to the cardboard rings. Assemble on a baking tray.
- Place a raisin in the center of each treat wheel.
- Place the treat wheels in the oven for 20 minutes. Then turn the oven off while leaving the treats inside for another 30 minutes. If the treats are not fully dried, flip them over and repeat on the other side.
- Remove the treats from the oven and let sit until cooled
How to make raisin wheels
To get started, first you want to prepare your ingredients. If you don’t have a blender to grind down the pellets, you can use a plastic bag. Put the pellets inside with a small amount of water to soften them. Then grind them down with the bottom of a cup or bowl. For the banana, I just chop it up into slices and then use the back of a fork to smush it.
Once you have your basic ingredients prepared, you can combine the first three ingredients together. It should form into a dough that is pliable and moldable. The dough shouldn’t be so moist that it’s sticky, but it shouldn’t be so dry that it’s crumbling. If it’s a little dry, add a couple drops of water. If it’s too wet, you’ll need to grind up more pellets and add them to the mix.
Now that you’ve got your dough, it’s time to prepare your molds. Take your cardboard TP tubes and cut them into rings that are about half an inch in width. I get about 8 rings per tube, for a total of 16 cardboard rings.
After you have your molds prepared, you’ll want to place the dough into each of the rings. Push the dough into the molds with the back of a spoon until it’s packed in. Then flip the molds over and make sure it’s packed in on the other side too. Now it’s time to include the raisins and create that “wheel” look. Add one raisin to the center of each of the treats.
Now that you have the treats fully assembled, it’s time to bake them. The goal here is to dry the treats out. So we are going to bake them for only 20 minutes and then turn the oven off and let them sit in the heat for another 30 minutes. If they’re still not dry at that point, flip the wheels over and bake them for a little longer on the other side.
Once everything is dried, take the treats out of the oven and allow them to cool completely before giving any to your rabbit. You can store these in an airtight container on the counter for about a week, or for a month in the refrigerator. If you need them to last longer, you can freeze the finished raisin wheels.
2. Banana biscuits
Rabbits LOVE bananas! So there’s no way they won’t love these cookie cutter treats. Make the “dough” and create rabbit treats in whatever shape you want so you can give your rabbit some cute and yummy biscuits.
- ¼ cup of rabbit pellet dry food
- ¼ cup of oatmeal
- ½ a banana
- 1 carrot (or ½ a cup of baby carrots)
Time: 1 hour
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF
- Blend the pellets and oatmeal together. Mash the banana and puree the carrot
- Combine all ingredients and knead into a dough
- Roll out onto a clean surface and use cookie cutters or a knife to cut out your desired shapes.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then turn off the oven, leaving the treats in for another 30 minutes
- Remove from oven and let the biscuits cool completely
How to make banana biscuits
To start with, you’ll want to pulverize the pellets and oatmeal together in a blender. Then mash the banana with the back of a fork and use a blender or food processor to puree the carrot. Combine all the ingredients together until they form a dough. It should be a molding consistency, not so wet that it sticks to your hands and not so dry that it’s crumbling. Add more pellet dust if it’s too wet, or a little water if it’s too dry.
Next you want to roll out your dough onto a clean surface. Traditionally bakers would sprinkle flour onto a surface to prevent dough from sticking to it, but flour is not safe for rabbits, so you may want to place plastic wrap or a silicone mat down on the surface to prevent the dough from sticking.
Use a cookie cutter or a knife to cut out whatever shapes you want from the dough. Try to keep the treats on the small side so you won’t end up giving your rabbit too many treats. Place your biscuit cut-outs onto a baking sheet and put them in the oven for about 20 minutes. Then let them sit for another half an hour to give them the chance to dry out completely.
One they have finished, remove the banana biscuits from the oven and allow them to cool completely before giving any to your rabbit. These biscuits can be stored out on the counter for up to a week, otherwise keep them refrigerated.
3. Raspberry cookies
Raspberry cookies are one of my favorites! But bunnies can’t eat people cookies. Instead let’s make a delicious raspberry flavored cookie that’s totally safe for rabbit consumption.
- ⅓ cup of rabbit pellet dry food
- 3 Tbsp of oatmeal oats
- ½ cup of raspberries
- 2 tsp of dried mint
Time: 45 minutes
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Blend pellets and oats together into a dust. Puree raspberries and add the dried mint.
- Mix the ingredients together.
- Spoon onto a cookie sheet and flatten with a fork
- Cook for 20 minutes then turn the oven off and leave the cookies in the oven for another 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely
How to make raspberry cookies
Blend the pellets and oats together into a dust, and puree the raspberries with the dried mint. You can use fresh mint if you want, but double the amount that you add if you choose to do so. Combine all of the ingredients together until you form a dough that’s about the consistency of a typical cookie dough. Add more pellet dust or water if necessary to get the right consistency.
Using a teaspoon, place the cookies on a prepared baking sheet at about 1 inch in diameter. Flatten the cookies with the back of a fork to create a criss-cross pattern on the top of them. Place the cookies in the oven for 20 minutes, then turn the oven off so that the cookies can have more time to dry out.
Once the cookies have dried, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely before giving to your rabbit. You should limit your rabbit to only one of these per day, and keep the rest in a container on the counter or in the refrigerator. If you expect them to last longer than a month, you should freeze them.
4. Carrot truffles
Everybody knows that rabbits love carrots, so let’s learn how to make some yummy carrot flavored truffle balls for our little friends. They’ll be sure to thank you and ask for more!
- 1 cup of rabbit pellet dry food
- 2 carrots (or 1 cup of baby carrots)
- 1 banana
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Grind the pellets. Puree the carrots and banana together.
- Combine all ingredients.
- Roll the mixture into balls.
- Place a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Then turn the oven off and leave the carrot truffles inside the oven for another hour.
How to make carrot truffles
Prepare your ingredients by grinding the pellets and pureeing the banana and carrots together. Then combine all the ingredients to form a thick dough with the consistency of cookie dough. You may need to add a few drops of water to make it a moldable and non-crumbling consistency.
Once you have your dough, use your hands to roll it into little balls and place on a prepared baking sheet. Make sure the balls are only about ½ an inch to 1 inch in diameter so that you won’t be giving too much to your rabbit at once.
Once you have your carrot truffles arranged on a baking sheet, put them in the oven for 30 minutes and then keep them in for another hour after the oven has been turned off. This will allow the truffle balls to continue drying out without browning too much or burning.
After the carrot truffles have dried out, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool off completely. You should avoid giving your rabbit more than one of these treats in a day. Extras can be stored in a container on the counter, or refrigerated to stay fresh longer.
5. No Bake Apple Balls
How about a treat that doesn’t use the oven? Introducing the no-bake apple balls. These elegant little treats have a dusting of oats and can be kept fresh in the refrigerator.
- 2 medium apples
- ½ a cup Leafy lettuce
- 1 Banana
- ¾ cup rabbit pellet dry food
- ¼ cups of oatmeal oats
Time: 1 hour
- Peel the apples, then puree the apples, lettuce and bananas together in a blender.
- Grind the pellets into a dust and combine the fruit mixture with the pellet dust.
- Grind the oats until they are small flakes and keep them separate.
- With your hands, mold the fruit mixture into small balls. Then coat each of the balls in the oat flakes to create a powdered donut appearance.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
How to make apple balls
To get started, prepare your dough for the apple balls. Peel your apples and puree them in a blender along with your lettuce and banana. Then grind your pellets into a dust and combine them with your fruit mixture to create a moldable dough. You may need to add just a little bit of water to keep the dough from becoming brittle.
Next you will want to grind up your oats to create a dusting for your apple balls. Keep the oat dust in a separate bowl. Prepare a tray for your apple balls and begin assembling. Roll the dough into small balls about ½ and inch to 1 inch in diameter. Then roll each ball in the oat dust to form a coating before placing on the prepared tray.
Once your apple balls are formed, place the tray in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow them to set. Give your rabbit only 1 or 2 of these treats per day and keep the rest refrigerated. They will spoil if you leave them out on the counter. If you want these treats to last longer than 2 weeks, keep them in the freezer instead of the refrigerator.
Bonus: Banana Skewers
While not exactly a genius idea, skewering little slices of banana with strands of hay can be a great way to encourage your rabbit to eat more hay while also giving them a yummy treat!
- Hay strands
Time: 5 minutes
- Slice banana into half inch pieces.
- Skewer each slice of banana with many long strands of hay.
How to make banana skewers
This is a simple and fun treat that takes very little time to prepare. Start by slicing your banana into small pieces. The size doesn’t have to be exact, but try to slice them into disks that are about ½ an inch thick. Then you’re going to take some of the long strands of hay (the thicker pieces that are stronger and not flimsy) and poke them through each piece of banana. I will usually put about 5 or 6 strands of hay through each slice of banana.
If you have many rabbits, you can use a whole banana to give them as treats. However, if you only have one or two bunnies, you’ll want to limit the amount of these treats you give them so you don’t upset their digestive system. 1 or 2 slices of banana per rabbit will be plenty.
It’s best if you serve these fresh and not leave any leftovers. If you have one bun, don’t give them the whole banana, just eat the rest of it yourself!
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- Hay: Second Cutting Timothy Hay from Small Pet Select
- Pellets: Oxbow Garden Select Food for Rabbits
- Treats: Oxbow Simple Rewards
- Toys: Small Pet Select Natural Toys
- Enclosure/cage: A rabbit exercise pen
- Rabbit carrier: SleepyPod Mobile Pet Bed