With Halloween just around the corner, why not get creative and conjure up some spookily themed treats for your rabbits?
Your rabbits are undoubtedly a huge part of the family, so it makes sense for your furry friends to share in all the ghoulish fun of one of autumn’s most exciting events. Here, we’ve come up with three simple and fun ideas for homemade Halloween treats for rabbits so you can get creative.
Halloween wouldn’t be the same without pumpkins. For a bit of a twist on this old classic, why not make your own pumpkins… out of carrots?
You will need:
1 large carrot
1. Take your large carrot and cut it into thin slices.
2. With a sharp knife, carefully cut each round carrot slice so it becomes a pumpkin shape. You can make a stem at the top by carving two little triangles.
3. If you’re feeling ambitious and creative, try making holes for eyes. The inner circle of the carrot makes a perfect smile. Of course, children will need to be supervised while cutting.
Richard Saunders, Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund veterinary specialist, says: ‘These pumpkin-shaped carrot slices are cute and just the right amount for a treat for rabbits.’
Many people don’t realise pumpkin can be a treat for rabbits, just as long as it’s part of a varied diet. Richard says: ‘If people are going to give pumpkin to their rabbit for the first time, make sure it’s just a little bit, because any new food can upset their delicate digestive tract and pumpkin is high in sugars and starches’.
Remember, root vegetables such as pumpkin and carrot are also high in sugars, so don’t give them to your rabbits too frequently – as a general rule, try to stick to no more than once or twice a week.
A little bit of baking this Halloween is sure to keep the children entertained and, if you try this simple recipe for bunny biscuits, your rabbits will definitely be happy too.
You will need:
40g rabbit pellets
ReadiGrass or hay (optional)
1. Take half a mashed banana, 40g of rabbit pellets and 40g of oatmeal and blend it all together, either in an electric mixer or with a wooden spoon.
2. Then, the messy bit – knead the dough with your hands and roll it out to about half an inch thick using a rolling pin.
3. Cut the dough into whatever spooky shapes you like, from spiders to bats and from monsters to witches’ hats. You don’t need biscuit cutters – you can make your own templates out of cardboard and cut around them.
4. Bake at around 170°C for 30 minutes.
As always with your rabbits’ diet, it’s important not to give too many treats and to stick to the right portion sizes so their weight doesn’t creep up.
Richard says: ‘People like to spoil their pets, and rabbits like treats, so this is a lovely idea. You could also add something like ReadiGrass or chopped-up feeding hay to the recipe to make it even tastier for your rabbit.’
A ghoulish ghost
Why not turn your hand to toy-making with this quick, easy, free and fun idea?
You will need:
1 toilet toll tube
Leafy greens (optional)
1 old white sheet or towel
String (paper rope)
Non-toxic pen (pens designed to use with children should be non-toxic)
1. Take a cardboard toilet roll tube and stuff it with hay. You could also add a few handfuls of leafy greens, like spinach or kale.
2. Cut a square from an old sheet or towel (preferably white– you’ll see why later) and drape it over the top of the cardboard tube.
3. Make a small hole on one side of the tube, going through the fabric, and feed string through it. On the other side, draw eyes and a mouth (with a non-toxic pen). Then just hang up the ghostly creation from your rabbit’s enclosure or from a small branch so your rabbit can play with it.
4. Once the fabric gets very torn, it’s a good idea to remove it as your rabbit may swallow the small pieces.
‘This is a lovely idea to provide enrichment for your bunnies, as well as the extra access to hay, which is a vital foodstuff that should form the main part of their diet at this time of year,’ says Richard. ‘It also has a high fibre content to keep their teeth in trim and maintain good gut motility.’
We’d love to see how your treats turn out! For a chance to win £20 in Pets at Home vouchers, post a picture of your finished treats of Instagram or Twitter, tagging @Petplan_UK with the hashtag #PethoodStories.
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