Can rabbits eat apples?
Yes, rabbits can eat apples. Apples are quite an enjoyable treat for your rabbit! Apples, although a great treat option do contain a decent amount of sugar. Although your rabbit is capable of digesting sugar, too much of anything sweet will cause your rabbit some digestion issues and will contribute to weight gain which will cause all of their organs, joints and muscles to work harder than they have to. It is important to note that your rabbit cannot have the apple seeds or the apple stem. They can have the apple flesh and skin only.
What kind of apples can my rabbit have?
Apples come in different forms, it is important to know which are best and which to stay away from. Below you will find the most common types of apples and their advantages and disadvantages.
Here I am referring to the fresh apples that come in all varieties at the local grocery store (red delicious, granny smith, honey crisp, fuji, ambrosia, etc.…) These apples are fine for your rabbit and can be given in the recommended quantity and frequency of one to two teaspoons every one to two days. The sugar content in the apple will vary based on the variety but your bun is consuming such a small amount that it will not make a big enough difference so long as you stick to the recommended quantity and frequency.
This is not the best option but yes you can give them to your rabbit. Dried fruits, including apples, contain a much high sugar content therefore your rabbit cannot have nearly as much of a dried apple as they could a fresh apple. Dried apples can be given in the recommended quantity and frequency of one teaspoon every two days.
This would be the optimal choice for your rabbit as they are fresh but not grown with harmful pesticides. Now, it is perfectly fine to give inorganic apples and wash them. Your rabbit will eat them just fine but yes organic is better and has a less chance of your rabbit ingesting any pesticides. Organic apples can be given in the recommended quantity and frequency of one to two teaspoons every one to two days.
If you can not find organic apples or can’t afford them then you may want to consider removing the skin. The apple skin contains most of the chemicals and wax that is applied in non organic farming operations.
Yes, your rabbit can have frozen apples, either thawed or you can give it to your rabbit frozen as a nice frosty treat. The only disadvantage to frozen apples is you lose some of the nutrients but they are perfectly fine for your rabbit to eat and you guessed it, frozen apples can be given in the recommended quantity and frequency of one to two teaspoons every one to two days. These are a great treat on hot summer days!
So what is the best option?
As you can see the best option for your rabbit is fresh apples. This is true of all fruits, the fresher the fruit the better, but your rabbit can have apples in all forms, just ensure you are following the recommended quantity and frequency to keep your rabbit happy and healthy. Be sure to thoroughly wash all fresh fruit before giving it to your rabbit!
At what age can my rabbit have apples?
You should not give any fruit, including apples to a baby rabbit. They cannot properly break down the sugars and it will cause them gastrointestinal issues that could lead to their death. Baby rabbits are very delicate and should be treated as such. I recommend waiting until your rabbit has been eating hay for at least two to three weeks. Once your rabbit is of age then, and only then, should you start incorporating treat like food items such as apples.
Once you decide to introduce apple it is important to start slow, give your rabbit an exceedingly small amount, and see how they react and if their poop maintains frequency and consistency. If you are unsure if your rabbit is ready you can always discuss this with your vet prior to giving them any fruits.
If you have decided to give your rabbit fruit and you notice a change in their poop then stop feeding apple. Although it is unlikely that your adult rabbit will have a medical issue after consuming a small amount of apple, all rabbits are different, and it is important to pay close attention to them after introducing anything new to their diet. This is simply to ensure their safety, livelihood.
Brands of Apples
What I am talking about here is like Granny Smith, McIntosh, Corland, Etc. It does not matter which brand of apple you feed your bunny. I would try a verity and see if he or she has a favorite. Another option is to feed the brand of apple you like to eat since your rabbit should only be having small amounts anyways.
Your rabbits diet
Fruit, like apples is only a tiny portion of your rabbits diet. In order for your rabbit to have a long and happy life it is critical that you feed your rabbit the best diet possible. Unfortunately there are many rabbit foods out there that are terrible for your rabbit.
Related: How Long Do Pet Rabbits Live and The Best Diet For Rabbits
Hay is the most important food that your rabbit needs and should make up about 80% of your bunnies’ diet. Offer hay in unlimited quantities. Your rabbit should consume a large handful of hay each day.
There are a multitude of approved hays for adult rabbits including the following.
- Timothy Hay vs Orchard Grass Hay – These are both excellent choices
- Meadow Hay
- Oat Hay
- Bermuda Grass
It can be difficult to keep your rabbits hay free from contamination in his or her cage. It is best to use a hay feeder to keep the hay up and out of the way of urine and poop pellets. Here are some of the best hay feeders I use for my current pet rabbit, Mr. Bunny.
Most veterinarians recommend feeding your rabbit pellets at a rate of 1/8 cup to 1/4 Cup per day for every 5 pounds of body-weight. Make sure that the pellets you feed are of excellent quality and Timothy hay based like these Oxbow pellets.
Related: Best Pellets for Rabbits and Best Pellets for Baby Rabbits.
Rabbits need vegetables daily to maintain their health and happiness. Root vegetables like carrots should only be fed as a treat. Leafy, darker greens should account for most of the vegetables that you feed your rabbit. Kale, romaine lettuce and cilantro are excellent veggies that your rabbit will love. Here you can find great information on vegetables and rabbits.
Rabbits love fruit, particularly bananas and should be fed in very small, limited qualities. One or two teaspoons per 4 pounds of body weight is an ideal target. You can find information about approved fruits here.
The best rabbit treats should not be overly unhealthy and NEVER contain nuts or seeds. Stay away from “yogurt” treats or anything that looks delicious or gourmet. I love oxbow products (for the most part) and these treats do not disappoint, they are a excellent balance between healthy and unhealthy. Mr. Bunny, our pet rabbit goes nuts for these treats!
About the Author
My name is Vanessa and I love my buns. My current house rabbit is Mr. Bunny, he is a black and white Dutch that just turned 9 years old.
I believe that rabbits are a magnificent animal that make great pets for SOME people. My mission is to share what I have learned about rabbits over the past 20 years to improve the relationship between our pets and us. Please contact me or comment if you have any questions or comments.