Can rabbits eat fruit
Fruit is a safe and an excellent treat for rabbits to have on an occasional basis. Banana is by far and wide most rabbits favorite fruit, they literally go bananas for it! Keep in mind most fruit is high in sugars and can cause gastrointestinal issues if consumed in large quantities.
Fruit can be fed to your rabbit in many different forms and even frozen for cool summer treat.
- 1 Dried fruits
- 2 Frozen fruit
- 3 Are fruit seeds a problem?
- 4 What age can you start feeding your rabbit fruit
- 5 Introducing new fruits
- 6 Organic fruit vs non-organic
- 7 Training with fruit treats
- 8 Adult rabbit diet
- 9 Can rabbits eat fruit FAQ
- 10 A few other thoughts
- 11 About the Author
Dried fruits are safe for your rabbit to eat but you should keep in mind that dried fruit has a lot more sugar in it than fresh fruit. On average there is about three times as much sugar in dried fruit, so be very careful not to overfeed. I choose not to feed any of my rabbits dried fruit but I there is nothing wrong with doing so as long as you are very careful with quantities.
I love giving our pet rabbit, Mr. Bunny frozen fruits in the summertime. You can freeze bananas, blueberries, pineapple, mango and just about any other fruit. Its good for their teeth and they have a lot of fun eating it. It is easy for rabbits to become overheated in the summer and this is a favorite way for all my buns to cool off.
Another “cool” idea is to freeze some fruit inside an ice cube and let your rabbit lick and play with it. Small, sturdy fruits like blueberries work great for doing this.
Are fruit seeds a problem?
Yes, fruit seeds can be dangerous for rabbits and need to be removed before your rabbit eats the fruit. Rabbits should never be allowed to consume any seeds including sunflower seeds. I am not talking about the tiny seeds that are found in fruits like strawberries. Larger seeds found in things like apples and watermelons should be removed for your rabbits health and safety.
What age can you start feeding your rabbit fruit
Baby rabbits should never be given fruit. There digestive systems are not mature enough to handle fruit. My advice is to wait until your rabbit is an adult and has been eating hay for at least 4 months.
Introducing new fruits
Be careful when you introduce any type of new fruit, or any food for that matter to your rabbit. Keep an eye on their poop and if you see any signs of diarrhea or deformed poop pellets discontinue feeding the new food. Sometimes for whatever reason a rabbit’s body may not like certain things just like us humans.
Organic fruit vs non-organic
If you can buy organic do it. Very small particles of pesticides and herbicides can cause harm to a bunnies small and delicate body. If you think that there is a possibility that there is any chemicals on the fruit make sure you wash it really well and peel the skin off. If you are confident your fruit is free of any chemicals, then wash it well and feed with skin on.
Training with fruit treats
If you are trying to train your rabbit fruit can be used as a reward. Since it is not something your rabbit should be eating regularly, he or she will do just about anything for even a tiny piece of fruit.
Suggested fruits for rabbits
- Cherries (Warning: Make sure you remove the pit)
- Any type of berry
- Plums (Again remove the pit)
Adult rabbit diet
Rabbits need lots of fiber and little calcium in their diets. It is important that you feed the best pellets with a verity of leafy greens. Fruit should only make up a small part of your rabbits’ diet, about 5 to 10 percent at the most.
Proper diet is critical for lengthening your pet rabbit’s lifespan, preventing illness and improving their behavior can be accomplished by providing your rabbit with the best possible diet.
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
- Orchard Grass Hay
- 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 our pet rabbit, Mr. Bunny.
Most veterinarians recommend feeding your rabbit at a rate of 1/8 cup to 1/4 Cup of pellets per day for every 5 pounds of body-weight. Make sure that the pellets you feed are of excellent quality and Timothy based.
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 vegies that your rabbit will love.
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 have these treats to be an excellent balance between health and unhealthy. Mr. Bunny, our pet rabbit goes nuts for these treats!
Can rabbits eat fruit FAQ
Q. Can rabbits eat any type of fruit?
A. Great question but I don’t have a great answer. I can tell you this though, I do not know of a fruit that people can eat that a rabbit can’t. There is not that many resources that exist about what rabbits can and can’t eat.
Q. Should rabbits eat fruit?
A. Yes, but only as a treat. You do not have to feed your rabbit fruit at all if you don’t want to. It is not considered a critical part of their diet.
Q. What foods are toxic to rabbit?
A. Read my article about toxic foods for rabbits here.
Q. Can rabbits eat bananas?
A. Yes, but read this first, bananas and rabbits.
Q. How much fruit should you feed a rabbit?
A. One teaspoon per 2 pounds of body-weight three times weekly.
Q. Does my rabbit need a salt lick?
A. No, no, no. NEVER!!!!!!
Q. What is the best fruit for rabbits?
A. The best kind of fruit is whatever they love best since it is only fed as a treat! I would try bananas though. Wink, wink!
A few other thoughts
Something to keep in mind when you feed your rabbit fruit is the mess it can make in their fur. Mr. Bunny, our pet rabbit is a black and bright white Dutch rabbit and blueberries with turn his pristine white fur very blue!
If you have a rabbit with really long fur, like a lion-head it may be helpful to stay away from mushy or stick fruits.
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.