Having fresh fruit in your rabbit’s diet is an essential component of good health. Being that apples are commonly found in grocery stores worldwide and are seen as overly affordable in price, you’ll likely end up with a few in your kitchen.
Many believe that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but can that saying still be said for rabbits as well? Let’s find out can rabbits eat apples or not.
Are Apples a Safe Snack for Rabbits to Eat?
So, to finally answer that pressing question, can rabbits eat apples? Yes, but in moderation!
Rabbits are natural herbivores that require a balanced diet of 85% grass or grass-based hays such as timothy, orchard grass, or Bermuda grass. 10% leafy greens and around 5% of quality pellets to mimic some of the natural vitamins they might not find in captivity.
However, not all plants equally provide the same level of nutritional value. Some can be offered to a rabbit in larger quantities, while others must be monitored to ensure an intestinal upset does not occur.
When it comes to fruits and, more specifically, apples, professional veterinarians came to conclude that regardless of the color or type, apples are an excellent addition to a rabbit’s diet as a treat. However, some might refuse to eat green apples based on their bitter taste.
Apples are rich in fiber and antioxidants, which is why many choose to give a few slices to their rabbits in the hopes of improving gut health while offering a fun form of enrichment.
Natural Rabbit Diet
Wild Rabbits have access to various types of edible foods- generally wild gasses and rich leafy plants. Yet, this can also include items such as sprouts, bark, fruits, and fallen seeds. Generally, any newly growing seedling will interest these guys.
Using this information as a stencil of a rabbit’s dietary ranges, you can now begin determining what you are allowed to feed the domesticated counterparts without making them sick while also coming up with some alternatives for a couple of snacks they might enjoy.
Feeding Your Rabbit Apples
When you are feeding your rabbit an able, you must make sure you prepare the fruit in a way that causes the least stomach upset for the animal.
You see, rabbits cannot digest the seeds or stem of an apple very well, as they contain a toxic component otherwise known as cyanogenic glycosides. They can cause many health issues if ingested, ranging from diarrhea, vomiting, and possibly even death.
To stay on the safe side, try and keep your rabbit as far away from any stems or seeds as you can.
Moderation will always be the key to a healthy and happy pet, especially when eating fruit. Still, many might be wondering the actual benefits or risks of giving your rabbit apple every once in and awhile?
So, to answer this more clearly below, we have provided a small list of pros and cons to give readers a better understanding of what to expect when feeding their pets this fruit.
. Apples contain high levels of fiber which can help prevent constipation and other serious health risks.
. Provides hydration with their high levels of water content.
. A great source of potassium which is part of their average dietary needs
. An excellent source of antioxidants that do great to build up the animal’s immune systems.
. If your rabbit gets a hold of any stems or seeds, there is a possible chance of the animal becoming poisoned.
. Apples have a high level of sugar content, and if too much is consumed in a short period, it could lead to issues such as tooth rot, diabetes, and obesity.
Quality Over Quantity
When you decide to give your pet rabbit a few treats, you should try and change up what you are giving them from time to time to ensure they have a better chance at receiving a balanced diet.
Other fruit options you can think about are bananas, peaches, and blueberries.
It’s advised that most rabbits should only have a handful of fruits no more than two or three times per week as the amounts of sugars each piece carries can negatively affect your bunny.
A healthy diet for a rabbit consists of grass and mostly hay. While most people think protein is from the meat carnivores eat, hay and silage are where your rabbit will get the bulk of its protein.
It’s always best to remember owning a pet that that quality of their diet should always overcome believing that quantity is better for them.
Alternative Fruits and Vegetables to Give Your Rabbit
Rabbits count not only fruit but vegetables and herbs as their most favorite foods. If you plan on giving your rabbit a bit of fruit, it should only be given about once or twice a week. No more than two cups daily, or one to two tablespoons per five pounds of body weight.
Like any foreign or unnatural food, fruit should be given in moderation and introduced slowly.
Below we have provided a few alternatives for treats to give your pet if your bunny is getting a bit tired of eating apples or just aren’t as interested as they once we’re in that particular fruit:
. Any type of household berry: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries
. Collard greens
. Radish tops
Yes, although this red fruit should not be relied on as a primary source of nutrients or become a common occurrence in their everyday diet, they have little to offer in terms of needed proteins and vitamins.
Having apples for a snack is great for hydration and additional potassium; however, you should always wash and remove the apple’s stem and seeds before handing over a couple of slices to your fluffy friend.
Don’t hesitate to try new foods like papaya or blueberries, as we believe the best treat for your pet rabbit is healthy and one that they love.
If ever you are unsure what you’re giving them is either good or bad, contact your nearest veterinary clinic, and they will quickly put you on the right track.