Question: Can rabbits eat pomegranate?
Answer: Yes, they can, but not too much of it.
What is Pomegranate?
Pomegranate is a healthy red fruit usually seen between March and May, or October and February, depending on the part of the hemisphere. The fruit contains hundreds of edible seeds known as arils. These arils are full of nutrients beneficial to humans, which makes them quite popular among humans. They contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and even plant compounds.
There are many reasons why pomegranates are highly sought-after fruits, and some are:
- They contain two potent plant compounds – punicalagin and punicic acids – which have respective health benefits to humans
- Pomegranates are known to have antioxidant properties that provide anti-inflammatory benefits to humans. This anti-inflammatory effect helps with diseases such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, and so on.
- Those fighting high blood pressure will find this fruit a much-needed addition to their diet. According to experts, a regular fruit intake can help lower high blood pressure and keep hypertension at bay.
- Pomegranates are also helpful in fighting joint pain and arthritis.
- The plant compounds in the fruit can also help fight against fungal and bacterial infections.
Can Rabbits Eat Pomegranates?
Since pomegranates have so much nutritional value and are eaten by humans, does it mean rabbits can eat them too? Yes, rabbits can eat pomegranate but only in small amounts. This means that you can only give them the fruit as treats and not part of their main diet.
There are some benefits that your rabbits get to enjoy when they eat the fruit. For one, pomegranates contain low fat that’s just right for bunnies. Also, the fruit contains magnesium that rabbits need in their diet, and this is another reason you can feed them the fruit occasionally.
You need to feed your bunnies tiny amounts of the fruit because as much as pomegranates contain nutrients that can help these animals, they also have elements that may harm your rabbit if they ingest them frequently.
Can my Rabbits Eat Pomegranate Leaves?
Rabbits are herbivores, so they can safely eat leaves. Hence, pomegranate leaves are OK for them to eat without issues. You can even serve them the leaves with other leafy greens to provide variety in their diet. However, note that not all bunnies like pomegranate leaves and would most likely not eat them. You shouldn’t worry when that happens – animals have their preferences too.
If it turns out that your pet likes the leaves, you can go ahead and cut up some for it. Only make sure that you thoroughly wash those leaves before you serve them to your rabbit. Some pomegranate leaves might contain some debris and chemicals, so even if the leaves aren’t harmful, those substances are definitely dangerous to your rabbit. The only safer option is to give your rabbits organic leaves.
Can my Rabbits Eat Pomegranate Seeds?
Pomegranate seeds are a no-no for your bunnies as they are toxic to them. This is why you really cannot feed your bunny the fruit in large quantities. The seeds make up a large part of a pomegranate, and you may only be able to cut off a tiny piece of the fruit without the seed for your pet.
Why Can’t Rabbits Eat Pomegranates in Large Quantities?
Yes, pomegranates are safe for rabbits in small amounts. In fact, experts say that the fruit has anti-inflammatory effects on bunnies. Still, that doesn’t mean that the fruit doesn’t contain other elements and substances that are harmful.
Pomegranates contain a high level of sugar, fat, phosphorus, calcium, and fiber. While the rabbit needs fiber, the other substances can’t be successfully digested by the rabbit’s sensitive and delicate digestive system.
If bunnies ingest too much of this fruit, they can suffer from constipation and other digestive issues. Also, since rabbits can hardly digest sugar, too much pomegranate sugar in their system can cause them to gain weight, and the bunny might end up becoming obese. Too much sugar can also lead to diarrhea and encourage the growth of toxic bacteria in your bunny’s system.
Pomegranates have high Vitamins B and C content which might cause some issues in your bunny. Since rabbits can naturally produce their vitamin C, they do not need more intake of the nutrient. So if they take in the fruit in large quantities, they may encounter kidney problems.
Carbs are also present in the fruit, and if your animals eat too much of this, they will gain weight and have intestine problems. The calcium in pomegranates will also cause issues in your pet’s digestive system.
For all these reasons, you should limit how much of the fruit you feed your pet.
How Often Should I Feed my Rabbits Pomegranates?
Since we’re aiming for moderation, you should give your rabbit pomegranates only once or twice a week. Also, ensure that they don’t eat the seeds. Since the seeds make up a large portion of the fruit, you can make juice out of the fruit instead and serve it to your bunny. You can feed your bunny more pomegranate leaves, as they are safer than other parts of the fruit.
Once you start giving your rabbits pomegranates, watch out for signs and reactions that your bunny might not be a fan of the fruit. If it looks like your rabbit is having negative reactions to the fruit, that means you might have to stop feeding it the fruit.
If you’ve been feeding your rabbits a high quantity of pomegranates, now would be a good time to stop. Too much of the fruit can cause issues that you and your rabbit would rather avoid. However, you don’t have to totally eliminate it since the fruit still has some benefits for your pet.
Overall, remember that a rabbit’s main diet should be hay, leafy greens, and freshwater. Fruits should only be offered at intervals, as occasional treats.