Question: Can rabbits eat watermelon?
Answer: Yes, they sure can! However, rabbits should only eat seedless watermelon as a treat once in a while.
Do rabbits like watermelon?
Not even rabbits can resist this juicy summer fruit. Most rabbits love snacking on fresh watermelon as much as humans do because it satisfies their sweet tooth. If given the chance, your rabbit would happily eat as much watermelon as they possibly can. However, just because rabbits love this delicious fruit doesn’t mean it should be a regular part of their diet.
Whether you want to enjoy a slice of watermelon with your pet rabbit or you want to give a wild rabbit a juicy treat, it’s important to understand a few facts about watermelon and their effect on these small, adorable creatures.
Is watermelon safe for rabbits to eat?
Watermelon is perfectly safe for rabbits to eat. Watermelon seeds, on the other hand, can be dangerous for your furry friend. A rabbit’s sensitive stomach is not capable of digesting watermelon seeds. Not only are they a potential choking hazard, but they could also cause gastrointestinal obstruction.
If you want to feed your rabbit this summer fruit, purchase an organic, seedless watermelon. Otherwise, you must always carefully remove any seeds before feeding a rabbit some watermelon.
Although watermelon is not toxic for rabbits, it contains a high amount of natural sugar. As much as your rabbit may love to nibble on this fruit, too much of it can make them sick. In the same way that excessive consumption of sugar poses negative health risks for humans, it could lead to complications in your rabbit’s health. While eating watermelon in moderation is safe for your rabbit, consuming any fruit in excess is not.
Is watermelon bad for rabbits to eat?
The occasional serving of watermelon can actually be quite good for your rabbit. Like most fruits, watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamin C. Additionally, it contains other beneficial vitamins and minerals for rabbits such as vitamin A, electrolytes, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Since watermelon is high in water content, it is a good source of hydration for your furry friend as well.
Although watermelon is not bad for rabbits in moderation, their sensitive digestive tracts are not capable of processing high levels of carbohydrates. This means too much sugar can lead to an upset stomach or loose stool. An excessive amount of sugar in their diet could even result in more serious health consequences such as tooth decay, obesity, or diabetes.
Feeding your rabbit watermelon regularly might inadvertently cause behavioural issues as well. Similar to a spoiled child refusing to eat their vegetables and armed with knowledge that you’ll likely feed them candy instead, your rabbit may refuse to eat hay. Thus, it’s best to treat watermelon like a dessert rather than a regular part of a balanced diet.
How much watermelon can I feed a rabbit?
Like any treat, watermelon should only be consumed by rabbits in moderate amounts. Small servings of fruit like watermelon on rare occasions are perfectly fine for your rabbit’s health. If you want your furry baby to have a balanced and nutritious diet, it should consist mostly of hay as opposed to watermelon.
For smaller rabbits that weigh under 4lbs such as dwarf or mini rabbits, a serving of 1-2 tablespoons of watermelon cubes is more than enough. Any more watermelon could irritate their digestive tract. The sensitive tummies of larger rabbits such as giants could probably digest as much as half a cup of cubed watermelon without any issues. Depending on their weight, medium sized rabbits can be fed a serving somewhere in between. It’s typically best to limit your rabbit’s watermelon portion to 1 tablespoon per 2 pounds of body weight.
While your rabbit may look adorable munching on a watermelon slice, it can be a lot more challenging to measure the appropriate serving this way. A general rule of thumb is to avoid feeding your rabbit any watermelon slice that exceeds 2 inches in dimension. Anything larger than that contains too much sugar for even the largest rabbit.
How should I feed watermelon to my rabbit?
Before feeding your rabbit some watermelon, check to make sure there are absolutely no seeds left on the melon. If possible, purchase organic, seedless watermelon to feed to your furry friend. This can save you the hassle of deseeding a regular watermelon.
If YouTube is any indication, nothing is cuter than a rabbit snacking on a slice of watermelon. However, to achieve a more precise measurement of serving size, cut the melon into small bite-size pieces.
Since fruits are considered to be sugary treats for rabbits, it’s best to only feed them the appropriate portion once or twice a week.
For rabbits who are trying watermelon for the first time, introduce them slowly to the fruit with one small piece. Monitor your rabbit’s reaction and stool for the next 24 hours to ensure their sensitive stomach can process watermelon.
Can baby rabbits eat watermelon?
The digestive systems of baby rabbits are incapable of processing sugar. Until your baby rabbit is 12 weeks old, do not feed them watermelon or any other fruits. Once their sensitive tummies have matured, you can start feeding them vegetables before gradually introducing them to fruits.
Can rabbits eat watermelon rinds?
Watermelon rind is actually more nutritious for your rabbit than the fruit itself. It’s a good source of fibre, citrulline, and potassium for these cuddly creatures. Cut watermelon rinds into small bite-size pieces to reduce the risk of choking.
Before feeding your rabbit watermelon rind, ensure it is organic first. Otherwise, it’s best to avoid giving your rabbit watermelon rind that might be contaminated with chemicals or traces of fertilizer.
Alternative foods to watermelon
A well-balanced diet consisting almost entirely of hay is crucial to your rabbit’s health. These cute, furry babies have sensitive tummies that can only handle fruits and vegetables in small portions.
Instead of the occasional helping of watermelon, you could also feed your rabbit these other fruits:
- all berries
- seedless apple
- seedless cherries
There are few things in this world more adorable than a rabbit chomping on some watermelon. Although watermelon is safe for your rabbit to eat, they should only have it as an occasional treat. A healthy, well-balanced diet for your rabbit comprises 80-90% of high-quality hay, supplemented with high-fibre pellets and the rare veggie or fruit snack.