Nurturing a rabbit involves a balance between a healthy diet and regular exercise. The bunnies are full of life and hence need proper nutrition to fuel their energy levels. There are plentiful options for food items that you can give to your bunny pal.
To provide your rabbit will all the nutrients, you should include a variety of eatables in his diet. These adorable bunnies relish eating greens and veggies. Besides this, you can give fruits to soothe the taste buds of your bunny.
Can rabbits eat apples safely?
Yes, apples are safe for the rabbits to eat. Make sure to give this delightful fruit to your pet in moderation only. Besides, apples contain the essential nutrients that are good for your bunny’s health. Yet you must not forget to remove the apple seeds, stems, and cores before feeding it to your bunny.
Why apples are good for rabbits?
Though your bunny would love the apples for taste; this fruit is rich in antioxidants. It contains high water content and potassium that are beneficial for rabbits’ health. The potassium assists in preventing hypokalemia in rabbits.
Apples are also a great source of fiber that improves the gut health of your bunny. It also helps the rabbits to defecate healthy feces. This juicy fruit has the essential nutrients that your rabbit needs to stay healthy.
What are the health benefits of apples for your bunny?
Apples contain B-complex vitamins. The vitamin B-1, B-2, B-3, and B-6 altogether help improve the nervous system of rabbits. Besides, it also enhances the red blood cell health of your bunny.
Being a rich source of dietary fiber, apples can help to combat heart diseases also. The following are some of the health benefits of this fruit for your rabbit:
- Apple contains phytonutrients that help the bunnies to fight the infections
- The calcium present in this fruit stimulates the stronger teeth and bone health
- The fiber content plays an important role in the functioning of the digestive system
- The antioxidants protect the cells against free radical damage
Nutritional value of apples
A medium-sized apple contains around 72 calories. It also has 19g of carbohydrates and 0.36g of protein. Besides, there is 3g of fiber, 0.2g of fat, and 8mg of calcium. The other nutrients are 148mg of potassium, 0.17mg of iron, and 1mg of magnesium.
Apples have traces of phosphorus, zinc, and manganese. It also comprises of vitamins A, C, and K to promote sound health in rabbits.
Yet the bunnies do not need much of vitamin C as they produce it themselves. The other essential nutrients are vital for the good well-being of your rabbit.
How many apples a rabbit should have?
For a rabbit weighing around 6lbs, half a part of a small apple is enough. The sugar content in apples is not good for the health of rabbits.
That is why apples should only comprise 5-10% of the total diet of your bunny.
Also, do not give this fruit on a regular basis. Instead, you can feed an apple to your rabbit thrice a week.
Importance of apple skin
Most people prefer to remove the apple skin before giving it to their bunny. Well, most of the nutrition is present in the apple skin. It comprises a huge part of the fiber and antioxidant content of an apple.
That is why one should refrain from peeling the apple skin. You can even go for the organic apples in place of the conventional ones.
What are the disadvantages of apples for a rabbit?
Though apples are good for bunnies; eating them in excess can be harmful too. The following are the adverse effects of apples on the health of bunnies.
Cyanogenic glycosides: They are present in the stems, seeds, and cores of the apples. These plant toxins are harmful to the health of rabbits. They can cause stomach discomfort, vomiting, seizures, and diarrhea. Besides, it can also reduce the heart rate of your bunny. The ingestion of cyanogenic glycosides also affects the respiratory health of rabbits.
High sugar content: There is no doubt that apple is a low-calorie fruit but it has high sugar content. Because of this, you should limit the intake of apples in the diet of your bunny. Consuming sugar in high quantities can cause tooth decay in rabbits. Besides, it is also the root cause of diabetes and obesity in bunnies.
Excess of Vitamin A and C: As stated earlier, the rabbits produce vitamin C on their own. Apples already contain Vitamin C in good concentration. The excess intake of vitamin C can cause kidney disorders. Besides, consuming vitamin A in surplus can be harmful to the skin also.
The right way to feed apples to your rabbit
You can include apples in the diet of your rabbit as an occasional snack only. Eating apples in the right way can provide your rabbit with excellent nutrition. For this, you must follow the below-mentioned instructions.
- Wash the apple to remove the chemicals and pesticides
- Cut the apple into two halves without peeling off its skin
- Out of those two pieces, take one half and cut it into tiny pieces
- Make sure to remove the core, stems, and seeds
Can rabbits eat the cooked apple?
No, it is not recommended to give cooked apples to bunnies. Only the raw apples are safe and healthy for them. This is because the cooked apples contain high sugar and starch content.
Besides, cooking reduces the values of dietary fiber of an apple. Furthermore, it can cause diarrhea and other digestive issues in rabbits.
What are the other fruits that a rabbit can eat?
Adding a variety of fruits in the diet of your rabbit would serve as an alternate source of nutrients. Rabbits need fiber, minerals, and vitamins to stay fit and healthy.
But at the same time, it is also important to treat their taste buds. For that, you can give the following fruits to your bunny.
- Papaya, oranges, and peaches
- Melon, pineapple, and kiwi
- Blackberries, cherries, and blueberries
- Strawberries, pears, and plums
Apples are a healthy combination of taste with nutrition. You bunny would relish every bite of this delightful fruit. You should give apples to your rabbit in smaller quantities at first.
If there is any sign of discomfort, then rush to a vet at the earliest. Also, refrain from feeding cooked apples or any apple dessert to your rabbit.
Make sure to remove the toxic parts of an apple for the safety of your pet. In the end, what matters the most is the sound health and growth of your rabbit.