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It is common knowledge that rabbits are herbivores. This means that they eat leafy greens and fruits instead of meat. So you can say that your bunny is a vegetarian, but can bunnies eat pineapple?
Let’s start with making sure we understand the ideal diet for a rabbit. A rabbit’s meals should always match its natural diet and this mainly consists of grass or hay.
Hay must always make the majority of your rabbit’s diet. 80% of daily rabbit food must be made up of hay. Therefore while rabbits are herbivores, it is not necessarily healthy for them to be eating just leafy greens or fruits.
So does this mean that rabbits can’t eat pineapple and other fruit? Not quite. The topic of rabbits and fruits needs further investigation and that’s my main aim in creating the article.
Can Rabbits Eat Pineapples?
Rabbits can eat pineapples. Pineapples contain healthy nutrients that are very beneficial to the overall health of your bunny. However, pineapples are not part of a rabbit’s natural diet. Therefore, it should only be given occasionally in moderate amounts.
Pineapples are a tasty treat that you can share with your bunny. It is high in fiber and vitamin C. However, pineapples are also very high in sugar and carbohydrates. Too much of a good thing can harm your rabbit.
Too much sugar and carbs can cause your bunny to gain weight. Your aim should be to keep your bunny at a healthy weight, no matter if that extra fat on them makes your bunny look even cuter. In the long run, a fat bunny will not be as mobile as a lean one which could lead them to develop other health conditions.
Do Rabbits Like Pineapples
Rabbits enjoy pineapples because they’re sweet. This fruit has high glucose content and is enjoyable for them to munch on. You can think of pineapples like candies for your bunny and, like candies to humans. you wouldn’t want them to be eating it all the time.
You might be wondering if pineapple, like candy, can also cause cavities to your rabbit. Don’t worry, pineapples, fortunately, don’t cause dental problems so this is one thing you don’t have to worry about. However, it is worrisome if your bunny gets too used to having pineapple as part of their regular diet.
Because pineapples are such high-value treats and taste (I imagine) infinitely sweeter than the regular timothy hay a rabbit can easily get addicted to pineapple and other fruits. Sugar addiction is something a new bunny owner should avoid.
You do not want to end up in an unhealthy cycle with your pet rabbit. Your bunny could begin refusing to eat hay because they got used to eating sweet pineapples. Since pineapples are too high in sugar their body won’t be able to metabolize this properly and they could end up overweight.
Overweight rabbits tend to be sickly they grow their natural rabbit lifecycle. The extra weight they carry around would make them lethargic and can put too much stress on their bones. A happy bunny is a healthy and mobile bunny. Therefore, while pineapples are good, moderation is better.
What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of A Pineapple to Your Rabbit?
According to the US Department of Agriculture, these are the nutritional content that you can find in a single serving (approximately 165 grams) of raw pineapple
|Vitamin C||28 mg|
|Total Carbohydrate||19.5 g|
|Total Fat||0 g|
Vitamin C is good for your bunny. It helps improve their immunity and therefore reduces their risks of falling sick. There is a scurvy-like disease that rabbits with low immunity can contract. Therefore, pineapples can help them fight against this sickness
Vitamin C is also a natural antioxidant and will help your bunny’s body flush out any toxins that can lead to disease. It is also believed that antioxidants eliminate free radicals in the body. Free radicals are bad in that they lead to arthritis in bunnies and other chronic conditions.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Feeding My Bunny Pineapple?
Pineapple is rich in sugar and carbohydrates. A single rabbit-sized serving of pineapple is one chunk about the size of your thumbnail. That chunk of pineapple contains 13.7 g of sugar and 19.5 carbohydrates. That is too much sugar for a bunny to regularly eat without suffering from obesity.
Some might think that fat bunnies are okay because they have the misconception that rabbits don’t need to move a lot. But, this could not be farther from the truth. Rabbits need to be active to lead a happy life. Inactivity can cause boredom in your bunny and could lead to destructive behaviors.
Besides, obesity in bunnies could lead to being lethargic as well. The amount of fat is extra weight that they would need to carry and thus, you bunnies could find it hard to move if they become too heavy. This would also put a strain on their joints and muscles and therefore lead to chronic pain.
You can observe if a bunny has had too much sugar and carbohydrates in their diet if they produce too many cecotropes. Cecotropes are usually eaten by bunnies once they release it, but if you notice some lying around, then this is a sign to cut out on the sweets and increase their fiber intake.
Can I Feed My Rabbit Pineapple Leaves/Tops
Pineapple leaves and tops are not poisonous to rabbits, but they can be dangerous to bunnies because they have poky bits that can cause wounds in your rabbit’s tongue and the inside of their cheeks.
You should also be wary of allowing your bunny to chew on pineapple leaves/tops because there might be traces of pesticides that can be toxic to your bunnies. Therefore, the only part of a pineapple that is generally safe to be fed to your bunny is the fruit itself.
Can Rabbits Eat Pineapple Skin Or Peels?
Feeding pineapple skin or peels to bunnies is dangerous. Pineapple skin contains a kind of sap that can be toxic to rabbits if ingested in high amounts, though that’s would take eating a lot of peel. In addition, pineapple skin is pokey and could injure your rabbit.
Remember that rabbits have a very sensitive stomach. So you don’t want to feed them something that they cannot easily digest. The sap in pineapple skin can cause digestive problems to your bunnies. It could lead to GI stasis that in the worst cases, could be fatal.
Can I Give My Bunny Pineapple Juice
Giving your pet rabbit pineapple juice is not recommended unless in a dire situation. Pineapple juice, especially processed pineapple juice, has added sugar and lower nutritional content than real fruit. Regularly drinking fruit juice will make your rabbit fat.
So what dire situation might necessitate giving your pet rabbit pineapple juice?
Pineapple juice is known to break down furballs stuck in your bunny’s stomach, and veterinarians sometimes recommend it to help a bunny overcome GI Stasis.
Surprising as it might sound, pineapple has been used as a last resort to help save a rabbit’s life. Finbar, a furry thumper from Glasgow, was saved by vets using pineapple juice. His owners took him to the vet when he stopped eating and X-rays showed that he has a massive furball taking up the entire space in his stomach!
That’s a wild story and what might be considered a wilder solution. But pineapple juice is acidic and could break down weak fibers. Good thing that the vet’s quick thinking saved Finbar’s life. Phew!
How To Feed Pineapples to Bunnies
As much as pineapples are safe for bunnies, it also falls to pet parents to know the proper ways that they should be fed to their furry pets. There are three golden rules that I follow when it comes to introducing new food that is not part of your rabbit’s natural diet:
- Introduce slowly and watch for effects
- Measure precisely
- Give only occasionally
How Much Pineapple Should I Feed My Bunny
Do not feed baby rabbits any pineapples. They need to maximize the benefits that their natural hay diets give for their growth. Adult bunnies can have servings of pineapple but should be given based on their weight. Dwarf and small breeds can have a teaspoon while bigger rabbits can have a tablespoon.
You also need to introduce pineapple slowly at first to find out how their digestive system responds to it.
Try introducing the fruit to their mealtime in very small amounts and then watch them for 24 hours. If they seem okay and don’t develop any digestive issues then you can proceed to offer a slightly larger serving after 4 to 8 days.
How Often Should I Feed Pineapple To My Bunny
Feeding pineapples to bunnies are recommended only twice a week and not two days in a row. The amount of pineapple that is offered in each feeding should be no more than one teaspoon for a small bunny, and one tablespoon for a larger rabbit.
Have you tried feeding pineapples or other fruit to your bunnies? How was the experience? Please feel free to share some of your pet mealtime stories in the comments below.