Ask The Expert: Can Your Rabbit Eat Apples Safely

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It’s a constant question that bugs us every time we feed our pet rabbit, isn’t it right? Every pet has a different food palate and despite what we think they enjoy eating, the food we feed them may not be the safest for their health.

Rabbits love their snacks and it’s so easy for us to feed them whatever they like and to their heart’s content. But, when doing so, we may unknowingly upset their stomach and harm their health. To understand what’s the best practice in food-feeding for your pet rabbit, we believe it’s important to understand what your pet is exactly.

What Are Rabbits

Rabbits or bunnies or bunny rabbits are small mammals either found in wild or in domestic bliss (as pets). According to the University of Idaho, they are herbivores (Plant-Eating Animals). A male rabbit is called a buck and a female is called a doe. More recently, it’s been observed that the term kit or kitten has been used to refer to young rabbits.

When rabbits are found in a group, they are termed as a colony or nest. A group of baby rabbits birthed from a single mating is referred to as a litter, and a group of domestic rabbits living together is referred to as a herd. Just as dogs and cats, some species of rabbits are domestic and some are wild. Oh, and don’t confuse rabbits with hare, though they belong to the same genus, they are two different species.

Can Rabbits Eat Apples

The short answer is YES. They can.

Apple is a rich source of vitamin A, C, fiber and antioxidants which are integral to your bunny’s health. It is important however to monitor the amount of apple they eat and how they eat it to avoid choking hazard. Expert’s recommendation is that the bunnies are fed apples only in moderation since they are high in naturally-occurring fructose aka sugar. And by moderation, the experts suggest feeding them a slice or two per week. Another good source of Vitamin C for your beloved bunny is Tomatoes. Although, tomatoes are okay to feed to your rabbit only in small quantities.

Can Baby Rabbits Eat Apples

Avoid feeding apples to baby rabbits since their digestive system is not matured enough to process the amount of sugar present in it. You should wait for your bunny to be at least 12 weeks of age before you start feeding them apples.

Instead, hay and pellets should make for most of the daily meals that the little ones receive with an abundance of water.

Learn about what rabbits drink here.

Can Rabbits Eat Apple Seeds or Stems

Apple seeds and stem, both contain cyanogenic glycoside which is harmful for your bunny. Choking and upset stomach are common symptoms when they consume apple seeds or stem but in some cases, it can prove fatal and can be life threatening.

When feeding apples, be very sure to remove the seeds so they do not accidentally eat it. Also, you should make sure to keep them away out of their reach so they don’t eat them when you are not looking.

Can Rabbits Eat Apple Peels

Yes, Apple peels are completely safe for your bunny to munch on. After all, that’s where they will get the maximum nutrients like vitamin A, C, fiber and antioxidants. Make sure to thoroughly wash the apples before you feed them to your bunny. The apple skin should be free from any pesticides or chemicals that were sprayed while growing them. If you want to be extra sure, there are plenty of veggie wash products available in the market which claim to remove pesticides and other harmful bacteria from fruits and vegetables.

Can you feed your Rabbit Apple juice?

It is not recommended to feed apple juice to your bunny friends since they are high in sugar and can lead to obesity. However if you still want to share some juice with them, keep in mind a few things:

  • Dilute the juice. Add a lot of water to the juice so that the sugar levels in the juice come down significantly. It will not be as sweet a treat as original juice but your Rabbit’s health will thank you for that.
  • Fresh is the key. Use freshly prepared apple juice instead of the processed bottle juice. Bottle juices also have preservatives which are bad for their health.
  • Say no to baby rabbits. Baby rabbits until the age of 12 weeks should not be allowed Apple, let alone apple juice. Their digestive system takes a couple of weeks to be mature enough to break down the complex nutrients present in fruits or vegetables.

Source: OneMorePlease

What Do Rabbits Love To Eat

Bunnies enjoy a good meal. Fill their plate with varieties and they will never complain. A nice mix of hay, vegetables, pellets and fresh water will definitely make your rabbit happy. While the bulk of their feeding can be hay and pellets, it’s nice to throw in different varieties into the mix now and then – both as a treat and to provide nutritional value to their daily meals.

Related: Can Rabbits Eat Watermelon

What Does A Balanced Diet For A Rabbit Look Like

When given the following foods in moderate levels, rabbits can enjoy these fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet.

  • Fruits: Bananas, apples, strawberries and raspberries
  • Vegetables: Carrots, romaine lettuce, curly kale, asparagus, celery
  • Herbs: rosemary, sage or thyme
  • Garden plants: Nettles, dandelions, sow thistles and lavender

Which Foods Can Harm Your Rabbit’s Health

Some human foods are outright poisonous for the rabbits like chocolates whereas some can upset their stomachs and make them sick.

  • Chocolates
  • Avocado
  • Meat
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Processed food and juices

Bottom Line

Apples are a healthy source of vitamin A, C, fiber and antioxidants and you should definitely feed your little friends some apples on a regular basis. You just have to be mindful of the fact that apples also have a good quantity of sugar in it which is bad for them. Apples should be a treat for your bunny given in moderation and once a week. It should never replace their staple food which is a mix of hay and pellets.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What’s a healthy diet for rabbits?
    Rabbits should have a daily diet of mostly hay, a measured amount of fresh vegetables and fruits, and a limited number of pellets.
  2. Why are apples good for rabbits?
    Apples are a rich source of fiber and other nutrients which are required for Rabbit’s overall health. They should, however, be fed only 1 or 2 slices of apples in a week.
  3. What happens if you feed Apple to your baby rabbit?
    Baby rabbits, until they are at least 12 weeks of age should not be fed apples. Their digestive tracts are still in the process of maturing and feeding them something that their digestive system can’t handle can prove fatal.

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