Is Watermelon A No-Go or A Go-Go For Your Rabbit? Find Out Now!

Rabbit nibbling on watermelon

Watermelon has become one of the most consumed fruits in summers. And rightly so. This red, juicy and fleshy fruit is refreshing and keeps you hydrated when basking in the sun. It also gets the brownie points for being delicious, fat free and a low calorie fruit.

Everyone enjoys a slice of melon, no matter the age and definitely no matter the species. Yes, your little bugs bunny would want to devour the fruit if given a chance just the way you would do.

But are watermelons safe for them to consume? What if they eat the seeds or rind? And how much watermelon can they eat in a day? Let’s find out.

Can Rabbits Eat Watermelons?

Watermelon is completely safe for your rabbit to nibble given its watery nature. As per Healthline, Watermelon is approximately 91% water which should not come as a surprise given its name and a 100 gm slice of watermelon will provide 7.6 grams of Carbs and 6.2 grams of Sugar.

It can provide a number of potential health benefits for rabbits, such as:

  • Hydration: Watermelon is mostly made up of water, which can help to keep rabbits hydrated. This is especially important during hot weather or if your rabbit is not drinking enough water.
  • Vitamins: Watermelon is a good source of vitamins A, B6, and C, which are important for maintaining a healthy immune system and supporting vision and skin health.
  • Minerals: Watermelon also contains small amounts of minerals such as potassium, which is important for maintaining healthy muscles and regulating fluid balance in the body.
  • Fiber: Watermelon contains a small amount of fiber, which is important for maintaining healthy digestion in rabbits.

However, just like any other fruit such as Apple or blueberries, reserve watermelon only as an occasional treat for them. This is because watermelon is known to be high in sugar and low in nutrients and for your rabbit’s well being, they should consume a rather nutrition-packed meal daily.

When it comes to rabbits’ dietary habits, excess of anything is bad for their health. Even when the fruit or vegetable is rich in minerals and vitamins, their digestive system allows them to consume it in a limited quantity to avoid any digestive disorders arising due to the amount of sugar in it.

Watermelon

How Much Watermelon Should A Rabbit Eat

It is safe for rabbits to eat small amounts of watermelon as an occasional treat. However, watermelon should not be the main part of a rabbit’s diet and should only be given in moderation.

A good rule of thumb is to limit watermelon to no more than 10% of a rabbit’s daily food intake. For a small rabbit, this would be about the size of a quarter. For a larger rabbit, you may be able to offer a slightly larger piece.

It is important to remember that watermelon is not a necessary part of a rabbit’s diet and should be supplemented with plenty of hay, fresh vegetables, and a limited number of pellets.

A varied diet is important to ensure that rabbits are getting all the nutrients they need. If you are unsure about how much watermelon to feed your rabbit, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian or a rabbit-savvy pet nutritionist.

Give Your Rabbit Quick Nutrition

What About The Watermelon Seeds?

Rabbits should not feed on watermelon seeds since it can clog their intestinal tract. This in turn can lead to choking or constipation. Since rabbits are incapable of vomiting, they would showcase different symptoms when feeling uncomfortable.

If you notice that your furry friend is not able to pass stool after eating watermelon or being unusually lazy, it could be a sign of a watermelon party going wrong. In such a case, reach out to your vet immediately and seek help.

When sharing watermelon with your pet friend, make sure to either buy a seedless melon or remove seeds from the slice before your furry partner gorge on it. This will minimize the risk of choking or upset stomach.

Can Rabbits Eat The Skin Of A Melon?

According to Oxford Academic, rabbit requires at least 0.6% potassium in the diet for an optimal growth.

Guess what? Watermelon’s skin, also known as Rind, is a rich source of Potassium, Fibre, and vitamin C. It is suggested to feed them rind more than the flesh for all the goodness they carry.

And the good news is, Rind is completely safe and a healthy part of the fruit for your rabbit to chew on. Make sure to run the watermelon through water to clean the skin of dust and pesticides.

Also make sure to cut the rind into smaller pieces so it does not pose a choking hazard to your furry friend.

A quick look on which foods are safe for our rabbits:

How to Feed Watermelon To Your Rabbit?

Although it’s a no brainer, there are certainly a few things that you as a pet owner can be mindful of when feeding your Rabbit some watermelon:

  • Start Small: When introducing watermelon to your rabbit for the first time, start with a small quantity. Observe for a few days if they show any unusual behavior post watermelon consumption. Also look out for physical symptoms like red eyes or swelling in parts of their body. They could be allergic to watermelon.

    If they do not behave abnormally post eating it the first few times, you can gradually increase the portion size. Although as mentioned earlier, the portion should be enough to keep it as a treat and not to satisfy their hunger pangs.

  • Wash the Melon: Make sure to thoroughly wash the watermelons before you feed it to your bunny. The 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. You can also try to find organic fruits which are grown without the use of pesticides.

  • Remove the Seeds: Seeds are harmful for their digestive system and a choking hazard. In any case, they can prove fatal if consumed in large quantities. Make sure to either buy seedless watermelons or remove the seeds before passing it on to your bunny friend.
  • Trash old watermelon: Your Rabbit may want to take his time savoring the watermelon slice. Ensure to discard the uneaten parts of the slice after a few hours before they start to rot.
  • No Watermelon for the baby rabbits: Sadly, the baby rabbit’s digestive system is not mature enough to savor this delicious fruit. It is advisable that your baby rabbit be at least 16-20 weeks old before they are introduced to watermelon.

Rabbit Eating Watermelon:

Source: OneMorePlease

What Should A Rabbit’s Daily Diet Consist Of?

A typical diet for a rabbit should include hay, a small amount of fresh vegetables, and a limited amount of pellets.

Hay should make up the majority of a rabbit’s diet, as it provides important fiber for their digestive system. It’s important to offer a variety of hays, such as timothy, oat, and meadow hays, to provide a range of nutrients.

Fresh vegetables should be offered in small amounts as a supplement to the hay. These can include leafy greens, such as romaine lettuce, kale, and spinach, as well as vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, and peas. It’s important to introduce new vegetables slowly and in small amounts, as rabbits can be sensitive to sudden changes in their diet.

Pellets can be optional and should be offered in small quantities, as they are a concentrated source of nutrients and can contribute to obesity if fed in excess. It’s important to choose a high-quality pellet formulated specifically for rabbits, and to avoid those that contain seeds or dried fruit.

Hydration is of vital importance so make sure to provide your furry friend with plenty of clean, fresh water at all times.

In addition to a healthy diet, rabbits also need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. This can include providing them with a large, safe space to run and play, as well as offering toys and activities to keep them entertained.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. What parts of watermelon are safe for rabbits?
    Rabbits can safely consume all parts of the watermelon minus the seeds. Seeds are borderline toxic and if they eat it in a large quantity, it can prove fatal.
  2. Can rabbits eat watermelon everyday?
    Yes and No. They certainly can eat a slice of watermelon everyday. But, should they? Answer is No. Fruits are a treat for your furry friend so it only makes sense to introduce them to all the other fruits as well. It would be wise to offer them one slice a week. This would allow them to explore other fruits as well given they should only be allowed one fruit in a day.
  3. Is watermelon a good source of hydration for rabbits?
    Watermelon can be a good source of hydration for rabbits, as it is high in water content. However, it should not be the primary source of hydration for rabbits, since it also contains a decent amount of sugar.

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