What to Feed a Bunny
Rabbits are just like humans – they love fresh food. The favorite food of bunnies is hay, fresh vegetables, fruits, and pellets. You need to be extremely careful with their diet because rabbits have a very sensitive digestive system. Feeding your bunny with the wrong food can cause serious digestive issues. Moreover, some food can even cause death.
Table of contents
- Can Rabbits Eat Honeydew Melon?
- What About Other Melons?
- What Fruits Are Bad For Rabbit?
- What Other Fruits That Should Never Be Given To A Rabbit?
- What Should You Do If Your Bunny Ate Something Toxic
- Several Tips For Feeding Your Bunny The Right Way
You can feed your rabbit with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and pellets. Your bunny’s diet should consist of plenty of fruits and vegetables, except those that are high in carbohydrates. Therefore, make sure you avoid feeding your pet with carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
The best and healthiest vegetables to include in the rabbit’s everyday menu are cilantro (see also ‘Can Rabbits Eat Cilantro?‘), cabbage, broccoli, beets, carrot tops, and mustard green. You should also give your bunny such fruits as orange, papaya, cherries with no seeds, grapes, berries, nectarine, and pineapple.
Can Rabbits Eat Honeydew Melon?
Honeydew melon (see also ‘Can Rabbits Eat Watermelon?‘) s a sweet round fruit that can be found around the world. It is similar to a cantaloupe but is firmer and sweeter. It is rich in Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin K, magnesium, folate, and some other vitamins and supplements.
In order to answer the question, whether this fruit is good for rabbits, let’s look at its nutritional properties first and find out what it contains.
Since it is a sweet fruit with a lot of sugar, rabbits can eat it in limited quantities. There is a risk that this sweet fruit can disturb their sensitive stomachs and digestive tract. This is because rabbits cannot handle large amounts of sugary foods. As a result, they can suffer from diarrhea and other health issues.
It is also important to note that if you decide to feed your bunny with honeydew melon, make sure to remove all the seeds. Seeds present a serious chokage issue and can cause serious health problems. Therefore, for the safety of your pet rabbit, make sure to keep the seeds away.
What Are The Symptoms Of Overfeeding Your Rabbit With Honeydew Melon?
Though melons are generally safe and nutritious for rabbits, there are still risks associated with overfeeding bunnies:
- Diarrhea. It is a common digestive issue that is usually caused by a large amount of melon given to a rabbit within a short period of time. For this reason, if you have not fed your bunny with honeydew melon before, introduce this new fruit slowly.
- Gastrointestinal stasis. It is a potentially dangerous condition that is usually caused by large amounts of food that are high in carbohydrates and low in digestive fiber. The most common symptoms of this condition include loss of appetite, hunched posture, no fecal pellets, and lethargy.
- Uneaten cecotropes. If you keep seeing soft uneaten soft cecotropes, it may indicate that you are giving your rabbit too much melon instead of hay. It is also an indicator that your bunny is not consuming enough fiber.
- Dental issues. Since melons contain a lot of sugar, you need to be extremely careful with the amount you give to your rabbit. Eating too much melon can lead to serious dental issues.
- Obesity. Sugary food is also often associated with obesity – a dangerous health condition for most pets, including rabbits. Obesity is associated with numerous diseases and health conditions, including myiasis, pododermatitis, pregnancy toxemia, and others.
What About Other Melons?
In general, it is allowed to give melons to your bunny once or twice a week. However, since all types of melons are sweet, they need to be rather an occasional treat than everyday food for your bunny. Oslo, as mentioned above, make sure to remove the seeds and never feed a rabbit with them to avoid serious health risks.
What Fruits Are Bad For Rabbit?
In general, fruits are beneficial for rabbits. However, there are some fruits that you should avoid and never feed your bunny with, and here is a list of some of them:
Many people think that this healthy green fruit is a great food option for their rabbits. The truth is though that avocado is one of the most dangerous foods for bunnies and should never be in their diet. This fatty fruit contains persin – a fungicidal toxin that can damage the rabbit’s heart muscle and cause cardiac arrest. As a result, if a rabbit eats avocado, there is a high risk that it will die.
Bananas contain a lot of sugar and starch, which does not make them the healthiest choice for your rabbit’s diet. If you really want to, you can add some of this fruit to your bunny’s menu, but just a little bit. Also, never feed young rabbits (under 3 months old) with bananas because they cannot digest this heavy fruit properly.
What Other Fruits That Should Never Be Given To A Rabbit?
There are other foods that should be avoided and never included in the rabbit’s diet because they can cause serious health complications or even death. The list of forbidden foods includes:
- Chocolate. It is one of the products that should never be in your pet’s diet. Chocolate is an absolute no-no for rabbits due to theobromine and caffeine contained in this product. These toxins are very poisonous for bunnies and usually cause death. Therefore, if you caught your rabbit eating chocolate, treat it as an emergency and contact your vet immediately.
- Sugary processed foods. You probably love cookies, pies, and cakes, but they are not the right foods for your bunny. According to the results of numerous studies, sugary processed foods cause exterotoxemia – a severe form of diarrhea that causes complete destruction of the intestinal flora and can be fatal.
- Allium vegetables. You should never feed your bunny with any kind of allium vegetables. Even though these vegetables are absolutely safe and even healthy for humans, they are toxic for rabbits. The most commonly used allium vegetables are garlic, onion, chives, and leeks.
What Should You Do If Your Bunny Ate Something Toxic
First, you need to pay attention to the common symptoms of poisoning, such as:
- Abdominal tenderness
- Difficult or labored breathing
- Lack or complete loss of appetite
- Hunched posture
- High or very low body temperature
Then, try to identify what exactly your bunny ate and what was the amount. Then, try to feed your rabbit with something soft, give some water to help your pet stay hydrated, and go to the vet immediately. Some food can be very dangerous and can even cause death, so you need to act quickly. Contact your trusted vet for further advice.
Several Tips For Feeding Your Bunny The Right Way
Feeding your rabbit the right way is crucial for its health. Here are some tips for doing it properly:
- Make sure to change your rabbit’s diet slowly. Remember that bunnies have sensitive stomachs, and new foods can cause serious health consequences.
- Always control what and how much your rabbit is eating.
- Pay attention to your bunny’s droppings, their amount, and consistency.
- Make sure your rabbit is drinking plenty of water. Always provide your bunny with fresh water to help your pet stay hydrated.
- Control the number of fruits and vegetables you are giving to your rabbit. In general, veggies and fruits are food for your bunny, but they should make up no more than 10% of its diet.
- The diet can be different for different rabbit breeds. Check out the articles about Lionhead Rabbit diet and Flemish Giant Rabbit diet to learn more.