The regular diet of rabbits includes hay, pellets, and a variety of greens.
However, sometimes you might want to give your rabbit a special treat and might be wondering if a watermelon is safe for rabbits to eat.
In this article, we will look at whether rabbits can eat watermelon and if so, what are the concerns or tips you need to know about.
Table of contents
Can Rabbits Eat Watermelon?
Yes, they can! However, you should be careful when feeding watermelon to your rabbit.
It is high in sugar so it should only be given to any animal in small amounts.
The human body can break down the sugars that are in watermelon, but unfortunately, rabbit bodies aren’t built this way so they can’t break down the sugar.
Small amounts of watermelon are fine as these will pass through the rabbit’s digestive system and into their stools.
However, if you feed your rabbit too much sugar then the rabbit’s digestive tract will not be able to cope. This can lead to diarrhea, gas, or loss of appetite.
It is best given to your rabbit as a treat or a reward and shouldn’t be given daily. Don’t substitute it for their daily diet of grains or as a regular meal.
How To Feed Your Watermelon To Your Rabbits?
If your rabbit has never eaten watermelon before, then it is best to start cautiously. Give them a small portion of watermelon and then wait a day.
You should check their stools to ensure they are of normal color and texture.
If the stools aren’t, it may be that your rabbit has an intolerance to watermelon and they shouldn’t eat anymore.
We would recommend only giving your rabbit fresh watermelon a couple of times a week at the most.
Like many humans, rabbits can also have a sweet tooth.
If you give your rabbit watermelon too frequently they might start to expect it and will reject other types of food that are more important to their diet, such as grains and grass.
If you feed your rabbit other fruits (see also ‘Can Rabbits Eat Peaches?‘) as well, keep in mind that fruit should never be more than around 10 percent of a rabbit’s diet.
Fruits don’t contain the nutrients rabbits need to be healthy and malnutrition is one of the leading causes of death in rabbits.
As watermelon is very wet, it’s best to cut it into small pieces that your rabbit can eat without getting messy.
Cubes of around one inch in size should be suitable.
Bathing rabbits can be stressful for them, so try to avoid the need by only giving small pieces of watermelon.
Small pieces can be eaten more easily and without the need for cleanup.
Can I Feed My Rabbit Watermelon Rind Or Seeds?
Although it’s not always common, humans can eat both the watermelon rind and the seeds. However, is this the case with rabbits? Let’s see.
Giving watermelon seeds to a rabbit is not recommended by veterinarians.
This is because some rabbits are too small and the seeds can get stuck in their intestinal tract, leading to blockages.
A blocked intestine can lead to your rabbit being unable to pass stools and eventually becoming ill.
In contrast, watermelon rind is recommended for your rabbit and is, in fact, better for rabbits than the flesh of a watermelon.
Watermelon rind has less sugar than the flesh and is full of fiber, so it is healthier for rabbits to eat.
Before you give any rind to your rabbit, check that the outer layer of tough green skin is thin enough for your rabbit to digest.
Giving your rabbit some watermelon rind to chew on is not only a nice way to treat them but can also be fun and a source of enrichment for them.
The Types Of Watermelon To Feed Your Rabbit
We would recommend buying only organic watermelons for your rabbit.
Organic watermelons don’t have any pesticides or waxes, making them healthier and safer for your rabbit, especially if you plan on feeding your rabbit the rind.
If you can, choose seedless watermelons, too.
As rabbits can’t digest watermelon seeds, buying a seedless watermelon will make cutting it up much easier and you don’t need to worry about missing any seeds.
The seeds can be buried quite deeply in the flesh sometimes and it’s easy to miss some, but a seedless watermelon will put your mind at ease.
The Benefits Of Feeding A Rabbit Watermelon
Unfortunately, watermelon isn’t a particularly nutrient-rich fruit compared to many other fruits.
It consists of 89 percent carbohydrates, 7 percent protein, and 4 percent fat.
It doesn’t contain much in the way of fibers and the majority of these are contained in the rind.
Watermelon does contain a few vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to rabbits, however. These include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
Rabbits can especially benefit from some additional vitamin A in their diet, but typically they are able to get enough from their regular diet of hay, greens, and water.
The main benefit that watermelons can offer is their large water content.
Although your rabbit should be able to remain hydrated during a hot summer just through their regular intake of water, watermelon can help.
Around 92 percent of watermelon flesh is water, so your rabbits are sure to enjoy that refreshing treat on hot days.
Rabbits can eat watermelon but it must be fed to them in moderation.
Watermelon is a fruit that is high in sugar but relatively low in nutrients, so it is best as an occasional treat.
The digestive system of rabbits isn’t capable of digesting large amounts of sugar so only give your rabbits small amounts of watermelon.
You should also avoid giving your rabbits any watermelon seeds, but watermelon rind is safe for them.
We hope that the information and tips in this article will help your rabbit enjoy eating watermelon!