Can Rabbits Eat Apples?

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The short answer is yes. Rabbits can eat apples.

Don’t stop reading just yet, though.

If rabbits can eat apples has a more complex answer: it depends. 

Read the article below to find out how many apples you should give them, how often, plus a lot of pros and cons of introducing apples in your bunny’s diet.

PROS

Apples contain a lot of fibre

Your rabbit’s diet should consist mainly of fibre. One difference between human and rabbits is that food undergoes a process called peristalsis in humans. This process moves the food along our intestines. Because rabbits are herbivores, they haven’t developed peristalsis because fibres transport the food “down the drain.”

Apples are packed in water

can rabbits eat apple seeds

Rabbits need to hydrate, and they generally do that by eating grass, hay, and weeds in the wild. A few pieces of an apple never hurt, though.

Apples are rich in potassium

Some rabbits are prone to cardiovascular problems, and potassium is an important nutrient that strengthens the heart.

Apples pack antioxidants

Antioxidants fight free radicals and strengthen the immune system. Rabbits are prone to all sorts of cancers and chronic illnesses, so their immune systems need to be as strong as possible.

CONS

Apple cores, stems, and seeds are toxic

These apple parts pack a chemical called cyanogenic glycoside that triggers GI problems such as diarrhoea and bloating, plus respiratory and cardiovascular issues. Of course, you can eliminate this con simply by removing the core and stems before offering the apple to your rabbit.

Apples have high sugar content

Sugar is bad for rabbits because it helps bad gut bacteria thrive and fight their good gut bacteria. That’s because rabbits’ intestines haven’t evolved to ferment sugar, but grass and weeds. Besides, too much sugar can lead to obesity, dental issues, and diabetes, and rabbits are already at risk for these issues.

Apples can contain chemicals and pesticides

Although you can give your rabbit apples with skin because the skins are rich in fibre, it’s best to wash the apples carefully beforehand to get rid of the possible pesticides in the skin.

How Many Apples Should I Feed My Rabbit?

Rabbits are herbivores and they eat mainly hay, grass, weeds, and plants.

Wild rabbits can eat wild apples when they can reach them. These apples are not as sweet as the genetically modified apples in our supermarkets, and rabbits can only get to them when they fall down in the autumn. 

In the wild, rabbits eat apples a few times per year and these apples are low in sugar.

Follow this principle before offering your rabbit any apples, and use apples as an occasional treat. Just a few slices are enough, but remember to:

Start small

Offer your rabbit just a small piece of apple the first time and notice for allergic reactions or GI problems. Increase the amounts of apples you’re giving it gradually.

Limit apples to two or three times per week

If you have a Dwarf rabbit, make it one to two times per week max. The rule of thumb for fruit servings is one teaspoon for each pound of bodyweight.

Wash the apples carefully

Remove the stems and cores, and cut them into small pieces.

Baby rabbits should not be given apples

It’s a good idea to wait until your rabbit is at least 12 weeks old before introducing any sorts of vegetables/ fruits treats and snacks.

Your rabbit can eat both red and green apples

Green apples are also rich in nutrients, water, and fibre, plus lower in sugar. The only disadvantage is that your rabbit might not like how they taste, but it doesn’t hurt to try. 

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