You probably know that rabbits need to eat a healthy diet consisting primarily of fresh hay, with the addition of quality pellets. They can also receive some snacks and treats once in a while, but can rabbits eat cucumber safely?
This article will answer that question. Let’s start with the short answer: yes, you can give your bunny cucumbers. But how much and how often is another matter.
Let’s dig in.
Why Are Cucumbers Good For You?
Cucumbers pack a lot of water. In fact, water amounts to 95% of their ingredients, so they’re a good source of hydration.
Take a bite of a cucumber and you’ll notice it’s a bit colder than other snacks. That’s not a subjective sensation. Because of their high water content, cucumbers are cooler than other foods.
Their temperature and high water content make cucumbers a good snack for those scorching days of summer when you need to hydrate and stay cool.
Cucumbers are also packed with vitamins and minerals, the most important of which is silica. Silica keeps your bone system and skin healthy and strong. You’ve probably heard about those cucumber masks by now, and it’s not just marketing.
- Cucumbers contain essential micronutrients. Cucumbers have potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Rabbits, just like humans, need all these vitamins to thrive. However, other vegetables and fruit contain these micronutrients in higher proportions. So while cucumbers are healthy for rabbits, there are possibly healthier options. As such, you can give your rabbit a few pieces of cucumber, but try to incorporate other veggies into its diet.
- Cucumbers are good for skin and bones. It’s well known that rabbits have frail bones and that sometimes they can develop dental problems. The high content of silica in cucumbers helps prevent some of these issues.
- Cucumbers help with overgrown teeth. Cucumbers are crunchy so they’re a natural way of trimming down your rabbit’s teeth. Rabbits’ teeth never stop growing, and so these fluffy beasts need to eat a diet consisting primarily of crunchy, fibrous foods.
- Cucumbers can give your bunny diarrhoea. Remember that cucumbers are 95% water. In the wild, rabbits don’t drink a lot of fresh water because they take most of it from the green grass and weeds they eat.
In captivity, rabbits eat about 80% fresh hay, so they get a lot of water from that. They also have their own water trays if they feel thirsty.
While cucumbers are delicious for rabbits, their high water intake can trigger diarrhoea if you give your rabbit too many cucumbers.
Fresh cucumbers assist your bunny’s digestion, but they can also ruin it. Rabbits are herbivores, so their intestines have adapted to host bacteria that can decompose hay. Hay is difficult to ferment, but cucumber is not.
When you feed your rabbit too much cucumber, you’re going to create different types of bacteria in your rabbit’s intestines, aka bacteria that can break down easy-to-ferment foods. In this case, your bunny will experience gas and bloating.
But small pieces of fresh cucumbers help your rabbit’s digestion because cucumbers give your bunny some of the micronutrients it needs for a healthy life.
How Many Cucumbers Should I Feed My Rabbit? Tips and Tricks
- Don’t feed your rabbit cucumbers daily. Two or three times per week is enough.
- Start with a small, thin slice and watch for adverse reactions.
- Give your rabbit just one thin slice per day, thrice per week during the first week. Increase the quantity to two slices the second week.
- After three weeks, your rabbit can eat a few slices of cucumber in one sitting if there aren’t any negative effects.
- Rabbits can also safely eat cucumber peal, which is high in fibre.
- Rabbits can eat cucumber leaves and blossoms too because they’re packed in nutrients.
- You don’t need to take out the cucumber seeds because they are soft, tiny, and not toxic.
- Wash the cucumber before giving it to your bunny to remove potential pesticides.
- Don’t give young rabbits cucumbers. Your rabbit should be at least 3 months old before receiving this snack.