We all know what grapes are, and we, humans, enjoy them whether fresh, in fruit salads, as raisins, or as wine. But can rabbits eat grapes?
You know Aesop’s famous fable about the fox that can’t reach the grapes and says they’re sour. It’s probably what your bunny would say if he knew how dangerous grapes are for the whole rabbit kind.
Still, there’s something you can do. The key is moderation. Read this article to wage the pros and cons of introducing grapes into your rabbit’s diet, plus safety tips and recommendations to do it properly.
Grapes are packed in polyphenols
These antioxidants have been shown to decrease the risk of various cancers, or even the growth of tumours.
Grapes keep the heart healthy
Various animal studies show that antioxidants paired with the high potassium content in grapes can decrease the risk of heart issues, including blood pressure.
Grapes pack a lot of fibre
Rabbits are herbivores, and their digestive systems have evolved to ferment fibre-rich foods. As such, grapes fit the digestive profile of your rabbit and will keep your bunny’s guts healthy.
Grapes contain a lot of water, apart from the fibre
This combination helps your rabbit stay hydrated and have regular bowel movements.
Grapes are rich in vitamins and minerals
Your rabbit needs these micronutrients to stay healthy and happy.
Grapes are high in calories
Unfortunately, domestic rabbits are prone to obesity because they exercise less than wild rabbits and because their human parents can exaggerate with treats. It’s best to limit the intake of grapes as not to make your rabbit obese and generate a whole range of health issues, from bone and joint pain to cardiovascular and respiratory issues.
Grapes are high in sugar
Excess sugar on the long-term leads to diabetes, which weakens the immune system and decreases the life quality of your rabbit.
Grapes are mushy
Rabbits digestive systems are not good at digesting mushy foods, which is why grapes can cause your bunny diarrhoea and gas.
How Much Grape Can I Feed My Rabbit? Tips And Recommendations
Your rabbit’s diet should consist primarily of fresh hay, with some pellets, and a small portion of vegetables and fruits, including grapes.
Grapes can be included in your rabbit’s diet in moderation. As a rule of thumb for rabbits, one serving size of grapes is 1.5 ounces for six pounds of body weight.
Give grapes to your adult rabbit a maximum of one time per week.
Introduce grapes gradually into your rabbit’s diet
Start with half a grape and watch for any allergic reactions, that may include diarrhoea, bloating, vomiting, lack of appetite, or apathy.
It’s best not to give your baby rabbit any grapes at all
Baby rabbits should start eating alfalfa hay when they’re about 6 or 8 weeks old. The benchmark when your rabbit can start sampling veggies is 12 weeks, but it’s wise to introduce sugar-packed fruits like grapes a little later.
Your rabbit can eat both green and red grapes
Simply because they have similar properties.
You should wash the grapes thoroughly
Before offering them to your rabbit, make sure you wash them properly. Especially if these grapes aren’t organic and have been sprayed with pesticides.
- Cut the grapes in half before offering them to your rabbit, to reduce the risk of choking.
- Ask your vet whether you can give grapes to your rabbit because overweight or obese rabbits might not be allowed this sugary treat.
- You can give grape leaves, stems, and roots to your bunny because these aren’t toxic and are lower in sugar than the actual grape.
- Avoid feeding raisins to your rabbit because these pack almost twice as much sugar as fresh grapes.