A rabbit’s digestive system can go wrong in the blink of an eye, either due to stress or improper diet. That’s why, as a responsible rabbit owner, you should make sure your rabbit can comfortably digest food before feeding him.
For this vital information, make your vet a close friend and never tire of researching diet information regarding your bunny. If you’ve done this, you know bunnies can eat certain fruits, including apples and bananas.
But this doesn’t mean they can eat all human fruits. That said, can rabbits eat watermelons?
Keep reading to find out.
Can Rabbits Eat Watermelon?
Yes, rabbits can safely eat watermelon as a treat, so if you’ve been thinking about sharing some with your pet, feel free to do so.
The fruit contains mostly water, making it an excellent hydrating solution for those hot summer months. However, it shouldn’t replace your bunny’s meals. Watermelon should only be fed to your rabbit as an occasional treat, like other fruits.
Rabbits have a complex digestive system, and their diet should contain high amounts of fiber, hence the constant amount of hay and grass. Though watermelon is perfectly safe for your bunny, it has little fiber, so it can never be a meal option for rabbits.
In addition, it should be sliced into tiny pieces so your bunny can have an easy time eating it. And remember, a human’s small size is gigantic to bunnies, so make it as minute as possible. This way, you can track the amount of watermelon you feed your bunny because too much is not good, especially since the fruit is sugary.
What Part of Watermelon Can Rabbits Eat?
Watermelon—as a fruit—contains the red flesh (what humans eat), the rind (the white part between the flesh and the tough green skin), plus seeds.
So what part can rabbits eat? The red flesh is okay as a treat but, as I said, should be fed once in a while.
While humans often throw the rind away, it’s the healthiest option for bunnies. So yes, bunnies can safely eat watermelon rinds, and they are beneficial to them. They contain high fiber and are less sugary.
As for the seeds, remove all of them from the watermelon before feeding it to your bunny. This is because they can be trapped in your bunny’s feeding pipe, posing a severe health risk.
Watermelon leaves and stems are also safe but not ideal for bunnies.
How Much Watermelon Can a Rabbit Eat?
Watermelon should be treated as a reward for bunnies. As a rule of thumb, only feed once or twice a week and in small amounts.
A preferable amount is 1-2 tablespoons for every five pounds of your bunny’s weight. This means the bigger the bunny, the more the watermelon.
Remember to wash it thoroughly and chop it into tiny bits when feeding. You should also introduce it slowly if your bunny is new to the fruit.
Do Watermelons Offer Nutritional Benefits to Bunnies?
Yes, watermelons are not just treats but offer some nutritional value to bunnies. Though I must say, the nutrition content is not much, especially since the fruit is almost 90% water.
According to nutritionvalue, the fruit contains 4% fat, about 89% carbohydrates, and 7% protein. It has very little fiber, so any owner who opts to leave it out in their rabbit’s diet is not missing much.
100g of raw watermelon
Benefits of Watermelons for Bunnies
Its high water content makes it ideal for summer treats. But apart from the water, there is nothing much in terms of nutrition.
It contains some vitamin C and potassium, but its other major content is carbohydrates and sugar. That’s why you are advised to feed it in moderation, as too much sugar can lead to obesity.
Can Watermelons Make Rabbits Sick?
If fed in bulk, watermelons can result in some health risks. Its high sugar content may lead to obesity, which can result in serious illness in severe cases.
The same sugar content may lead to diarrhea if you feed too many potions of watermelon at once. This is especially so if your bunny is new to this fruit.
That’s why it’s always advised to feed in small bits while monitoring until your bunny can safely digest the fruit.
Seeds can also cause intestinal blockage if not removed. In addition, your bunny can get used to the sugar in watermelon if fed frequently, making him a picky eater. He may refuse nutritious foods and only want sweet treats.
How to Feed Your Bunny Watermelons
Assuming you are feeding him for the first time, follow these steps:
- Get a ripe organic watermelon from the market, then wash it thoroughly until clean.
- Cut it into tiny bits and introduce it slowly by serving a small portion at first, monitoring for a few days, and increasing the size if he responds perfectly.
- Another important takeaway is to always introduce one new food at a time. What I mean is not to introduce new foods at once. Do it one at a time so you can monitor your bunny and know what works best for him.
- Remove all the seeds, then feed them to your bunny.
- If you wish to feed your bunny rinds, go for those organic watermelons because they use different chemicals that may cause intestinal problems.
Even if your bunny is not new to watermelon, always wash the fruit thoroughly, remove the seeds, and slice it into bits before feeding it to your furry friend.
You don’t want to cause a health risk to this sensitive animal, more so with something as careless as serving huge chunks or not washing the fruit.
Watermelons can be safely eaten by rabbits, who can enjoy the delicious sweet treat. However, they must eat in moderation since too much sugar in the fruit may lead to weight gain or other serious illnesses.
Besides, every rabbit owner should observe strict health guidelines like feeding a tablespoon or two of the fruit for every five pounds of rabbit weight. Another critical step is thoroughly cleaning the fruit to eliminate any dirt or sprayed chemicals that may affect your bunny.
If you stick to these simple but essential guidelines, you can safely feed your rabbit watermelon without causing any health risks.