Although the popularity of keeping rabbits has gradually risen over the last several years, the number of inquiries we receive each month has climbed at a rate considerably faster than the number of individuals who actually own rabbits. We enjoy seeing this because it means that more and more rabbit owners are reaching out for advice on how to provide the best possible care for their pets, and we are always pleased to answer the questions that we see people asking.
When it comes to rabbits, the most often asked questions revolve around the issue of “What do rabbits eat?” One of the most specific inquiries we’ve heard regarding the sorts of food you should give your bunnies is whether or not they can eat apples. Due to a prominent YouTuber stating how they use apples with their rabbits a few weeks ago, we have seen a significant spike in the amount of people contacting us about using apples as food treats for rabbits. As a result, we’ve chosen to make this the topic of this post in order to assist as many of our readers as possible.
Pet rabbits will typically do well with red, yellow, and green apples added to their diet once or twice per week as a treat to supplement their vitamin and mineral needs, as long as you make sure you only use apples as an occasional treat in addition to a high-quality primary rabbit food. We will now look more closely at the advantages of include apples in your rabbit’s diet and how they may provide some surprise health benefits that many people miss.
Apples’ Vitamin and Mineral Content
The number one advantage of feeding your rabbit fresh vegetables or fruits is that they are high in vitamins and minerals, as the great majority of people might probably assume. Apples are no exception, and they may serve as a reliable source of vital nutrients in your pet’s diet. With so many rabbits consuming hay or other low nutrition foods as their major food source, it’s no surprise that so many rabbit owners prefer to supplement their pets’ diets with a multivitamin for rabbits.
As previously said, owing to the high sugar content of rabbits, they should only be used as an occasional treat and should not be used as a normal means to supplement your rabbit’s nutritional profile on a daily basis. However, red, yellow, and green apples all have a good breakdown of vitamins as well as an excellent mineral content, providing your rabbit with some strong health benefits. Although the specific nutritional information will vary depending on the variety of apple, the average apple includes high levels of the following vitamins:-
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Choline Betaine
In addition, the typical apple includes the following minerals:
- Fluoride of sodium
On top of that, the typical apple has approximately 3% fiber, and while this may not seem like much, ensuring that your pet rabbit receives adequate fiber, especially as it ages, is critical. Although constipation is very frequent in rabbits, it is not usually deadly, but impaction can cause significant health problems and even death. Although ensuring that your rabbit gets enough fiber does not guarantee that your pet will not get impaction, it does lower the chance.
This is far less prevalent in a younger rabbit, but the significance of fiber grows exponentially as your rabbit ages and the risk of impaction increases. This is why many rabbit owners who have elderly bunnies would feed them a high-fiber primary diet source. Anyway, apples are clearly on the higher end of all of the acceptable fruit and veg for rabbits when it comes to fiber, giving them another advantage.
If you consume apples, you are undoubtedly aware that the flavor varies greatly depending on the kind, and this is no different for your rabbits. The great majority of rabbits will consume green apples without hesitation, while some may refuse to eat red or yellow apples entirely, while others may pick at red or yellow versions. If you’re attempting to persuade your rabbit to eat apples for the first time, start with green apples and use modest portions owing to the high sugar level.
What Is the Appropriate Amount of Apple for Your Rabbit?
We can only advise on the serving size for an adult rabbit, but the normal guideline is to dice the apple into little quantities, slices that are generally a quarter of an inch thick are usually best, and then place the apple on a tablespoon. Once or twice a week, each adult rabbit should be given about the quantity of apple that you managed to put onto the tablespoon. Although rabbits may eat apples, you should avoid overdoing it owing to the significant sugar surge, and if you intend to incorporate apples into their diet, try to keep at least two days between meals.
If you are new to having a pet, you may wish to hand-feed the apple slices to your rabbit to assist speed up the bonding process. Many rabbit owners just put the apple to their pet’s hay diet, along with any other vegetables or fruits, and then leave for work or go about their daily lives. Your rabbit is then free to pick at the items as it pleases, and the apple provides a nutritious snack along the route.
Apples for Your Rabbit: How to Prepare Them
The most important thing to remember is to remove the seeds since the chemicals contained in them might be hazardous to your pets. As previously said, you should slice the apples before feeding them to your rabbit, but if you are placing whole apples in for your bunnies to nibble on, it is critical that you remove the cork as well as all of the seeds. This is generally done during the slicing process, and it may occasionally make things simpler.
Because so many goods are treated with pesticides during the cultivation phase to guard against insects devouring the crop, most people should also wash the apple for at least 30 seconds in cold water. Although the pesticides are tested for people, rabbits’ digestive systems are considerably more delicate, so spending the extra effort to check that there are no pesticides on the apples before feeding your rabbit is excellent.
After washing, we typically recommend slicing the apple into quarter-inch thick slices. This helps you to ensure that your pet rabbits will be able to eat the apple without it being a choking threat to them as well. Although it is usually recommended that you gradually introduce new foods into your rabbit’s diet, apples are usually fine due to their delicious taste and the fact that the vast majority of rabbits love green apples, with many of them also preferring to eat apples of other colors, although green tends to be the most popular.
Can Rabbits Eat Skinned Apples?
A lot of folks have stated that they will peel the apple before feeding it to their rabbits. Although there is a valid reason for this, owing to the skin of the apple being more difficult for a rabbit to digest, the skin also contains the majority of the fiber, therefore we typically recommend that you just use the slicing approach that we discussed before. That way, the skin will stay on and you will be able to ensure that it is in small enough bits for your rabbit to digest without difficulty.
Apple Substitutes for Your Rabbit
Although rabbits can eat apples, their high sugar level typically implies that you should pair them with other novel meals as well. Keeping all reward alternatives in moderation allows you to rotate through different sorts of treats throughout the week, keeping your pet rabbit’s diet new and exciting. Other wonderful fruit and vegetable alternatives you may provide for your pet rabbit include:
- Greens from beets
- Cauliflower, dark green
- Tops and roots of carrots
- Cauliflower and greens
- Curly Celery Kale
- Lettuce with salad greens
- Orange Mango
There should be lots of alternatives for you to be able to change it up each time and guarantee that your rabbit is getting enough vitamins and minerals. All of those alternatives may generally be added as a treat option to your rabbit’s normal diet, but be sure to rotate them and verify whether they should only be used in moderation before using them.
That takes us to the conclusion of our essay answering the topic, “Can rabbits eat apples?” Apples may be eaten by rabbits and can be a healthy supplement to your pet’s diet, but bear in mind that they are high in sugar and should be used rarely. Also, while your rabbit will eat an apple, he or she will generally prefer a green apple over any other hue. We hope you found our post useful and that we were able to assist you in preparing apples for your rabbit and adding them to their diet to help your pet obtain more important nutrients.