Many rabbit owners have a hard time deciding what would be best to feed their furry friend on a day to day basis. It is recommended that a rabbit’s daily intake consists of hay (around 80%), a small handful of pellets (10%), and some leafy nutritious vegetables (10%) with very little else.
This can seem rather boring to us and trying to find safe and nutritious ways to vary their diet can be challenging.
It is often thought that rabbits require fruit in their diet and this is just simply not true. Rabbits do not need fruit in their diet to stay fit and healthy and the addition of this foodstuff can have some adverse effects particularly on your rabbit’s digestive system.
One of the questions we were asked recently was whether or not rabbits can eat pomegranates and we felt compelled to answer this question in much more detail to help you decide if this would be a suitable and safe choice for your rabbit.
So, can rabbits eat pomegranate? Pomegranate is not an ideal food choice for rabbits. It is high in sugar and phosphorus content which is unhealthy for rabbits and can cause obesity. Too much of this fruit can cause stomach upsets and it can also be difficult to separate the seeds from the main part of the fruit which is dangerous for rabbits.
Pomegranate is a powerful antioxidant that is rich in Vitamin C and has been used for thousands of years in human medicine. It has some amazing healing effects and is often used as an anti-inflammatory and can be a great supplement for those dealing with arthritis or in need of some immune system support.
Unfortunately, pomegranate does not have the same amazing effects for rabbits and you may want to think twice before trying to add this fruit as an addition to your furry companions daily feed.
Problems With Feeding Rabbits Pomegranate
Some issues of feeding this fruit to your rabbit are as follows:
- Obesity – this fruit is high in sugar content
- Digestive problems – can cause stomach upsets and diarrhea
- Seeds – the seeds can be toxic for rabbits and can be difficult to separate
Pomegranate is a fruit that is very high in sugar content which is something your bunny should ideally avoid. Rabbits are rather prone to obesity and can put on unwanted extra weight very quickly by eating high sugar foods.
Part of the problem here is their inability to be able to exercise enough and burn off these extra calories. Rabbits send most of their life inside a cage and even with regular free exercise, it can be difficult for them to shed the pounds.
If you are trying to manage weight loss with your rabbit, it is best to avoid feeding pomegranate or other types of fruit that have high sugar content.
Pomegranates are high in sugar as well as acidic content, which can be particularly harsh on your rabbit’s delicate digestive system. Anything more than one tiny piece of pomegranate is likely to cause havoc to your furry friend’s stomach.
It isn’t uncommon for rabbits that have been eating this fruit to suffer from severe stomach aches which can often lead to loose stools and diarrhea. This isn’t a very pleasant experience for your rabbit and may result in a bigger clean-up job for you too.
In addition to the above, feeding pomegranates to your rabbit poses a threat thanks to its seed content. Seeds from pomegranates (like with many other fruit seeds) are toxic to rabbits. Even the smallest amount of intake can be a huge hazard for our furry friends.
Seeds can also potentially be a choking hazard for rabbits and should be avoided at all costs. With many fruits, it is possible to easily remove all traces of seeds so the fruit can be consumed safely and without risk.
One of the main problems with pomegranates is the fact the seeds are very ingrained into the fruit itself and are extremely difficult to separate. Since there are many alternative fruits and vegetables available that can be safely fed to rabbits it is best to avoid feeding pomegranates since the risk and side effects are just too high.
As you can see there are many reasons why pomegranates are not a good choice for your rabbit. Even the smallest amount can be risky and cause a lot of upset. It is always best to stick to the basics when it comes to feeding rabbits.
80% of a rabbit’s diet should consist of hay which is considered the main staple of the diet. Pellets in small hand full are safe for daily feeding, but should only consist of around 10% of the overall diet. It is best to make up the remaining 10% of the diet by feeding leafy vegetables.
You can always mix this up and include vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, courgettes, and broccoli to provide a bit more variety to your rabbits daily feed. Fruits such as pomegranates are just unnecessary.
Can rabbits eat pomegranate rind?
It is not a good idea to feed your rabbit Pomegranate rind. It is tough to eat and tastes quite possibly vile!
Rabbits may seem like they eat a boring diet, but they do still like foodstuff that tastes good and are particularly partial to anything that tastes sweet. The fleshy part of pomegranates may taste nice, but the rind is a different kettle of fish altogether.
The rind and white membranes surrounding the arils are very bitter and acidic. It is most unlikely that your rabbit will even want to entertain this.
It can be difficult for them to eat and we do not believe this is an exciting prospect for them. Rabbits will generally only eat food items that are tasty and palatable and pomegranate rind is unlikely to fit the bill.
Can rabbits eat pomegranate seeds?
No, rabbits cannot eat pomegranate seeds. The seeds of most fruit are dangerous for rabbits to eat since they are considered toxic.
If eaten in small quantities you may find that your rabbit is not affected negatively, however, if eaten in large quantities can be highly dangerous for rabbits to consume.
It can often be very difficult to separate the seeds from the flesh in pomegranates and since there are so many seeds found in the fruit it can be dangerous for rabbits. They may even eat the seeds without realizing it.
Since the seeds have no nutritional value for our furry companions and the risk of toxicity is so high it makes complete sense to leave this out of your rabbit’s diet altogether.
Can rabbits eat pomegranate leaves?
Yes, it is generally safe for rabbits to eat pomegranate leaves. This is considered the safest part for rabbits to eat.
The leaves contain no seeds that can be poisonous in large doses as well as being a choking hazard. Pomegranate leaves are nutritious and fit in much better with the rabbit’s overall dietary needs.
The leaves of pomegranates have known to help aid weight loss which can be ideal if your bunny has been packing on the pounds recently or doesn’t get enough exercise to burn off all those unwanted calories.
Pomegranate leaves, unfortunately, do not have much taste about them and there is always the possibility your rabbit will not like the taste of them. There is an element of trial and error required with this type of leaf.
Some rabbits seem to love them whilst others are happy to turn their noses up. The good news is, there are plenty of other great tasting leafy greens instead should your bunny decide pomegranate leaves are not for them.
Can rabbits drink pomegranate juice?
Pomegranate juice is not ideal for rabbits to drink. Most commercially produced pomegranate juice for human consumption contains lots of added extras, in particular sugar, to make it taste better.
In terms of liquids, it is always best to supply your rabbit with clean, fresh water at all times.
Rabbits do not require anything fancy or out of the norm to drink. The addition of pomegranate juice into their diet is not likely to contribute towards their health or wellbeing in any way. It is likely to have a negative effect since it is so high in sugar content.
Obesity can be a problem for rabbits and this drink is one they could probably do without.
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