You’re eating a slice of cantaloupe, and your rabbits are watching you longingly. Would it be okay to share with them? Can rabbits eat cantaloupe? Yes, they can! In fact, it’s good for them in moderation.
The Benefits of Cantaloupe For Rabbits
Cantaloupes are high in Vitamins A, B, and C; antioxidants; potassium; phosphorus; folate; and beta carotene. All provide important nutrients for rabbits.
Cantaloupe also has high water content, so it will keep your bunnies well hydrated. Moreover, it’s a good source of fiber and is low-calorie. You’d think a fruit with so many essential nutrients would be the perfect food for rabbits. But it does have one drawback.
Cantaloupe contains moderate amounts of sugar. If you’re not careful, that sugar could cause health problems like stomach upset and obesity. If your rabbits are overweight, it would be a good idea to take cantaloupe off the menu until they slim down.
How often should bunnies eat Cantaloupe?
Giving them small portions a few times a week would be best. But don’t give them storebought treats on days when there’s no cantaloupe. Find another nutritious snack instead. Storebought treats are made of sugar and starch. Rabbits love them, but they have no nutritional value.
How to Feed Your Rabbit Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe is easy to feed, but it does take some preparation.
- As you would with any fruit or vegetable you eat yourself, rinse it thoroughly.
- Cut the cantaloupe in half and remove every single seed. Seeds can be a choking hazard for rabbits.
- Next cut it into quarters and then smaller and smaller chunks until you have bite-sized pieces. You can leave the rind on if you want to. Some rabbits will eat it and some won’t. If they eat it, they’ll get still more beneficial fiber and sugar.
- Put the cantaloupe into small bowls, one for each rabbit. Adult rabbits can eat about one teaspoon per two pounds of body weight.
Foods to Avoid that Are not Good For Rabbits
Rabbits have sensitive digestive systems, and some foods can cause serious stomach upset or even be fatal.
Rabbits’ bodies are designed to consume hay. A treat of cantaloupe or another fruit is fine a few times a week and provides some extra nutrients and variety. But check this list before you share your food with your bunnies.
- Yogurt drops: These may look like a great treat, but they can be lethal. They can led to enterotoxemia, an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in the intestines.
- Chocolate: Chocolate can be deadly to rabbits… and dogs and cats.
- Bread, pasta, cookies, and crackers: These, too, can lead to enterotoxemia.
- Avocado: This is one fruit to avoid. It can be deadly if eaten by a rabbit.
- Iceberg lettuce: It and other light-colored leafy greens contain lactucarium, which could be harmful to your rabbits’ health. And since it’s mostly water, it has no nutritional value.
- Chard: Avoid it. It can cause bloating and colic.
- Hamster food: No, the bunny and hampster can’t share! Hampster food doesn’t have enough fiber for rabbits.
- Peanut butter: The high-fat content can cause diarrhea and dehydration.
- Potatoes: Your bunny’s digestive system won’t appreciate this starchy treat.
- Meat: Your rabbit probably wouldn’t eat it even if you offered it. But rabbits are herbivores and don’t need meat.
- Cauliflower: can cause bloating. If you want to give your rabbits veggies, try green peppers.
Is Cantaloupe Safe For Bunnies?
Yes, Cantaloupe is safe for bunnies like many other fresh fruits and veggies. Just remember to give them these nutritious treats in moderation.
Rabbits can eat cantaloupe, but it is not their favorite fruit. If you want to give your rabbit a healthy treat, try giving them something like blueberries or peaches instead!