Can rabbits eat pumpkins? Can bunnies eat pumpkins? We want our pets to have the healthiest diet possible so that they can have long, healthy lives, and maybe a little selfishly to have more time with them here with us.
Naturally, we turn to food that we know to be healthy for us, sometimes forgetting that the food we humans consume to make sure we have a balanced and healthy diet may not always agree with our furry companion’s stomach.
Is Pumpkin Safe For Rabbits?
One such ingredient you make be scratching your head over when it comes to feeding your bunny is pumpkin. We often eat it as pumpkin pie over the holidays, but can rabbits eat pumpkin safely? The answer is yes, rabbits can eat pumpkin, but there are some things you may want to consider before you start serving up the autumnal treat to your rabbit.
The Benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkins are packed full of beneficial nutrients for rabbits and humans alike. The fruit contains loads of beta carotene, which is good for your rabbit’s eye health and vision and contributes to a stronger immune system and healthier skin and mucous membranes. Pumpkins also contain vitamins C and E and iron and folate, all of which build a strong and healthy immune system.
Restrictions of Feeding Pumpkin to Rabbits
While rabbits can eat pumpkins, certain restrictions need to be kept in mind. According to rabbitcaretips.com when it comes to pumpkin, rabbits should only be consuming raw pumpkin flesh and seeds (so no sharing your pie with them).
Your rabbits should not be consuming pumpkin more than 2-3 times a week, and as Lou Carter (rabbitcaretips.com) explains, your rabbits should only consume “2 tablespoons of raw pumpkin flesh per 5 pounds of body weight.”
Do Rabbits Even Like Pumpkin? Can rabbits Eat Pumpkin?
While there are sure to be exceptions, most rabbits enjoy pumpkins because of their mild sweetness. However, it is because of its sweetness and the fact that pumpkin is a carbohydrate that rabbit parents need to be extra careful. Even though it is safe for rabbits to eat pumpkin, like all things, it needs to be consumed in moderation.
What Happens If My Rabbit Eat Too Much Pumpkin?
Pumpkins are sweet and contain natural sugars and carbohydrates. Like humans, carbs can create several issues for rabbits, such as bloating, gas, upset stomach, and diarrhea. So sticking to the above-mentioned recommendations of no more than two tablespoons per five pounds is key.
What to Avoid
Rabbit parents want to avoid overindulging their furry companion with pumpkin. According to the folks over at vetexplainpets.com, you must make sure you have thoroughly washed the pumpkin before offering it to your pet, as it may still have residual pesticides clinging to the rind. We asked before, can bunnies eat pumpkins? You also want to avoid giving pumpkin to baby rabbits as they have difficulty processing it, and the pumpkin could become a potential choking hazard.
Do You Know?
Take a look at another blog post we have prepared on rabbit food – Can Rabbits Eat Cherries?
How to Prepare the Pumpkin
According to vetexplainpets.com make sure you thoroughly rinse off your pumpkin. Remove the stem and cut the pumpkin flesh into small, bite-sized pieces for your rabbit. If your rabbit leaves a remnant of the pumpkin behind in their cage after several hours, make sure to clean the leftover pumpkin from the space as the old pumpkin could cause an upset stomach and/or sickness.
Feeding Your Rabbit Safely
It can be tricky trying to figure out what foods are safe for your animals. It is important to remember to try new foods slowly if the rabbit has an unexpected aversion to the food. Rest assured that your rabbit will most likely enjoy pumpkin very much, and now you know how they can consume it safely.