Last Updated on May 27, 2023 by keno
Rabbits are herbivores that feed on hay, fresh vegetables, and a limited amount of pellets as well as fruits. However, for the latter, most owners often ask, can rabbits eat grapes specifically? This article looks at whether rabbits can eat grapes, the nutritional value the fruit provides, and precisely what quantity to feed your bunnies.
Can rabbits eat grapes?
The short answer is yes, rabbits can eat grapes, however, feed them occasionally. In other words, offer them as treats to supplement your rabbit’s main hay diet. We recommend feeding a medium or dwarf-sized rabbit half a grape per serving and a whole grape for larger breeds per serving, twice or thrice per week.
On the other hand, rabbits that are less than 12 weeks old shouldn’t eat grapes or any fruit for that matter. This is mainly due to their sensitive digestive system that doesn’t tolerate sugary fruit content at that age.
Some of the edible parts of grapes are the fruit, leaves, and stems. As for the fruit, you can also feed your bunny raisins (dried or canned grapes). Nonetheless, even though raisins are much smaller in size, they’re more sugary than your regular grape. As a result, feed your bunny only one raisin per week. Lastly, besides feeding your bunny grapes as treats, spice things up by adding vegetables sparingly and hay into the mix.
Introducing Grapes to your rabbit’s Diet
Prior to offering your rabbit grapes, thoroughly wash the fruit to remove dirt or any pesticide residues. Then proceed by removing the seed which normally has a high likelihood of choking your rabbit. Finally, when introducing a grape diet to your bunny for the first time, do so gradually and moderately.
You can limit the portion to a small single piece of the grape. If it’s the first time feeding your bunny grapes monitor their behavior for the next 24 hours. If your bunny has diarrhea or signs of discomfort, seize feeding them grapes and contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.
The Nutritional Value of Grapes
Grapes are a healthy rabbit treat but only when served occasionally and sparingly as a treat. The fruit contains vitamins C, E, and K. It’s also rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium, and phosphorous. Both the vitamins and minerals mentioned contribute to the overall health and development of your rabbit. Lastly, grapes also contain antioxidants that help improve your bunny’s immunity.
Risks of Feeding rabbit excessive grapes
Rabbits’ digestive system is usually optimized for a diet that’s high in fiber and low in sugar. Although grapes aren’t poisonous to bunnies, feeding them excessively has some negative health effects.
For instance, the high sugar content in grapes for consuming a lot of grapes can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea or bloating. Additionally, your bunny may also suffer from gastrointestinal stasis, a condition that slows down or stops a rabbit’s digestion entirely. The condition may be life-threatening if left untreated.
The other risk of feeding rabbits excessive grapes is the high probability of your bunnies developing dental issues, obesity, or diabetes over time.
Feeding your rabbits too many grapes may turn them into picky eaters. This is mainly due to bunnies developing a sweet tooth, sometimes to the extent of even failing to consume hay or vegetables.
Although rabbits can eat grapes, consider them as treats, only feed your bunnies occasionally and do so moderately. Regardless of the nutritional benefits grapes have, they equally contain high sugar levels. As a result, your rabbit’s primary diet should consist of hay, substituted with vegetables, a limited amount of pellets, and fruits.