The majority of us love to bite into a juicy watermelon slice on a sunny day, although is it safe to share this delicious treat with our bunny companions?
The plain and simple answer is Yes. Rabbits can eat watermelon.
In saying this, watermelon is a fruit high in sugar which should only be given to any animal in moderation. It is important to read on to find out the facts prior to jumping in and giving your bunny some watermelon slices.
Excessive consumption of watermelon can have a laxative effect. Watermelon should only be offered to adult rabbits that have a fully functioning digestive tract. We do not recommend offering a young bunny any watermelon.
When offering you rabbit watermelon, always do so as a treat or reward. Watermelon should never be offered as a meal or replacement of grains.
Watermelon is high in natural sugars that can be broken down in the human body. Unfortunately, these sugars cannot be broken down by a rabbit. This is fine in small amounts as the sugars will be passed in their stools although if large amounts of sugary watermelon is consumed, the rabbit’s digestive tract will struggle. Extensive amounts of watermelon can lead to loose stools, diarrhea, gas or loss of appetite in a rabbit.
Feeding Your Rabbit Watermelon
If your rabbit has never been fed watermelon before ensure you initially give him/her a small portion. Wait a day to see how your rabbit reacts and if their stool is of normal coloring and texture. This allows an owner to rule out any intolerance the rabbit may have.
Always ensure you feed watermelon to your rabbit in moderation. One to two servings a week of fresh watermelon is more than enough. Cut the watermelon you offer your bunny rabbit into small cubes that he can eat without too much mess or difficulty. Bathing a rabbit can be traumatizing for them and yourself so consider this when offering watermelon.
Feeding your rabbit watermelon too often can allow him to think he will get it all the time. This can result in your rabbit refusing to eat other foods. Just like us humans, rabbits too can develop a sweet tooth.
Fruit should always be less than 10% of your rabbits diet to ensure they remain healthy and happy. Many owners don’t know that the leading cause of death in rabbits is from lack of proper nutrients. As an owner you need to delegate sweet foods correctly.
Can I Feed my Rabbit Watermelon Rind or Seeds?
Feeding your rabbit seeded watermelon is not recommended. Due to how small some rabbits are, the seeds can obstruct their intestinal tract. If your rabbit suffers a blockage in their intestines it may prevent them from toileting and lead to them becoming ill.
In terms of rind, rabbits can eat it without any complications. In actual fact, the rind is better for your rabbit than watermelon flesh is. Watermelon rind has more fiber and less sugar. Ensure that the tougher green outer skin is small enough for your rabbit to digest. Chewing on a watermelon rind is not only a nice treat but can be a bit of fun for a rabbit.
Benefits of Feeding a Rabbit Watermelon
Watermelons are primarily made up of pure water. Due to the high water component in watermelon, it will help your rabbit stay hydrated in the hot Summer months. While it may hydrate your rabbit some, they can go without watermelon entirely and be hydrated by consuming their usual hay, pellets and water.
Watermelon contains some vitamins including A and C along with magnesium that can add to a rabbits well-being. Vitamin A in particular is great for rabbits because it helps with their immune system. Choline found in watermelon can work to improve your rabbits sleep and muscle functions.
Now that you have read the safety regarding feeding your rabbit watermelon, you can go ahead and give your rabbit a sweet treat. The majority of bunny rabbits will dig straight into the juicy watermelon you offer. Leave a comment below and let us know how you go feeding your rabbit watermelon.