You’ve probably heard that some fruit are healthy and safe for your pet bunny to eat. The banana is one of these fruits, the other is – surprise, surprise – the pineapple.
Pineapples are tangy, acidic but highly nutritious fruits. They can be healthy snacks for your rabbits as long as they are given in moderation.
While bunnies eating pineapple has certain health benefits, this fruit is not part of their natural diet. Thus, pineapples should not be part of the rabbit’s everyday staple food.
In this article, I have done all the necessary research so you don’t have to search any further for information about feeding your rabbit pineapple.
I will discuss here the advantages, disadvantages as well as the proper way to introduce this fruit to your rabbit’s diet.
- 1 Can Rabbits Eat Pineapple?
- 2 Do Rabbits Like Pineapple?
- 3 Can I Feed my Rabbit Pineapple Leaves?
- 4 What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Feeding Pineapple to Rabbits?
- 5 How many pineapples should I feed my Rabbit?
- 6 How should I introduce Pineapple to my Pet Rabbit?
- 7 Conclusion
Can Rabbits Eat Pineapple?
Yes, rabbits can eat small amounts of Pineapple. There are nutrients in pineapple that your rabbit can get benefits from. However, this fruit is not part of a rabbit’s natural diet. Some people often have the misconception that since rabbits are herbivores, then they can eat anything that is fruit-based or plant-based.
This isn’t true. Rabbits in the wild mostly eat grass, thus their biological capacities are geared towards digesting and harnessing the benefits of grass. For domestic rabbits, hay is one of their primary sources of energy.
As a rule of thumb, rabbit owners are always advised to always provide hay to their rabbits. A healthy rabbit should have a diet of 80% hay and 10% mixed salads/leafy greens. If you’d like to feed your rabbit with a pineapple then you can half the 10% reserved for mixed leafy greens.
You can probably have a rabbit meal containing less than 5% pineapple. But do this infrequently. Never give your rabbits pineapple every day. They should only occasioanlly nibble on them like treats.
Do Rabbits Like Pineapple?
Rabbits like pineapple if portion control is not applied, rabbits might become addicted to it. You might find that your rabbits binky whenever they see you holding the fruit, or if they smell that pineapple is nearby.
Rabbits, do not necessarily know what’s the best for them, as long as the food tastes yummy then it’s an absolute fave for them. Thus, the responsibility to keep our pets healthy by giving them nutritious food lies completely on our shoulders.
Pineapples contain glucose, which is essentially a kind of sugar that gives the fruit its sweet taste. Rabbits have sweet tooth thus, they love pineapples.
If given constantly, they can develop a fondness for it. Too much sugar can cause weight gain for your rabbits and you need to keep your rabbit within their weight limit for them to live healthy lives.
Rather than always having the fruit included in their daily staple, you can use pineapples as an occasional treat.
Can I Feed my Rabbit Pineapple Leaves?
The only part of the pineapple that can be fed to a rabbit is the fruit itself. Do not feed your rabbit pineapple leaves and pineapple peels.
Pineapple leaves have thorns and sharp edges and their peels also have the same characteristics. Chewing on the leaves can injure your rabbit’s tongue.
Also, pineapple peels and leaves may contain traces of pesticides that can be harmful to your rabbits.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Feeding Pineapple to Rabbits?
There are nutritional benefits of feeding your rabbits pineapple. One of the most abundant nutrients that can be found in Pineapples is Vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps improve your bunny’s immunity to diseases, especially scurvy-like illnesses. Also, Vitamin C is very magical in that it is a strong and effective antioxidant.
What does this mean? It means that feeding your rabbits with Pineapple can help get rid of freed radicals in the bunny’s body.
Less free radicals in our pets mean fewer chances of having them suffer from chronic diseases such as colds, arthritis, and the dreaded and almost always fatal, cancer.
Aside from this, pineapples also have fiber content thus they can aid in your rabbit’s digestion. Other nutrients in this fruit are given as follows:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
However, some dangers can come from your rabbits consuming too much of this fruit. If there’s one thing that is vastly different between hay and pineapple it’s the fact that pineapples are high in sugar.
Sugar is not good for your rabbits, it increases their weight, which could become uncontrollable and thus lead to other problematic issues such as diabetes.
Obesity in rabbits is not cute – a lot of people always think that the fatter the pet the cuter they are- and while we seem to have this unending penchant for all things fluffy, the truth of the matter is a fat rabbit is an unhealthy rabbit.
Rabbits, tend to live a long life, some of them can reach up to more than a decade of living but obesity severely cuts down their chances to live a long and healthy life.
Also, too much sugar in rabbits can cause issues in the workings of their digestive tracts. I’ve always mentioned in this blog how rabbit digestion is essential to their health. And while pineapple has digestive fibers, too much of it can override its benefit.
You can always tell if your rabbit is having more sugar by the number of cecotropes that they produce. They should not be producing too many cecotropes, if you have observed that there have been cecotropes laying around lately, then cut down on treats and double down on hay and fiber.
How many pineapples should I feed my Rabbit?
As a rule of thumb, you should not be feeding more than 20 grams of pineapple to your rabbits.
This is for medium to large-sized rabbits, if you don’t have an ingredient scale it is safe to assume that large/medium rabbits can’t have more than one tablespoon of pineapple while mini/dwarf breeds should not have pineapples that exceed one teaspoon of serving.
Also, you should feed pineapple twice a week only. Do not make it a staple, this will prevent your rabbits from getting addicted to it. If rabbits get addicted to a certain food they might be unwilling to eat their normal staple.
Think of it like someone who is addicted to caffeine, this person probably says that they refuse to start any day without getting their caffeine fix and that’s what rabbits feel. No pineapple, no eating. Rabbits can be very headstrong and stubborn thus this can be a behavior that will be very hard to correct.
How should I introduce Pineapple to my Pet Rabbit?
In the previous sections, I’ve discussed if rabbits like pineapple and if it’s a safe and nutritious food fr them. Now that we’ve learned that it has benefits for rabbits, I’ll go further into how you can introduce this to your pet’s diet.
I usually follow my personal 3 golden rules for introducing new food to your pet bunnies.
1. Go natural
I’m an advocate for going organic. If you can afford it, you should source only organically grown pineapples to be fed to your rabbits. Organic pineapples do not contain harmful pesticides that can be toxic to your rabbit.
Also, going natural means not feeding your rabbits with dried or canned pineapple. These commercially produced products contain added sugar and other chemicals that while not necessarily toxic, can cause harm to your rabbit’s health
2. Go Slow
Introduce pineapples slowly to your pet’s diet. Do not give them large quantities the first time that they’re having it. You first need to determine if they can digest it and if they’ll like it.
Some rabbits might be the exception and hate pineapples. This way, you don’t get to waste food and you’re also able to safeguard your rabbit’s health. Another reminder is to never mix and match new foods to be introduced.
If you’re introducing another fruit like a banana, for example, do not introduce it together with a pineapple. The reason as to why leads us to the last and golden rule.
3. Monitor for adverse reactions
After feeding food/fruit to your bunny for the first time, you should watch for any adverse reactions. It might be that they can’t digest it thus causing blockage or GI stasis.
Monitoring of 24 hours is usually the best after which, and no adverse reactions have been seen, you can take it that rabbit can digest the food. Mix and match new foods will make it difficult for you to determine what is causing the bad reaction thus, only one kind of food should be introduced at a time.
Pineapple is a healthy and nutritious fruit that rabbits love and enjoy. However, they should be considered more as a healthy snack rather than a regular part of their everyday diet.
Pineapple can cause weight gain due to its high sugar content. Do you have any other fun facts about bunnies or rabbits?