The pumpkin is relatively low in calories as it is 95% water and it is high in vitamins and minerals. Beside these benefits, it also contains antioxidants. But can rabbits eat pumpkin?
First things first. We all know that the majority of the rabbit’s diet should be hay and vegetables (leafy greens). But, is the pumpkin a fruit or a vegetable? There are debates going on around this question.
According to the Webster’s New World College Dictionary the definition of a pumpkin is “a round orange or white fruit filled with seeds that grows on a vine”.
Considering the above definition of the pumpkin, that it is a fruit, we will better understand if the rabbits can eat pumpkin and how much should they eat.
Can Rabbits Eat Pumpkin?
The short answer is yes, rabbits can eat pumpkin, row or baked. But the pumpkin should only be served as a treat or as a dessert. Not as their primary food.
Bunnies do like pumpkin. If you give your rabbit a slice of pumpkin it would be like a candy to them.
Because, rabbits are known to be very found of fruits, you need to know how much pumpkin should a rabbit have on a daily or weekly basis.
But not only for pumpkin, the same rule goes for all the fruits because rabbits love bananas, apples, strawberries, grapes and other fruits.
How Much Pumpkin Should A Rabbit Have?
The general rule of the thumb about how much pumpkin you can feed your rabbits is that you can feed them 2 tablespoons of pumpkin meat per pound of their body weight (2-3 times a week).
But if the rabbits are young, or they have never eaten a pumpkin before, you can keep it to 1 tablespoon per body weight (2-3 times a week).
This is your safe limit!
Can Rabbits Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Yes, rabbits can eat pumpkin seeds, but only as a treat.
Especially after Halloween, many rabbit owners like to cook the seeds from carving pumpkins, so they can feed their rabbits with plain seeds (not salted seeds) as a treat.
You can take the seeds out and wash them, then bake them in the oven.
Is Pumpkin Safe For Bunnies To Eat?
Pumpkin is safe but in small quantities, as said earlier not more then 2-3 times a week, otherwise it is not safe due to its high sugar concentration.
It should be kept in mind that bunnies tend to have a very sensitive digestive system that can lead to bacterial dis-balance, if they have to much pumpkin in their diet (or other fruit in general).
Beside that, if a fruit is given to the rabbit on a daily basis, it may also cause a rabbit’s desire to eat only fruits, not their normal, healthy food.
As with any other fruit, try to include the pumpkin in your rabbit’s diet slowly and see how it will react. Don’t overdo new fruits or make any sudden diet changes.