Most pet owners are prone to giving people’s food to their pets. As you may believe, this includes all sorts of different foods. One part of it is related to apples. We all know that they are good for us, our health and our teeth.
Due to the fact we know that rabbits have teeth that grow constantly and they must stay strong, most rabbit owners believe that apples are good for the health of their rabbits. A good thing is the fact they are not wrong. A bad thing is that they are not 100% right.
Apples and rabbits – Good or bad?
The first thing you should know is that rabbits can eat apples, due to the fact they are completely natural product and wild rabbits eat them occasionally. However, an apple doesn’t have some benefits on a rabbit, so it isn’t mandatory to feed them with this fruit.
On the other side, giving an apple as a treat to your pet is recommended and it can be done sometimes. Keep in mind that the accent is on sometimes, due to the fact apples have a high concentration of sugar, so they are very sweet and the amount, your rabbit gets of them should be kept at minimum. One tablespoon per day is more than enough. In addition, you should cut an apple into small pieces and avoid giving the entire apple or huge bits. In fact, you can give one tablespoon 3-4 times per week for your pet, and it will be enough.
There are some issues with feeding your rabbit with apples. Some rabbits simply don’t like this fruit, so it shouldn’t be given to them. On the other side, rabbits that have weight issues must be fed with proper foods that can help them lose weight. This means that you must eliminate any fruit from their diet, including apples. The situation is even severe if you feed your pet with other fruit, rich in sugar. In any case, make sure your pet doesn’t have diarrhea. If you notice this issue, stop feeding him with fruits and take him to a veterinarian.
The situation is completely different when it comes to apple seeds. Despite the fact apples have no negative effect to a rabbit, their seeds have. In fact, they are very serious and they must be eliminated from a rabbit’s diet. The caution is mandatory due to the fact apple seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides, which is harmful compound to rabbits and other pets. It can cause reduced heart rate, diarrhea, vomiting and many other issues. In some rare cases, this compound can be fatal! Make sure you eliminate all the seeds from an apple, before giving it to a rabbit. Even one or two seeds, if given every day, can cause aforementioned issues. If you notice some symptoms we mentioned earlier, take your pet to a veterinarian. Keep in mind that apple seeds can be dangerous to other pets as well, and they should be avoided at all cost. Make sure you notify your friends, if they are or will feed your rabbit.
Organic apples are much better and healthier for your pet than ordinary fruit, due to the fact they don’t contain herbicides or pesticide. These chemicals can be harmful to a rabbit, because they don’t get in touch with them in the nature, so their immune system isn’t capable of defeating this threat. In any case, organic apples or any other fruit is a much better choice. In addition, make sure you feed your rabbit with a washed fruit, because unwashed fruit can contain chemicals and compounds that are dangerous to your pet.
Consultation with a veterinarian
If you are planning to add or remove something to the diet of a rabbit, make sure you have a proper consultation with a veterinarian. This is more important than you may imagine and most pet experts highly advise this step. It is even more important if you are adding some type of food to a diet for the first time. Most foods look harmless and they look tasteful and great, but they may have a negative effect to the health of your rabbit. This also means that it must be eliminated from a diet or never introduced.
The situation is the same when it comes to removing some food from a diet. Rabbits have fast metabolism, so they require a lot of nutrients. In the nature, they can get all they need, due to the fact they are free. However, when they are in a cage, this may be an issue, so they may need certain nutrients. If this happens, the health of your pet will be compromised. Some issues may occur with teeth, eyes and fur, because these systems require the most nutrients.
Don’t forget that rabbits and humans don’t have the same organ systems, nor the same chemical processes, so the food we and rabbits eat must be different. In most cases, rabbit owners make a mistake and feed their pets with food that is delicious, but harmful to rabbits. This can cause severe health issues and in some cases it can be fatal. The best thing to do is to reduce the amount of food your pet eats that has high amounts of sugar. Animals don’t get sugar from natural ingredients, so they can function without it.
Apples and baby rabbits
The differences between rabbits and baby rabbits are far more than the obvious. There are huge differences in the digestive tract and most organ systems in a baby rabbit aren’t fully formed. All of this means that they require different types of foods. This also means that they cannot be fed with apples! Even smaller pieces can cause health issues, due to the fact their digestive track isn’t capable of digesting apples. This applies to other fruit as well, so you will have to be careful. Once again, a consultation with a veterinarian is more than recommended.
Rabbits are herbivores, which means that they eat only plants. Keep this in mind when you are feeding your pet. Some owners believe that giving meat or related foods can be helpful to a rabbit.
In fact, this is the most severe mistake you can make, due to the fact the digestive tract of a rabbit cannot digest meat or similar foods, so there will be a lot of health issues. Even small amounts of meat can be fatal, so never feed your rabbit with this type of food. If this accidentally happens, make sure take your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible.