Can You Feed A Rabbit Apples? Let’s find out in our complete guide to rabbits and apples!
Apples are a tasty, healthy and popular with many humans. As the saying goes: “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. And apples are certainly praised for their nutritional benefits.
But whilst most people would agree that apples are good for humans – can bunnies eat apples too?
Rabbits have very sensitive stomachs. They need to follow a specific diet in order to live a healthy and happy life.
So it is very important that you make sure any new food is safe for your rabbit before you feed it to them.
Read on to find out if rabbits can eat apples!
What Do Rabbits Eat?
Rabbits are natural herbivores and their diet consists of hey and plant based foods.
Around 80% of a healthy rabbit diet will consist of hay.
The rest will be made up of leafy greens, fresh vegetables, pellets and a little bit of fresh fruit.
Around 5% of a rabbit’s diet can be made up of treats.
When we talk about rabbit treats we mean a small portion of fruit or vegetables. Some fruits and vegetables are high in sugar. Therefore your rabbit can only tolerate small amounts of fruit. As too much sugar would be bad for their weight, their teeth and their digestion.
Feeding your rabbit the wrong food can be very dangerous.
Rabbits have sensitive stomachs and many foods which are fine for human consumption are toxic for rabbits.
You may assume that some fruits and veggies would be perfectly safe. But unfortunately, it’s not always that simple.
So, can you feed a rabbit apples safely?
Are Apples Safe For Rabbits?
So can pet rabbits eat apples? Let’s go back to nature – do wild rabbits eat apples?
Wild rabbits would only eat fruit at certain times of the year so, whilst they can digest it, it is not naturally a huge part of their diet.
Small portions of seedless apples are safe for adult rabbits to eat. Provided that the portions are small, the apples are washed and there are no seeds or bits of the stem in your rabbits’ apple portion.
Apples are high in sugar and so they should be used as an occasional treat rather than a large part of your rabbit’s diet.
Apples are safe for rabbits in small quantities, but the seeds and stems are not. Apple stems and seeds contain a poisonous compound called cyanogenic glycosides. These can upset your rabbit’s stomach, reduce their heart rate, cause vomiting and diarrhoea. And, in severe cases, even lead to death.
It is very important to remove the seeds and stems before feeding apples to your rabbit.
It’s always a good idea to cut the apple up into small chunks.
This will make it easier for you to get rid of any seeds, stems and the core. Plus smaller chunks are healthier for your rabbit.
It will also ensure that you don’t give your bunny too much food!
In addition to this, it’s very important that you thoroughly wash the apple before feeding it to your rabbit.
Many apples are sprayed with pesticides which contain chemicals that may be harmful.
Are Apples Bad For Rabbits?
So we know apple fruit is safe for rabbits in small quantities. But are apples bad for rabbits in any other way?
Small amounts of apple are a perfectly safe and tasty treat for adult rabbits as long as any hazardous parts have been removed. The fruit is served in small portions, and the fruit has been thoroughly washed to remove any pesticides.
It is safe for your rabbit to eat small amounts of apples, but that is not the only fruit they can eat. Your rabbit may also enjoy a small portion of peach, pitiless cherries, berries, pineapple, plums and more.
The fruit should be limited to around 1 teaspoon per 1Ibs of the bunny’s body weight and it should always be thoroughly washed to remove chemicals.
If you are unsure whether a food is suitable for your rabbit, then it is a good idea to consult your vet for further advice and information.
How To Feed Apples To Your Rabbit
Feeding your bunny apples can be a really nice bonding experience. Which will help you and your bunny build a warm, affectionate and trusting relationship.
It’s also super cute to watch them nibble their little chunk of apple out of your hand!
Hand feeding your rabbit is also a good way of making sure your rabbit is healthy.
You may also want to hide your rabbits treat under the hay or in a location which the bunny will have to reach in order to get their treat.
It’s best to introduce any new food slowly into your rabbit’s diet so your bunny’s belly can get used to it.
Gradually introduce the food every few days and make sure that you only introduce one new food at a time.
Whenever you give a new food to your rabbit, you should remain vigilant to ensure that everything is going well.
Keep an eye on the rabbit’s stool to make sure it doesn’t appear softer than usual.
Make sure your bunny doesn’t have diarrhoea.
Some foods may be suitable for rabbits in general. But your specific rabbit may still have an intolerance or they may just not like a particular food.
If you think that the apple (or other fruit/vegetable) that you have introduced into your rabbit’s diet is causing problems, then you should remove it from their diet and see if the situation improves.
If your rabbit still experiences problems after you have stopped feeding them the new food, then it is time to take them to the vet.
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Apples?
Apples are not suitable for newborn baby rabbits because their digestive systems are still developing and they are not going to be ready for solid food before a certain age.
Baby rabbits are mammals, and like all mammals, their initial diet will consist of mother’s milk.
They will start eating hay from the age of 2-3 weeks and when they get to 3-4 weeks they will be ready to start eating other solids.
Baby rabbits will keep drinking mothers milk till they are around 6-8 weeks old, and then they will start the weaning process. You need to be particularly careful with the rabbit’s diet as they are weaning because their digestive system is particularly sensitive as it slowly gets used to adult food.
Once your rabbit is around three months old you can begin introducing new food slowly into their diet.
Give the rabbit a tiny amount so they can get used to it, and remain vigilant to any signs that the food may be making your rabbit sick.
If you notice anything unusual then stop feeding your rabbit the food in question and take them to see the vet.
Can Rabbits Eat Apples With Skin?
Can you feed a rabbit apples with the skin still on? Yes!
Rabbits can eat the skin as well as the flesh of the apple. The apple skin is actually where most of the vitamins and fibres are located which makes it the healthiest part of the fruit.
Apple skin is perfectly fine for rabbits to eat (some people even feed their rabbits the skin without the flesh of the apple). But remember to wash the skin thoroughly to remove any potentially dangerous chemicals and other contaminants.
The skin is where all pesticides and other chemicals are sprayed, so it is the part that needs to be thoroughly washed.
Remember that these chemicals can be really dangerous and even potentially fatal for your bunny.
Can Rabbits Eat Green Apples?
Can you feed a rabbit green apples as well as red apples? Also, yes!
Rabbits should be able to eat green apples in the same way that they can eat red apples.
However, some rabbits may not like the taste of green apples as they tend to be quite bitter. If you want to feed your rabbit green apples start off with a very small piece and take it from there.
You may also want to avoid giving your rabbit extra sour green apples as it could upset their stomach and their taste buds.
Rabbit Apple Treats
Another fun way to give rabbits apples is with bunny apple treats.
These are a yummy choice, Kaytee Apple Biscuits:
But remember, don’t give them too many or too often!
Can Rabbits Eat Apples – Summary
So can you give rabbits apples? The short answer is yes.
Small portions of apples (and other types of fruit) are safe for adult rabbits provided they are not given too much, there are no seeds or stems, and the apple has been thoroughly washed to remove chemicals.
A small treat is perfectly fine, but 80% of your rabbit’s diet should be made up of hay and green leafy vegetables (apart from lettuce). Adult rabbits should only eat a small amount of fruit as it is high in sugar and too much could lead to weight gain, tooth problems and general digestive disruption.
Baby rabbits cannot eat apples (or other types of fruit) because their digestive systems are too delicate to digest it.
Rabbits can start eating regular foods when they are around two months old, but each new food should be introduced gradually.
You will need to keep a close eye on your bunny to make sure they are handling the new food well and it is not making them sick.
Adult bunny rabbits can eat apple skin (as long as it is thoroughly washed to remove any chemicals) and they should be able to eat different types of apples including green ones, but they cannot eat any seeds, stems or cores.
Apple seeds and stems are toxic for rabbits and they could make your bunny sick or even kill them.
Can you feed a rabbit apples?
Does your rabbit eat apples? What is his favorite apple color? Why not let us know in the comments section below!