Did you know that domesticated rabbits are descended from a wild European ancestor? Yes, the bunnies we know and love today originally hail from an area now called Spain and Portugal. A rabbit’s diet is that of an herbivore: rich in grasses with the occasional vegetable, and they are almost always eating and grazing. Fruits are not really a part of their usual diet in the wild.
Where do fruits fit into the picture, then? With tropical fruits available at the local grocery store, you may be wondering whether your rabbit can eat some of your favorite naturally sweet foods.
In short, yes, your rabbit can eat pineapple as a very occasional treat in small amounts, but that doesn’t mean they should. There are certain precautions and health risks associated with feeding pineapple to your bunny, and it should never be a regular part of their diet. In today’s article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about nutrition, considerations, and feeding. Read on to find out more about how your pet’s digestion will interact with this popular tropical fruit.
Yes! Rabbits Can Eat Pineapple, But…
Your rabbit most certainly can eat pineapple, and they’ll likely try to steal some off your plate if given the chance! But that doesn’t mean they should, as fruit is not a natural part of their diet and may lead to serious health concerns. In case you didn’t know, most rabbits have a real sweet tooth – and will gladly swipe fresh fruits right out from under your nose.
Pineapple Nutrition and Fun Facts
According to USDA, pineapple is incredibly rich in sugars, with around 13 grams of sugar per 100 grams of fruit, with 86 grams being water content. It does contain various vitamins and minerals, but it’s important to understand that the small amount that rabbits can safely eat as a special treat is not going to give them any real benefits. It is more likely that they may suffer from a digestive upset due to the high amount of carbs.
Introduced to Europe in the 17th century, the pineapple quickly became a symbol of luxury and decadence. They have been cultivated in greenhouses and tropical plantations since the 1820s and are the 3rd-most popular tropical fruit in worldwide production.1
Are There Any Health Benefits of Pineapple for Rabbits?
Your rabbit is not going to reap any benefits from eating an occasional snack of pineapple, and that is just fine. Their diet should be based on fresh hay and grass, alongside leafy green veggies and small amounts of high-quality pellets. This is for their digestion to run smoothly.
A lack of fiber and excess of carbs may cause gut stasis, a serious digestive disorder that can be life threatening. Fruit is not something rabbits in the wild would eat, and their digestion is just not accustomed to such carb content. If you want to play it safe, it’s best to avoid fruits as treats for your bunny that are given very sparingly.
While the pineapple’s high sugar content makes it less than ideal for daily consumption, they can be used as an occasional treat, but only when offered in moderation (not more than once a week). Speak to your veterinarian about your rabbit’s health and nutrition, particularly if you are thinking of introducing new foods to their diet.
Can Pineapple Be Bad for Rabbits?
Any food that is high in sugar can cause problems for your rabbit – and this includes pineapple. Your rabbit’s digestion relies on a complex environment of gut bacteria, and this balance can be adversely affected by sugar. In inadequate quantities or when offered too frequently, pineapple can cause bloating, diarrhea, gut stasis, and general gastrointestinal distress and pain for your rabbit in the short term, or it can lead to weight gain in the long term. A diet lacking in fiber and having excess carbs can also lead to dental issues that, in turn, cause digestive problems, and it slowly becomes a vicious loop of poor health.
How to Feed Pineapple to Your Rabbits
While the sweet flesh of a pineapple is perfectly safe for your rabbit to eat, the spiky skin and leaves are not. For any pineapple you’d like to feed your rabbit, you’ll need to shave off the tough outer layers and feed them only a small amount of the softer inner fruit.
How Much Pineapple Should I Feed My Rabbit?
Pineapple should be reserved as an occasional treat for your rabbit. Feed it to them no more than once per week, and in very small portions. Remember that the total amount of daily fruit combined with important leafy greens and fresh vegetables should account for no more than 10% of their food intake. So, we are really talking about just a bite-sized piece of pineapple or two, depending on your rabbit’s size.
Final Thoughts on Feeding Pineapple to Your Rabbit
These sweet tropical fruits can be offered as a very occasional treat for your rabbit, but remember that fruit is not something rabbits would usually eat, and it may lead to gut stasis or other digestive disorders. Always watch for any signs of indigestion that would indicate you’re feeding your rabbit too many carbs and not enough hay or grass, with once-weekly feedings of a small amount of sugary fruit snack being the recommended maximum.