Watermelons are a summertime barbecue staple – sweet, juicy, and thirst-quenching. But did you know that, technically, watermelons are a berry? That’s right! While they may be melons by name, they’re berries by nature.
And in case you’ve never seen a wild rabbit near a berry vine, you should know that rabbits absolutely love berries of all types. Especially in fall and winter, a fresh berry can be an absolute treasure for a rabbit.
But are watermelons safe for your pet rabbit to eat? What about their seeds? And if you do feed your rabbit a watermelon, is it okay for it to eat the rind, too?
We’ll be answering all those questions and more in today’s article. From nutrition facts and health benefits to a few things you absolutely must avoid when feeding your rabbit watermelon, we’ll be covering everything you need to know for feeding your bunny friend. By the end of this guide, you’ll be fully informed and ready to decide whether watermelon is a good choice in your rabbit’s diet.
Yes! Rabbits Can Eat Watermelon
Rabbits can eat watermelon – and most will do so with surprising gusto! It’s no great secret that all rabbits have quite a sweet tooth… And the rich, succulent flesh of a watermelon is a treat they’ll surely enjoy.
As much as most rabbits love watermelon, it’s not a particularly nutrient dense food. This means that, as a rule, you should reserve it as an occasional treat rather than a daily foodstuff.
Nutrition Facts for Watermelon
Nutritionvalue.org gives the details of watermelon as a very nutritionally absent food: Composed almost entirely of sugars and water, its calorie content is 89% carbohydrates (with very little fiber), 7% protein, and 4% fat. With no significant content of vitamins or minerals to speak of it’s a very, well, watery fruit.
Health Benefits and Dangers of Watermelon for Rabbits
Watermelons have no particular health benefits to speak of for rabbits; their relatively low nutrient content and high amount of sugar make them a treat best served very infrequently. However, unlike humans, rabbits can eat watermelon rind – making it a useful source of dietary fiber that’s hard to find in other sweet rabbit treats.
How to Feed Your Watermelon to Your Rabbits
Always choose an organic watermelon for your rabbit, as its absence of pesticides and waxes will mean that you can also feed them the healthier rind. It’s important to note that rabbits cannot digest watermelon seeds! Their mild toxicity can lead to serious digestive issues, meaning that you should either buy seedless watermelons or take the time to chop up and de-seed any watermelon you plan on feeding to your rabbit.
How Much Watermelon Should I Feed My Rabbit?
Because of its very watery composition, you can feed slightly larger quantities of watermelon to your rabbit than you can with other sweet treats. For small rabbits, a few 1-inch cubes will be plenty as an occasional treat – while larger rabbits might be able to enjoy ½ a cup without going overboard on sugar.
Types of Watermelon to Feed Your Rabbit
Whenever possible, you should buy seedless, organic watermelons to feed your rabbit. This ensures their complete safety for your bunny: No pesticides or waxes will be present on the rind, and having no seeds will prevent any gastrointestinal problems. We are particularly fond of the “personal size” seedless watermelons seen in stores during summer: Chop one into slices, and you can share it right next to your rabbit!
Final Thoughts on Feeding Watermelon to Your Rabbit
Though it’s far from being a nutritionally dense food, watermelon is perfectly acceptable to feed your rabbit as an occasional treat. Buy seedless, organic watermelons to make yours and your rabbit’s life easier and keep the feeding frequency to just once or twice a week.
Thank you for reading! We hope this guide has taught you everything you wanted to know about feeding watermelon to your rabbits. For other sweet indulgences that are safe for your bunny, see our other articles on blueberries and strawberries, as well!
Featured Image: pasja1000 from Pixabay