Is it Good for Bunnies to Have Apples?
If you have ever eaten an apple and have a pet rabbit, there is a very good chance that you have wondered whether or not it would be healthy to give your pet rabbit some of your apple. To answer this question in a single word, yes, your rabbit is able to eat apples. But you should know that they should only be a very limited part of their overall diet. On top of that, you are also going to want to make sure that you remove any of the apple’s stem, seeds, and the core as well. If you do not, you are going to be putting your rabbit at a huge risk for suffering from some very potentially serious health conditions.
While your rabbit’s diet should normally be composed of mostly hay and a small amount of different vegetables and pellets, it is ok to give your rabbit apples every now and then. Here Is everything that you need to know about feeding your rabbit apples.
The Pros and Cons of Feeding Your Rabbit Apples
Before you can fully understand the pros and cons of feeding your rabbit apples, you must first understand what it is that an apple really is. Only then will you be able to truly understand what it is that an apple can do for your rabbit.
Apples are going to be fruits that belong to the family Rosaceae, which is also going to include cherries, pears, roses and peaches. They originally got their start throughout Central Asia but are now grown all over the world due to the amount of popularity that they have been able to achieve. This is because apples, no matter what type they are, are going to be very sweet and packed full of water. While they are going to have a high sugar content, they are also going to have a high fiber count as well, which means that the sugar they contain is not going to make it into your bloodstream. Essentially, all you need to really know is that apples are delicious, and they are going to be loved by your pet rabbit.
The Benefits of Feeding Your Rabbit Apples
As mentioned previously, apples are going to be very high in fiber. This is going to be very necessarily for your rabbit, as their digestive system is going to need fiber in order for it to function properly. On top of that, fiber is also going to be very important for rabbits as they do not have any type of constant stomach movement that will help them to pass food through their digestive tracts, which is also referred to as peristalsis.
As if that weren’t enough, apples are also going to have a very high-water content, meaning that they are going to be a great source of potassium, which is going to be great for the health of your pet rabbit. Potassium is actually going to be very important, as it is going to help your rabbit to prevent having lower than regular levels of potassium within their bloodstream, a medical condition that has been referred to as hypokalemia. If your rabbit does have hypokalemia, they will eventually start to show signs of having stunted growth, muscle weakness, weight loss, and even cardiac arrhythmias.
Apples are also going to have many different antioxidants, which are going to be the different compounds that will help to defend your rabbit’s cells from any type of free radicals, which are going to be extremely beneficial to the overall health of your rabbit. It is because of all the health benefits that apples are going to be a great treat for your rabbit when they are given to them in smaller amounts and only once or twice per week.
The Cons of Feeding Your Rabbit Apples
With all of the health benefits that apples can provide your rabbit with, it is sometimes hard to believe that there are actually going to be some negatives to feeding your rabbit apples as well. What this means is that you are going to be aware of the negatives that come along with feeding your rabbit apples.
The most important negative that is going to be associated with feeding your rabbit apples, is going to be the fact that apples contain a stem, seeds, and a core. This is because these parts of the apple are going to contain what is known as cyanogenic glycosides, which are essentially going to be poisonous plant toxins that can be extremely harmful to many different animals, one of those being rabbits. It is going to be these toxins that will eventually cause your rabbit to have an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, a reduced heart rate, different respiratory problems, and even convulsions in some extreme cases. On top of that, it can even eventually lead your rabbit to a very unpleasant death. This is going to be exactly why you want to make sure that you keep your rabbit away from any seeds, core, or stems that belong to apples
Unfortunately for rabbits, they don’t actually have any way of sensing this particularly toxic chemical by their sense of smell or taste. What this means, is that it is going to be up to you to make sure that they are not allowed to eat any of these parts of the apple that you are feeding them, or that may be laying around the yard where they are free to roam.
When it comes to your rabbit and having them eat apples, it is going to be a very delicious and healthy treat that you can give them on an occasional basis. The one thing that you are going to need to do however, is to make sure that you have removed the apple stem, core and seeds before you actually give the apple to your rabbit. If you don’t, you are potentially putting your rabbit at a huge risk for having some potentially dangerous illnesses that they should not have to go through.