Are Tomatoes Good for Bunnies to Have?
While rabbits are going to be very similar to people in the sense that they love to eat snacks, it is not all that uncommon to feel the urge to give your bunny some of the delicious fruit that you are munching on. With that being said, there are going to be some foods that you are not going to want to give to your bunny, as they are potentially going to be harmful for them to eat. Now keep in mind that there are tons of different foods that are perfectly safe and healthy to give your rabbit, one of the more common foods, a tomato, may have you scratching your head. So, are you able to give your pet rabbit tomatoes? Here is what you need to know about giving your rabbit tomatoes.
What are Rabbits?
Before you are able to answer the question of whether or not your pet rabbit should be eating tomatoes, it is first going to be crucial that you fully understand what a rabbit (or bunny) really is. A rabbit is going to be a small sized mammal that essentially hops around from point A to point B. They are extremely cute and have a very furry exterior, making them a very common animal to have as a pet.
They can come in several different colors, sizes, and shapes, the more typical coloring being that of either brown, white, black, or having a combination of the different colors in patches. Their ears are going to be considered very large when compared to the size of their body, some of the different breeds of rabbit even having longer, larger and droopier ears. Aside from having long ears, rabbits are also going to have long front teeth (also referred to as incisors) that are going to grow throughout the duration of their lives. What this means, is that their teeth will either need to be filed down by a professional or they will get filed down naturally with the different foods that they eat.
What does a Rabbit’s Healthy Diet Consist of?
Ideally you are going to be able to supply your pet rabbit with a well-balanced diet that gives them plenty of different things to ingest. Very similar to that of humans, rabbits are going to require the right amount of vitamins, nutrients, minerals and water, but in the right amounts as well. While all of their nutrition is going to be important for your rabbit to maintain their health, water is going to be even more important for them to have as it is going to ensure that their organs are functioning and working properly.
With that being said, the daily nutritional requirements that a rabbit requires is going to be very different than that of a human. In fact, this is actually going to be reflected when you take a look at the regular daily diet of a happy and healthy pet rabbit.
Once a rabbit hits adulthood, the main source of the food that they eat should be coming from some type of high-quality hay. Hay is going to be a forage that is not only low in calories but is also high in fiber and very easy for the rabbit to digest. Some of the other aspects of a healthy rabbit’s diet are going to include some type of commercial pellets, as well as special treats and other snacks such as vegetables and fruits. However, not every single type of vegetable and fruit is going to be considered safe for your pet rabbit to eat.
The Basics of the Tomato
While there are going to be many different people who will argue with you that a tomato is actually a vegetable, it is really going to be a fruit. To take it one step further, tomatoes are actually going to be a type of berry that just happens to grow on a vine. This means that the tomato plant is actually going to be in the very same family as chili peppers, eggplants, and potatoes. The most common types of tomatoes are going to be the ones that are going to be used for different types of cooking, those being red, juicy and very large.
With that being said, you are able to get tomatoes in many different colors (which include orange, green, yellow, and even purple), they are also going to come in many different sizes as well, those sizes ranging from that of a grape or cherry tomato, all the way to the giant beefsteak tomatoes. As if that weren’t enough, they are also going to come in a wide variety of different shapes as well.
Here is a look at all of the different reasons tomatoes are considered to be such a great fruit and what it is that actually comprises a tomato. This is going to be very important to know, as it will allow you to better decide whether or not a tomato is going to be something that you will want to feed to your pet rabbit.
The Nutrition of a Tomato
When it comes to tomatoes, they are going to offer a wide variety of different health benefits and other nutrients, many of which your pet rabbit is going to be able to benefit from. Some of these are going to include:
- Having a high-water content. Being composed of about 95% water, tomatoes are going to be great at making sure that your rabbit stays hydrated throughout the day.
- Tomatoes are going to be a great source of vitamins C, B6, and A.
- Extremely rich in the antioxidant that is known as lycopene, tomatoes are potentially going to help your rabbit prevent any type of cell damage that can be caused by any free radicals they may have in their body.
- All different types of tomatoes are going to be low in fat.
- They are a great source of fiber, which is going to aid your rabbit with their digestion and even reduce some of their GI issues.
- They are a great source of potassium, which is going to help them to prevent hypokalemia, as well as low levels of potassium in their bloodstream.
Are Rabbits Able to Eat Tomatoes?
If you are to give your pet rabbit a tomato, they are more than likely going to eat it. While this means that rabbits will eat tomatoes, it does not necessarily mean that rabbits should eat tomatoes. So, should you give your pet rabbit tomatoes or keep those on the not good for them list?
While there are going to be some foods that humans can eat without having any problems, it does not necessarily mean that you should feed these same exact foods to your rabbit. When it comes to tomatoes, there is not going to be anything toxic about them in regard to your pet rabbit, but at the very same time, you should make sure that you do not give them too much as it does have the capabilities to cause some serious problems for them.
When it comes to your rabbits’ diet, they are going to need to have one that contains a lot of fiber and is low in fat and sugars. They are normally going to get all of the fiber that they need through the plants that they eat, one of those including hay. Hay is actually going to be a roughage that just happens to contain a ton of fiber that the rabbit is then able to use. Fiber is actually going to be very beneficial for two main reasons:
- The dietary fiber that your rabbit eats is going to help them keep their digestive system operating smoothly, which is actually going to work in a very similar way that it does in a human. When you take a fiber supplement, it is going to add size to your stool and help your system run as smooth as it can.
- The hay that your rabbit eats is going to help them to keep their teeth worn down, as well as healthy. Since your rabbit’s teeth are always growing, this is going to be a very good way that they can make sure that they are always filed down and not allowed to be overgrown.
So, to put the answer to the question of whether or not rabbits are able to eat tomatoes into a single word, that word is going to be yes, it is ok to feed your pet rabbit tomatoes. That being said, you are going to have to make sure that you only give them a small amount of tomato as a special treat no more than twice per week.
When you feed your rabbit too many tomatoes, they will end up having stomach problems, one of those being diarrhea. This is going to be due to the amount of extra water that they will be ingesting. Just make sure that you only give your rabbit smaller pieces of tomato and they will be absolutely fine.