A wild rabbit’s diet is mainly composed of dried twigs, grass, branches, and plants. Being an herbivore, these elements are sufficient to fulfill her nutritional needs.
Domestic rabbits, on the other hand, are often fed different fruits and vegetables just to supplement their diet with foods that have a high nutritional value. However, some fruits including green apples are too concentrated in energy and hence not recommended for a rabbit.
Green apples are also sour in taste and your bunny may reject them altogether. However, veterinarians suggest that apples of all varieties are generally safe for rabbits provided they are given in small amounts.
So, let’s find out if bunnies can eat green apples and how frequently you should feed them apples and other similar fruits.
Can Bunnies Eat Green Apples?
Bunnies can eat green apples provided they like their bitter and sour taste. But it is not recommended to make apples part of their regular diet. This is because 80 to 85% of a rabbit’s diet should be composed of just hay, grass, and twigs.
Apples are rich sources of fiber and green apples particularly contain a compound called pectin. This compound works as a probiotic and supports the growth of healthy bacteria in the stomach.
Green apples are also recommended because they have low sugar content as compared to other varieties. Rabbits should not be fed foods with high sugar content because it will make them obese and cause many other digestive problems.
However, apple seeds are known to contain a substance that releases cyanide into the bloodstream. This can potentially have harmful effects on your rabbit’s long-term health.
Apples and pears are among the fruits that contain the most cyanide. If you want to give a green apple to your bunny, make sure you give it very carefully and monitor your rabbit’s behavior afterward.
It is also recommended to remove the seeds completely so there is no risk of potential damage caused by cyanide.
Are Apples Toxic for Rabbits?
While the seeds of apples may not be very safe for a bunny, apples in general, are pretty harmless. They are not toxic or dangerous and according to a majority of veterinarians, you can feed bunnies apples of all varieties in small amounts.
A rabbit can digest apple with the skin regardless of its color. It is recommended to give your rabbit only 1 or 2 slices of apple in a week. This is a very small amount so you must watch your bunny’s apple intake very closely.
Bunnies are known to overeat because they have large stomachs designed to work almost 24 hours a day. However, that doesn’t mean they are able to digest all types of foods. Fruits, in particular, are recommended in very small quantities because they are usually high in sugar and calories.
Grass hay and certain leafy greens should be made available to pet rabbits all day long. If they go without food even for a few hours, they might get seriously ill.
That is probably the reason rabbit owners keep introducing new foods to their rabbit’s diet. However, bear in mind that a rabbit can happily munch on hay in the form of long-stemmed fiber for an entire day without getting bored of it. So, there is basically no need to feed her different foods that may upset her stomach and make her sick.
Are Green Apples Safe for Baby Rabbits?
While rabbits grow up pretty fast, it is still recommended to give a baby rabbit only mother’s milk till she is at least 6 weeks old. Even rabbits older than this age must be fed carefully as their digestive systems are very sensitive.
If you want to feed your rabbits apples, wait till they are at least 3 months old. Green and red apples are safe but they should only be given as an occasional treat and not regularly.
Even when a rabbit is ready to eat solids, it is recommended to start with pellets and just a little bit of fresh fruit. But make sure to supplement only 5% of her diet with new things. Rabbit treats may consist of fruits high in sugar but remember too much sugar can be toxic and detrimental to a rabbit’s health.
What Kind of Apples Are Safe for Rabbits?
Seedless apples in small portions are safe for adult rabbits. Make sure the apples have been washed and are cut into small chunks before you give them to your bunny. It is also not recommended to give an apple that still has a little bit of a stem.
However, a slice of an apple with the skin can be fed to a rabbit. Green apples are better than red apples because they are low in sugar content. While a rabbit may munch on hay all day long, it is recommended to give too many fruits and vegetables to your bunny.
Apples from the supermarket may have been sprayed with pesticides. These chemicals can be dangerous for a rabbit if ingested because they have very sensitive stomachs. It is therefore advisable to thoroughly wash the fruits and remove their skin to be more cautious.
Remember, apples are safe for rabbits but their seeds and stems are not. Do not leave your rabbit with a huge supply of fruits including apples. They might overfeed themselves because of high sugar content and get sick.
How to Feed Green Apples to Your Rabbit
Since fruits and vegetables are not meant for regular feeding, they should only be introduced as occasional treats only once or twice a week.
It is also a good idea to monitor your bunny’s behavior after feeding them a new fruit like a green apple. If you notice she doesn’t like the taste, there is no need to force-feed her. Apples are nutritious but rabbits mostly get their nutrition from high-fiber and low-calorie foods like grass and hay.
Also, notice if your rabbit is having diarrhea or constipation because of a green apple. If that’s the case, stop feeding her green apples immediately. And if your rabbit still experiences problems, take her to a vet.
Some rabbits may also develop an allergic reaction to green apples because of their sour taste. Moreover, because of the possibility of cyanide, it is not recommended to feed apples to your rabbit on a regular basis.
Rabbits are herbivores and they seek out a diet that is high in fiber and low in energy or calories. Hay, twigs, plants, and some leafy greens are good for their stomach. However, introducing something as acerbic as a green apple may cause serious digestive problems like diarrhea especially if given in large amounts.
Domestic rabbits tend to have stronger digestive systems because they are fed foods other than just hay and grass from the beginning. Nevertheless, it is still advisable to avoid foods that are too concentrated in energy like fresh fruits from the supermarket.
Green apples have low sugar content and are generally considered safe for rabbits. But they are not recommended for rabbits because of their sour taste and the possibility of cyanide ingestion and allergic reactions.
If you still want to give a green apple to your bunny, wait till she is at least 3 months old. Even at this age, feed only a tiny amount at first. Also, remember to remove the seeds and the stem. Thoroughly wash the fruit especially if you want to feed with the skin. If you notice anything peculiar about your bunny’s behavior, stop feeding her apples.