Can Rabbits Eat Grapes?
Are grapes safe for rabbits? 🍇
It’s pretty well known that grapes are toxic to dogs and cats, but what about rabbits? Can rabbits eat grapes safely, or are they bad for them?
We spoke to Dr. Michelle Burch, a veterinarian with Paramount Pet Health, to find out if grapes are safe for your rabbit.
Can rabbits eat grapes safely?
Grapes aren’t toxic to rabbits, and you can feed them to your rabbit occasionally.
“Grapes contain a small amount of fiber, B vitamins and vitamin K, which may be beneficial to rabbits,” Dr. Burch told The Dodo.
The fiber and water content of grapes can help your rabbit’s digestion. Grapes also have lots of antioxidants to support your rabbit’s immune system.
Grape leaves and stems are safe to give your rabbit, too.
Bunnies (aka baby rabbits) shouldn’t have grapes, though, because they’re still getting used to their regular diets of pellets and hay.
Potential risks of grapes
While grapes aren’t poisonous to rabbits, there are still some risks involved when feeding them to your pet.
Grapes are high in sugar, which can upset your rabbit’s stomach and make him gain weight. Eating too much sugar can even lead to diabetes.
“Digestive disruption due to grape ingestion can cause diarrhea and bloating,” Dr. Burch said. “If these symptoms are left untreated, rabbits can experience dehydration, liver failure and gastrointestinal tract stasis (lack of movement), which can be life-threatening.”
Eating too many carbs and sugars and not enough fiber can lead to gastrointestinal (GI) or gut stasis, which is when a rabbit’s digestion slows down or stops. Symptoms of gut stasis include lethargy, bloating and gas, signs of pain (like teeth grinding) and diarrhea.
Rabbits like the sugary flavor of grapes, so if you give them to your rabbit all the time, he might get picky and decide to stop eating his regular food and only eat grapes (it sounds crazy, but it’s possible).
While the seeds of grapes aren’t toxic, they can be a choking hazard, so it’s best to give your rabbit seedless grapes.
How to feed your rabbit grapes
You should only give your rabbit fruit, which includes grapes, every now and then as a treat.
“Depending on the size of your rabbit, I would recommend cutting a grape in half for smaller rabbits and giving a whole grape to larger ones,” Dr. Burch said. “I recommend only feeding one to two grapes once a month as a treat.”
If you want to feed your rabbit grapes, give him fresh, washed grapes with no seeds. Don’t give him raisins because with all the water removed, they contain even more sugar than fresh grapes.
Giving your rabbit a couple of fresh grapes on occasion is safe and can even add some nutrients to his diet. Just be sure to wash the grapes, avoid seeded ones and don’t feed them as a treat too often.
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