There is nothing more exciting than having a new family member.You become ecstatic in taking care and giving the best for your pet rabbit, from preparing a comfortable space to providing a hearty, nutritious meal for them.
Creating a safe and healthy environment for your rabbit includes interacting with them, and throwing in a treat occasionally, makes your interaction more exciting. You must have heard that rabbits can eat what humans can, but no. Not everything rabbits can eat and enjoy; some foods give them stomach upset or are poisonous to them.
So, can your rabbits eat pears? Let’s get into more details about what foods are safe to eat for rabbits.
Can Rabbits Eat Pears?
Yes, pears are among the fruits you can feed to your rabbit. But, you have to know that there is a recommended serving amount for fruits and pears. Moreover, you should not give them pears every day.
How about other parts of the pear fruit?
- Pear skins: Rabbits can eat the fruit skin as apples and melons. But, even if you know the fruit is grown organically, you still have to wash the skin. If you are not sure about the use of pesticides, it is best to remove the skin.
- Pear seeds: Remove pear seeds; it contains cyanide that is harmful, not only for rabbits but for other pets too.
- Dried pears: You can give dried pears sparingly as it contains three times more sugar content than fresh fruit.
- Cooked pears: If dried pears are toxic, a cooked one is never appropriate for rabbits. Aside from it containing more sugar quantity, it destroys the fibers. Rabbits prefer fresh fruit.
However, you should remember one crucial thing when feeding your rabbits with pears. Do not feed them with pellets when giving them pears or other fruits. The sugar content they will get from the fruits and pellets will be too much.
Nutrition Information of Pears
Pears are packed with vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, but rabbits do not necessarily need these vitamins.
A large chunk of these vitamins is already taken from the primary diet. That’s why it needs to be given sparingly because aside from its high sugar content, a large amount of Vitamin C may cause kidney failure in rabbits.
Apart from the beneficial compounds pears have, it is also an excellent source of insoluble and soluble fiber. These are helpful components in promoting gut health; it helps maintain regular bowel movements by softening and bulking up feces.
But, since pears offer dietary fiber, you need to check the stool of your rabbits to see if they did not experience stomach upset after you introduced the fruit to them.
Other Fruits Healthy for Rabbits to Eat
Aside from pears, rabbits can safely eat small servings of these fruits:
There may be some that I may not have mentioned, but these are the common and easy fruits seen in the market.
Yes, it is heartwarming to see your rabbit get excited with treats. But, even though fruits are a better alternative to processed treats and a helpful training tool, it is not healthy when overboard. Minimize offering treats twice or thrice a week.
Healthy Amount of Fruit Serving for Rabbits
As we have mentioned, fruits have a high amount of sugar content. The maximum serving for adult rabbits is two tablespoons or 50 grams. If you plan to introduce fruits to younger rabbits, it should not exceed one tablespoon or more than half of the adult maximum serving.
You have to be careful when introducing fruits to younger rabbits. Younger rabbits have different dietary needs. It is best to let them adapt to vegetables before introducing fruits. When introducing pears to rabbits, start by giving small portions after they eat hay. Do it once or twice a week and see how their gut tolerates the new food.
If you notice that your rabbit is experiencing diarrhea or small poop pellets, do not continue feeding them with pears.
Aside from their age-specific diet, rabbits that are obese or overweight should only have minimal to no fruits. Other than that, rabbits with gastrointestinal health concerns should not have any fruit. If your rabbit has been diagnosed with any illness, always ask your vet if fruits are fine.
Fruits Not For Rabbits
There are two fruits that you should certainly not give to your rabbits; avocado and rhubarb.
Avocado is a poisonous fruit for rabbits. It contains a fungicidal toxin called persin. Persin is found in all parts of the Avocado plant. Persin is only noticeable in humans that are allergic to it. However, if it is in rabbits, it may cause cardiac issues or breathing difficulties, proving fatal.
So is rhubarb; it is a poisonous fruit for rabbits because of its high levels of oxalic acid. Oxalic acid may cause damage to your rabbit’s kidney. Moreover, rhubarb has emodin and rhein, which are compounds with laxative effects. Consumption of rhubarb most likely causes diarrhea in rabbits and results in severe dehydration.
If you eat and have these fruits in your kitchen, you must put them away to ensure they will not be served to your rabbits. Keep your rabbits on a healthy diet to prevent health concerns and fatal conditions.
Healthy Diet for Rabbits
Looking back at our childhood cartoon movies, we have always thought carrots and lettuce are the best everyday meal for rabbits. But we hate to break this; rabbits do not naturally eat root vegetables; these are not healthy for rabbits because of their high sugar content.
Moreover, rabbits have sensitive digestive tracts. So, when you introduce new foods, always do it gradually over a few weeks to prevent digestive upsets.
Here is a list of the food-safe list for rabbits:
Contrary to popular belief, hay is the primary food in a rabbit’s diet, and it makes up 80 to 90 percent of their diet. You need to feed them good-quality hays such as brome, oat, orchard, and timothy hay.
Although you can give them one or a mixture of these grass hays, it is essential to have them fresh daily. When buying, always check the hays for dust or molds; these could make your rabbit fall sick.
Serve pellets in small sizes. An adult rabbit only needs a quarter cup of pellets daily. But, if your rabbit weighs under two kilograms or five pounds, you feed them an eighth of a cup, while rabbits over four kilograms or ten pounds should not have more than a quarter cup.
A good pellet has a high fiber content. Do not buy pellets mixed with nuts, seeds, and dried corn, as these added foods may potentially harm your rabbits.
Herbs and Vegetables
Herbs and vegetables are among rabbits’ favorite foods. Although most greens are safe for rabbits, there are still limitations and few exceptions. Some vegetables and herbs can be fed daily, and others have to be given sparingly.
Do not serve more than two cups of fresh vegetables daily. However, small-sized rabbits only need one cup of fresh vegetables a day. It is ideal serving two or three varieties of vegetables.
Meanwhile, these vegetables are the ones you should not serve to your rabbit:
- Iceberg lettuce
- Beet greens
- Turnip greens
These foods are difficult to digest, which may cause serious digestive concerns to rabbits.
Unlimited Supply of Fresh Water
Last but not least, an unlimited supply of fresh water to keep your rabbits hydrated. Always check your rabbit’s sipper bottle or bowl and change their water supply daily.
If you use a sipper bottle for your rabbit, clean the container every few days. But, if you are more comfortable with bowls, it is best to have a heavy ceramic; it will not tip over easily.
Fruit and Treats
Like humans, rabbits love sweets, but too much consumption causes harm. Only give fruits and treats sparingly, at least once or twice a week.
As mentioned earlier in this article, the appropriate fruit serving is one to two tablespoons. Thus, keep the total amount of treats you have given your rabbits, and ensure it does not go over the maximum 5% of the daily food requirement.
Healthy treats for your rabbit could be freeze-dried fruit, small pieces of fresh fruit, or a mix of hay and dried flowers. You may pick store-bought treats, but you need to check the ingredient lists. Do not buy treats that have preservatives, artificial coloring, and sugar.
Pears and some fruits are fine for a rabbit diet. But, you should not substitute pears and fruits for their primary diet; hay, and a small serving of pellet.
Although, there is nothing wrong with giving rabbits some treats; throwing in too much of it is dangerous to your rabbit’s health. That’s why you have to take notes on which vegetables and fruits need to be avoided and given sparingly.