Can Rabbits Eat Watermelon?

Most people often ask- Can rabbits eat watermelon? Watermelons are delicious and nourishing fruits that have health benefits for humans who enjoy eating them. We all know that watermelons are sweet, have low calories and a high water content which keeps the consumer full and hydrated. Mainly, there are five types of watermelons which include the seedless, seeded, yellow, orange and mini watermelons. All five types are packed with nutrients, antioxidants and minerals which are beneficial to human beings.

However, rabbits are very different from humans, and you may wonder if watermelon has the same health benefits for them as it does for humans. The answer is that they do. Watermelons fall are considered treats and treats make up less than 10% of a rabbit’s diet. They are non-toxic and totally safe for rabbits to consume and so, you can feed them to your pet.

 

Watermelon is, for the most part, made up of water. It does not have a high-calorie level or high sugar content, and so, you can give it to your rabbit with the outer part, or you can give the animal only the inner part (the pulp) after you remove the seeds. In the same way with other treats like oranges, you should give your pet watermelons moderately. A little quantity at a time is the way to go.
What are the benefits of giving rabbits watermelons?

This fruit contains nutrients and has health benefits for rabbits in the same way that it does for humans. The fact that it contains a lot of water makes it a perfect treat for your bunny as the water will keep your pet hydrated. Watermelons also contain vitamin C, which is good for your rabbit’s immunity and helps it to fight off diseases. It also provides your rabbit with Choline, which enhances the functions of your rabbit’s muscle, helps it with metabolism, improves its brain responses and helps it sleep.

Watermelons have quite a large amount of potassium which reduces the chances that your rabbit will develop kidney stones. It has been suggested that the magnesium contained in the fruit can help prevent bladder sludge in rabbits. Bladder sludge is a condition in which excess calcium builds up in the urine, causing frequent urination, difficulty in urinating and blood and sediments in the urine.

 

 

Also, watermelons contain carotenoids such as lycopene, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which are antioxidants that prevent damages caused by free radicals.

The rind of watermelons has more fibre and contains less sugar compared to the inner part of the fruit. It is also hard, and this hardness is good for your pet’s teeth as it chews on the rind, keeping them worn down in the same way that hay does.

The rinds also contain an amino acid called citrulline, which is good for the blood vessels and the heart of your rabbit. Apart from its health and nutritional benefits, feeding your rabbit a slice of watermelon as a treat can strengthen the bond between you both and help you spend more time with it.

How Should I Feed Watermelons To My Rabbit?

You should feed watermelons to your rabbit moderately [2]. Too much of everything, especially treats, is bad. A rabbit should not be fed with watermelon every day. One or two servings per week will do. If you decide to feed your rabbit with watermelons twice a week, a tablespoon per 2 pounds of its body weight is okay for each serving.

 

 

The watermelon should be fresh (not frozen and defrosted as this will make it mushy) and you should wash it very well. After washing it, cut it up into small cube-like bits so that your rabbit can easily eat it without staining its fur.

The seeds should be removed as well. Ensure that you never feed your rabbit with wilted or rotten watermelons. It is even safer to give it one that is not fully ripened than a wilted one.

Can All Rabbits Eat Watermelons?

Watermelons are non-toxic, yes, but not all rabbits can eat it. Baby rabbits should not be fed with watermelons or any other fruit for that matter. Their digestive system is still immature and very sensitive at that stage, so they have a different type of diet which does not include treats. Your rabbit should be at least four months old before you make any adjustments to its diets.

Even when you do decide to adjust its diet, you should do so gradually monitoring it carefully to see if there are any negative occurrences like bloating or diarrhoea. In case of any adverse reactions, stop giving it the fruit immediately and get the animal to a vet if the symptoms do not improve.

To be on the safe side, you should not give pregnant and lactating rabbits watermelons. In place of the watermelon, you can offer an apple or a carrot to the animal instead. If you have a rabbit that is suffering from bloating or intestinal disorders, you should also not give it watermelons.

Why Is Too Much Watermelon Bad For My Rabbit?

Giving your rabbit a large amount of watermelon at a time[1] is not safe because they have high water content. Even though water is necessary for keeping a rabbit hydrated, too much of it at a time can cause laxation to occur. Laxation causes a rabbits stool to become loose and watery, and this can become an issue.

 

Watermelons also contain natural sugars which the rabbit’s system cannot break down and so, consuming an excess of it will mount pressure on the digestive system of the rabbit. This can cause an alteration in the normal flora of microorganisms in the rabbit’s gut, causing problems in its gastrointestinal tract of the rabbit. This will then lead to discomfort, bloating and loss of appetite.

Fibre is a crucial and necessary part of a rabbit’s diet, and it is needed to stimulate peristalsis. This is why hay is the major food of rabbits as it contains lots of fibre. In contrast, watermelons lack fibre, and so, it should only be fed as a treat to the rabbit.
Giving your rabbit more watermelon than it needs means that it will get more vitamin C, which it doesn’t need as it can synthesize vitamin C on its own. Too much vitamin C in a rabbit’s system can lead to kidney damage.

The sugar contained in watermelon can cause health challenges like diabetes, obesity and tooth rot for your rabbit if it consumes the fruit in excess.

Can I Give My Rabbit All The Parts Of A Watermelon?

The rind of watermelon does not have much sugar; it is fibrous, and it contains organic acids and vitamins. So, yes, you can feed your rabbit with it. Some people even consider it a better option than the actual flesh of the watermelon because there are fewer chances of intestinal troubles.

However, it should be served in minimal quantities and correctly washed and cut up to avoid choking. The flowers and leaves of the watermelon plant can be eaten by rabbits too as they are non-toxic. However, you should not feed the seeds of to your rabbit as they can cause obstructions in its intestines.

Watermelon can be an excellent treat for your rabbit if you offer it moderately. Excess of it, as with any treats will cause problems for your pet.

Glossary

  1. What About Watermelon [Link]
  2. Rabbits Life [Link]

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