Everyone loves to have a furry hoping and loving bunny around. Rabbits are famous for their adorable features and friendly human interactions. Their super social intelligence makes most of the pet owners adore them. However, when it comes to having a bunny at your home, a complete responsibility of grooming, caring, and diet of bunny comes along the package. There are certain things you need to consider whenever it comes to the note of taking bunnies as pets. The most common questions by bunny owners are on its diet. It would be best to consider every dos and don’ts of bunny’s diet before having one at home. In our series, we have discussed the most important things you need to know about a bunny. Surf through the articles and note everything down to become a pro at taking care of your bunny.
In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about bananas in the diet of bunnies. If okay, then what are the feeding amount and frequency and any other specific considerations you need to note.
Yes, rabbits can eat bananas safely. However, always feed bananas to your bunnies in moderation.
To your surprise, rabbits can have not only their pulp but also the peel. Bunnies love the sweetness from the bananas and adore to binge on them. However, excess of any low fiber and high carb content in the diet of bunnies is a bad idea. You have to maintain a good balance between the macros and consider the mineral and vitamin content value of a specific diet for rabbits. This will give you better ideas about the dos and don’ts of bunnies diet.
Moreover, you should preferably avoid high sugars fruits to baby bunnies.
Not only it goes for bananas, but you should always be careful about the number of fruits in the diet of rabbit. If the fruit has a high glycemic index, such as watermelon, do not give any other fruit of higher glycemic index on the same day especially be careful in the case of obese bunnies. The same goes with the high oxalic acid greens and foods such as spinach, which can lead to multiple kidney problems and calcium deficiencies
How Many Bananas Can A Bunny Have?
For every five pounds of body weight of an adult rabbit, you can feed up to 20g of banans.
24g or two tablespoons is maximum for the rabbit if you are not feeding any other high sugar food. Moreover, if your bunny weighs less like some breeds of rabbits, or you are going to feed banana to your baby bunny anyhow, you need to go for less than 20 grams as the total amount.
Fruits and sugar rich products make less than 10% of the diet of a bunny. So, make sure you maintain the balance, and do not forget about adding some extra fibers to balance it out.
Best Dose According To Rabbits Weight:
Following are the best amounts of bananas according to their weight:
- If your rabbit weighs 2 pounds, you can feed up to 4 grams
- If your rabbit weighs 3 pounds, you can feed up to 6 grams
- If your rabbit weighs 5 pounds, you can feed up to 12 grams
- If your rabbit weighs 6 pounds, you can provide up to 15 grams.
- If your rabbit weighs 7 pounds, you can feed up to 17 grams.
Nutritional Value Of Bananas:
Bananas house a load of essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary to maintain the normal and healthy metabolism of the rabbit. Therefore, along with being a delicious treat for the bunnies, bananas can serve many health benefits if given in moderation. To have a better idea about the nutritional value of bananas in the diet of bunnies, let us look into the nutritional chart of banans
According to the US, Department of Agriculture, 100g of banana pulp has
So, we have the following graph (1.1)
Vitamins And Minerals:
An adequate amount of minerals and vitamins are essential in the diet of a bunny. Bananas come to be an excellent source of such components. In 100g of banans we have
|Vitamin And Minerals In 100g Of Banana|
64.6 international units (IU)
So, we have :
Insight From Nutritional Content Data:
From the above data, you come to know the following facts:
- Bannas are abundunt in sugars
- Bananas are rich in essential antioxidants and other minerals
- Bananas are extensively low in fiber.
- Bananas are considerably low in protein and the fat portion of the diet of bunnies.
- Bananas have a considerable portion of potassium aimed at cardiovascular health.
From all these facts, you can understand that banans can be a blessing or curse for your bunny at the same time. On one hand, they contain a high proportion of essential minerals and on the other hand, it is much high in sugars that can have detrimental effects in excessive amounts. So, with bananas moderation is always the key.
Let us have a detailed look into the health benefits and losses of bananas
Health Benefits Of Bananas In Bunnies:
There are many health benefits of bananas in the diet of a rabbit. Some of which are given as:
Relieve Oxidative Stress:
Banans have an abundant amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the best natural antioxidants. Free radicals are produced in the body daily as a result of the normal body’s metabolism. These free radicals can not only cause aging, but also chronic illnesses including cancer. Aging is one of the major processes decreasing the lifespan of rabbits.
Other fruits rich in anti-oxidants that can be safely fed to rabbits are oranges, raspberries, etc.
Bananas are rich in potassium which is famous for its cardiovascular health effects. It not only maintains proper heart pumping but also ensures the normal functioning of blood vessels.
Antioxidants For Rabbits:
Antioxidants in rabbits relieve oxidative stress, slows down ageing, detoxify the body and reduce inflammation. Moreover, they also prevent from life threatning diseases including cancer, blood clotting leading to ischemia and joint problems.
Nervous System Maintenance:
The well-balanced quantities of sodium and potassium in bananas maintain an excellent serum concentrate. This is necessary to maintain normal electrolyte balance which can drastically be affected in case of increase or decrease of certain ions. Moreover, sodium and potassium are the most important salts which play role in active nerve conduction. Therefore, bananas have their role in maintaining an active nervous system.
Banans are among the healthy treats for rabbits. They not only pleases the taste palate of the rabbit but also provide multiple health benefits.
Lure Your Bunny:
If your bunny is a picky eater or is reluctant to eat anything at a new place, you may start with the delicious banana treat. This will lure your rabbit to eating a healthy diet.
Maintain Healthy Metabolism:
Banans have an array of vitamins and minerals therefore they are necessary to maintain a healthy normal metabolism. All the vitamins in bananas have an exclusive role in body healthy functioning which makes them an all-in-one gift for rabbits.
Reproductive System And Eyesight:
Vitamin A in bananas has a super role in ensuring healthy reproductive systems. If you aim to breed your rabbit, you need to increase vitamin A rich food in the diet of your bunny. Here banans become a good alternate once in a while. Moreover, vitamin A has its known efficiency in improving eyesight and giving them protection.
All the sugars and other main components, if used in moderations, are the source of instant energy. These nutrients provide energy to the muscles of your bunny to grow and survive a healthy active life.
Health Risks Of Bananas In Bunnies:
You must be thinking of bananas as one of the best things for your bunny and are going to feed it right away. But, wait. Look into the health risks you can pose to your bunny, in case you skip the main moderation:
Bananas are very high in sugars which make them the most potent risk factors for obesity. Obesity in bunnies is directly linked to multiple other diseases including diabetes, fatty liver disease, and cardiovascular diseases. Generally, all fruits are high in sugar. But does that mean you make them taboo for rabbits? No, just give them as occasional treats, not the main course.
Ever wondered why rabbits get to have diarrhea if you feed a lot of fruits? Fruits have a lot of sugar and the digestive system of rabbits is quite different from that of humans. They do not possess constant movement of stomach muscles which help to digest food and high fiber content. Eating high sugar food more than the recommended amount can cause diarrhea, bloating, and other digestive problems. Therefore, never feed fruits to a bunny already suffering from digestive issues.
Teeth are the most essential part of any bunny. The sugars in the banans can not only cause above mentioned problems but also affect rabbit’s teeth. Vet says that tartar can build up that can cause the plaques to develop. It leads to inflammation and infection in teeth which ultimately result in tooth loss.
From chart 1.1, you can see bananas have a very low concentration of dietary fibers, protein, and fats. This makes them a highly imbalanced portion of food. Therefore, you need to be extra careful about balancing the macros with other food options to ensure a healthy diet for your rabbit.
Addictive Potential For Bunnies:
Rabbits not only love having bananas but they crave to binge on them. Bananas have such a high addictive potential for rabbits that they hop in excitement at their sight and try to reach them whatsoever. This sometimes can become dangerous and undesirable as some bunnies seem to resist a lot in order to have a bit of banana. Therefore, some vets ask to avoid bananas in the diet of a bunny.
Follow These Simple Guidelines For Safe Banana Eating By Your Bunny:
- If you are introducing banans to your rabbit for the first time, always stick to the minimum possible quantity. Wait for a week to check for any possible reaction to the new dietary component. If your rabbit does great, you may go for more safely.
- Remember fruits and vegetables are not the main course meals for rabbits, unlike what you see in most cartoons and images. Supply your bunny with an unlimited supply of hay preferably Timothy Hay.
- Do not feed two fruits in one day. It is good to stick to the advice even if you are going for smaller amounts.
- Do not feed baby rabbits with fruits. Always wait for them to grow to 4-5 months old when you start bringing changes to the diet.
- Always wash the banans before feeding them to your bunny.
- Avoid feeding bananas to rabbits suffering from gut issues, obesity, or diabetes.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does Rabbit Eat Bananas Peel?
Banana peel is not toxic for rabbits, however, it can cause digestive issues and put stress on the rabbit’s gut. Therefore, we recommend avoiding banans peels for rabbits.
Though banana peels are well digested in some rabbits, you never know how they behave in the gut of your little fellow. If you are new, you may feed the least possible amount to check for the reaction and increase gradually. However, do not increase the peel amount too much.
Do Bananas Give Rabbits Diarrhea?
Yes, bananas can cause diarrhea if given in higher than recommended amount. All the sugar content in bananas puts the digestive system of the rabbit under stress which can cause digestive issues.
Do Wild Rabbits Eat Bananas?
Wild rabbits have no previous exposure to bananas. Therefore, we recommend you go for the least possible dose for the first time. Check for any possible reaction to the new food component. Also, add other food portions to balance the sugars from the banans for rabbits.
Do Rabbits Like Bananas?
Rabbits love bananas. However, do not be deceived by the cute looks of rabbits while eating bananas. You have to be cautious about the recommended dose of bananas to avoid any undesirable effects.
Can Rabbits Eat Bananas Daily?
Yes, rabbits can eat bananas daily.
However, it can cause health risks as it is difficult to manage them well with other food components. Therefore, it is not a recommended option. Feed your bunny with bananas twice or once a week. Swap it with other recommended food options to give your bunny a well-balanced diet. Moreover, if you start feeding bananas daily to your bunny, they might become seriously addicted to them. The addiction can increase to the extent that they will stop eating other food items especially tasteless hay which is extremely important for them.
Can Rabbits Eat Banana Leaves?
Leafy greens are recommended for rabbits as a part of a healthy diet. The same case goes with banana leaves. Studies confirm that banana leaves have no poisonous or harmful component in them that can harm your rabbit. However, feed banana leaves in moderation occasionally along with other food items.
Can Rabbits Eat Dried Bananas?
Yes, rabbits can eat dried bananas.
However, the weight and size of dried bananas s much lesser than the fresh ones. They contain the same amount of sugar as in their fresh form. So, they can be deceptive and can cause dietary imbalance. For example, 10g of dried bananas have a lot of ore sugar content than 10g fresh bananas.
Bananas are surplus in multiple nutrients. However, they are only good in the recommended amount. Before feeding any kind of fruit remember to never overdo it. Hope the article answered most of your queries. If you still have any questions, drop down the comment or contact us. We would be pleased to help you.
All the Content In The Article Is Resourced From:
- Textbook of Rabbit Medicine by Frances Harcourt-Brown
- Axelson, R. DVM. ‘Rabbits – Feeding.’ VCA Hospitals. Dec 2008.
- Rabbits Health, Husbandry & Diseases by V Richardson
- ‘Chronic, Intermittent diarrhea in Rabbits (Cecal Dysbiosis).’ Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Small Mammal, Second Edition. 2011.
- Mayer, J. DVM, MSc, DABVP (ECM), DECZM (Small mammal). ‘Nutrition of Rabbits.’ Merck Veterinary Manual.
- ‘Care of Rabbits.’ Purdue University.
- Krempels, D. Ph.D. ‘What Should I Feed My Bunny?’ Miami University.
- Rabbit Feeding and Nutrition by P.R. Cheeke
- McClure, D. DVM, Ph.D., DACLAM. ‘Providing a Home for a Rabbit.’ Merck Veterinary Manual.
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine.
- Bivin et a, 1994. ‘Raising Healthy Rabbits.’ Christian Veterinary Mission.
- The National Research Council Publication on Rabbit Nutrients
- Rohilla et al, 2000. Effect of Banana Leaves Feeding on Growth of Rabbits. Indian Veterinary Journal.
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