There are few more delicious treats on a hot summer afternoon than a refreshing slice of watermelon.
But before you share some sweet, juicy watermelon with your beautiful bunny, ask yourself: Can rabbits eat watermelon? Is watermelon safe for bunnies?
Happily, the answer is yes. Rabbits can eat watermelon and even watermelon rind. However, please be aware that this fruit’s high sugar content means you should only feed it to your bunny occasionally. You should also remove the seeds or buy seedless watermelon if you plan on feeding it to your pet.
Is Watermelon Safe for Rabbits?
If you’re thinking of giving your rabbit some watermelon to nibble on as a treat, you’ll be pleased to learn that this fruit is perfectly safe for your furry friend. There’s nothing in watermelon that is toxic to rabbits, so you and your bunny can share a snack together.
However, watermelon should only ever be given as an occasional treat. The majority of your bunny’s diet should consist of good-quality hay and grass. While pellets and leafy greens can be used to supplement this, fruit should never form a major part of your rabbit’s diet.
That said, watermelon can provide a small nutritional boost for your bunny. As its name suggests, watermelon has a high water content of more than 90%, so it can help your bunny stay hydrated. It’s also low in calories and a good source of vitamin C.
However, watermelon is high in sugar as well, so it should only be given to your bunny in small amounts.
Check out the table below for more information about the nutritional content of watermelons.
|Raw watermelon, 100g portion|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.15g|
Source: FoodData Central
Can Rabbits Eat Watermelon Rind?
You might eat the delicious pinkish-red flesh of the watermelon and throw away the rest, but don’t be so fast to toss the watermelon rind in the trash.
The green skin and the white rind are also perfectly safe for rabbits to eat. In fact, the rind actually has more fiber and potassium than the flesh of the watermelon, with potassium helping to protect your pet against hypokalemia.
Risks of Feeding Watermelon to Your Rabbit
Before you rush off and start chopping up a watermelon for your rabbit, please be aware that there are a few risks to consider when feeding this fruit to your pet.
- Watermelon is high in sugar. Like many other fruits, watermelon has high sugar content. Too much sugar can cause an upset stomach for your bunny, potentially leading to diarrhea.
- Obesity risk. Consuming excessive amounts of sugar can also cause your rabbit to put on weight. Obesity can lead to myiasis, GI stasis and a wide range of other health problems, so it’s essential to keep your pet in a healthy weight range.
- Watch out for the seeds. Watermelon seeds can potentially cause intestinal blockages for rabbits, so be sure to remove the seeds before giving this fruit to your pet.
- Can result in a fussy eater. Like a child who would rather eat candy than fruit and vegetables, too much fruit in your rabbit’s diet could cause her to become a picky eater. This could lead to her refusing the nutritious foods she needs as part of a balanced diet in favor of unhealthy snacks.
How Much Watermelon Can a Rabbit Eat?
Watermelon, along with all other fruits, should only ever be given to your rabbit in moderation. The recommended maximum serve is 1-2 tablespoons of fruit for every five pounds of body weight, so be careful not to overdo it. You’ll also need to make sure that you only feed fruit to your pet occasionally — once or twice a week should provide a good balance.
To prepare watermelon for your rabbit, make sure to remove any seeds. If you’re giving him some rind and skin to eat as well, ensure that they’re chopped into bite-sized pieces to prevent choking.
Finally, remember to introduce any new food to your bunny gradually. Start with a small taste of watermelon and if there are no adverse effects, you can then give your rabbit a slightly larger serve the next time you give them a fruit snack.
Because it’s high in sugar, watermelon should only ever be given to your bunny occasionally. You’ll also need to buy seedless watermelon or remove the seeds before giving any of this fruit to your furry friend.
But if you follow these simple guidelines, watermelon can make a delicious treat for your beautiful bunny.