Normally we see pictures on the internet of cute rabbits holding a pomegranate. Pomegranate is a very healthy fruit which is usually found in October to February in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Southern Hemisphere from March to May.
If you have rabbits, you may wonder if you can feed them pomegranates. In this article you will find out the answer as well as many more information on this issue.
So, Can Rabbits eat pomegranates?
Yes, Rabbits can eat pomegranate, but it is not recommended in a large amount. Pomegranate can be given to rabbits as an occasional treat. It should be very limited as there are some elements in pomegranate which is not good for them to consume on a regular basis.
Can rabbits eat pomegranate leaves?
Yes, bunnies can eat pomegranate leaves and sometimes they like the taste sometimes they might not like it. However, it is safe for them as there are no harmful elements in the pomegranate leaves. So, being herbivores, rabbits are free to eat the leaves.
Can rabbits eat pomegranate seeds?
No, they can not eat the seeds at all as this can be toxic for rabbits in large quantities. This is another reason why bunnies can have very little amount of pomegranate. Apparently, pomegranate can not be moved from the seed easily.
Is it safe for rabbits to eat pomegranates?
If you ask that is pomegranate safe or not, the answer would be yes, it is safe. But not very often and at a very little amount as this fruit contains a lot of sugar.
Pomegranate also contains phosphorus elements for which anything more than once or twice a week can cause negative effects on the rabbit.
The reason why pomegranate is not recommended for rabbits
In some research, it is found that pomegranate can cause anti-inflammatory effects in rabbits. Let us take a look at the nutritional data of pomegranate. Specially phosphorus, sugar, acidic, fat etc. contents to understand the effects more clearly.
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 346 kJ (83 kcal)
Carbohydrates 18.7 g
Sugars 13.67 g
Dietary fiber 4 g
Fat 1.17 g
Protein 1.67 g
Pantothenic acid (B5) – (8%) 0.377 mg
Calcium (1%) 10 mg
Iron (2%) 0.3 mg
Magnesium (3%) 12 mg
Manganese (6%) 0.119 mg
Phosphorus (5%) 36 mg
Potassium (5%) 236 mg
Sodium (0%) 3 mg
Zinc (4%) 0.35 mg
As you can see pomegranate contains a lot of sugar, quite a bit of phosphorus, a little acid, some calcium, fat and fiber also. And rabbits do not have a very high-quality digestive system like human beings to digest all these elements properly.
Rabbits can have digestive problems, stomach pain, constipation etc. effects for eating pomegranate at a large amount. So, for this reason pomegranate is not recommended as a regular diet for rabbits.
Potential Hazards of feeding excess pomegranate to your rabbit
Sugar content: rabbits are not designed to digest sugar content. They do not need sugar in their diet at all. And there is a lot of natural sugar in pomegranate. It can cause excessive weight gain, diarrhea and encourage many toxic bacteria to grow in your bunny’s tummy.
Vitamin C: Rabbits do not need vitamin C at all. They can produce the amount of vitamin C they need naturally. They do not need it from some other source as excess vitamin C can cause them kidney problems. And pomegranates have vitamin C in them which can cause them harm if eaten at a large amount regularly.
Vitamin B complex: Bunnies do not need vitamin B complex also. They can produce it by themselves. But pomegranate contains vitamin B complex which your bunny might not be able to absorb properly.
Carbs: Too much carbs are bad for rabbits as they have a very complex GI system and they are prone to gain weight if consumed more carbs than needed. Pomegranate also contains carbs which can cause them intestine problems.
Calcium: Rabbits need calcium in their diet but if consumed excess, calcium can cause rabbit a condition called ‘bladder sludge’. That is why pomegranate should not be given regularly.
Reasons why you should offer pomegranate occasionally
Contains low fat: Rabbits need a little amount of fat in their diet. High fat must be avoided. High fat can cause cholesterol problems, immune problems etc. Pomegranate is low in fat and can satisfy the need for fat in a rabbit’s diet.
Magnesium: Rabbits also need magnesium in their daily diet chart. They should have 30-40 gram of magnesium regularly. If there is a shortage of magnesium in their diet for too long, it can cause them coronary artery disease. As pomegranate contains a little amount of magnesium also, having it once or twice in a week is not a bad thing.
For a change: Rabbits are not fond of the same type of food or environment for a long time. They get bored. So, for a little change from regular hay, you can let them have pomegranate sometimes.
How much pomegranate should you feed your rabbit?
As an occasional treat, pomegranate should not be given more than twice a week to a rabbit. Although you can give them the pomegranate leaves more regularly as they are harmless to your bunny.
Some tips to feed pomegranate to rabbits
As mentioned before, try not to let them have the pomegranate seed at all. And for that you need to make pomegranate juice to feed your bunny.
Secondly, watch the reaction of your bunny while eating pomegranate. The effects of pomegranate may vary from rabbit to rabbit. Different rabbits have different taste. So, while giving pomegranate to your rabbit, monitor for any negative reactions.
Everyone makes mistakes, including the person who wrote the sentence as well as the person now reading it. Sometimes you might have given your bunny pomegranate at a large number not knowing the consequences.
Now you know that rabbits can eat pomegranate but not at a large number. Pomegranate is high in sugar, carbs and other minerals which rabbits do not need. Although it can do some benefits to your rabbit and can be an occasional treat to them.
So, just understand your particular one and take good care of it. It will surely love you back the way you love them.