Bananas are sweet, mouth-watering, and healthy – for humans. But can rabbits eat bananas? Chances are your fluffy pet will adore these treats because they are a sweet delight.
Yes, you can feed your rabbit bananas. But don’t overdo it because they’re packed with sugar and they’re mushy, which can affect your rabbit’s digestive system. Even banana peel is considered safe, but the portion of the peel should be smaller and offered rarer than the actual fruit.
Rabbits are herbivores, so their diets consist mostly of fibers. Fibers found in bananas are especially beneficial for them. These are called pectins and decrease their blood sugar levels after meals. Unripe bananas are packed with pectins and better for your rabbit’s digestive system.
Potassium is an important mineral because it is involved in many health processes, like protecting your rabbit’s heart and brain health.
- Vitamin C
Rabbits don’t need extra vitamin C because, unlike humans, they can synthesize this vitamin from food. However, vitamin C is involved in healing wounds and scratches.
- Vitamin B6
This vitamin treats anemia, which dwarf rabbit breeds are prone to.
This mineral protects your rabbit from stress and anxiety, which rabbits experience at higher levels because that’s their instinct as prey animals.
Bananas are rich in antioxidants called catechins, which reduce the risk of chronic cardiovascular disease.
- Bananas are rich in sugar
Rabbits’ digestive systems haven’t evolved to deal with sugary treats. Bunnies may eat fruits in the wild, but they do so sparingly when these fruits fall on the ground. Besides, wild fruit have smaller amounts of sugar than bananas. The risk here is that bananas in excess can give your rabbit diabetes in the long term and affect its immune system because sugar kills its good gut bacteria.
- Bananas are high in calories
Domestic rabbits are prone to obesity because they have lots of food at their disposal and run around less than their peers in the wild. Too many bananas can make your rabbit obese. In fact, vets recommend that already overweight rabbits shouldn’t eat fruits that are high in sugar or calories.
- Bananas pack a lot of starch
This substance affects your rabbit’s intestines and can cause bloating, stomach discomfort, and pain.
How Many Bananas Can I Give My Rabbit? Tips and Recommendations
Your rabbit’s diet should consist mainly of fresh, quality hay, such as timothy hay for adults and alfalfa hay for baby rabbits, with the addition of pellets.
Fruits and veggies should be about 15% of your rabbit’s daily diet. The rule of thumb is one tablespoon of these treats for every two pounds of the bunny’s body weight.
Bananas should only be a small part of that tablespoon of fruits and veggies because they’re extremely sweet.
If you have a dwarf rabbit, one slice of banana per day should be enough, while bigger breeds can safely deal with two slices per day.
Introduce bananas into your rabbit’s diet gradually. Start with half a slice and watch for any adverse effects. If your rabbit gets watery diarrhea, becomes lethargic, or refuses food, ring your vet asap.
Don’t give baby rabbits bananas. Your bunny should be at least three months old before receiving any fruits and veggies.
It’s not mandatory to offer peels and leaves. Although these aren’t toxic, banana peels especially could cause blockages in your rabbit’s intestinal tract. It’s important to cut them up horizontally and not overdo it. Just a nail-sized bite of peel is enough for your bunny.
If you’re giving your rabbit banana peels or leaves, wash them carefully to get rid of any toxic pesticides.