Giving Apples to Rabbits

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Maintaining a healthy rabbit involves a lot of work and commitment. Among your responsibilities is ensuring your rabbits have a nutritionally sound diet. Your rabbit needs lots of hay, some pelleted feed, and some vegetable and fruit matter. Your bunnies can eat apple in moderation, but be sure they eat no apple seeds.

Basic Rabbit Diet

The basic foundation of a healthy and balanced pet rabbit diet needs to be grass hay -- think oat hay, alfalfa hay or timothy hay. The ASPCA says you must make sure your fluff ball has constant and abundant access to hay. Apart from hay, fresh and fiber-rich commercial rabbit pellets are also key to a well-rounded daily rabbit diet.

Fresh Fruits

Pet rabbits like to eat fresh fruits as occasional treats. Apple is a safe and harmless fruit choice for rabbits, according to Dana Krempels of the University of Miami Department of Biology. Keep apples and other treats to a minimum, however, as the sugar content is high. Other harmless occasional fruit treat choices are mangoes, apricots, bananas, blackberries, plums, pears, raspberries, peaches, pineapples, cherries and strawberries. Cut the fruit up into tiny pieces and keep portions small -- a teaspoon or two per rabbit per day or every other day, for instance. If your rabbit has a weight problem, avoid feeding him all fruits, including apples. Watch for diarrhea in any of your rabbits when you feed new foods.

Seeds and Stems

Never under any circumstances allow your rabbits to eat apple seeds or stems. If you plan on feeding your pet apples, diligently cut the fruit up into small pieces and make sure no seeds or stems are included in the rabbits' portions. Apple seeds and stems consist of cyanogenic glycosides, which are poisonous compounds that can trigger a variety of hazardous symptoms in pets, including stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, convulsions, reduced heart rate and respiratory congestion. In especially severe cases, consumption of apple seeds or stems can be fatal in pets. Keep your rabbit far away from these things.

Caution

Always get your veterinarian's approval before you bring anything new to your rabbit's diet, whether apples or anything else. Many food items that may be harmless to you are serious hazards to your rabbit, such as nuts, corn, potatoes, cereals, breads, beans, raisins, chocolate and any types of candies. Keeping your adorable pet safe and healthy for as long as possible is your priority, after all.

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