An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but does the same hold true for your bunny? Fresh fruits and vegetables are integral to a balanced diet, although remembering what’s beneficial versus harmful to your rabbit. Luckily apples are a great food to add to their dietary rotation–with a few exceptions.
Apples and Rabbits
Apples are okay to give to your rabbit as long as they’re given in moderation (i.e. small amounts). Apples are tasty and that’s because they’re high in fructose (sugar), but too much sugar is harmful to rabbits, leading to obesity and digestive problems.
While small amounts of apple are okay occasionally, never feed rabbits the seeds and stem. These parts of the apple naturally contain cyanide. The cyanide isn’t high enough that it will be toxic to you if you eat a couple seeds, but rabbits’ digestive systems are quite different from a human’s. It would take quite a large number of seeds to affect your bunny, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Feeding Apples to Your Rabbit
While keeping moderation in mind, make sure you’re chopping the fruit up into small pieces. Rabbits can choke on things, and apples are no exception. Ensure you’re dicing their daily allotment up to eliminate any potential choking hazards.
Fruits for Rabbits
To avoid giving your rabbit too much sugar, fruit should make up less than 10 percent of their overall diet. On average, one teaspoon per two pounds of body weight is plenty of fruit per day. If you’re worried about pesticides (especially with apples since they’re part of the “Dirty Dozen” list), then peel the skin off or purchase organic fruit. However, since the amount they’re getting day to day is so low, it’s unlikely pesticides will harm them in any way.
If you’re trying to train your rabbit, consider using their favorite fruit as a training tool. Since they don’t get a large amount of fruit, they’ll be more motivated working for something they view as a rare treat instead of a daily occurrence.
Apples aren’t toxic to bunnies, but the amount of sugar makes them less than ideal for frequent consumption. Treat apples like you would chocolate for yourself: moderation is key.