Are Bananas Safe for Rabbits?

Managing your rabbit’s diet is a bit more complicated than that of a dog’s, but it’s still pretty simple if you’re aware of a rabbit’s nutritional needs. By now you know your bunny’s diet should consist mostly of grass hay and fresh vegetables, but fruits are okay to give sparingly. Bunnies really enjoy bananas, but is it okay to give them, and how often is too often?

Can Rabbits Eat Bananas?

Bananas are a decent fruit choice for your rabbit, but like all other fruits, they should still be given sparingly. Should you eat chocolate cake every day? No, you shouldn’t, and rabbits shouldn’t eat fruit every day, either. Bananas are high in starch and sugar, both of which should be given in strict moderation. Starch is harmful to a rabbit’s lagomorphic digestive system. This type of digestion is designed to digest cellulose, not carbohydrates and fats. Too much starch leads to diarrhea, obesity, and other digestion-related health problems or even death.

It’s important to limit sugar, too. Rabbits don’t need sugar for a balanced diet, and too much sugar is very hard for them to digest. This leads to gas, diarrhea, and an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut. It also turns them off of their hay and vegetables because they start to prefer the sweeter, tastier foods.

How Much Banana Can Rabbits Eat?

A thumb sized piece of banana a few times a week is plenty. The peel is also safe, but it should be given in small amounts, too. The peels are higher in fiber and lower in sugar, but they’re still very starchy. Start slowly, and no matter how much your rabbit likes bananas, remember fruit should never consist of more than 10 percent of their overall diet. One to two tablespoons of fruit a couple of times per week is more than enough to keep them healthy.

No matter how sweet your bunny looks at you when you’re gnoshing on a piece of fruit, don’t give in. Fruit does almost nothing for their diet if they’re eating plenty of hay and vegetables, so stick to their healthier foods for a healthier, happier bunny.

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