Like all herbivores, rabbits thrive on fresh foods. Commercial rabbit diets are formulated to support your bunny’s health, but research shows that these animals do best on a diet of fresh grass hay and vegetables. Humans are also at their healthiest with plenty of fruits and vegetables, but it’s important to remember your nutritional needs are completely different than your rabbit’s, and too much fruit is detrimental to your rabbit’s health.
Are Grapes Toxic to Rabbits?
Grapes are not toxic to rabbits, but they’re definitely not something that’s good for them without careful moderation. Of all of the fruits, grapes are one of the highest in how much sugar they contain. One cup of grapes has 15 grams of sugar, far exceeding a rabbit’s serving of sugar per day.
Fruit should never make up more than 10 percent of your rabbit’s total diet. This equates to one or two tablespoons of fruit per day, maximum.
Why Are Sugary Grapes Bad for Rabbits?
Sugar isn’t toxic to rabbits, but their bodies can’t digest it like humans can. Even natural sugars like the kind in fruit aren’t tolerated in excess. Since their body can’t digest it, the sugar travels to the intestines, and once it’s in the caecum, the gut’s bad bacteria (which thrives off of sugar) rapidly breaks the sugar down. This causes painful gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Because the bad bacteria is being fed a consistent diet of sugar, it begins to take over the gut. This reduces how much good bacteria is able to grow in the intestines, reducing nutrient absorption and digestive efficiency. When the bad overtakes the good, the digestive system’s pH balance changes, too. When the pH changes, your rabbit’s body is unable to produce essential nutrients like B-vitamins to stay healthy.
Safely Feeding Grapes to Rabbits
Grapes aren’t dangerous or necessarily unhealthy, but you need to take a couple precautions when it comes to how you’re serving them. First, they should always be seedless. Second, they should be cut up into manageable pieces suitable to your bunny’s size. They can pose a choking hazard if your rabbit is an overeager eater.
Grapes aren’t unsafe for your rabbit, but too many will most certainly cause some very uncomfortable digestive upset. If you aren’t sure what the ideal amount of fruit is, ask your veterinarian for further advice.