Is there anything better on a summer afternoon than a big juicy wedge of watermelon? The sweet, light flavor can’t be replicated regardless of the time of year, and whoever says fruit isn’t dessert has never had the perfect watermelon. No matter when or how you eat it, it’s always tasty. But is it safe to share this sweet summery treat with your bunny?
Is Watermelon Dangerous for Rabbits?
Watermelon is perfectly fine to give to your rabbit, but it should always be doled out in strict moderation. Watermelon is so yummy because it’s high in sugar. Unfortunately, rabbits are unable to digest sugar like humans. Small amounts of sugar are usually fine for most rabbits, but when their bodies become overloaded with it, their digestive tract starts to show the effects. Sugar passes through most of their digestive tract before it actually gets broken down. It reaches the end of the colon where the resident “bad” bacteria see it as their food source and digests it. This doesn’t sound bad, but when the bad bacteria are well-fed, they start to reproduce.
The intestines have a fine balance of good and bad bacteria, and when there are too many bad organisms, then the good bacteria dwindle and the rabbit’s digestion starts to suffer. Signs of a gut proliferated with bad bacteria are gas, bloating, loose stool, diarrhea, and inappetence.
Is Watermelon Rind Safe for Rabbits?
The rind is fine for bunnies to munch on! It’s got significantly more fiber than the rest of the fruit, and it’s got less sugar, too. If you give your rabbit the rind, break it into manageable pieces. Don’t give them a huge chunk and let them eat the entire piece. Less is always more when it’s fruit!
Safely Feeding Watermelon to Your Rabbit
You know that moderation is important, but how you feed the fruit is just as important as how much you’re giving them. Ensure there are no seeds left in the fruit. These are a choking and inhalation hazard, and there is research indicating they could possibly be toxic in large quantities.
Second, cut the fruit up into small squares. Your bunny shouldn’t be getting very much anyways, but cutting up the pieces makes it easier to eat. Remember, fruit should make up less than 10 percent of your bunny’s diet, so watermelon should be a treat they get once or twice a week.
Rabbits really enjoy fruit, and the syrupy sweetness of watermelon is no exception. It’s good for them in small amounts, so it’s fine to them occasionally join in on your melon snacks.