Last Updated on July 21, 2020 by Woody Pet
Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes? Here’s What To Never Give Your Rabbit!
Do you happen to have a pet rabbit that you really care about? Since you clicked on this article, it would be quite fair to assume that you do and that you are trying to feed them as well as you can. A well-balanced diet is the key to that. In this article, we will discuss the role of tomatoes in a rabbit’s diet; can rabbits eat tomatoes? This is a question that many rabbit owners have, as it is understandable that tomatoes sound like good food to give to your rabbit because they are cheap, easy to get and delicious!
So, can rabbits eat tomatoes? If yes, how many? How should we serve them? What are the benefits and what are the dangers of tomatoes? Can rabbits eat tomatoes’ seeds? You’d be very surprised with what science tells us. Read on to find out!
Are Tomatoes Safe For Rabbits To Eat?
The short answer is yes, rabbits can eat tomatoes and they can do so safely. But “Are tomatoes safe for rabbits to eat?” is not the right question here. We should be asking “Are tomatoes beneficial for rabbits to eat?” While most rabbits will happily accept and munch on a tomato if offered, tomatoes are not really that nutritious for rabbits. Tomatoes are considered fairly healthy for us, but they are too sugary for our furry little friends with big ears, so they should only be offered as a treat, just like any other fruit.
Fruits in total should only make up around 10 percent of a rabbit’s diet, so tomatoes should only be served (as treats) occasionally, cut into small pieces and thoroughly washed under running water to make sure that there are no pesticides in sight.
Your rabbit will probably quite like the sweet taste of the fructose inside the tomato, but you need to be aware that you are not doing any favors to your rabbit’s health by feeding them tomatoes. The key to having a happy bunny is essentially a healthy diet that consists mainly of hay and leafy greens. Fruit, although it tastes delicious, should only be given as candy.
The Benefits And Dangers Of Tomatoes For Rabbits
Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C, folate and potassium. While folate and potassium are good for rabbits, their organisms can produce their own Vitamin C, so they do not need to outsource any from their diet.
That being said, tomatoes, while being flavorful and refreshing, are not particularly nutritious and valuable to rabbits, so there is no need to insist on giving them to your rabbit if he or she does not want to eat them, even though they probably will. However, the high fructose content in tomatoes is not good for the rabbit’s digestive system, so limit your serving to around ¼ of a regular tomato per week to be safe.
Make sure that you introduce tomatoes very slowly into your rabbits diet and watch for signs of a negative reaction. Upon such signs, which include bloating, loose stools or discomfort, stop giving your rabbit tomatoes right away. Be very aware though, because tomato leaves are extremely poisonous to rabbits and they should not be given under any circumstances.
Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes’ Seeds?
Just like tomato plants, tomato seeds are harmful in large doses. For that reason, it is highly recommended that you remove all seeding before giving tomatoes to your favorite little furry friend. Make sure to get rid of the stems as well. Tomato seeds contain a chemical that, if ingested in a significant quantity, can do real damage. It is way better to not risk it at all with the seeds. This should not come as a surprise, because most fruit’s seeds are toxic to rabbits, with very few exceptions.
Additionally, make sure to dice or slice the tomatoes into small pieces so that it is easy for the rabbit to eat them. Always remember to wash the tomatoes thoroughly, as you should with every produce. The chemicals in pesticides can do real harm to the sensitive tummy of your little rabbit friend.
Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes Conclusion
Not only can rabbits eat tomatoes, they really like them. Rabbits quite appreciate to enjoy a nutrient-dense, sugary food and tomatoes are definitely no exception to that rule. That being said, eighty percent of a rabbit’s diet should be composed of hay and greens, and sugary foods should only make up ten percent of it.
Do the benefits and the dangers of tomatoes outweigh one another? Probably. In conclusion, rabbits can certainly eat tomatoes, but they should be given as treats, in moderation. High amounts of sugar are not good for anyone, pet rabbits included. When giving rabbits tomatoes, we should be careful to remove all leaves, stems and seeding and cut them up in smaller pieces to make everything easy.
Additionally, tomatoes should be washed carefully, especially if they are not organic, because rabbits can react very badly to chemicals in produce. Do not give any tomatoes to baby rabbits. The key to a happy pet rabbit is a healthy, well-balanced diet and tomatoes can be a part of it, just in moderation, as everything else.