Whether it’s fall time or you just normally have pumpkin around the house year-round, you might be wondering “can rabbits have pumpkin?”. After all, it’s a sweet snack that is sure to light up the eyes of your bunny if they get a whiff of it.
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know in regards to whether or not rabbits can have pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. By the end, you’ll have a great idea of whether or not this is a viable food to include in your bunny’s diet.
Short Answer: Can Rabbits Eat Pumpkin?
The short answer is yes, rabbits are able to safely eat pumpkin. A high percentage of pumpkin is made up of water and they are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
But, this answer comes with a few caveats. Remember, pumpkin is technically a fruit – and fruit should only be a tiny part of any rabbit’s diet. For grown adult bunnies, the maximum recommendation for fruit in a rabbit’s diet per day is only 1 ounce per 2 pounds of body weight. For most pet bunnies, that means only 2 ounces total for your per day at the most.
In light of that, it’s best to view pumpkin as an occasional treat or a dessert. Bunnies definitely have a sweet tooth and will love the taste of the pumpkin, but you should be very careful to not over do it.
A Few Things To Keep In Mind
The overall diet of your bunny should be about 85% hay or fresh pellets that you can load into a rabbit feeder. From there, the next 10 to 15% should be fresh vegetables like bell pepper or celery. Only 0 to 5% of the diet should be comprised of fruits, so even though pumpkin is technically safe for your rabbit – you shouldn’t make a habit out of feeding it to them.
In fact, too much pumpkin can have some pretty negative side effects. Most probably, too much pumpkin will cause digestive issues and a bacterial imbalance and way too many sugars in the digestive system. If you feed your bunny pumpkin and begin to observe diahrrea, it’s best to stop right away.
It’s also important that you make sure to feed your bunny fresh pumpkin. That might sound like an obvious tip, but you shouldn’t feed anything to your bunny that has been sitting out and has even the slightest possibility of mold growth.
You can also feed your small quantity of pumpkin to your bunny either in raw form or baked in the oven.
How to Feed Pumpkin to Your Rabbit
The rule fo how much pumpkin to feed your bunny is a maximum of 1 ounce per day (or 2 tablespoons) for every 2 to 3 pounds your bunny weighs. With that in mind, cut up the pumpkin and give the little cubes to your bunny to eat.
It’s also important to realize that you should only feed pumpkin to your rabbit at most 2 to 3 times per week. Any more than that and you run the risk of spoiling their diet, causing health issues, or getting their bodies too used to the sugar intake levels.
You might also be wondering can rabbits eat pumpkin seeds? The answer to that question is a little different than pumpkin. Even though some say it’s fine to feed pumpkin seeds to your bunny, our advice is that no, you should not feed pumpkin seeds to your rabbit.
Purely from a nutritional standpoint, your bunny can handle an unsalted pumpkin seed or two. Any more than that would start to cause digestive problems. The real issue for us comes because of the texture of the seeds. If they don’t chew them thoroughly, a seed could easily get lodged in the trachea and cause your bunny to choke. On a less severe level, the seed can also get stuck in their teeth.
When you consider in the first place that pumpkin seeds aren’t even that good for bunnies, to us there is no reason at all to run the risk of choking. There are plenty of other safer fruits you could give your pet as dessert or a special treat that are much safer to digest.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Here are the general health benefits of pumpkin, and how they can be of a little benefit to your bunny if given in extremely moderate servings:
- Low in calories and high water content
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B12
I hope this guide to can rabbits eat pumpkin and pumpkin seeds has helped to clear the air up. At the end of the day, it’s safe to feed your bunny a tasty pumpkin treat as long as it’s done in moderation. Pumpkin seeds on the other hand can be a choking hazard and frankly just aren’t worth the risk of harming your pet rabbit.