You can’t go wrong with including oranges in your diet. The fruit not only tastes great, but it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, too. However, foods that are good for humans may not have the same positive effects on animals. So if you’re a bun parent, the question can rabbits eat oranges must have popped into your mind. Find out as we discuss the effects of oranges on your pet and if it’s safe to let him enjoy this yummy fruit.
Do Rabbits like Them?
Most rabbits have a sweet tooth. That means any food that contains sugar is a welcome treat for them. Oranges contain plenty of that sweet stuff. A medium-sized orange has approximately 14 grams of sugar. On top of that, oranges are juicy, too. That’s a very enticing combination for both buns and humans alike.
Although they’re more famous for having high Vitamin C, oranges contain other vitamins and minerals as well. Here are some nutritional facts about this sweet, juicy, and refreshing fruit.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Dietary Fiber
Can They Eat Them?
Yes, they can, and they’ll likely gobble up every last bit you serve them. But harden your heart when your bun turns to you with pleading eyes. For his sake, stand firm and don’t give him a few more bites.
Because rabbits love oranges, it’s good to know that sharing some of your snacks with your bun can positively affect his health.
Aids in Digestion
Oranges contain pectin. This is a soluble fiber that helps soften the stool and speed up the movement of food material through the digestive tract. Rabbits have sensitive digestions and are prone to GI stasis, where the food stops moving in their gut. Thus, anything that helps push the food material through their intestines can aid in the prevention of digestive issues.
Aside from preventing constipation, pectin also lowers cholesterol levels and regulates blood sugar levels.
Good for the Skin and Coat
Many people assume that carrots make great rabbit food. That’s true to some extent. Carrots contain beta-carotene that has a beneficial effect on your bun’s skin and coat. It also helps maintain healthy eyesight.
The same beta-carotene that gives carrots their distinctive color is likewise present in oranges. Thus, like carrots, oranges are also good for your rabbit’s skin and coat.
Boosts the Immune System
Vitamin C is best known for boosting the body’s disease-fighting ability. It does so by improving different cellular functions and helping the white blood cells do their job more effectively. Enhancing your pet’s immunity can be a factor in adding years to his life.
Despite the health benefits oranges bring, you still need to limit your pet’s serving portion of oranges.
Too Much Vitamin C Can Be Harmful
Yes, vitamin C can do wonders in improving your bun’s health, but too much of it won’t be good for him. Rabbits require only a tiny amount of this vitamin, and excessive intake can lead to kidney damage. One small orange doesn’t contain enough vitamin C to harm your pet but giving him too much and too often isn’t a good idea.
Can Cause an Upset Stomach
We mentioned that rabbits have sensitive digestions, right? That means it’s easy to upset the delicate balance of their digestive system and throw its operation out of whack. Oranges are acidic, so feeding your fur baby excessive amounts can lead to tummy troubles.
Too Much Sugar Is Bad for Your Rabbit
Rabbits love sweet stuff. If your pet gets used to having oranges, he might become addicted and shun other foods he needs, such as essential hay and fresh, leafy veggies. For rabbits with diabetes, a high sugar intake can lead to fatal consequences. Moreover, the high citric content of oranges can cause mouth ulcers.
How Much Can They Have?
Like other fruits with high sugar content, such as grapes and bananas, you shouldn’t feed your bun oranges every day. Once or twice a week should be enough. How much can you safely give your pet? Limit his portion to just a tiny bite or 2-3 small wedges once in a while.
How to Feed
Rabbits can eat oranges occasionally as a treat. Rotate it with other fruits for variety. Here are some considerations before giving the fruit to your pet.
- Check if the orange is fully ripe. The best way to do so is to taste if the pulp is juicy and sweet. Unripe oranges may be too sour for your pet.
- Peel the fruit first and remove the white pith covering the orange. Both the peel and pith are bitter and hardly contain any nutritional value.
- Buy organically-grown oranges as much as possible to ensure that your pet won’t ingest any chemical pesticides.
- Make sure you remove all the seeds. These contain hydrocyanic acid, which can be toxic to your bun.
- Break the fruit into wedges to better control the serving you give your pet.
- As with other food that you feed your bun for the first time, offer only a small amount at first. Check for adverse reactions or signs of illness, such as diarrhea or upset stomach. If you see any, refrain from giving oranges to your rabbit.
Can They Eat the Peel?
Many rabbits don’t like the taste of the peel. Moreover, orange peels may contain traces of pesticides that may not be eliminated even by thorough washing. The peel doesn’t have much nutritional value anyway, so it would be a good idea to avoid offering some to your rabbit.
Can Rabbits Drink Orange Juice?
It’s okay to give a tiny sip but don’t consider replacing your rabbit’s water supply with this liquid. The juice contains too much sugar, which rabbits can’t tolerate.
Can They Eat Dried Oranges?
They can, but we advise against feeding dried oranges to your pet. Drying the fruit concentrates its already high sugar content. On top of that, store-bought dried oranges often have added sweeteners to improve the taste.
Rabbits can eat oranges. But to be on the safe side, limit the portion you serve your pet. Consider oranges as treats, and don’t replace his hay and fresh veggies with this fruit. Also, keep varying his treats by alternating oranges with other fruits like watermelon and pineapple.
Other Diet Posts
- Do Rabbits Eat Insects?
- Are Rabbits Herbivores?
- How Long Can a Rabbit Go Without Food?
- Can Rabbits Eat Oranges?
- Can Rabbits Eat Cat Food?
- Do Rabbits Eat Meat?
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