Have you ever wondered if feeding nectarines to your rabbit is safe? These plump, juicy fruits are a firm favorite among humans, but can you share one with your pet, or is it better to avoid this for the sake of your rabbit’s safety?
There is a lot of confusion regarding the stone fruits, such as nectarines.
It is safe to feed your rabbit small amounts of nectarines, and your bunny will probably love this treat food, especially if it enjoys similar fruits such as plums.
However, you must only ever offer it in small amounts and occasionally; it shouldn’t be a regular part of your rabbit’s diet, no matter how much it enjoys it.
Are Nectarines Good For Rabbits?
Nectarines are fairly good for rabbits if they are fed in small quantities, yes. They contain vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin E, and they also provide fiber, folate, magnesium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and copper. These are beneficial to your rabbit and will improve its health and immunity in many different ways.
However, you do also need to be cautious. Although a lot of rabbits enjoy eating nectarine, it can be dangerous because it contains a lot of sugar and carbohydrates – and rabbits do not need high levels of either of these things.
Both sugar and carbohydrates can cause problems for your bunny. They will encourage weight gain, which is a big issue among domestic rabbits, as they tend to get limited exercise. Being overweight can cause arthritis and heart disease, so it’s important to stay on top of this.
The best way to prevent weight issues from occurring is by feeding your rabbit a healthy, balanced diet and limiting the number of treats it gets. Your rabbit should get most of its food (around 85 to 90 percent) as hay or grass and only about 10 percent as treats.
Furthermore, sugar can be problematic for your rabbit’s teeth, and the softness of nectarines may exacerbate this issue. Rabbits need to constantly gnaw at hard substances, or their teeth can grow too long and cut into their mouths. Nectarines are too soft to keep your rabbit’s teeth down, so you shouldn’t give it too many.
Finally, eating a lot of “treat” foods may upset your rabbit’s digestive system. Rabbits have quite sensitive stomachs, and they need to eat plenty of hay or grass in order to get sufficient fiber. This fiber keeps their guts moving and ensures that food is processed properly.
If your rabbit eats a lot of nectarines, this will sit in its guts because there won’t be enough fiber pushing it through. This can lead to digestive complications, blockages, or even food fermenting inside your rabbit’s intestines.
In serious situations, this can be deadly, so you must see a vet promptly if you think this has happened.
How Much Nectarine Can My Rabbit Have?
Your rabbit should have nectarine as a small part of a balanced, rotating diet. Less than a third of a nectarine should be plenty for a rabbit weighing six pounds or more, and this should be fed rarely rather than often.
Try to swap the treats that you give to your rabbit frequently. If you feed your rabbit nectarine one day, give it different treats for the next few days before offering it nectarine again. The more variety you can introduce, the healthier your rabbit should stay.
This reduces the risk of any one food causing health complications and leaving your bunny sick. Overall, your rabbit’s treat intake for the day should be about the size of its head or smaller and should be made up of a variety of fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens. Fruit should be pretty limited as a whole.
Can My Rabbit Have Nectarine Stones To Play With?
No, you should remove the pit of a nectarine before you give it to your rabbit, and never give this to your bunny to play with.
The stones of fruits are not generally considered rabbit-safe. Your bunny might try to swallow the pit, which could cause an internal blockage or choking. Either of these could be fatal.
Alternatively, it might bite on the pit hard enough to make it splinter. These pits tend to contain small amounts of cyanide – not usually enough to be dangerous, but something to be aware of.
On the whole, the biggest risk is the choking hazard, and this should be avoided. Do not let your rabbit chew on or play with a nectarine pit, even if it has been washed. It may still smell of food, prompting your bunny to try to eat it.
Do I Need To Peel Nectarines?
You don’t need to peel nectarines before you give pieces to your rabbit. The skin contains more nutrients than the flesh and is better for the rabbit, so leave it on. However, it is a good idea to give it a thorough wash before you serve it.
It’s best to buy organic fruit for your rabbit if possible because chemicals and pesticide residue could prove harmful, even in small quantities. If you can’t get organic fruit, it’s even more important to wash fruit well before giving any to your bunny.
What Should I Do If Nectarine Gives My Rabbit Stomach Problems?
If nectarines do not seem to agree with your rabbit and result in constipation or diarrhea, it’s best to stop feeding them. Although nectarines should generally be safe, different bunnies have different digestive systems and may be upset by foods that other rabbits find suitable.
Do not continue to feed your rabbit nectarines if they upset it, even if it loves them. This isn’t safe and could lead to more serious digestive issues in the future. Find other treats for it to enjoy.
Rabbits can eat nectarines in small portions, but they should not make up a large part of their diet. If you are feeding your rabbit a lot of other sugary treats, leave nectarines off the menu, and opt for dark, leafy greens instead.