Figs are sweet and succulent, which appeals to a rabbit’s palate. They are also packed with fiber, which is the cornerstone of a healthy rabbit diet.
Figs should be fed to a rabbit in moderation. A small piece of fig once a week is more than enough. Despite being fibrous, figs are high in sugar and acidity, which can cause digestive upset in rabbits.
If your rabbit is young or old, or has pre-existing digestive complaints, avoid figs completely. This fruit is not toxic but it can be harmful. A robust, healthy rabbit will welcome figs as a treat or reward. Just ensure that they remain an occasional addition to your pet’s diet, not a regular feature.
Can You Give Rabbits Figs?
The common fig is also known as ficus carica. These delicious fruits grow on trees and bushes, and can be found in the U.S. Rabbits adore figs, and will eat as many as are available.
They are packed with sugar. Sadly, sugar plays havoc with a rabbit’s digestive tract. It causes a rabbit’s body to retain fat and deprives organs of oxygen. This can lead to gastrointestinal blockages and bacterial infections.
Even if your rabbit avoids these concerns, figs may upset her stomach. These fruits are rich and acidic, which rabbits are not used to. Your pet will struggle to digest figs. Diarrhea may follow, which is dangerous for rabbits.
Are There Health Benefits to Eating Figs?
Due to our warnings of sugar and acidity, you’d be forgiven for assuming figs are toxic. In truth, these fruits have some health benefits for rabbits.
Figs are packed with fiber, which is the most important part of her diet. Figs are also high in antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce inflammation on your pet’s joints. She’ll remain active for longer, assuming the sugar does not cause too much weight gain. Antioxidants fight off certain diseases.
Your rabbit will also gain substantial magnesium, potassium, zinc, manganese, and calcium from figs. In small doses, these minerals are essential to a healthy pet. If consumed to excess, they’ll pose a number of issues to a rabbit’s organs. Figs flood a rabbit’s body with vitamins A, B, and K.
Can Rabbits Eat Dried Figs?
Dried figs are smaller than their fresh counterparts. This is because all the water has been removed from the fruit. This smaller size does not make dried figs safer for rabbits.
Dried figs contain all the same amounts of sugar and acidity as fresh figs. This means they are just as harmful of eaten to excess. They don’t even contain the hydrating properties of water to balance this out. It is claimed that dried fruits contain more concentrated antioxidants than fresh fruits.
Can Rabbits Eat Fig Leaves?
Fig leaves and stalks are safe for rabbits. You won’t need to moderate these as food. They are calorie-neutral and devoid of sugar or acid.
On the other hand, you may not need to moderate these ingredients. Fig leaves are not appealing to most rabbits. It’s likely that, without the sweet fruit to tempt her, your pet will show no interest.
Your pet would prefer the leaves of other fruit trees. The Rise and Shine Rabbitry lists all unsafe or toxic plants to avoid. Rabbits enjoy the branches and leaves of apple trees and raspberry bushes.
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Figs?
Baby rabbits should never be offered figs. Young rabbits have a particularly delicate digestive tract.
Baby rabbits are placed in greater danger by potential stomach upsets. If a rabbit has diarrhea, it is always an emergency. Rabbits have small bodies, which lack the hydration reserves to cope with this.
In baby rabbits, diarrhea is even more dangerous. If a young rabbit becomes dehydrated, her body temperature will also drop. Figs could kill a baby rabbit.
Baby rabbits also have different nutrition needs. Protein is important to young rabbits, and figs contain little of this. The baby rabbit will be consuming empty calories, spiking her blood sugar.
Until your rabbit reaches around six months of age, avoid any exotic fruits or vegetables. Your pet should sustain herself by eating core foods.
How to Feed Figs to Rabbits
A whole fig in one serving is far too much. Just cut off a small piece. Your rabbit will likely beg for more after this. You’ll need to remain steadfast.
As with all new foods, figs need to be introduced slowly. Do not offer figs alongside other new foods. Allow your rabbit the smallest taste and wait 24 hours.
If your pet experiences any adverse impact, such as stomach upsets, do not offer figs again. Not all rabbits have a digestive system that can cope with the sugar content and acidity of figs.
If your rabbit eats figs and does not eliminate within 24 hours, seek medical help. This suggests that the fig has caused an intestinal blockage. This will need to be rectified immediately.
Do not feed figs alongside other sweet fruits or vegetables. This includes root vegetables such as carrots, which are filled with sugar. Any food that accompanies a fig should be bland.
How Often Can Rabbits Eat Figs?
Rabbits should only eat figs occasionally. These fruits are delicious, but the sugar content is a source of concern. Rabbits will suffer bloating and stomach upsets by eating too many figs.
If you are going to bring figs into your rabbit’s diet, do so sparingly. Once a week is more than enough to feed figs. Your rabbit will beg and plead for more. It’s one thing to say no, but rabbits can be insistent. If your pet refuses her regular food to wait for figs, you’ll have a problem.
Rabbit-Safe Alternatives to Figs
Just like figs, these berries are high in sugar and acid. They should not make up a cornerstone of your pet’s diet. They are much smaller than figs though. This means they can be chopped into smaller servings.
When it comes to sweetness, a little goes a long way with rabbits. Your pet may not know when to stop, but you will. Your rabbit will learn a routine and wait happily for treat day.
Here are some human foods that can be eaten by rabbits.
Keep Rabbits Away from Figs in Yards
Figs originated in Asia and the Middle East. They have been naturalized in several American states, though. You will find fig trees and shrubs in Oregon, California, Washington, Utah, and Texas.
If you live in one of these states, you don’t need to chop down the fig supply in your yard. You’ll still enjoy the fruits, after all. Just take some precautionary measures to protect your pet.
Fence off the area that surrounds the fig tree or shrub. Make sure the fence cannot be climbed, though. If you’re not careful, you’ll give your rabbit a makeshift ladder to reach her contraband.
You do not need to completely ban figs from your rabbit’s diet. After all, they make for a wonderful treat. Just feed them infrequently, in small quantities.