Can Rabbits Eat Bananas For A Healthy Diet? How Much Is Too Much?

Not only can rabbits eat vegetables and fruits, but they tend to devour them quickly. Most people feel bananas are fine as long as eaten in moderation. Depending on whom you ask if rabbits can eat bananas and remain healthy, you will get a different answer each time.

The simple answer is yes-rabbits can eat bananas, but it is important if you understand all the stipulations first. By now, bunny owners are entirely aware that their cute cotton-tailed pet has fragile digestion tracts.

As a result, you must pay close attention to what you feed her that is not a rabbit food endorsed product. Most veterinarians recommend that rabbits only get fresh fruits and veggies as a special treat and not very often.

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That recommendation can come across as intimidating if the rabbit loves fruits and most rabbits do. Everyone that has bunnies knows that hay is their main meal with cucumbers and carrots being their favorite side dish.

However, what about other fruits? How about bananas, can rabbits eat banana’s and remain healthy? What could it be about bananas that would make them remain on the “do not feed bunny” food list? Because bananas tend to be mild and easy to digest, rabbits can enjoy them just as much as humans.

If humans can eat bananas when having an upset tummy, rabbits and other small animals should do just fine as well. This article is going to get the answer if rabbits can eat bananas as well as additional vital information about rabbits.

So, Can Rabbits Eat Bananas?

The short answer is yes. Yes, rabbits can have bananas, but only in small amounts. Bananas being a soft, sweet fruit do not contain any dangerous chemicals that would hinder your rabbit’s health. If you are worried that you have fed your rabbit too much at one time, there is no reason to rush her to the emergency animal hospital.

If you do feed your bunny too much, it will not cause any lasting health problems. However, If you give her bananas in excess amounts that can cause her health issues. Giving bananas to your domestic bunny as you would ice cream to your kids—as a rare treat from time to time is fine.

Most bunnies love bananas. However, they are not the healthiest food for rabbits. Humans consume bananas as a regular treat for healthy carbs along with minerals, phytonutrients, and vitamins. Bunnies are strictly herbivorous animals such as rodents, orangutans, and many bird breeds.

Bunnies are not frugivores. Therefore, they have significantly different dietary needs than your small backyard animals, such as squirrels or vegan pets. Rats and squirrels will munch down on fruity snacks whereas rabbits are more like guinea pigs. That means they have a very healthy low-sugar, a fibrous, low-calorie diet filled with fresh vegetables and hay.

Fruits that are incredibly starchy such as bananas have more loaded amounts of sugar and calories than what is in typical rabbit food. Due to your rabbit’s ancestors living millions of years surviving on low-calorie plant parts, there is no need for fruit in their diet. Feeding one low fiber, dense fruits such as bananas, can quickly pack the pounds on which is very unhealthy. [1]

The Price to Pay for Eating too Many Bananas

Aside from letting your pet rabbit have free run of a room and their freedom, one other general wellness detail is your responsibility. It is your job as the rabbit parent to monitor what type and how much she eats.

Rabbits, much like other pets, must adhere to a special diet that guarantees to keep their health in check. Small portions or pieces of leafy, green veggies such as arugula, kale, alfalfa sprouts, cabbage, and lettuce are foods your bunny can have twice per day. That leaves fruits and root veggies as options for treats.

Rabbits simply do not need all the carbs, whether they be natural or otherwise, that are in bananas. If you choose to share fruit, be sure to understand that fruit does minimal, if any, contributions to their physical health.

Bananas should be a treat not part of their main diet. Actually, your bunny can spend its entire life without ever eating any fruit and will continue to remain healthy.

Bits and Pieces

Bananas have small amounts of fiber, but it is tiny compared to the content of fiber of the foods that they typically eat. Low fiber, and starchy fruits are most likely to result in issues of the digestive symptom such as constipation, cecal matters, and diarrhea

The rabbit’s digestive system is very complex which makes feeding them a poor diet plan will more than likely to cause severe pain and discomfort. Gastrointestinal issues, if not treated, can lead to being fatal. If a rabbit has been feeding on bananas and then suddenly begins refusing their water and regular food, stop feeding her bananas.

Issues such as fecal pellets that tangle with large amounts of hair, irregular shaped fecal, small or dry fecal, or runny stool are common issues with rabbits due to their eating habits. If these symptoms continue, you need to take your rabbit to the vet to have her professionally analyzed. It is vital that you not wait too long to begin treatments.

What Repercussions to Expect When Feeding Bananas to a Rabbit

The main question should be “if there are repercussions to feeding my rabbit banana, what are they and how severe will it be?” The peel of a banana is very starchy and starchy foods can damage a bunny’s intestines and other vital organs.

As a Lagomorph, rabbits digest cellulose instead of food products that are high in carbs and fat. While needing to do portion control of both, the banana and the peels, it is vital that you limit these to snacks and not for replacing meals.

Allowing your rabbits to feast on the following items will more than likely cause your pet bunny to suffer from a poor digestive tract, these are:

  • Nuts
  • Cereals
  • Bread
  • Crackers
  • Bananas
  • Banana Peels

Overindulging can cause cecal dysbiosis, obesity, and runny stools. Not only will she suffer from discomfort, but your rabbit could also die if left untreated. It is also vital that you remain aware of the amount of sugar that is in a small piece of banana.

Aside from the amount of starch that is in sugar being extremely difficult for your rabbit to digest, her energy level will change. You will need to monitor her physical energy if sugar in any form is in her daily diet.

You should never feed her so much sugar that she will be excessively hyper and challenging to keep up with until the sugar rush is over. Rabbits are natural runners and can be difficult, maybe even impossible to catch. Adding sugar to her diet will increase her energy reserves which can be detrimental to her physical health.

*Helpful Tip*

A domestic rabbit can go a long time living on a spare diet. Just a small piece of banana (thumb size) packs on sugar and carbs. If you choose to feed her more, you are putting her life at risk.

Lastly, giving your rabbit too much banana is risky due to the trading of treats for her meals. If you notice your bunny losing interest in green leafy veggies, (which is a necessity for rabbits to live), it’s time for a change.

If she starts begging for the banana and its peel over her regular food, you will be removing her potential of living a long, healthy life. It is important that you never confuse your bunny by feeding her too many snacks instead of her main course.

If you notice she is resisting her regular greens and holding out for the banana, it will be a challenge to take her back to being herbivorous.

Feeding Your Rabbit Fresh Fruit for the First Time

What rules apply to feeding your rabbit fresh fruit for the first time? The following are simple but necessary, rules for feeding your rabbit a banana or other fresh foods for the first time:

  • Before you feed her any fresh foods ensure she is eating hay for at least two weeks
  • Try leafy veggies before trying any type of fruit
  • Be sure to wait until your bunny is at least three months old before adding any veggie to her diet
  • Do not introduce more than one fruit at one time same as veggies
  • Give your bunny at least 24 hours after adding bananas to her diet to monitor the outcome
  • If you notice your rabbit having an upset stomach or soft stool, stop feeding her bananas or other fresh foods immediately. Keep her on strict water and hay for a few days.
  • In a week or so, if you see her stool returning to normal, gradually add fruits as a snack ONLY.
  • Mix and match her fruits regularly

Keeping your bunny healthy is the owner’s responsibility. Your rabbit relies on you for all her dietary needs even if you have a successful vegetation spot in a garden or a healthy lawn where she can help herself.

Just because she has access to healthy foods, it is still your responsibility to ensure she does not eat more than necessary. Excess beyond what her typical diet is can be potentially dangerous to her. A bunny that lacks attention and stimulation tends to overeat.

Overeating can be a dangerous and destructive habit if no one is monitoring the amount of food the rabbit eats. If you do allow her to overeat, it is vital that you play with her more for the exercise. Let her have time to play in the yard as well as consume enough hay to maintain a healthy diet and digestive tract.

*Helpful Tip* The more hay your rabbit consumes, the healthier her digestive tract will remain

How Much is Too Much?

The amount will depend on how big your rabbit is. One to two tablespoons of fruit per every five pounds of your rabbit’s body weight per day or every other day is best. If your rabbit weighs five pounds, you should feed her about one tablespoon of fruits daily.

If she is smaller, you need to use your math skills to decide the safe amount of fruits for her to eat. The two primary reasons for using this restraint are:

Fruits have high levels of sugar which can easily lead to obesity. Overweight rabbits develop health issues, such as grooming themselves and difficulty breathing. Keeping your bunny’s digestive system healthy is a big concern as well.

All the sugar in fruits can lead to diseases such as cecal dysbiosis. The change causes diarrhea which is unpleasant and dangerous.

Do Rabbits Even Like Bananas?

So, do rabbits even like bananas? Rabbits not only like bananas, but they also prefer them over many fruits. Just because they like them does not mean they need them. As we have already determined, rabbits can have bananas in controlled amounts.

New rabbit owners find it hard to resist feeding their bunny fruits such as bananas because, in cartoons, storybooks, and movies, the bunny is always feasting on veggies and fruits. However, the truth is, that all these foods need to be limited. [2]

What About the Banana Peeling?

What about the peeling from a banana, are they safe for rabbits to eat? Many animals, including rabbits, enjoy eating the peels of bananas. However, just because they like them, should they be eating the peeling? Are the peelings safe?

The skin from the banana is not a toxic item to a rabbit yet they are not highly recommended either. Feeding her a tiny bit of peeling is safe for your bunny as long as you keep it limited and measured. Feeding her an entire peeling from a banana is not advisable or healthy, and it is best that you remain loyal in choosing snacks that your vet approves such as romaine lettuce and carrots.

Can Rabbits Eat Banana Leaves Safely?

Veterinarians recommend regularly feeding healthy leafy greens to rabbits as a part of a complete diet. That has many rabbit owners wondering if the peeling off of a banana is safe. Plantain and banana leaves have been the topic of many studies around the globe.

Researchers found that when feeding rabbits peelings as part of their balanced diet, the skins from the banana is healthy in moderation. Be sure to mention this to your vet before incorporating them into your rabbit’s diet.

Just like other fruits, banana leaves are safe and healthy as long as there are no herbicides or pesticides that could be fatal to your rabbit.

FAQs:

Q: Should I freeze the peelings to feed my rabbit later?

A: Freezing and thawing are more than likely not going to be a hit with your rabbit due to the taste not as strong as fresh and the feeling of the peel being mushy.

Q: Should I feed my rabbits bananas with the seeds in them?

A: Removing the seeds from the banana is a hard task. They are not harmful to rabbits either so its no point in the effort it takes to make them seed-free.

Conclusion

Can a rabbit eat bananas? Yes, but only in tiny portions. Let’s review the facts. Bananas are safe for rabbits to eat as long as it is very small portions and not very often. You may find your bunny develops a craving for bananas that resemble addiction. Limiting your bunny’s banana intake, (peel and all) is not a bad thing.

Keep a close eye on her after you try any new food and always talk to your vet before adding or taking away from her regular diet.

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