Rabbits are among the most favorite pets all across the world as they amuse the owners with their little cute faces and delicate skin. If you are also a rabbit owner then there is no doubt that you are always concerned about the health and safety of your rabbits. You are always eager to know which food is safe and beneficial for the rabbits and which food is harmful to them. In the midst of all of this, the most common question every rabbit owner asks us is that, can rabbits eat oranges?
In this article, we will explore whether if it is safe to feed oranges to rabbits or not. What is the right quantity of oranges you should be offering to the rabbits? What are the pros and cons of giving oranges to rabbits? Let’s find out everything.
Is it safe to feed oranges to rabbits?
We knew that guinea pig can eat oranges but is it we can also feed our rabbits oranges? Yes! It is completely safe to feed oranges to the rabbits. However, if you are planning to add oranges into the daily diet of the rabbits then keep in mind that it is not a good idea because rabbits are herbivores and their primary diet is grass and hay.
You can offer them a small quantity of orange once in a while as a treat. It will not only help you train them but also prevent the rabbits from getting bored of eating grass and hay every day.
Is there any nutritional benefit of feeding oranges to rabbits?
As we have mentioned above that rabbits are herbivores. It means that they only eat plants in their whole life and they have never eaten meat or flesh of other animals.
Although they do not eat meat they still need essential nutrients like vitamins, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and minerals.
Oranges are enriched with Vitamin C, carbohydrates, sugar, and potassium.
But rabbits can synthesize their own Vitamin C. It means that rabbits are not dependent on oranges for getting the essential nutrients for their health and growth.
So from here, we conclude that oranges do not have any significant nutritional benefits for rabbits because rabbits can prepare their own vitamin C and do not rely on oranges for that. Moreover, studies show that leafy green vegetables have more vitamin C and fiber present in them than oranges.
Do rabbits like oranges?
Yes! Rabbits like oranges because they are sweet, juicy, and full of freshness.
But that does not mean that you should be feeding them oranges all day and night because the sugar present in oranges can cause problems if consumed excessively.
Wondering about the benefits and drawbacks of feeding oranges to rabbits? Let’s find it out.
Benefits of feeding oranges to rabbits
As we have already learned that rabbits can synthesize their own vitamin C and do not rely on oranges for that, therefore, we can conclude that oranges do not hold any nutritional benefits for rabbits.
But you can still feed them a small quantity of orange every once in a while, as an occasional snack or a treat due to the following reasons:
- It will help you train them and also keep them happy.
- Pectin present in oranges eliminates any toxins present in the colon of rabbits and also regulates the cholesterol levels in their bloodstream.
Drawbacks of feeding oranges to rabbits
Just because we said that rabbits like oranges and they are safe for them, it does not mean that you should include them in their regular diet and start feeding them oranges every day.
Here are the drawbacks of feeding an excess of oranges to rabbits:
- Obesity: Studies show that a complete orange contains 14g of sugar. This is quite a big number! So if you will start feeding oranges to rabbits every day, they will have more sugar in their body than they actually need. It will eventually lead to obesity and make the rabbits obese.
- Digestive Problems: Consuming too much orange pulp and sugar can also deteriorate the digestive system of rabbits which can eventually cause diarrhea and other digestive problems.
- Hyperactivity: As we told you that an orange contains 14g of sugar, so if you will daily feed orange to the rabbits they will have more energy than their actual need. It will lead to a hyperactive rabbit and cause blood pressure problems.
- Mouth Ulcer: Oranges being a citric fruit, contain a lot of acidic content. If you will feed a bulk of oranges to the rabbits, they may develop mouth ulcers.
What’s the right quantity of oranges for rabbits?
Now as you have seen all the drawbacks of feeding an excess of oranges to rabbits, you must feed them the right amount to keep them healthy.
So what’s the right quantity?
As a complete orange contains 14g of sugar, we recommend giving two or three wedges of orange to the rabbits every once in a while.
Can rabbits eat different types and forms of oranges? Let’s continue to find out.
Can rabbits eat orange peels?
You can give oranges to the rabbits as an occasional treat, but what about the orange peels? Can you feed them that as well?
Some experts say it is safe to feed orange peels to the rabbits and some say that it is unsafe because the germs and pesticides present on the orange peels can hurt the health of the rabbit, so it’s up to you.
Our take is that if you want to feed orange peels to the rabbits, make sure that the oranges are organic and pesticide-free, and the peels are properly cleaned.
Can rabbits eat mandarin oranges?
Just like normal oranges, mandarin oranges are also safe to eat for the rabbits.
However, they also contain a lot of sugary content and if consumed in an excessive amount, they can also lead to obesity and other problems.
Therefore, we recommend you give a controlled and small quantity of mandarin oranges to the rabbits.
Can rabbits eat oranges tangerines?
Tangerines are a hybrid version of mandarin oranges. Therefore, they have almost similar ingredients present in them. The thumb rule is to give a controlled and small quantity of tangerines to rabbits because the sugary content and citric acid can cause trouble for the rabbits if given in excess.
Can rabbits eat cutie oranges?
Cutie oranges are also a hybrid version of mandarin and sweet oranges. However, cutie oranges are sweeter than other citric fruits as they are enriched with high levels of sugar.
You are advised to give only two or three wedges of cutie oranges to the rabbits per week and not more than that. It’s because cutie oranges contain high levels of sugary and acidic content that can hurt the health of rabbits if given in excess.
Can rabbits eat blood oranges?
Blood oranges look different from other types of oranges due to their dark blood-like flesh.
Rabbits can also eat blood oranges but they should not make the bulk of their diet. They have high levels of sugar and acidic content present in them. Therefore, we recommend feeding just a few segments of blood oranges to the rabbits every week.
Should you feed oranges to pet rabbits or wild rabbits only? Here’s what our experts say.
Can pet rabbits eat oranges?
Yes! Pet rabbits can eat oranges but you should not be feeding them oranges too frequently as the sugar and acids present in the oranges can cause complications for the rabbits.
Can Lion Head Rabbits Eat Oranges?
Lion head rabbits are small, playful, and cute. Can lion head rabbits eat oranges? Yes, they can! But as we are repeatedly saying that excess of everything is bad, therefore, you need to make sure that you do not end up overfeeding oranges to lion head rabbits.
Can Dutch Rabbits Eat Oranges?
Dutch rabbits make famous pets across the world as they can easily adapt to the surroundings. Can Dutch rabbits eat oranges? Yes! They can also eat oranges. However, we will recommend giving them only two or three pieces per week and nothing more than that.
Can wild rabbits eat oranges?
Exactly like the pet rabbits, wild rabbits can also eat oranges and they are safe for them. Wild rabbits like oranges because they contain sugar. However, too much sugar is also bad for them and can cause health problems.
Can Whitetail Rabbits Eat Oranges?
Although whitetail rabbits are herbivores and their primary diet is grass and hay. But still, they can eat oranges, and they are safe for them. However, overfeeding oranges will always hurt their health.
Can Cottontail Rabbits Eat Oranges?
Yes! Cottontail rabbits can also eat oranges but you are advised to offer them nothing more than two to three wedges per week. It’s because the high sugary and acidic content can damage their health.
Rabbits can eat oranges and they are safe for them. However, oranges are not something you should be feeding to the rabbits every day because the sugar and acidic content can hurt their health. Instead, give them a small quantity of orange like two or three wedges per week. We also recommend you feed your lovely rabbits some watermelon and pineapple. They will love it!