Although most people treat pumpkin as a vegetable, it is actually a fruit that belongs to the family of Winter Squashes. They are eaten throughout the world and are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Having pumpkins as a part of your diet can help keep your eyes, skin and digestive system healthy but can rabbits eat pumpkin?
Yes, Pumpkin is perfectly safe for rabbits to eat. It can be a part of any healthy rabbit diet, it can be given to them raw with the seeds removed. Most pet rabbits love the taste of pumpkins so it can be given to them as a healthy treat. Lets learn a bit more about the nutritional benefits of Pumpkin, what parts of the pumpkins rabbits can eat and how much pumpkin can rabbits eat below!
Nutritional Benefits Of Pumpkin
As we all know, Pumpkins are very nutritious, they contain a good balance of Vitamins, Minerals, Anti-Oxidents as well as quite a bit of Dietary fiber making healthy for rabbits, that being said they also contain a fair bit of carbohydrates and sugar which can really upset a rabbit’s stomach.
Here are the nutritional values of 1 cup or 100 grams of raw pumpkin
- Calories – 50
- Fiber – 3 grams
- Vitamin C – 5mg
- Vitamin A – 1mg
- Folate – 10mcg
- Iron – 0.5mg
- Carotenoids – 5000mcg
Even though pumpkin has lots of essential nutrients that are really good for rabbits, it also contains a good amount of carbohydrates and sugar which can be bad for rabbits.
Rabbits have very sensitive digestive systems that rely on good gut bacteria to digest their food which should generally be grass, hay, green vegetables and herbs. When rabbits eat too much sugar from foods like pumpkin their entire digestive system may be disrupted and it could lead to serious problems like gas, bloating, and even GI Stasis.
That being said, feeding your rabbit a bit of pumpkin now and then is perfectly fine as long as it is done in moderation. A balanced rabbit diet should always have a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and can certainly include pumpkins.
How Much Pumpkin Can I Give To My Rabbit?
As you already know Pumpkins are more of a fruit than a vegetable and you must keep that in mind when you give pumpkins to rabbits. Rabbits typically do not need pumpkin to stay healthy but pumpkins do contain quite a few essential nutrients that are very good for pet rabbits.
If you want to feed pumpkin to your rabbit then start out with a couple of small bits to see if your rabbit likes it or not. If they do enjoy it then you can give your rabbit half a cup or around 50-70 grams of pumpkin, once or twice a week.
Just make sure that even if your rabbit really likes it, you do not give them pumpkin everyday. A healthy rabbit’s diet can accommodate pumpkins only as an occasional treat.
Can Rabbits Eat Pumpkin Skin?
Yes, rabbits can eat pumpkin skin. In fact, pumpkin skin is much healthier than the flesh of the pumpkin for rabbits. Pumpkin skin or pumpkin rind contains much less sugar and carbohydrates when compared to the flesh of the pumpkin. It also contains much more vitamins and minerals which are actually good for pet rabbits.
Another advantage of feeding pumpkin skin to rabbits is that it gets rid of food waste, we humans cannot typically consume pumpkin skin but it is perfectly safe for our rabbits.
That being said, pumpkin skin does not contain all the nutrients that a pet rabbit needs so you should feed pumpkin skin to rabbits along with a varied and nutritious diet. Learn more about what should and should not be in a a healthy rabbit diet on The Balanced Rabbit Diet Guide – Feeding Rabbits Simplified.
Can Rabbits Eat Pumpkin Leaves?
Pumpkin plants are vines that grow on the ground or trellises. It produces large leaves that can be round or split depending on the variety of pumpkin plant. These leaves are perfectly edible, tasty and quite popular as a vegetable in some parts of the world.
Our pet rabbits can eat pumpkin leaves too. If you have access to pumpkin leaves or you are growing some in your yard then feel free to over some fresh green leaves to your rabbit. Just make sure that you thoroughly wash and rinse it out.
Not only are pupkin leave succulent and easy to eat for rabbits they also contain a good bit of nutrition including vitamin A & C lots of fiber keeping rabbit skin, bones and gut healthy.
Can Rabbits Eat Pumpkin Flowers?
Pumpkin flowers are another part of the pumpkin plant that rabbits can eat. Pumpkins plants have bright yellow flowers which are quite light and delicate They can be a great treat even for picky rabbits.
Just give the flowers a quick wash and give them to your bunny. Pumpkin flowers can are perfectly safe for rabbits in moderation and are nutritionally very similar to pumpkin leaves
Can Rabbits Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Pumpkin seeds are an absolutely no go for pet rabbits! Even though pumpkin seeds are eaten throughout the world, they are hard and small and can easily get stuck in a rabbit’s wind pipe or food pipe if swallowed whole.
Always be very careful of pumpkin seeds when you give pumpkin to your rabbits, thoroughly scrape them out of a pumpkin’s center and you can even wash it out.
In case you a pumpkin seed gets stuck in a rabbit’s throat, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Healthy Pumpkin Alternatives For Rabbits?
Even though pumpkin is very healthy and contains lots of good nutrients for rabbits, they also contain a lot of carbohydrates and sugar which cannot be a major part of a rabbit’s diet. So here are a few vegetables that rabbits can eat on a daily basis without any problems.
Kale is one of the best vegetables for rabbits, it has lots of vitamins and iron as well as providing a good amount of dietary fiber and water. A great choice as it is easily available in most places throughout the year.
Parsley is quite a common herb that can be found in most households. It has a good amount of vitamins that help with bone and eye health along with having a taste that rabbits adore.
Romaine lettuce is made up of mostly water, 96% of its mass comes from it. That being said, Romaine lettuce has a good bit of nutrients and fiber which makes it a good choice for rabbits.
Basil can be a great herb for rabbits as it contains vitamin K and lots of Iron and Magnesium which are good for a rabbit’s brain and nerves.
Carrot tops or the leafy parts of a carrot plant can also be a good vegetable for pet rabbits. It contains vitamin C which is great for rabbits. Most people throw away the tops but they are great for rabbits to eat.
Closing Thoughts On Can Rabbits Eat Pumpkin
Well there you go, now you know all about pumpkins and how it can be incorporated into a pet rabbit’s diet. Whether it is feeding day old jack-o- lantern or just leftover pumpkin skin or a few pumpkin leaves or flowers from your garden, providing a rich and varied diet is essential for our beloved pets.
If you would like to learn a bit more about what rabbits can and cannot eat then check out some our recommendations below!
- Can Rabbits Eat Cauliflower? Florets, Stalks & Leaves?
- Can Rabbits Eat Cucumber? Fruit, Leaves & Flowers?
- Can Rabbits Eat Potato? Raw Or Cooked?
- What Should You Feed Wild Rabbits In Winter?
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