Rabbits are an excellent pet to own. They rarely bother you and are always there for you. While they are not very demanding, you still need to be there and provide them treats. Oranges are a nice treat for us. But, what about rabbits? Can rabbits eat oranges?
“In short, YES! There is no harm in feeding your pet rabbit a little orange. Oranges are rich in nutrients such as Vitamin C, dietary fiber, and numerous antioxidants. Unfortunately, oranges are rich in sugars and ascorbic acids. This is why you can only feed a small portion of oranges to your pet rabbit.”
Even though the acid and sugar content is high in oranges, that does not mean you cannot feed them to your pet rabbit. You can safely feed him oranges as long as you keep the proportions small. Continue reading to find out more about the serving size and benefits of oranges.
Make Your Rabbit’s Day Refreshing With Oranges – 4 Basic Matters To Consider
Oranges are a healthy treat for your pet rabbit as long as you keep their orange intake to a minimum. This is mainly due to the fact that oranges have a high concentration of sugars and acids.
When you serve oranges to your pet in moderation, your pet rabbit can benefit from the vitamin C, antioxidants, and dietary fibers in the delicious fruit.
Before we get into the benefits of feeding oranges to your pet rabbit, allow us to provide the answers to some questions that you may have.
1) Are Oranges Safe For Rabbits?
In short, “Yes, oranges are perfectly safe for your adorable little pet.” They can safely eat a slice or two of oranges. In addition to this, your pet rabbit can also eat the white threads of oranges.
But, just like the actual fruit, moderation plays a significant role here as well.
Overfeeding oranges to your adorable little rabbit will make him susceptible to digestive issues. It might also make your pet obese, which we certainly do not want.
2) How Healthy Are Oranges For Your Rabbit?
Oranges offer many health benefits, both for you and your rabbit. They’re rich in numerous healthy nutrients that are known to protect you and your pet against heart complications.
Oranges are rich in pectin. Are you wondering what pectin is? Pectin is a fiber that can significantly boost the digestion of your pet rabbit. This will also serve as an ailment for constipation and regulating cholesterol levels.
In addition to all these benefits, your pet rabbit’s blood sugar levels will also be well within the limits when you feed him or her fresh oranges.
Since a rabbit’s diet consists of foods that are rich in fibers, oranges can be a healthy addition to your pet’s diet. But, remember, only as a snack rather than a primary meal.
3) Do Rabbits Like To Eat Oranges?
Oranges are safe for your pet rabbits, but do they even like eating oranges?
Rabbits like eating sweet foods. Since oranges are rich in natural sugars and have a sweet taste, your rabbit will definitely like eating oranges.
In fact, they will love you for feeding them oranges. But, do not let their love for you come in the way.
There is only a certain amount of oranges that you can feed your pet friend. Want to know how much? Read below for a quick answer.
4) Can Baby Rabbits Eat Oranges?
As you may have studied in high school, rabbits are a species of mammals. They require their mother’s milk when they are new to the world.
For the first few weeks, baby rabbits should not be fed with anything other than their mother’s milk. Their mother’s milk is all they need at that stage.
Once your rabbit is a little over 12 weeks old, you can introduce him or her to different fruits and vegetables. But make sure they are a part of a balanced diet and should not be overfed.
You should remember that when introducing a baby rabbit to foods that he or she has never had, you should start slow. Feed them small amounts of fruits and vegetables and watch your pet for a few hours.
If your pet’s health is not affected, you can gradually increase the dosage up to the recommended levels. Always feed them vegetables and fruits as treat rather than a part of their main diet.
This will ensure your rabbit get’s to enjoy these sweet fruits while at the same time receives other nutritious foods as well.
Orange Composition – Parts of Oranges To Feed And To Avoid
Can rabbits eat all parts of oranges? Or should they only stick to the flesh part? Let’s find out.
1) Do Rabbits Eat Orange Leaves?
Do you live in a farmhouse? Or, grow your own oranges? If yes, you might come across the thought of feeding orange leaves to your pet rabbit.
To keep it short, “Yes, rabbits can eat orange leaves.” But there is a catch. They can eat orange leaves as long as they are not sprayed with pesticides.
Feeding foods covered in pesticides to your pet rabbit will make him or her sick. It will also put your rabbit in severe discomfort, leading to digestive complications.
2) Is It Safe For Rabbits To Eat Orange Peels?
Well, this one is a bit tricky. “Yes, they can eat orange peels.” But are they safe for your pet rabbit?
Just like any other fruit or vegetable, oranges, too, are sprayed with pesticides. The reason behind spraying them with pesticides is to protect the delicious fruit from pest attacks.
Because honestly, who would not like a piece of orange?
Rabbits can eat orange peels, but only if you thoroughly wash and clean them. Or better, you can try buying organic and pesticide-free oranges for your adorable little rabbit.
Here are the nutrients that your pet rabbit can benefit from by eating orange peels.
|Dietary Fiber||10.6 grams|
|Vitamin C||136 milligrams|
Types Of Oranges – Which Ones Are Safe?
Oranges are available in different types, but can your pet friend eat all of them? Here’s what you need to know.
1) Can Rabbits Eat Mandarin Oranges?
Rabbits can eat all oranges, including mandarin and tangerines. They are absolutely safe for your pet if you feed them in moderation.
But, you should remember that mandarin oranges have approximately the same sugar content as other oranges. For this very reason, you should only give small doses or slices of this fruit to your pet rabbit.
2) Can Rabbits Eat Dried Oranges?
In short, “Yes, rabbits can eat dried oranges.” Wondering what a dried orange is? Dried oranges have gone through a rigorous drying process that eliminates or removes the water content from oranges.
Not only is the water removed from dried oranges, but they are also shrunken in size. So, compared to regular fresh oranges, dried oranges may seem like a better option for your pet rabbit.
But, unfortunately, that is not the case here. Lesser water content means the oranges will now be more concentrated in other nutrients such as sugar and calories.
In addition to this, dried sugars also have a certain amount of added sugars to help with the bitter taste. If you have access to naturally dried oranges, you can feed them to your pet rabbit.
However, if you have store-bought dried oranges, you should strictly not feed them to your cute little friend.
3) Can You Feed Orange Juice To Rabbits?
In short, “Yes, your pet rabbit can safely drink orange juice.” He or she can have a sip or two of orange juice 1 or 2 times a week. Keep in mind, just like oranges, orange juice also needs to be a treat rather than a part of your pet’s main diet.
Your pet rabbit should have unlimited access to water and should never use orange juice as a substitute.
Orange juices often have additives in them and are rich in sugars. While your rabbit will love to drink orange juice, you should certainly not overfeed him or her.
The Correct Amount And Serving Frequency
Oranges are rich in nutrients but at the same time, they contain nutrients that are harmful to your pet if you overfeed them. This is why you need to know how much to feed them and how to feed them.
1) How Much Of This Treat Should Your Pet Have?
Rabbits love eating fruits and veggies. If your rabbit, for some reason, does not like eating oranges or other fruits, you should immediately call your vet.
Your pet rabbit can have 1 or 2 teaspoons of this luscious fruit for every 5 pounds of your pet’s weight.
Limiting how many oranges your pet rabbit can eat will ensure the safety of your pet rabbit. This will also allow your pet rabbit to safely reap the benefits of eating oranges without having to deal with the adverse effects.
Here’s a bonus tip for you. Feeding oranges as a treat will also allow you to train your pet rabbit better.
2) Dos and Don’ts of Feeding Oranges To Your Pet Rabbit:
Here are certain dos and don’ts of feeding oranges to your pet rabbit.
- Oranges have a high concentration of sugars. Do NOT feed them as a main meal for your pet rabbit. It will result in stomach issues if you feed oranges to your pet rabbit on a routine basis. In addition to this, oranges may lead to mouth ulcers in severe cases.
- Oranges have a high concentration of natural sugars. This is the primary reason why rabbits tend to like oranges more than other fruits. Do NOT feed oranges to your pet rabbit more than 1 or 2 times a week. They can be addictive, and as a result, your pet rabbit may refuse to eat other nutrient-rich foods from his or her routine diet.
- When feeding oranges to your pet rabbit, make sure there are no seeds in them. Your cute little friend may choke or suffer from a blockage in their respiratory tract. This is why you should never feed oranges with seeds to your pet rabbit.
Nutritional Statistics Of Oranges
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, proteins, carbs, water, dietary fiber, and other necessary nutrients for your pet rabbit.
Here is a general overview of all the nutrients that your pet rabbit can benefit from.
The table below is based on 100 grams of all five types of oranges.
|Water||86.75 g||86.7 g||86.34 g||85.17 g||86.58 g|
|Carbs||11.75 g||11.8 g||11.89 g||13.34 g||12.02 g|
|Protein||0.94 g||0.91 g||1.04 g||0.81 g||0.85 g|
|Fat||0.12 g||0.15 g||0.3 g||0.31 g||0.15 g|
|Dietary Fiber||2.4 g||2 g||2.5 g||1.8 g||1.7 g|
|Sugar||9.35 g||8.57 g||12 g||10.58 g||9.18 g|
|Vitamin C||53.2 mg||59.1 mg||48.5 mg||26.7 mg||48.8 mg|
In addition to these, oranges also have some micronutrients as well—these include thiamine, vitamin B6, calcium, folate, potassium, pectin, and phytonutrients.
3 Benefits And Potential Risks Of Feeding Oranges To Rabbits
Rabbits are herbivores and do not eat meat. This clearly hints at the fact that rabbits can only eat plants. They should only be fed fresh vegetables and fruits.
Feeding them fruits like oranges can be of significant importance for your pet rabbit. This is primarily due to the fact that they can receive many health benefits from it.
Here’s how they can benefit from oranges.
1) Vitamin C:
Oranges have over 26.7 mg to 59.1 mg of Vitamin C in them, based on the type of oranges you have. As you can tell, it is a healthy amount of Vitamin C for your pet rabbit.
Vitamin C plays an important role when it comes to providing a boost to the immune system of your pet rabbit.
Providing your pet rabbit with foods that have Vitamin C will allow your pet friend to fight against disease better. It will also lower the chances of your pet suffering from major diseases.
Lower risk of suffering from diseases means your pet will get to spend more years with you.
But keep in mind, the same vitamin C can be harmful to your pet if you overfeed him.
Overfeeding your pet rabbit will make him susceptible to kidney damage.
Fun Fact – Rabbits can produce Vitamin C in their bodies. They certainly do not need additional vitamin C in their diet. However, during stress, hot temperatures, and sickness, they may need additional vitamin C. During such times, it is best to feed them oranges.
2) Beneficial For Your Rabbit’s Skin And Bones:
Oranges have a micronutrient referred to as “Beta-carotene.” Beta-carotene is ideal for regulating and maintaining your pet rabbit’s blood pressure.
It will also provide strength to your pet’s bones and improve its skin and fur.
Providing your pet rabbit with oranges occasionally will allow your pet to have better immunity against diseases and have a nice-looking fur.
3) Helps The Digestion Process Of Food:
Oranges have some dietary fibers in them. While it is not enough, but as part of a balanced diet, your pet will get to benefit from the dietary fibers in oranges.
The pectin and other dietary fibers in oranges can help things running smoothly in your pet’s digestive tract. It will allow your pet to have a healthy digestive system.
What Other Citrus Fruits Can A Rabbit Have?
Oranges are citrus fruit, and your pet rabbit can safely eat them. But, there are other citrus foods that your pet rabbit will love to have a go at.
Here are some citrus foods, along with their nutritional statistics.
|Water||88.98 g||88.26 g||90.89 g|
|Carbohydrate||9.32 g||10.54 g||8.08 g|
|Protein||1.1 g||0.7 g||0.63 g|
|Fat||0.3 g||0.2 g||0.1 g|
|Dietary Fiber||2.8 g||2.8 g||1.1 g|
|Sugar||2.5 g||1.69 g||6.98 g|
|Vitamin C||53 mg||29.1 mg||34.4 mg|
As you might have noticed, the above citrus fruits have a relatively lower sugar content. Due to the low sugar content in these citrus fruits, they are absolutely safe for your pet rabbit.
But, they still are acidic, and you should only feed them in moderation.
26 Healthy Alternatives Of Oranges For Rabbits
If you are worried about the acid content in citrus fruits, here are some of the best and safe alternatives for your pet rabbits.
|Apricots (remove pit)||Mango (remove pit)||Kiwi fruit|
|Nectarines (remove seeds and peel)||Apple (remove seeds and core/stems)||Pear (remove seeds and core/stems)|
|Peach (remove pit)||Pineapple (remove skin)||Blackberries|
|Raspberries||Cherries (remove seeds and stems)||Melon (any type)|
|Plums (remove pit)||Papaya (remove seeds)||Cranberries|
|Black Currants||Red currants||Gooseberries|
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How Are Acidic Fruits Unsafe For Rabbits?
Acid fruits are helpful when it comes to the digestion of food in your pet rabbit’s stomach. They can break down food in your pet rabbit’s stomach efficiently.
Vitamin C is essentially ascorbic acid. Since oranges and other citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, they are considered acidic fruits.
Overfeeding oranges to your pet rabbit will provide them with an excess of Vitamin C.
An excess of Vitamin C will increase the acidity in your pet’s stomach, and it will result in an acidic imbalance in your pet’s digestive system. This can lead to digestive complications in the long haul, and in severe cases, it may lead to the death of your pet rabbit.
This is precisely what makes acidic fruits unsafe for your rabbits and why you need to feed them in moderation.
2) What Are The Health Complications Of Keeping Your Rabbit On An Imbalanced And Acidic Diet?
Overfeeding fruits and vegetables that are acidic and imbalanced over extended periods of time will lead to the following complications:
|Cardiovascular impairment||Weight gain||Obesity||Diabetes||Kidney stones|
|Immune deficiency||Osteoporosis||Pain in the joints||Aching muscles||Lactic acid buildup|
|Low energy||Chronic fatigue||Slow digestion and elimination||Yeast or fungal overgrowth||Low body temperature|
|Depressive tendencies||Excess stress||Eye complications||Loose and painful teeth||Inflamed and sensitive gums|
|Mouth and stomach ulcers||Excess stomach acid||Gastritis|
3) How Many Oranges Can Rabbits Eat?
Simply put, it depends on the body weight of your pet rabbit. For every 5 pounds of your pet’s weight, feed him or her one to two teaspoons of oranges.
But, due to the acid and sugar content of oranges, you should only feed your pet rabbit with oranges 1 or 2 times a week.
Anything more than this will put your pet in severe discomfort.
4) Can Rabbits Eat Oranges Every Day?
In short, NO. Rabbits cannot eat oranges every day. This is primarily due to the fact that oranges are high in sugars and acids. Overfeeding or feeding them every day will lead to health complications.
You can only feed your pet rabbit with oranges 1 or 2 times a week. Anything more than this will be considered overfeeding, and we certainly do not want that, right?
Overfeeding will also result in complications in the stool.
Rabbits can safely eat oranges as long as there is a factor of moderation. Overfeeding of any food or vegetable is harmful to your rabbit, and you will be risking your pet’s health.
Feeding oranges to your pet rabbit in a limited amount is recommended for your pet rabbit. It will strengthen your pet’s immune system, help in the digestion of food, and improve your pet’s skin and bone health.
In addition to oranges, rabbits can also eat the peels and leaves of oranges. However, they must be free from any pesticides or chemicals on them.