We all know deep red and juicy tomatoes are a must in our salad. But, have you ever wonder if they are safe for your cute little long eared friend? Can rabbits eat tomatoes?
“The answer is, yes, rabbits can eat tomatoes. You can occasionally give ripe tomatoes as a treat to your pet rabbit. However, you should know that tomato leaves, stems, and plants are poisonous to rabbits. They should never be fed to your rabbit.”
It is a challenge for many new rabbit owners to know what foods to give their rabbits and which not to. Which food are safe and which are not?
This is why you always need to stay extra careful when it comes to feeding your pets.
Are Tomatoes Safe For Your Rabbits? – The Ultimate Source Of Nutrition
“Tomatoes are safe for your rabbits and they can eat them. Your rabbit should have a limited number of tomatoes only once or twice a week.”
The reason behind limiting how much tomatoes your rabbit can eat is the amount of sugar in it. Tomatoes are high in sugar, but there are still are some excellent nutrients that your rabbit can benefit from.
Rabbits should have very low sugar in their diet. This is why even the natural sugar in fruits should be given in a specific amount.
When a tomato is ripe, it often turns red, but can also be of other colors, like purple, yellow, or orange. In addition, they may vary in size from small to large.
1) 3 Ways Your Rabbits Can Benefit From Eating Tomatoes:
Tomatoes provide the same benefits to your bunny as it does to us. They can provide your rabbit with significant health benefits.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamins and lots of water and contain many antioxidants.
- They are proven to be helpful in reducing the risk of heart diseases.
- They also help lower the risk of suffering from cancer.
- Additionally, they are good for the skin as well.
2) Is It Recommended To Feed Tomatoes To Rabbits?
Is it recommended? Yes, of course, they are perfectly safe for your bunny!
Rabbits can eat ripe tomatoes as a feast or in moderation. You can feed your rabbits a small amount of ripe tomato fruit because it does not cause any harm to them.
Like other non-leafy vegetables or fruits, tomatoes are high in carbohydrates and sugar. But, they’re low in fiber. The foods which are high in carbs or sugars should be avoided. As they are not healthy for the bunnies.
3) What Are The Risks Involved In Feeding Tomatoes To Rabbits?
As mentioned earlier, tomatoes have a high concentration of sugars. Excess sugars increase bad bacterial activity in the stomach.
Furthermore, tomatoes are an acidic and unbalanced rabbit food. It can make your rabbits overweight. Also, they will get low fiber content. Their usual recommended diet should not be disturbed or changed.
Avoid all plant parts like leaves, vines, flowers, and stems that are poisonous. Green fruits are also toxic to your cute little bunny.
One reason you should not give them the plant is that it contains high concentrations of glycoalkaloids alpha-tomatine and dehydrotomatine.
Although this glycoalkaloid is present in the fruit, its strength is very low. Tomatine poisoning in animals has been shown to cause side effects in humans as well.
It includes “vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dizziness, confusion, weakness, and depression.”
Remember to limit your amount while feeding them a tomato. Like humans, they have no choice when it comes to junk food.
4) The Only Part Of A Tomato That Isn’t Safe For Your Pet:
The seeds of the tomato are toxic to rabbits and should be avoided. (You can wipe them off very easily with a knife or spoon.) Not only the plant but also the unripe green tomatoes are poisonous to rabbits as well.
Some of the symptoms of these toxins are diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain. Sadly, there is no such perfect amount of poison for rabbits.
Moreover, these toxins can lead to death in rabbits. Unlike humans (that are more tolerant of solanine and tomatine), rabbits have a much lower tolerance.
The Right Way To Feed Tomatoes To Your Rabbit – Avoid The Seeds At All Costs!
“Do not let your pet eat anything other than the fruit of the tomato plant!”
Make sure you have only the fruit in your hand. Remove the remaining parts of the plant.
It is always wise to rinse the tomatoes. If you bought it from the store, you do not know what kind of pesticides or fungicides it may have over them.
If you grow it in your own garden, it is even smarter to wash off any debris left on them just to be safe. You can cut the tomato into small pieces and extract the seeds from it. This will be easier to do if you chop the tomatoes.
Feed your rabbit just one small piece. You should not feed your rabbit one slice of tomato each day, or give your pet more than two slices at the same time.
If you overfeed your rabbit, your pet friend may get sick or gain a lot of weight.
Tomatoes are also occasionally set aside as a treat along with other fruits that contain significant amounts of sugar.
Giving Your Rabbit A Tomato Feast:
If you want to give your bunny a tomato feast, remove the stem that holds it to the plant and wash it.
It is recommended to remove the seeds and giving one or two pieces only.
Try to avoid feeding them rotten or cooked food.
Furthermore, do not feed them some products like ketchup or give them anything that possesses a lot of sugar and preservatives. As these can cause stomach issues.
4 Undeniable Advantages Of Tomatoes For Rabbits
There are a lot of benefits of tomatoes. Some of them are enlisted below.
The main advantage of tomatoes is their large water content. This helps your bunny to get enough water and prevents dehydration.
Tomatoes are also good sources of fiber, which are essential for a rabbit’s health.
Fiber is an important component for the digestion of your rabbit. Since rabbits do not have constant abdominal movement (called peristalsis), fiber can help improve their digestion.
Tomatoes contain a high amount of potassium. Potassium helps in the prevention of a disease called hypokalemia in rabbits. (low levels of potassium in the bloodstream).
Everyone should be aware of the low potassium level of their pet. The symptoms may include stunted growth, muscle weakness, weight loss, and cardiac arrhythmia.
Tomatoes are packed with the antioxidant lycopene. It helps prevent cell damage and gives tomatoes their deep red color. They are also important for the heart health of rabbits. Besides, lycopene is said to help prevent cardiovascular diseases in rabbits.
4) Vitamin C:
Finally, tomatoes are famous for their high levels of vitamin C. But, remember, Vitamin C is only required in a minimal amount for your rabbit.
Consuming too much vitamin C can cause kidney damage or kidney stones in rabbits.
Fun Fact – it is said that rabbits who are depressed or anxious may enjoy tomatoes.
Nutritional Facts Of Tomatoes For Rabbits
A thin slice which is almost 15 g of tomato provides the following nutrients:
- 125 IU of vitamin A
- 1.9 mg of vitamin C
- 1.2 mcg of vitamin K
- 2.2 mcg of folate
- 35.6 mg of potassium
One slice of tomato also contains trace amounts of other vitamins and minerals. In addition, tomatoes are full of antioxidants. They can protect them from the damage of free radicals.
They are also good for your pets in the same way they are good for you. Below are the nutritional facts of feeding your rabbit a slice of tomato.
Raw tomatoes (nutrients per 100g serving)
|Water - 52g||Energy - 18kcal||Protein - 88g||Total lipid (fat) - 2g|
|Carbohydrate - 3.89g||Fiber - 2g||Sugars - 63g||Vitamin A - 42µg|
|Vitamin C - 7mg||Vitamin B6 - 08mg||Potassium - 237mg||Lycopene - 2,573µg|
2 Major Drawbacks Of Feeding Tomatoes To Rabbits
So, Can rabbits eat tomatoes? Yes, they can but in moderation.
Unfortunately, you should remember that there are some important disadvantages of feeding tomatoes to rabbits. One of the most important disadvantages is that tomato plants are toxic to rabbits. They should only be eaten with other fruits.
This is due to the fact that tomatoes contain alkaloids, (plant compounds that have a physiological effect on animals) solanine, and tomatine.
Solanine is a toxic compound mainly found in the leaves and stems of the tomato plant in all species of the nightshade family.
Thus, you should never feed them the leaves, vines, stems, and flowers of the tomato plant.
Tomatine is a toxic compound found in all parts of the plant (including fruit). But it often accumulates in the leaves and stems.
Another thing that is bad about tomatoes is their high concentration of sugar. Although humans do not think tomatoes are sweet, rabbits definitely do!
Due to their high sugar content (due to the quality of rabbit food) they should be considered a treat rather than a part of their diet.
Excessive food intake at high sugar diets can lead to complete complications in rabbits such as obesity, dental problems, and diabetes.
My Rabbit Ate Too Much Tomato Fruit – What To Do Next?
Some of your rabbit friends can eat a little of these ingredients and be right. While others can only consume a small amount before they become seriously sick.
If you are concerned that your rabbit may have accidentally eaten a portion of a tomato plant or too much tomato fruit, then you should immediately call your vet! Your rabbit will need professional assistance in this regard.
Alternatives Of Tomatoes To Add Fun To Your Pet’s Diet
Rabbits love eating tomatoes, but that’s not all. They love to eat a variety of other foods as well.
Fruits can be an excellent addition to your pet rabbit’s diet. They are not only nutrient-rich but also better than other treats.
Rabbits love eating sugary fruits and considering the fact that fruits have natural sugar, they are safe for your rabbit. But, keep in mind, moderation is the key, and you should never overfeed your pet.
Besides, since rabbits love sugary fruits, they will end up loving you even more. This will allow you to better control your rabbit while at the same time create a special bond with your cute little rabbit.
Worried about the sugar content? Only a few fruits have a higher concentration of sugar, so you can exclude these fruits from your pet’s diet. Or better, you can use them as treats for your pet rabbit.
One or two pieces of any fruit are the size of a good portion and are considered an ideal amount.
Excessive consumption of fruits can upset the stomach of your rabbit. This will also make your rabbit overweight and make him susceptible to diabetes and problems in dental hygiene.
In case your rabbit puts on a little extra weight, you should make variances in its diet. Introduce your rabbit to other foods that have a low concentration of sugar.
Besides, if your rabbit doesn’t like the taste of a particular fruit, you should not force him. Just like us, they have different likes and dislikes.
27 Safe Alternatives Of Tomatoes For Your Rabbits:
Keeping the factors above in consideration, here is a list of safe fruits for your rabbit to enjoy.
But keep in mind, feeding fruits containing seeds to your rabbit is never a good idea. Make sure the fruit you feed him has no seeds whatsoever.
In addition, make sure you feed them raw and wash fruit to remove any pesticides or chemicals from the fruit. Pesticides can lead to adverse health effects, and we certainly do not want that.
|Apple (remove seeds and core/stems)||Pear (remove seeds and core/stems)||Peach (remove pit)||Pineapple (remove skin)||Blackberries|
|Blueberries||Strawberries||Raspberries||Cherries (remove seeds and stems)||Melon (any type)|
|Plums (remove pit)||Papaya (remove seeds)||Bananas||Apricots (remove pit)||Mango (remove pit)|
|Kiwi fruit||Nectarines (remove seeds and peel)||Oranges (remove seeds and peel)||Satsumas (remove seeds and peel)||Tangerines (remove seeds and peel)|
|Grapes (seedless)||Tomatoes (remove seeds and all green parts)||Cranberries||Black Currants||Red currants|
Here’s a fun fact to help you pick fruit for your pet rabbit. Rabbits love celery, and they can make up for an excellent treat for your rabbit. Looking for a second vegetable or fruit to mix with celery? Try feeding your rabbit a combo of celery, green beans, and broccoli. Or, if you’re on the lookout for a fruit, you can go ahead with oranges, bananas, watermelon.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Do Rabbits Eat Tomatoes?
Do rabbits eat tomatoes? We know they can eat tomatoes but do they actually want to eat them? If you’re looking for a short answer, allow me to put you at ease. “Yes, your long-eared friends do eat tomatoes.”
But this certainly does not conclude that you can throw them a piece of tomatoes every time you feel like treating your pet his or her share of veggies.
You should also know that your pet simply cannot eat the stems, leaves, vines, and flower parts of the tomato. They are toxic to your pet and can take a toll on their health. In most cases, it can lead to tomatine poisoning.
Tomatoes have a significantly high concentration of carbs and sugar. For this very reason, you cannot feed your pet any more than one small piece of tomatoes.
Prior to feeding them to your long-eared pet, you should always remove the seeds. Another thing that you need to make sure of is to wash the tomato thoroughly. This will remove any dirt or pesticides that may be lingering on your pet’s new treat.
2) Can Baby Rabbits Eat Vegetables Or Fruits?
Baby rabbits require more care than how much care an adult rabbit requires.
It is not recommended to give baby rabbits any vegetables or fruits. Until they reach the age of 12 weeks. Including tomatoes, since their digestive system is still susceptible.
Young rabbits have incredibly sensitive stomachs that can be easily upset by new foods. When feeding your rabbit a piece of fruit that they have not been given before, make sure you give them only a very small amount.
You should watch your pet carefully for the next 24 hours to check for symptoms of any adverse effects.
3) What Should Be the Daily Food Intake Of My Rabbit?
Your rabbit’s primary source of energy is grass hay. Make sure your rabbit’s daily food intake has a lot of hay and other nutrient-rich foods like bananas and tomatoes.
But, remember, their main food should be hay, and bananas or tomatoes can only be the cherry on the topping. Always introduce such fruits as treats only.
4) Is Feeding Nuts And Seeds To Your Rabbits Safe?
Nuts and seeds are never a good idea for rabbits. Nuts and seeds are only a good source of fat, which again is never a good idea for rabbits.
Another reason to avoid nuts and seeds is the fact that they can be a potential hazard for your pet rabbit. They can choke on them.
5) What Foods Are Toxic To Rabbits?
There are still plenty of foods that rabbits should not eat. Avocados contain a compound called persin, which is highly dangerous to rabbits.
Some other foods that are not good for rabbits include apple seeds and fruit peels, rhubarb, garlic, and onions. Never introduce these foods to your rabbit’s diet.
Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes? Conclusion:
Many rabbits seem to like tomatoes, but always mix them with a variety of vegetables and do not let them eat only tomatoes. Be careful not to overdo it. The occasional tomato slice will be nutritious and enjoyable for your pet rabbit.
As with any other fresh food, introduce tomatoes slowly to ensure your rabbit responds well to them. It is also important that you never feed any part of the tomato plant other than the fruit to your pets.
You should always remove the stems, vines, leaves, flowers, and seeds of a tomato plant and never feed unripe green tomatoes to rabbits.