Rabbits

Can Rabbits Eat Pumpkin Seeds

Can my bunnies have pumpkin seeds
Written by Editorial

Whether you should give your rabbits pumpkin seeds or not is an issue with divided opinions. We decided to go on a fact-finding mission on this issue and here are our findings.

We already discussed the issue of whether rabbits can eat pumpkin including their leaves, plant, and skin. We stated that they should be given small amounts of this fruit as a treat whereas they can eat leaves and the plants. However, it not their most favored plant. 

Let us not shift to our focus to whether bunnies can eat pumpkin seeds or pepitas, i.e., is it safe to give your pets these seeds or are they harmful and hazardous? 

Can my bunnies have pumpkin seeds
Can my bunnies have pumpkin seeds?

Pepitas are nutrient-rich and form part of popular snacks sold in many groceries. Their husks are usually white in color and they can be pressed to produce pumpkin seed oil. 

Can bunnies eat pepitas? 

It is a fact that pepitas are very nutritious and they have vitamins A and B complex, C and E as well as minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, sodium, copper, and manganese. 

However, you should not overlook the fact that they are high in carbohydrates, proteins, and fats making them highly calorific. This already means they are not suitable for these pets which depend on low-energy, high-fiber foods such as hay. 

Therefore, your rabbits are likely to suffer from an overloaded hindgut or dysbiosis, enteritis, and obesity should you feed them pepitas in large amounts. 

Additionally, the excess fat in them can result in fatty liver disease, atherosclerosis, GI stasis, dysbiosis if they consume large volumes. 

Secondly, since they have a hard husk, they present a choking hazard, i.e., they can cause trachea blockages as well as get stuck in their teeth (something that may trigger dental problems). 

Therefore, the answer is no. Rabbits should eat pumpkin seeds, whether roasted, raw, white, green, salted, organic and so on. Despite their many benefits, we have already discussed the reasons why you should not give them. Bunnies shouldn’t eat, no cooked, pelleted or raw pumpkin seeds.  

Some support them

There are a number of sources [1] that support the giving of these seeds to rabbits as rare treats and in small amounts. In fact, the various sources note that they are some of the safe pits listed. Others include sunflower, squash, safflower, melon, and flax seeds. [2

Therefore, if you must, then keep the amounts to be very small. Like two raw seeds per bunny weighing 4 pounds. 

Finally, ensure your bunny has the recommended diets as well as unlimited amounts of fresh, clean water. 

Conclusion

The high amount of fats and starches that the pepitas have, make them unsuitable for bunnies. These animals are not able to digest a lot of fats and starches as human beings can. 

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