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Watermelons contain about 92 percent water and several vital nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin B1, B5 and B6, vitamin C, lycopene, amino acids, and antioxidants. It also has potassium, magnesium among other essential nutrients.
Besides providing all these nutrients to human beings, watermelons will help you stay hydrated, lower inflammation, prevent macular degeneration, improve hair, digestion among other roles. What about rabbits? Is watermelon safe for rabbits or can bunnies eat it?
Do rabbits eat watermelons?
Bunnies can eat watermelon. However, it is not their prime food since they depend on hay, high-quality pellets, and leafy greens which form the main part of your rabbit’s diet. Like any other rabbit-safe fruits, it can only be given as occasional treats on small amounts including in logic or puzzle toys if your bunnies like it.
Although it is nutritious as we have already mentioned and has a lot of water, it also has a lot of sugars. Bunnies do not consume lots of foods with sugars or starch since they have been associated with cecal dysbiosis, stomach upsets, and enterotoxemia.
Besides, bunnies depend on foods that are high in fiber to better their digestion, reduce furballs as well as wear down overgrown teeth. However, these fruits do not have as much fiber as hay.
How do you feed a bunny watermelon?
Since most fruits are given as treats, you need a small piece of watermelon, and you should not feed it daily. Remember bunnies need about one teaspoon of fruits per two pounds of their weight daily. This should give you a hint on how much you should give it. Therefore, an average-sized bunny might require 2 inches by 2 inches per week.
Before feeding it, remove all the seeds and once you introduce it to your furry friends, you need to monitor its stool for 24 hours continuously. Should it cause any soft stool or diarrhea, revert to the regular bunny diet avoiding any fruit treats or vegetables until the condition improves.
Ensure this fruit is fresh. Avoid wilted one. It would be better to give it one that is not ripe than a wilted one. Always go for a fresh one.
Finally, be careful to avoid its juice from reaching your bunnies fur as it causes matting as well as make their fur dirty or stain it, especially to those that have long coats such as the Angora rabbits.
Can rabbits eat watermelon skin, leaves, seeds or rind?
According to Rabbits.life, “they cannot munch on them. Therefore, they may get intestinal obstruction”. Since bunnies cannot regurgitate like cats and dogs, these pips might chock them. It is not sure whether these seeds are poisonous or not.
Organicfacts.net notes that the “smaller white seeds can be allowed to remain in the watermelon, but to be safe, remove those too, or purchase a seedless” one.
Bunnies can eat a watermelon rind – the white or greenish part after you remove the inner reddish part. It is better since it has less sugar, is more fibrous, and it has more citrulline amino acid making it an ideal treat when compared to the inner part. Some rabbits prefer the rind the most.
What about their skin? Can they eat it? Yes, rabbits can eat watermelon skin. However, you should chop it into smaller pieces to make eating much easier. This will also ensure your furry friends do not get chocked by this tough part.
Finally, rabbits can eat watermelon leaves or plants. It is normal for even wild rabbits to nibble these leaves as they are non-toxic.
Irrespective of whether it is the skin, rind or the inner red part, ensure you stick to the recommended fruit amounts.