Bananas are a delicious fruit, but you know when you own a rabbit, you’ve got to be careful what the rabbit eats. But can rabbits eat bananas, what part of a banana plant can they safely eat, and how much of these fruits should you feed your bun?
Bananas aren’t part of a rabbit’s regular diet; these fruits are high in sugar and starch, so they should be fed as occasional treats and rewards. On average, feed your rabbit a piece of banana that’s the size of your thumb. Eating too many bananas is dangerous for a rabbit’s weight and tummy.
Ready to learn more about bananas and rabbits? We’ve got everything you need to know in this comprehensive guide.
Are Bananas OK for Rabbits to Eat?
Rabbits can eat fresh banana fruit, banana peel, and banana leaves. However, you should limit how much fruit and peel your rabbit eats as these parts of the banana plant are high in starch and sugar.
When feeding banana peel to your rabbit, thoroughly wash it to ensure you remove any pesticides and chemicals used during the growing process. Rabbits are sensitive animals, and even a small amount of pesticides can make your bun sick.
When it comes to banana leaves, you can safely add these as a regular part of your bun’s leafy green dietary requirements. Again, make sure you wash the leaves as you would any other leafy greens before giving them to your bun.
Don’t feed your rabbit any processed foods that contain bananas. So that’s a no to banana chips, dried banana, banana bread, and other banana-containing foods as these are high in fat, preservatives, sodium, starch, and sugar – all of which aren’t good for your rabbit.
Benefits of Feeding Bananas to Rabbits
There are various benefits to including bananas in your pet rabbit’s diet, as it can ensure your rabbit eats healthy and balanced foods.
Remember, your rabbit’s diet should mostly be made up of high-quality hay, rabbit-friendly pellets, water, and fresh leafy greens. Any fruits and veggies are high in sugars and calories, and these should be restricted.
As a rich source of nutrients, bananas contain:
- 75% water, which helps the proper functioning of your rabbit’s digestive system
- Potassium, which is good for heart health, helps muscles relax and aids with stress and sleep
- Folate, which improves immunity and red blood cell production
- Phosphorus, which needs calcium for good bone development
- Manganese, which helps with the metabolization of fats, proteins, and carbs
- Vitamin B6, which improves immune system functions
Risks of Feeding Too Many Bananas to Rabbits
Too much of anything is generally a bad thing. And so, if you overfeed bananas to your rabbit, there are various risks that come with that.
Picky Eating and Addiction
Rabbits are picky eaters. If you love chocolate or ice cream, you know how difficult it is to just take one bite. So how is a rabbit supposed to only take one bite of a yummy sweet banana and not want more?
But it is your responsibility as the owner to look after your rabbit bestie and only feed them the required amount of banana.
This ensures they benefit from eating a little bit of banana and don’t develop a sweet tooth where they later don’t want to eat any hay or pellets – which they do need to be healthy.
High in Sugar
Bananas are high in sugar, and their sugar content increases, the riper the banana. Slightly green bananas are the healthiest since they have slightly lower sugar content, and thus taste a bit less sweet.
If your furry pet eats too much sugar, they could suffer from diarrhea, gas, and an upset tummy. Sugar is also not great for a rabbit’s dental health, so you’ll want to limit how many treats you give your bunny.
Too much sugar and not wanting to eat their healthy dietary options of pellets, hay, and leafy greens means a rabbit will eventually put on weight and become obese.
An obese rabbit becomes sickly, and various debilitating issues like pododermatitis, pregnancy toxemia, myiasis, and GI status are eventually fatal.
A rabbit that is overweight also can’t groom itself, eat its nutrient-rich cecotropes, and move around. Eventually, the bunny will have nutritional deficiencies.
How Many Bananas Can I Give My Rabbit?
When you introduce bananas, do so slowly and watch your rabbit carefully. If they have a tummy ache or an upset tummy from eating the banana, then stop feeding bananas immediately.
Also, never introduce more than one new food so you know which treats or food cause issues.
A rabbit can eat 2 tablespoons of banana for every 5 pounds of body weight. So if your rabbit weighs 2.5 pounds, then you can only feed them 1 tablespoon of banana, and if the bun weighs 10 pounds, then they can safely eat 4 tablespoons of banana.
This includes the fruit and the peel if you are feeding both.
Don’t give your rabbit a banana every day; instead, add a variety of fruit and high-sugar veggies as treats. Give your bun banana only 2-3 times a week.
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Bananas?
Kits, or baby rabbits, should not eat bananas. Their digestive systems aren’t fully formed enough yet to deal with high-sugar veggies and fruit.
A kit should drink its mother milk for the first few weeks and then you can start introducing alfalfa pellets and alfalfa hay. When the baby bunnies are 3 months old, they start eating fresh leafy greens together with hay and pellets.
It’s best to only introduce bananas and other fruits like cucumber and strawberries when the rabbit is 6 months or older. And then, only feed the bunny small amounts of banana and see if the bunny likes it.
My Last Bunny Thoughts
Bananas are healthy and safe for rabbits – but only when fed in moderation. This ensures your rabbit doesn’t suffer from any health problems.
Stick to 2 tablespoons of fruit like bananas (including the fruit and peel) per 5 pounds of body weight a few times a week, and you’ll have a healthy rabbit.