Can Rabbits Eat Pumpkin? – Pumpkin is everywhere during October, so it’s a fair question to ask if your rabbit can eat the winter squash. Pumpkins are full of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and minerals. Did you know Pumpkins are also around 90% water? Which makes them great for hydrating your bunny.
Rabbits can eat the entirety of the pumpkin flesh as well as the seeds, however, seeds are a choking hazard. Pumpkin is incredible rich in Vitamins A & B, Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium, Manganese & Iron, all of which are crucial to your rabbits health and well-being. There is a downside to this though, much like many fruits, Pumpkin is incredibly high in carbohydrates and sugars.
A general rule of thumb is to give your rabbit no more than 1-2 tablespoons of pumpkin flesh per 5lbs of body weight, this means for your average French Lop you would feed no more than 2 tablespoons of pumpkin.
A ripe pumpkin is perfectly fine for your rabbit to eat, but much like most fruits you should only give pumpkin in small quantities. Due to the high quantity of carbohydrates and sugar, they can lead to diarrhea, dental issues, obesity and gas which can cause GI Stasis. Unfortunately the quantity of sugar leading to Obesity can also cause a plethora of other problems such as Myiasis, Pododermatitis and even Pregnancy Toxemia.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give your rabbit Pumpkin at all, quite the opposite! But if you do, make sure to give them fresh Pumpkin and not canned Pumpkin or any variation of Pumpkin treat like a Pumpkin pie, cookie etc.
We suggest giving your rabbit less than the maximum amount of pumpkin you should give them as pumpkin is extremely filling and you will want to give your rabbit hay and greens.
Pumpkin is a fantastic fruit to add to your rabbits diet in small quantities, as always you should be giving your rabbit a primary diet of hay and fresh grass. There is no harm in providing smaller quantities of lots of different fruits in your rabbits diet to help balance out the nutritional value.
|Nutrients found in Raw Pumpkin||Per 116g|
Your rabbit can eat the flesh of a Pumpkin along with the seeds without worry of toxins or being poisoned. However, we highly recommend not giving your rabbit Pumpkin seeds as they are an extreme choking hazard and rabbits can be very difficult to save from choking.
Pumpkin seeds are also filled with the same nutrients as the flesh (Vitamins A & B, Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium, Manganese & Iron), however, they are also extremely high in fatty acids. To avoid issues with your rabbits GI tract you should avoid giving them regular portions of Pumpkin or Pumpkin Seeds.
Whilst some recommend doing what is referred to as the “Rabbit Heimlich Maneuver”, you should note that this can also be incredibly difficult to do without hurting your rabbit and doesn’t guarantee a resolution. Some owners live by this and some very against it, this is something you’ll want to discuss with your local veterinarian as opinions for this will also vary.
In the wild, rabbits will eat every part of the pumpkin, however with domesticated rabbits their GI Tract is much more sensitive. Whilst it is okay for your rabbit to nibble on Pumpkin stems and leaves it’s highly recommended they don’t due to the excessive amounts of calcium.
Calcium build up is kept in the bladder which can create sludge-like or thick urine. Unfortunately a byproduct of this is calcium crystals which can form stones in the kidney, bladder, uterus and urethra.
Due to a Pumpkins high sugar count, you’ll struggle to find a rabbit that doesn’t like it after they’ve tried it. The sweet taste of a Pumpkin will leave your rabbit craving more, but despite how cute they are, you should avoid giving them Pumpkin on a regular basis and instead mix up their diet with other fruits.
You don’t want to be giving your rabbit pumpkin too often, even if you stick within the average amount it can eat per day. You should give your rabbit a varied set of fruit every week.
As a general rule of thumb, you can take the average weight of an adult breed and apply the following per week (In weight order):
|Breed||Average Weight of Breed||tbsp of Pumpkin Per week|
|Lionhead Rabbit||3lbs||1.25 – 1.5|
|Holland Lop||2-4lbs||1.4 – 1.8|
|Dutch Rabbit||3.5 – 5.5lbs||1.45 – 2|