So, can rabbits eat bananas?
The answer is… YES, but be careful: though loaded with goodies, bananas also contain high amounts of starch (not so good!).
What’s more, the fruit contains a high sugar content, causing your bunny to become addicted, get sick and develop digestive issues.
But there’s more — I will keep the best for the next section, so if you’re interested (I know you are), KEEP SCROLLING…
- You can feed bananas to your bunny, but start slowly!
- Bananas contain lots of sugar and starch, which may contribute to health issues in your bunny.
- Don’t feed bananas to your bunny more than 2-3 times per week. If you do, they might get sick!
Do Rabbits Like Bananas?
So, can rabbits eat bananas? You bet but get this:
Once you introduce your bunnies to bananas, they soon start craving them.
The sweet taste of bananas, as with any addictive sugary treat, will entice your bunny to get more of it.
When feeding bananas to your bunny, do it in smaller portions ― as an occasional treat ― whether it be the peels or flesh.
Why’s that? Because feeding bananas could make your bunny lose interest in other foods:
Rabbits’ tastes vary, so some may get addicted, refusing to eat anything else. They may refuse nutritious foods like leafy greens and leafy vegetables.
So, when you feed bananas, it’s a good idea to chuck in other fruits for rabbits such as apples, blueberries, grapes — for a wholesome, balanced diet .
The result? Reduced cravings and a healthy and happy bunny.
Avoid Overripe Bananas
When a banana starts to ripen, the natural compound known as ethylene gas regulates this fruit.
This gas causes the bananas to turn brown, changing their texture, color, and flavor. Besides, ethylene gas also affects the nutritional value of the banana.
Bananas that haven’t ripened yet usually have about 80-90% of resistant starch. This starch is part of their carbohydrate content.
When the banana ripens, the resistance begins converting into free sugars.
Rabbits have beneficial gut bacteria in their digestive tract that help break down food.
Free sugars from overripe bananas will alter those bacteria, which could cause stomach pain, loose stools, and other digestive issues.
These reactions will depend on the rabbit, so it’s best to observe if there are any of those signs.
However, overripe bananas are still safe for rabbits to eat. As long as no mold grows on the bananas, you can feed them to your bunny.
Health Benefits of Bananas for Rabbits
Feed your bunny hay, high-quality pellets, leafy greens, and water for optimal health.
You should also serve bananas as healthy rabbit treats in small portions.
Besides, feeding too much sweet stuff can make your bunny addicted and cause serious health issues.
Below are some of the nutrition your rabbit can benefit from eating bananas:
- Folate – Boost the production of red blood cells and immunity.
- Phosphorous – Need for bone development and helps with calcium absorption.
- Manganese – This mineral helps metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
- Potassium – Potassium helps relax the rabbit’s muscles and prevent stress. Also, it helps the rabbit sleep better.
- Vitamin B6 – According to The Journal of Applied Animal Science, vitamin B6 helps improve the immune system functions in the rabbit’s body .
- Water – A fully ripe banana has about 75% water content. This water content is vital to keep the rabbit hydrated. It also provides the proper functioning of the digestive tract.
Can Rabbits Eat Banana Leaves?
Your pet rabbit can eat the banana leaves. The leaves of the banana tree are safe for them to eat. It’s a great way to complete the diet requirement of the rabbits.
Before you buy the leaves, make sure it’s from an organic farm or organically grown.
Banana leaves with pesticides, and chemical fertilizers could cause health issues for your bunny.
You won’t be able to see any difficulty right away, but over time you will.
As the chemicals build up in your rabbit’s system, they will start causing issues. Sometimes, it will be severe enough that they could even kill your bunny.
Since banana leaves are not the typical food of rabbits’ diets, you may want to consult a vet first.
They may advise against feeding banana leaves to your rabbit if it suffers from dental issues or has a digestive problem.
As for rabbits that are under 3 months old, please don’t feed them any banana leaves. Their digestive systems aren’t ready for this dietary change yet.
Can Rabbits Eat Banana Peels?
You can feed banana peels to your pet rabbit. However, avoid feeding them too much of it though. Like bananas, they are high in sugar and starch content.
Banana peels should be given to them as a treat instead.
When feeding your rabbit banana peels, ensure they are organically grown.
Regular bananas sold in grocery stores will contain pesticides and chemicals. These chemicals are toxic for rabbits if given in large amounts.
So, if you don’t know the origin of the bananas, it’s best to throw away the peel and feed your rabbit the flesh only.
How Much Banana Can A Rabbit Eat?
The number of bananas a rabbit can eat will depend on its weight. So, how many tablespoons of banana?
A word of caution: Don’t feed bananas to the baby bunnies.
If they are older, you can introduce the fruit as follows:
Measure 2 tablespoons of banana per 5 pounds of body weight. Feeding your bunnies this much will boost their diet with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Don’t feed them more than 2-3 times per week. Any more than that will exceed their dietary requirement.
If you’re starting your feeding routine, it’s best to take it slowly. Like with other foods, it’s best to feed them gradually.
Given its sensitive digestive system, your bunny may feel unwell.
Below is information on how much banana a rabbit can eat based on the breed and weight :
|Rabbit Breed||Weight (lbs)||Banana per Serving (tbsp.)|
|American rabbit||10 or more||4|
|Californian rabbit||10 or more||4|
Stay with 1 tablespoon of banana to be safe!
If they have an adverse reaction, you can stop immediately without worrying about any significant effect on their health.
On their first banana feed, look for any signs of digestive problems. Adverse reactions will show up within a couple of hours.
Also, check for stomach problems like diarrhea. If you see your bunny is lying still for too long, trapped gas may be the blame.
Can I feed bananas to young rabbits?
No, I don’t recommend feeding bananas to young rabbits under 12 weeks: their digestive system is too sensitive.
Instead, opt for leafy veggies!
Can rabbits eat unripe banana peels?
Yes, but they will not be as yummy.
Although they contain less sugar than ripe banana peels, they have more starch. So feed in moderation!
Finally, you can now answer can rabbits eat bananas:
Yes, in moderation.
The golden rule: Feed bananas 2-3 times a week and no more, so your bunny won’t border on addiction!
This fruit can contain loads of sugars (hence its sweet taste) — if given in access, it will harm your bunny and cause health problems.
Feed bananas as an occasional treat and mix them with nutritious delights like fresh vegetables.
And above all, monitor your bunnies!
So, did you ever feed bananas to your bunnies? Let us know in the comments section!
- What to Include in a Healthy Rabbit Diet [Internet]. Parkside Vets Pets. 2019 [cited 2022 Dec 9]. Available from: https://www.parksidevets.com/pets/dietary-requirements-for-your-rabbits-from-parkside/
- Liu G, Sun C, Liu H, Li F, Zhu Y, Li F. Effects of dietary supplement of vitamin B6 on growth performance and non-specific immune response of weaned rex rabbits. Journal of Applied Animal Research. 2018;46:1370–6.
- Carter L. Can Rabbits Eat Bananas? [Internet]. Rabbit Care Tips. 2020 [cited 2022 Dec 9]. Available from: https://www.rabbitcaretips.com/can-rabbits-eat-bananas/
Andreea is a very passionate content creator and her purpose is to provide you with the most interesting articles, while constantly discovering new facts. She’s been freelance writing for the past five years and has created numerous articles and educational materials while managing her own mom blog.
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