Most folks know that rabbits eat a diet that is predominantly grass, hay, and other sorts of green roughage. But they’re also strictly herbivores, and it makes sense that they can have other plant-based foods also.
Naturally, fruits are plant-based, and we know that rabbits can have a few things like berries every now and then. But they cannot safely eat just any kind of fruit. How about something that’s truly tropical like pineapple? Can rabbits eat pineapple safely?
Yes, rabbits can safely eat pineapple but only very rarely and in small quantities as a treat. While pineapple is wholesome and has many beneficial vitamins and minerals, it is simply too sugary to be fed to rabbits often.
If you know a little bit about rabbit biology this makes sense, and that’s because rabbits have very sensitive digestive systems that are prone to being upset by sugary foods. That’s one of the first things any new rabbit owner is cautioned on!
Even so, a little bit of pineapple and other sweet foods won’t hurt bunnies as long as you know how best to feed them. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about incorporating pineapple into the diet of your rabbit down below.
Do Rabbits Like Pineapple?
Yes, I’ve found that most rabbits do like pineapple. That’s because, big secret, most rabbits have a sweet tooth and pineapple is very sweet and highly fragrant.
Never mind that it is a food that they would basically never, ever get in the wild, they’ll still be more than happy to munch on this delectably sweet fruit.
Is Pineapple a Healthy Food for Rabbits?
Not really, or rather I should say that it is healthy only on a very limited basis as a treat. Pineapple is simply too sweet and too moist to be a good regular food for rabbits even though it has lots of vitamins and minerals that can benefit them.
If you look at the macronutrients first, we see that pineapple contains very little in the way of protein or fat, but tons of carbohydrates, most of which is sugar.
Natural sugars in the form of fructose, but still sugar, and rabbits don’t need much of that. Still, it’s great for giving rabbits a little boost of energy in moderation.
The vitamin content is pretty good, as they contain tons of vitamin C and a good assortment of B-complex vitamins like B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and folate. Pineapples also have just a tad of choline.
The mineral content is also pretty diverse, but the only standout mineral they have is manganese. Other than that, you’ve got just a little bit of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus potassium and zinc.
Not bad, but definitely not enough of anything to make pineapple a worthwhile addition to a rabbit’s diet considering how sugary it is. That’s the real deal breaker!
Can Rabbits Have Pineapple Leaves?
No. Pineapple leaves tend to be very tough, waxy and sometimes sharp and spiny. Rabbits can handle firm greenery, but it needs to be tender and easy for them to chew and eat. Cut the leaves off and throw them away when you’re chopping up the pineapple.
Can Rabbits Eat Pineapple Skin?
No. Pineapple skin is simultaneously thick, hard, leathery and covered in pokey protrusions that can be a hazard to your rabbits. Peel and discard this outer skin prior to feeding.
Can Rabbits Eat Canned Pineapple?
No! Canned pineapple is either soaking in heavy syrup, which adds even more sugar, or soaking in its own juice- which will add even more sugar.
“More sugar” is not what we want considering how sweet pineapple already is, and much of the time, canned fruits are treated with various preservatives that rabbits shouldn’t have anyway.
Stick with fresh pineapple only for your furry friends…
Can Pineapple Cause Problems for Rabbits?
Yes, it can, and that is because it is so sweet. Even though these sugars in pineapple are all-natural fructose, that doesn’t mean rabbits can handle them without consequence…
Rabbits don’t need much sugar in their diet, and especially don’t need huge amounts of in one serving. This is because the delicate gut flora that helps rabbits digest and process food, a variety of little microorganisms and bacteria, can go out of control when subjected to lots of sugar.
This can result in several outcomes, all of them bad. The first is that they get out of whack and digestion gets disrupted.
This will usually result in a rabbit losing its appetite or suffering from loose stools or full-blown diarrhea. Diarrhea is nasty, yes, but it can rapidly dehydrate a little rabbit and that is an even scarier proposition.
The other, far more devastating instance is that certain gas-producing bacteria can begin to multiply and, yep, produce more gas in the rabbit’s gut.
It sounds funny, but your rabbit isn’t going to be running around farting: rabbits cannot release gas in the same way that other mammals can, and this buildup of gas can cause them pronounced pain and discomfort or even, in severe cases, kill them!
You don’t want to risk any of this by giving your rabbit too much sweet pineapple, so save it for treats and even then, only give them tiny portions every once in a while…
How Often Should Rabbits Eat Pineapple?
Rabbits should have no more than one or two small pieces of pineapple per week. I’m serious; it is just too sweet to risk it otherwise.
Depending on the size of your rabbit, the piece should be anywhere from the size of the end of your thumb to twice that size, no more.
What’s the Best Way to Serve Pineapple to Rabbits?
Any pineapple that you give to your bunnies must be peeled and cut into small sections that are easy for them to eat. It is moist and sticky and will make your rabbits sticky no matter how you serve it to them, but I find that they do best with the pineapple on a tray or plate.
Never Give Rabbits Spoiled Pineapple
Your rabbits will love pineapple, but it is already problematic enough without you giving them old, spoiled pineapple. Fruits always go bad quickly, and if your pineapple is turning brown or is it showing signs of mold in places you must not risk giving it to your rabbits.
Bad foods are one of the biggest offenders for disrupting their gut, and that can lead to all the problems I outlined above and worse.
Various kinds of food poisoning and other maladies can affect rabbits with potentially fatal results, and you don’t want to risk that over saving a few dollars on an old pineapple. If it isn’t fresh enough that you would eat it yourself, don’t even dream of giving it to your bunnies.
Is Pineapple Safe for Bunnies?
Yes, but only as a treat on a very limited basis and the earliest they should be allowed to try even a tidbit of pineapple is at 14 weeks of age.
You might not know that bunnies take a long time to develop properly and start eating a variety of foods, and that is because their digestive system takes a long time to develop the necessary ratios of bacteria and stabilize.
Any novel food, and especially any moist, sugary food like pineapple, can throw the whole thing into disarray and have catastrophic results for baby bunnies.
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.