Can rabbits eat tomatoes? It’s only common to ask such questions because treats are a huge part of a pet’s life. Not only rabbits but dogs and cats as well are very fond of treats. So are tomatoes safe for bunnies to eat? What about healthy, are they healthy?
You should know before anything else that tomatoes have high sugar content. But then they have nutrients too. However, striking the perfect balance between the two is in your hands. So you can maintain your little pet’s bunny’s health.
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Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes – Tomatoes and A Healthy Diet
Tomatoes are indeed safe for rabbits to eat. And this includes yellow tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and the other varieties. In fact, they make a very tasty snack for bunnies. But there are certain things to keep in mind when feeding tomatoes to rabbits (more on that later).
Then comes the question of how and how much to feed?
To be able to answer this question, let me tell you the basics of a healthy diet for a rabbit. It consists of 3 essential elements. Namely fruit and vegetables, pellets, and hay. Fruits and vegetables make up 28 percent of the daily diet. Pellets should be 2 percent. As for hay, it covers the major part of the diet, that is 70 percent.
But why does hay take up so much of the daily diet? It’s because hay promotes digestive health, dental health, and is packed with nutrients necessary for the well being of the little creature.
Moving on to vegetables and fruits, these should be fed only when fresh. And only a small handful per day. Make sure this handful consists of leafy vegetables for the most part, and not fruits. Merely because fruits have sugar in them. While they may be safe i.e. not poisonous for rabbits to eat, that doesn’t mean they don’t lead to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, etc.
Fruits for rabbits are like high sugary treats like cupcakes that are made for humans. It’s as simple as that to understand.
And lastly, pellets, which is actually rabbit food. Even so, not more than 2 percent of pellets should be fed on a daily basis.
Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes – Benefits of Tomatoes for Rabbits
The most important benefit of tomatoes is their huge water content. So your bunny rabbit remains hydrated. Tomatoes also have a lot of fiber in them. And once again, this is essential in the diet of a rabbit. Because bunnies don’t have a digestive system like humans, meaning it doesn’t have constant movement (peristalsis).
High potassium another essential nutrient that helps a great deal when it comes to preventing a condition like hypokalemia in bunnies. Just so you know, signs of dangerously low potassium levels include muscle weakness, stunted growth, cardiac arrhythmias, and weight loss.
The fruit also contains lycopene antioxidants that keep cell damage at bay. And it’s this particular element itself that makes tomatoes look red. Needless to say, tomatoes also promote heart health.
High levels of Vitamin C are also found in tomatoes. But did you know that rabbits, unlike us humans, can make Vitamin C on their own? So they don’t need to be fed Vitamin C supplements. The glucose in their body produces enough of it.
On that note, keep in mind that excessive Vitamin C in bunnies might lead to kidney damage. But there’s no harm in feeding tomatoes occasionally to rabbits who are anxious or stressed.
Rabbit eating tomatoes ASMR
Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes – Drawbacks of Tomatoes for Rabbits
There are two sides to every coin. That’s why moderation is so important when it comes to feeding just about anything to your pet rabbit.
First off, tomato plants have been proven to be toxic for bunnies. So make it a point to feed only the fruit. Because the plant compound contains alkaloids solanine and tomatine. And these have a negative physiological impact on animals.
You should know that tomatine is poisonous. And this compound is found in every single part of the plant of tomato. In fact, it’s present even in the fruit itself. But the concentration is larger in the stems and leaves.
What about solanine? This too is poisonous yet a part of all the varieties of tomatoes. The concentration, even in this case, is higher in the stems and leaves than the actual fruit.
In that light, can rabbits eat tomato leaves and stems? The answer is NO. So always remove the stems, vines, flowers, and leaves of the tomato plant before feeding. Along the same lines, even tomato seeds are toxic in nature for rabbits. These too should be removed with the help of a spoon or knife before feeding.
Also avoid feeding unripe green tomatoes as they are toxic as well. The most common symptoms that these toxins produce are stomach pain, bloat, and diarrhea. But there’s no fixed amount that’s considered to be poisonous. Meaning some bunnies might not even show any signs of danger after accidentally consuming them. While some become extremely sick.
But do such toxins cause death in some scenarios? One thing is for certain here. That rabbits and humans don’t share the same tolerance level to tomatine and solanine. In the case of the former, the tolerance is definitely higher. But rabbits have a super low tolerance threshold.
The best thing to do, at such times, is to speak to the vet immediately. Whether or not your adorable little creature is showing any warning signs or not.
Tomatoes – The High Sugar Content!
There’s just no denying that tomatoes have high sugar content. Now I’m not saying that desserts are made of tomatoes. But then bunnies don’t know what desserts are. Even so, rabbits certainly enjoy the sweet, dessert like taste of tomatoes. But precaution must be taken.
Don’t over feed this red sugary treat because it can lead to problems like diabetes, obesity, dental troubles, etc. in the long run. And not just tomatoes, but also other natural and commercial sugary foods.
Practice portion control, just like you do with junk food.
And lastly, never feed cooked tomatoes to your pet bunny. Even ketchup is a bad idea!
So now you know what the feeding should be like. Tomato is a fruit after all, right? So make sure it’s not rotten as that causes diarrhea. This also means throwing away the fruit after it’s been sitting in the bowl or cage of your bunny for too long.
Also, keep away cooked, canned, and other such tomato products. Only feed fresh tomatoes, but without any leaves, stems, and even seeds.
As long as you feed tomatoes in a limited amount occasionally, you don’t have to worry about causing any harm to your pet’s health. Unless he/she is allergic to the fruit. So look out for constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and any other such abnormal behavior.
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