Applesauce is a good snack for humans, but we have to be more careful when feeding out pets human food. Most of a rabbit’s diet consists of pellets and vegetables, such as carrots and lettuce, but can rabbits eat applesauce?
Before feeding your rabbit applesauce, you should know more about the potential health risks.
Can Rabbits Eat Applesauce?
Rabbits should not generally eat applesauce, as it contains too much sugar. Applesauce also can contain different spices and flavorings that rabbits should not consume. While rabbits can eat fruit like apples, fruit should be given in moderation.
Between 5% and 10% of a rabbit’s diet should consist of treats, such as fruit, which equals about one to two tablespoons of fruit per day. Fresh fruit is also preferred, as it does not contain extra sugar or additives.
Applesauce Nutritional Facts
Applesauce is a sauce made of peeled or unpeeled apples. It may also be sweetened or spiced. Here are the nutritional facts for a 100-gram serving of applesauce:
- Calories – 68
- Fat – 0.2 g
- Protein – 0.2 g
- Carbohydrates – 17 g
- Dietary fiber – 1.2 g
- Sugar – 15 g
One hundred grams is the equivalent of 6.67 tablespoons. Each tablespoon of applesauce contains about 4.5 grams of sugar.
Why Applesauce Can Be Harmful to Rabbits
Rabbits have sensitive stomachs and are prone to digestive problems and obesity when not given a proper diet.
Apples are considered an acceptable treat for rabbits when the treat is limited to one or two tablespoons per week. However, applesauce typically contains much more sugar compared to apples.
Applesauce is typically prepared by cooking and mashing down apples. As the apples are mashed, sugar is often added to sweeten the mixture and bring out the flavor of the fruit. It also helps break down the apples.
While adding sugar may help the applesauce taste better, it also increases the risk of various health issues. When eaten in excess, sweetened applesauce may lead to the following health problems for rabbits:
- Heart problems
- Gastrointestinal stasis
- Tooth decay
Due to the sensitivity of a rabbit’s digestive system, they require relatively bland foods, such as grains and vegetables. Excess sugar and fermented foods can cause an imbalance of gut bacteria, which can lead to diarrhea and constipation.
Rabbits also need the right balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. The imbalance caused by excessive sugar consumption may lead to gastrointestinal stasis, which is a potentially fatal condition.
Safe Types of Applesauce for Rabbits to Eat
A tablespoon of applesauce here and there shouldn’t pose a significant health risk to your rabbit, however, you should still keep your bunny’s consumption of applesauce low.
There are different types of applesauce, such as strawberry, cinnamon, plain, pear, peach, mango etc. The problem with a lot of applesauce flavors are the additional additives, flavorings and spices that can be harmful to your rabbit.
If you are going to feed your rabbit applesauce purchase plain organic no sugar added or limited sugar applesauce. It is still important to limit your rabbit’s consumption because no sugar added or limited sugar does not mean there is no sugar at all.
As an alternative to applesauce all together, a slice of an apple is a better treat for your bunny. One or two small slices of apple contains less sugar compared to applesauce, yet still provides a special treat for your bunny.
A rabbit’s consumption of applesauce should be limited. Rabbits need more grains and vegetables in their diet than fruit and other treats, which should be limited because of the sugar and excess calories.
If your going to feed your rabbit applesauce, limit their consumption to one or two tablespoons daily of organic no sugar added plain applesauce. Although they can likely safely eat applesauce daily in that small quantity, it still not recommended to feed your rabbit applesauce on a daily basis.
There are other healthier treats you can give your rabbits such as leafy greens, cucumbers, peppers (without seeds) or fruit like bananas or apples.