Nectarines are a delicious fruit and are chockful of vitamins and minerals. Most of us love this juicy fruit, but because nectarines are good for humans, it doesn’t mean they’re suitable for other animals.
If you have a rabbit as a pet and are wondering whether it is safe to feed them this fruit keep reading to find out all the particulars.
Can Rabbits Eat Nectarines?
Yes, rabbits can eat nectarines in moderation. It’s recommended that you feed your rabbit nectarine only once or twice a week in small amounts.
Also, wait until your rabbit is at least seven months old or older before you start feeding them this tasty fruit.
Nutritional Information for Nectarines
The nutritional information for nectarines is below and is based on one serving.
Nutritional Value per 143 grams (3.5 Ounces)
Fat: 0.5 grams
Carbohydrates: 15 grams
Sugar: 11 grams
Dietary Fiber: 2.4 grams
Protein: 1.5 grams
Calcium: 8.6 milligrams
Iron: 0.4 milligrams
Potassium: 287 milligrams
While these nutritional facts will vary depending on how much of the nectarine you feed your rabbit, this gives you a general idea of how much nutrition they will be getting from the fruit.
Potential Hazards to Watch for When Feeding Your Rabbit Nectarines
While nectarines are a good source of vitamins for your rabbit, there are potential hazards involved in overfeeding them.
Not only should you not overfeed your rabbit nectarine, but you should also avoid giving them the pit of the nectarine as well.
The pit has cyanide in it, which can be harmful to your rabbit. Instead, take the pit out of the nectarine and cut it into manageable pieces before giving it to your pet.
A few of the other potential hazards of overfeeding your rabbit nectarines are as follows:
- Gastrointestinal statis
- Uneaten cecotropes
- Dental problems from the sugar
Benefits to Feeding Your Rabbit Nectarines
There are many benefits to feeding your rabbit nectarines. Nectarines are a good source of vitamins A, B, and C and are low in calories. Accordingly, they are a good treat for your rabbit in moderation.
However, it’s best to feed your rabbit only organic nectarines to reduce the risk of the fruit being treated with any type of pesticide. Also always take off any leaves and the pit of the nectarine, as both can make your rabbit sick.
Best Way to Feed Nectarines to Your Rabbit
It’s best to feed your rabbit only organic, raw nectarines. You don’t want to cook them or give your rabbit the fruit out of the can.
Cooked nectarines aren’t good for bunnies, as they have a hard time digesting them. Canned nectarines also aren’t good because they contain preservatives, sugar, and artificial flavors, which can hurt your rabbit’s stomach.
You can freeze fresh nectarines and feed them to your rabbit once they’re thawed. You should also keep the juice of the nectarine away from your rabbit and just feed them the flesh.
The best way to feed nectarines to your rabbit is by cutting them into manageable bites that will be easy for the rabbit to chew and swallow.
How Much Nectarine Can a Rabbit Safely Eat?
One piece of nectarine per week can be given to younger rabbits that are at least seven months old. Adult rabbits can have one to two pieces of nectarines a week.
Feeding more than is recommended can result in the issues we previously mentioned.
Healthy Alternatives to Nectarines
While your rabbit’s diet should mostly consist of hay and rabbit pellets, it’s okay to give them these healthy fruits in moderation as well:
Nectarines are safe to feed to your pet rabbit. However, it’s best to only give them the fruit as a treat once or twice a week. Again, only feed them a small amount, and always make sure the rabbit is over seven months old before you do.