Can rabbits eat tomatoes?
Yes, rabbits can eat tomatoes, but only as a treat. Either small or large, juicy or not, red or yellow, cherry or not, tomatoes are not poisonous. The fruit is not bad for rabbits excepting all plant parts like the leaves, vines, flowers, and stems which are toxic. The green fruits are also toxic.
Even though tomatoes are a good source of Vitamin A, C, B6, as well as potassium, and antioxidants, they should not be one of the main sources of nutrition for rabbits.
How do rabbits eat tomatoes? Follow these steps when feeding your rabbit tomatoes:
1. Remove the fruit stalk that holds the fruit on the plant. It can be poisonous too.
2. Wash the fruit thoroughly. You'll get rid of any pesticides.
3. Cut the tomato in slices.
4. Remove the seeds.
5. Give him from your hand a slice of two. Keep in mind that the quantity of a cherry tomato is enough for a rabbit stomach.
Therefore you will avoid overfeeding him and get his fur messy. Rabbits like to be clean after they had finished their meal. Plus they don't like to be wet either.
Baby Rabbits - no fruits for them
Baby rabbits have a much more sensitive digestive system. Avoid feeding them any kind of fruits and vegetables until they reach 12 weeks of age. When introducing to them these types of foods make it slowly. Wait 24 hours to see his reaction. If everything is fine you can move to the next.
Give your young rabbit free days from veggie or treats. If he seems to be upset avoid giving him that food. We recommend waiting even more until you give your growing rabbit any kind of treats. And by "treats", we mean only the accepted fruits for rabbits.
Tomatoes - treat them only as treats
Tomatoes are considered fruits/treats. Because they are acidic and "high in sugar", tomatoes are advised for rabbits in very small amounts. The sugar from fruits increases the bad bacteria overgrowth. This can lead to different digestive problems. A slice or two of a tomato fruit in a day are just enough.
Treats should be fed occasionally and changed very often. No more than one tomato per week. Do the same thing with every treat that you feed your bunny. As long as they consume tomatoes as treats everything should be fine.
Tomato plants - not to be fed
The leaves, flowers, stems and green fruit contain tomatine/solanine (also found in the green parts of potatoes). This substance produces tomatidine when hydrolyzed in digestion. This is not good for other animals either. Tomatine is found throughout the plant, but especially in flowers, leaves and green fruits. Even though they know by instinct that these plans are not good, keep them out of reach.
Do rabbits eat tomato plants? It seems to be a disagreement regarding tomato plants but we think it is wise to avoid feeding controversial plants. Always follow the "better safe" rule than the "sorry" one.
Rabbits should never eat any kind of seeds, including tomato seeds. They are poisonous, too. Remove them before feeding him.
But what do rabbits normally eat?
Hay, hay, and a little bit more hay
For us humans, it's awkward and hard to believe that hay is enough for rabbits, but actually, it is enough. Always remember that rabbits do not eat what humans normally eat.
Keep a diet that consists of 80% hay. Hay is low in calories and high in fiber. Perfect for their digestive system. The right quantity per day for an adult rabbit is around his weight. The hay must be always fresh.
However, rabbits can still eat a few fruits (as treats 5%) and vegetables (10%). Vegetables like cabbage, kale, spinach, carrot leaves, celery or broccoli are good for your pet rabbit. Still, fruits and even veggies should be fed in moderation.
If you want to avoid the whole vegetable thing try some high-quality pellets instead. Keep the quantity as low as possible (the same 10% of the whole diet). For young rabbits, alfalfa pellets are required. What is the right quantity for pellets?
Other important things to consider about tomatoes
- Rotten fruits can cause diarrhea. Avoid feeding them.
- Tomato sauce (ketchup) is not the same with the tomato fruit. Canned or cooked tomatoes are full of sugar and chemicals. These substances are very bad for your bunny. When cooked they are even more acidic than raw tomatoes.
Can bunnies eat tomatoes? Yes, but no more than a slice or two the equivalent of a cherry tomato. It should be clear to everybody that we really must respect the right quantity when it comes to treats. If not, because of the bad bacteria overgrowth, your pet might endure a stomach ache, bloat, diarrhea or constipation. You also avoid getting your rabbit too fat.
Thank you for dropping by and don't forget to always treasure your dear bunny!
We hope this article helped you and your bunny. Leave us any question that you have in the comment section.
Remember that every rabbit is different. If you think that your problem is a severe one don't hesitate to consult a professional veterinarian for advice.
Read more in our articles from the section below.