Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes?
Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes? Read this before giving your rabbit a tomato 🍅 By Ellen Schmidt Published on 9/20/2022 at 2:53 PM for The Dodo
To enjoy a healthy life, rabbits should be fed foods that are rich in fiber. Hay and pellets are excellent sources of nutrients and fiber and should make up the bulk of your rabbit’s diet. Meanwhile, fruits and vegetables can be OK for your rabbit, too, but should be viewed as more of a special treat. If you’ve ever wondered if your rabbit can enjoy the juicy goodness of a tomato, you’ve come to the right place. Can rabbits eat tomatoes? And if so, how much is too much? We reached out to Samantha Henson, a certified clinical pet nutritionist with Next Generation Pet Wellness, for more insight on whether tomatoes are a good choice for your pet rabbit.
Can rabbits eat tomatoes as an occasional treat? Yes, but there are a couple things you should know first. Tomatoes do have some health benefits (they’re a great source of vitamins A and C) — but they’re also high in sugar. As a result, as with all fruits and vegetables, a small amount is key. “As a pet nutritionist, I must be honest that tomatoes are not my favorite choice of snack for rabbits due to their high sugar content and the parts of a tomato that can be toxic,” Henson told The Dodo. “I always look for the pros and cons of foods and make my decisions based on that.”
Risks of tomatoes for rabbits First things first, there’s a risk of toxins and pesticides on all fruits and vegetables, so it’s important to wash them thoroughly before feeding them to your rabbit. While the flesh of a tomato is not toxic, tomato leaves and seeds can be toxic when eaten in large doses. As a result, it’s important to carefully remove any leaves, stems and seeds before feeding to your rabbit. “And before you introduce any new food to a rabbit, give him small amounts and monitor his behavior and poop for any negative reactions,” Henson said. If your rabbit does ingest tomato seeds, leaves or stems, watch for signs of digestive distress like diarrhea, and bring your rabbit to the vet if this happens.
How many tomatoes can your rabbit have safely? As mentioned above, when considering how much of a tomato to give him, it’s best to think of a tomato (or any fruits and vegetables) as a special treat for your rabbit. If you overdo a treat, tummy issues are very likely to occur. “A small acorn-size amount of seedless tomato per day is perfectly fine for a rabbit older than 12 weeks of age,” Henson said. So in general, tomatoes are an OK fruit to share with your rabbit, just as long as it’s a small amount and the flesh part of a seedless tomato only. Here’s to healthy foods so you and your rabbit can have lots of fun together!