Do you like keeping your fruit bowl stocked with delicious pears? You may be wondering if your bunny can share in the fun and eat a few of these sweet treats. Can rabbits eat pears? The answer is a resounding yes! But there are a few things you should know before feeding your bunny this juicy fruit. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about pears and rabbits, including the nutritional value of pears, how much to feed, and which type of pear is best for your furry friend. So read on to find out more!
Can rabbits eat pears?
Yes, rabbits can eat pears! Pears are a good fruit for your pet rabbit and many other types of pocket pets such as hamsters and guinea pigs. They’re nutritious, tasty, and relatively low-calorie which makes them a healthy indulgence from time to time. In addition, the fiber content in pears helps support your bunny’s digestive health.
Pears are packed with antioxidants, flavonoids, dietary fibers, vitamins including C, K, B2, B6 as well as minerals including magnesium, iron, and calcium. Those with red skin have other nutrients including carotenoids, flavonols, and anthocyanins.
Nutritional Value of Pears
Below are some of the relevant nutritional stats on pears per 100grams
- Calories: 57 kcal
- Total carbohydrates: 15g
- Dietary Fiber: 3.1g If you’ve read my other article you know that we aim for 80% of a rabbit’s diet to come from high fiber foods such as leafy greens and unlimited amounts of fresh hay. Pears have a great amount of dietary fiber for fruit which is great for digestive health.
- Sugar: 9.8g
- Calcium: 9mg
- Potassium: 116mg – Pears are a great source of Potassium which helps regulate fluid levels in your bunny’s body.
- Folate: 7 micrograms
- Vitamin C: 4.3mg. Vitamin C can be found in various fruits and veggies, including pears. It is essential for healthy eyes and a strong immune system.
- Vitamin K: 4.4 micrograms: Vitamin K aids in blood clotting. When your rabbit is injured, Vitamin K helps to promote bone growth and healing.
- Copper: 0.08mg
- Phosphorus: 12mg – Phosphorus is needed for strong bones and healthy teeth.
- Magnesium: 7mg – Magnesium assists in regulating muscle and nerve function.
Health Benefits of Pears
Pears are a great treat option for your furry friend as they are high in fiber for digestive health, relatively low in sugar (for a fruit), and lower in calories compared to other fruits.
Pears have a moderate amount of Vitamin C and Vitamin E which have antioxidant effects that can help fight free radicals
Fiber: Fiber is an essential nutrient for rabbits and is very important to the digestive system. Some types of pears are higher in fiber than others such as Asian pear varieties (often called Nashi pears).
How to feed pears to your rabbit
- Make sure to wash the pear thoroughly, soaking it in water is also a good idea.
- If possible, get organic pears. Fruits and vegetables sold in supermarkets are frequently treated with pesticides and preservatives for commercial reasons, which can be harmful to your rabbit.
- Don’t offer them to baby rabbits or to young rabbits (rabbits under 7 months) – their digestive tract is not mature enough yet – stick with grass and hay.
- Adult rabbits can have one to two one-inch pieces of pear. Make sure to remove all seeds.
- It is a good idea to introduce new foods slowly by starting with a small piece the first time and watching for any digestive upsets such as diarrhea after each time you introduce new fruits
What should I feed my rabbit for a healthy diet
In a nutshell, your rabbit’s diet should consist of:
- Fresh grass hay, such as alfalfa hay and timothy hay should make up 80% of your rabbit’s diet. The rabbit’s digestive tract requires a lot of fiber.
- Moderate amounts of vegetables (2-3 types per day), such as dark leafy greens (mustard greens, collard greens, carrot tops etc) that are high in fiber can also be part of their daily diet.
- Small amounts of treats such as small pieces of fresh fruits – such as apples, blackberries, and strawberries that are high fiber fruits. Only give bananas and oranges as an occasional treat as they are very high in sugar.
- Provide plenty of fresh water for your bunny and change their sipper bottle of water every day
- Avoid foods such as beans (eg kidney beans, broad beans) which can cause gas and bloat
Are there any concerns about feeding pears to rabbits?
The main concern is feeding the pear seeds which contain arsenic which is covered below
Like all fruits, pears do contain large amounts of sugar (even though they are on the lower side of fruit sugar content). Too much sugar can cause health issues such as digestive problems and digestive upsets, dental issues, and obesity. Fresh vegetables, are preferred and only give fresh fruits in small quantities.
Other alternatives to pears
- Below is a list of nutritious fruits for you to consider that have a good source of vitamins and other essential nutrients for your rabbit’s health if pears are out of season or you want to add another option: Remember to only feed fresh fruits as treats three to four times per week and not on a daily basis as they do contain a lot of sugar.
- Apple (remove the apple seeds)
- Cherries (remove seeds)
Can rabbits eat pears skin/pear peel?
Yes, you can give pear peels (pear skin) to your rabbit! In fact, the peels make a much healthier treat than the fruit itself, since they have lower sugar content, and are naturally higher in fiber than the flesh. However, as I mentioned above, fresh pears are often sprayed with pesticides so you either need to wash them thoroughly or, preferably, feed organic pear skins instead.
Can rabbits eat pear seeds and pear stems?
While pears make a great treat for your furry friend, the seeds and stem contain cyanide (cyanide may also be found in apple seeds) and cyanide is extremely toxic to rabbits. So it is not a good idea to give your bunny any of the seeds or pear twigs. If it happens once, don’t worry! Cyanide builds up over repeated exposure (repeated eating of the seeds) so a couple of seeds won’t do any harm.
Can rabbits eat dried pears
Rabbits can eat dried pears but keep in mind dried fruit is concentrated and has a high amount of sugar per gram than fresh fruit. Sugar is often added to it as well so it is generally not recommended.
Feeding pears as part of your bunny’s treat allocation is a great idea. Pears are a good source of vitamins and fiber. Make sure to wash the pear’s skin thoroughly before feeding it to your rabbit to avoid any pesticides or dirt residue. If you can, try to get organic pears since they will be much healthier for your bunny. You should also remove all seeds if possible as they can be dangerous if they are fed for a prolonged period of time.