Can rabbits eat walnuts? The quick answer to this question is no; rabbits should never eat walnuts. Although walnuts are not considered poisonous or toxic, they can still be harmful to rabbits. As much as possible, you shouldn’t feed cereals, grains, and nuts to your bunnies.
Some pet owners would give a piece or two of walnuts to their fluffy friends every once in a while, but this is not advisable for them. In fact, it is included in the list of foods that your rabbits should never have.
In this post, we will be talking about some facts about walnuts. But more importantly, you will know the reasons why you should not give walnuts to your bunnies.
What Are Walnuts?
Walnut is the term people used to refer to any seed of a drupe tree. So technically speaking, it is not a true nut. Some examples of drupes are plums, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, nectarines, and peaches.
If we talk about its nutritional value, it contains vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and K. Aside from that; it also has minerals like zinc, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
It comprises about 65 percent of fats, 15 percent of proteins, 14 percent carbohydrates, 7 percent dietary fibers, and 4 percent of water without its shell.
3 Reasons Why You Should Not Give Walnuts To Your Bunnies
Can rabbits eat walnuts? You should never serve walnuts to your rabbits due to the following reasons:
Can cause indigestion
As stated above, walnuts have high fat but low fiber content which is why they can cause indigestion. Fibrous foods with low energy content are suitable for rabbits; anything high in fat is harmful to them since rabbits’ digestive systems cannot handle it.
May lead to hepatic lipidosis
Supposedly, the diet of rabbits should only include two to three percent of fats. Any excess can cause hepatic lipidosis. Not to mention, the fact that it contains a high amount of carbohydrates that can lead to cecal dysbiosis (imbalance between harmful and beneficial bacteria) and enteritis as the high level of carbs causes a shift in their cecal and gut flora.
Can cause weight gain or obesity
Other than that, walnuts can also lead to excessive weight gain or worse obesity. If this happens, it will be uncomfortable for your rabbits to move, and it can eventually result in other adverse effects.
The Alternatives of Walnuts in Rabbits’ Diet
Instead of offering walnuts that are not considered safe for rabbits, there are many more nutritious foods that you can serve to them. It is good that a diet includes various foods, but walnuts need not be a part of it. Read further to know the better alternatives when it comes to rabbits’ general diet.
Since rabbits love to nibble continuously, it is recommended that you feed them with grass hay. Such food can be given to them in unlimited amounts without causing harm to them. Furthermore, rabbit pellets are also ideal for serving, but the serving should not exceed 1/8 cup.
If you want to serve them vegetables, the proper amount should be one cup for every four pounds of a rabbit’s body weight. You may choose three different kinds of yellow or dark green vegetables per day.
Some examples include dandelion leaves, radicchio, squash, pea pods, wheatgrass, cabbage leaves, kale, lettuce, parsley, green peppers, endive, carrots, broccoli leaves, beet greens, basil, and the list goes on.
In addition to this, you can also allow a small portion of the fruits. You can mix up to three kinds of fruits with a total amount of two tablespoons for every five pounds of your rabbit’s body weight.
Always choose fruits rich in fiber such as pineapple, strawberries, papaya, raspberries, melon, plum, peach, pear, plum, and apples. Conversely, you should avoid fruits that are rich in sugar, just like grapes and bananas. But if your pet is currently on a diet, do not feed your pet with fruits at all.
Things To Remember When Taking Care Of Your Rabbits
The key to healthy rabbits is ensuring that they will have a balanced diet. But, it is of the same importance that you know the things to do or not do. For instance, the foods they should not eat like walnuts, garlic, and onions should be avoided.
Furthermore, it is also vital that you clean the cage of rabbits regularly. Ideally, you do it weekly. Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment is vital for maintaining the good health of your rabbit. Fewer germs mean a lesser chance of your pet rabbit getting sick.
Make sure to put beddings that you can replace frequently. Put their water in a bottle with sipper tubes; it is better that way as compared to when you put their water in a bowl.
As we all know, bunnies love to chew. So it is also good that you let them out every once in a while. But make sure to supervise them because they might chew objects like carpets. Indigestible things, if ingested, can be potentially fatal for your lovely pet. So, prevention is better than cure.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
I know- you have many questions in your mind. Don’t worry though, here are the answers to your questions:
#1. Can rabbits eat nuts?
When served in tiny amounts, nuts are safe for rabbits, but it is still best not to give them. That is because nuts contain high levels of carbohydrates and fats. These can be bad for them since rabbits’ digestive systems cannot handle foods that are rich in energy, carbs, and fats.
Much more, rabbits prefer food having high fiber and low calories, just like hay, for example.
#2. What kinds of nuts are safe for rabbits to eat?
Most nuts are safe for rabbits. However, they are not recommended by experts since they can cause some health problems. But if you still want to give nuts to your pet, you may give them a very tiny portion of hazelnuts, peanuts, cashew nuts, Brazilian nuts, pecans, and macadamia.
#3. What is the nutritional value of walnuts?
Walnuts are a good source of minerals and vitamins. This includes copper, phosphorus, manganese, as well as vitamins E and B6. However, it is also high in fat.
#4. Are walnuts toxic for rabbits?
No, walnuts are neither toxic nor poisonous for rabbits. However, they can still be harmful to them, so it is not recommended for pet owners to serve this food as a part of a rabbit’s diet.
#5. What foods are toxic for rabbits?
Always make sure to keep out of your rabbit’s reach the foods that are toxic for them. These include avocados, rhubarb, chocolate, allium vegetables, lettuce, potato leaves, and processed foods with high sugar content.
Can rabbits eat walnuts? No, walnuts should not be served to your furry pet. Some might argue that giving them one or two pieces of walnut cannot harm them.
However, we should not risk it, and there are many healthier options that you can give to your pets. This includes hay, leafy greens, and other treats like fruits, for example.
Rabbits have a delicate stomach system and anything that doesn’t suit them can be potentially life threatening. Only feed things that are approved by veterinarians.
We hope the information from this article will help you take better care of your rabbit’s diet.
Thank you for reading!
Maria Schultz is a talented writer and a passionate animal lover who brings her expertise in the pet industry to the Petcosset team. With a degree in English and years of experience writing for various pet-related publications, Maria deeply understands the latest news and products in the pet industry. She is dedicated to providing pet owners with the most accurate and up-to-date information to help them take the best possible care of their small friends. When she’s not writing about pets, Maria can often spend time with her beloved pets, including a rescue dog and several cats.