Fruits are one of the foods you can offer as an alternative treat for rabbits. However, it does not mean that all kinds of fruits are safe for your pet to eat. When it comes to cherries, many pet owners wonder if they can add this to their pets’ diet.
According to some reports, cherries contain many nutrients, making them a healthy fruit snack. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and can present healthful gains. Its reputation doesn’t only depend on its vibrant color but also its health facts. That is why if you are planning on adding new food to your rabbit’s meal, one of the things that you should consider is the nutritional benefits it can give your pet.
To answer your question, cherries are safe for your rabbit to eat. But, there are some restrictions in feeding this fruit. If you want to know more details about this, keep on reading.
Cherries and Rabbits
Cherries are fruits that come from tree plants of the Prunus family. These fruits are distinguished as small stone-like fruits with various flavors and colors. But the common type of cherry is red in color. However, the fruit colors can range from yellow to deep blackish-red.
According to Washington State University, There are two known types of cherries. They are sweet cherries and tart cherries, which are sour.
This variety of cherries is known to have a naturally sweeter taste than tart cherries. That is why it is eaten as it is. Most people eat this fresh as an afternoon snack. Sweet cherries are described as having a darker red color on their skin.
Now, when it comes to rabbits, you can also add this to their diet, but remember the amount of sugar. As you know, rabbits tend to have more sensitive digestive systems than other pets. Too much sugar can lead to several risks to their health and can contribute to potential obesity in rabbits.
Tart (Sour Cherries)
Tart cherries are sour in nature, unlike sweet cherries. That is why this variety of cherry fruit is used in cooking, such as baking cakes, pies, and muffins. It helps balance the taste of the sweet dessert. Although pastries like this are safe for humans, you should not give homemade cherry dessert to your rabbit. Remember that sweet foods are not meant for them to digest.
Instead, you can fodder your pet a fresh tart in small amounts each week. In that way, they can take advantage of the cherries’ nourishment to their body.
Risk of Eating Cherries in Rabbits
Like other fruits, cherries can also give disadvantages when your rabbit starts eating them. The main risk of eating this fruit can be found in some parts of cherry fruit. As stated by the National Capital Poison Center, the pits and stems of cherries naturally contain cyanide.
This type of compound is commonly toxic and poisonous to your rabbit. But you don’t need to worry if your pet accidentally eats this; small amounts of cyanide are not dangerous in their body. But it can be lethal if they eat excessive amounts of this toxic.
If you think rabbits swallow a whole cherry with pits and stems, you should check for possible toxicity symptoms. MSD Veterinary Manual said that clinical symptoms could occur 15- 20 minutes after exposure to the toxic.
Other foods that are unsafe for your rabbit to eat:
When your rabbit is experiencing adverse effects when eating new foods, the best way to treat them is to visit their veterinarian doctor. Poison is something that you should not overlook especially if it threatens your pet’s life. Although it can be cured with several medications, chronic toxicity can also lead to the early death of your pet.
Nutritional Benefits of Eating Cherries to Rabbits
Cherries are Low in Calorie
Cherries are a great snack for your rabbit because they do not have many calories. Too many calories are one of the pets’ main causes of heart-related problems. That is why balancing the nutrients in your rabbit’s diet is important. Especially if their body mostly needs fiber than other nutritional content.
Cherries are Rich in Antioxidants
Cherries are rich in antioxidants and can help protect the cell production of rabbits. This fruit can greatly counterbalance the extremely reactive particles known as free radicals.
Free radicals are commonly present in the rabbit’s body when they do their normal activities, such as ingesting food and breathing. They are normal however, this type of radical can also cause threats to your pet’s health. When free radical activity damages the cells, unlikely conditions can occur to the rabbits, such as genetic mutations, which constant illnesses can accompany.
- Cherry is one of the fruits rabbits can safely eat in limited amounts.
- Cherries belong to the family of Prunus. This fruit is classified as small in size with various colors but can be seen commonly in red or darker red.
- There are two types of cherry; Sweet cherry, which is eaten fresh, and sweet in taste. The second one is tart cherry, a sour commonly used as decoration and ingredients for cooking and baking.
- Cherry can also risk rabbits’ health because this fruit’s pit and stem contain cyanide, which is toxic to rabbits.
- Cyanide toxicity can occur 15-20 minutes after exposure to the toxic. Some common symptoms are difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Visit the veterinarian immediately if these symptoms occur in rabbits.
- Here are the benefits of eating cherries in rabbits; they are great cell defenders because of the number of antioxidants and are low in calories, decreasing the chances of heart-related problems in rabbits.
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