Pumpkin and Rabbits
Pumpkin is a kind of winter squash belonging to the gourd species family. It comes in different shapes, colors, and sizes. They are known to grow on vines and can be available for harvest in early autumn. However, the most common type of pumpkin has a color of plump orange.
This veggie carries a great number of nutrients. It contains a highly-potent amount of sugar, minerals, and vitamins, that can also be found in its juices, leaves, and even seeds. That is why offering pumpkin in your pet’s staple diet is a good idea. So to answer your question if this food has a good effect on your pet, the answer is yes! Rabbits can eat pumpkins.
Pumpkin is best served as a raw food for your pet. Since it contains many nutrients such as antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, you wouldn’t want to reduce it by cooking. In addition, the rabbit will love munching on the crunch from this raw veggie. It will also help their teeth exercise by biting on each piece. Although it’s advisable that you only give pumpkin to your pet occasionally because it might upset their stomach.
Pumpkin Seed and Skins
Pumpkin seed and skin are also great to snack on for your pet since it has the same nutrients as the flesh itself. But ensure that when offering them the seed, keep an eye out for possible choking because the seed tends to be slippery and can harm your pet when they eat that fast and without chewing.
If you think your rabbit is choking, hold your rabbit tightly and pat their stomach and upper part of their neck to force out the food stock inside their mouth. If the seed has come out already, check the inside of your pet’s mouth thoroughly to see if there’s any blockage. Then you can bring your pet to a veterinarian for further assessment or treatment.
Nutritional Value of Pumpkin
Great Source of Antioxidants
Pumpkins are loaded and packed with antioxidants. This type of nutrient helps your pet boost its immunity and fight free radicals inside its body. Free radicals are usually present in the rabbit’s body when they do their regular movements and functions, such as eating and digesting food and breathing.
When the free radical activity destroys the cell activity or the cell itself, it can create serious conditions for the rabbits, such as genetic mutations, which constant illnesses or chronic diseases can follow. That is why offering them pumpkins can give health advantages to your pet.
Rich in Beta-Carotene
Beta-Carotene is commonly found in high-pigmented fruits and vegetables like pumpkin. This nutrient can act as an alternative vitamin A when consumed. Vitamin A is important to your pet’s body because it enhances their body function. It also improves the texture of the skin and provides good vision. Other veggies that are rich in beta-carotene are carrots, spinach, and broccoli.
Pumpkin has Sugar
Although there is a health advantage when your rabbit starts eating pumpkin, you must remember to give it in moderation only. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, raw pumpkin has a sugar content. Meaning excessive intake for your pet will give them an upset stomach since they cannot digest sugar well. This also can lead to obesity for your rabbit because fats and sugar contribute to animal weight increases.
Feeding Guide for Rabbits
Rabbits are known for their charm and adorable faces. That is why some pet owners decided to care for or adopt rabbits as their companion animals. However, despite their little body and cute gestures, they are one of the pets that needs a lot of attention. As a responsible owner, you provide them with comfortable shelter, time for exercise, and a balanced diet. This kind of practice will give your rabbit a long life and healthy lifestyle.
When it comes to their food, most of the rabbit’s nutrients should come from hay, grass, and vegetables. According to the House Rabbit Society, this diet includes packs of fiber necessary for your pet’s daily nutrition. Though some food also includes fiber, their nutrition isn’t enough to sustain their daily nourishment. As herbs and vegetables should have their share of your rabbit’s daily diet, there are various vegetables you should refrain from including in their meal.
Take note that rabbits have a sensitive digestive system, so other food that is good for humans is actually bad for your pet. Hence, rabbits tend to experience severe problems in their gut when unfamiliar food meets their metabolism.
However, it does not mean you will no longer give your pet vegetables and fruits. This only refers to foods rich in carbohydrates, sugar, and starch, such as potatoes and onions. The rabbit’s digestive system is not accustomed to assimilating and utilizing nutrients from these foods. Suppose vegetables high in carbohydrates are given to the rabbit’s daily food as their main dish. In that case, it is most probable they would get a stomach ache and other gastrointestinal difficulties.
- Rabbits need to be fed fiber-rich food because it improves their digestive function. However, offering them safe food in their diet, such as pumpkin, is also a good idea because it contains health advantages for their body.
- Pumpkin is a vegetable that belongs to the gourd family. They typically grow on vines and can be harvested in early autumn.
- Eating raw pumpkin gives more benefits to your rabbit rather than cooked because boiled vegetables decrease their nutritional value.
- Pumpkin is a great source of Antioxidants that helps boost the immunity of your pet’s body and fight free radicals.
- Pumpkin is rich in Beta-Carotene nutrients, which can be a Vitamin A to your rabbit’s body when consumed. Beta-Carotene is usually the reason why some vegetable is highly-pigmented.
- Pumpkin has sugar, so do not let your pet fodder on this veggie excessively. Sugar can cause upset in your pet’s stomach and can also lead to obesity.
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