Cucumbers are superfoods.
It gives you a lot of health benefits.
But can you share the same nutrients with your bunnies, too?
Read on to learn more:
- When baby rabbits can eat cucumbers.
- 7 surprising dangers when your bunnies eat cucumber.
- 11 amazing benefits rabbits can get from eating cucumber.
- And so much more…
Can rabbits eat cucumber?
Rabbits can eat cucumber. It’s a delicious and healthy snack for your bunnies. Cucumbers have lots of benefits, too. However, overfeeding your rabbits with cucumbers can lead to health problems. So, make sure to feed them in small quantities.
Rabbit eating cucumber – 11 benefits
#1: Low in calories
Calories are the amount of energy that a rabbit’s body releases.
This process occurs when they digest food.
Diets that are high in calories aren’t what your rabbit needs.
Their body will only store the rest of them as fat.
As a result, cucumbers can be an ideal snack for your bunnies.
You may give cucumber slices to your bunnies as treats.
#2: Refreshes your bunny
Rabbits are prone to heat stress.
Temperatures exceeding 60-65°F (15-18°C) aren’t good for them.
You may offer your bunnies a refreshing slice of cucumber.
Interestingly, cucumbers contain 95% water.
They provide great hydration to your bunnies.
And munching it gives a cooling effect to their senses.
Especially in summer or during warm weather.
#3: Cucumber skin is rich in fiber
A rabbit’s diet relies on fiber.
They need lots of it.
And great amounts of fiber are present in cucumber skin.
The skin contains at least 60% more fiber than the flesh.
Plus, it’s an insoluble type of fiber.
Rabbits need fiber that water can’t dissolve.
This is essential in maintaining smooth and healthy gut movement.
It prevents your bunnies from digestive issues like constipation.
Trivia: Rabbits like to lick their fur. And indigestible fiber helps reduce hair buildup in the stomach.
#4: Seeds are safe to eat
Unlike apples, cucumber seeds are non-toxic.
It’s another part of the fruit that is rich in nutrients like:
Moreover, cucumber seeds are mild in flavor.
They’re soft and easy to munch on for your bunnies.
You may keep the seeds intact when feeding cucumber slices to them.
#5: Cucumber leaves are low in oxalates
Your rabbit can safely eat cucumber leaves.
Cucumber leaves are richer in nutrients than the flesh.
They contain nutrients, such as:
- Vitamin C.
Moreover, cucumber leaves contain low oxalates.
Oxalates or oxalic acid are compounds present in most vegetables and fruits.
It may promote kidney stone formation in your bunnies.
Especially when they ingest foods that are high in oxalic acid.
#6: Cucumber flowers are non-toxic
Its bright yellow color may attract your bunny to munch on it.
But no need to worry.
Cucumber flowers are safe for your bunnies.
It doesn’t have hairy parts that may be uncomfortable to chew on.
Or any strong, weird taste.
Moreover, you may sprinkle these blossoms on your rabbit’s plate.
Gordon Ramsay may not approve of it.
But, It’ll make your bunny’s food more appetizing to eat.
#7: Cucumber contains vitamins and minerals
Eating cucumbers can boost and improve organ functions in your bunny.
This fruit supplies vitamins to your rabbits, such as:
- Vitamin K for calcium absorption.
- Vitamin C for the immune system.
- Potassium prevents hypokalaemia (potassium deficiency).
Also, cucumbers promote bone development for your rabbits.
#8: A good source of silica
Cucumbers contain silica that gives benefits to your bunnies.
Large traces of silica is present in their skin.
It targets the growth and repair of connective tissues in your rabbits.
In addition, healthy connective tissues help bunny injuries heal faster.
Silica also strengthens connective tissues in the following:
#9: Contains 0 cholesterol
Unfortunately, rabbits are prone to obesity.
This may arise when you feed them treats that are high in:
Moreover, an unhealthy diet speeds up the development of rabbit diseases like:
- Hypertension or high blood pressure.
- Hypercholesterolemia or high levels of bad cholesterol.
- Cardiovascular diseases such as arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).
Eating and chewing a lot is a rabbit’s instinct.
Thus, be cautious of everything you feed them.
Thankfully, cucumbers contain 0 cholesterol.
They’re low in carbohydrates and fat, too.
#10: Source of antioxidants
Cucumbers have anti-inflammatory properties like antioxidants.
Antioxidants protect your rabbit’s cells and tissues against damage.
This prevents their body from inflammation responses.
Moreover, antioxidants can help treat bladder dysfunctions in rabbits.
#11: Helps prevent overgrown teeth
A rabbit’s teeth grow day by day.
And it’s non-stop.
Your bunny’s incisors grow up to 0.07-0.09 in (2 – 2.4 mm) every week.
These are their 4 front teeth in the upper and lower jaw.
“So, how do my rabbits benefit from eating cucumbers?”
A rabbit’s teeth are perfect for grinding coarse or hard food.
And cucumber skins are crunchy.
They help trim those bunny teeth down.
Since cucumber skins are fiber-rich…
This helps regulate their teeth growth by chewing on it.
Watch this video of rabbits eating cucumber here:
Rabbit eating cucumber – 7 dangers
#1: Causes diarrhea
Constant cucumber feeding may cause diarrhea in rabbits.
But contrary to popular belief…
The cucumber’s high water content isn’t the culprit.
According to a study, the causes of diarrhea in rabbits are the following:
- Bacterial infections.
- High-carbohydrate and low-fiber diet.
- Toxin ingestion from poisonous plants.
- Metabolic disorders like true diarrhea (liquid poop).
Furthermore, rabbits have higher water intake than other mammals.
Thus, diarrhea associated with cucumber intake may happen due to:
- Substituting cucumber for hay.
- Stomach reactions due to first-time feeding.
- Toxins (i.e. pesticides) in the cucumber skin.
As a general rule, a rabbit’s diet must consist of at least 80-90% good-quality hay.
Interesting read: Rabbit Poop Chart: 13 Different Types Of Bunny Poop
#2: Contain insufficient nutrients for a rabbit’s diet
Cucumbers contain lots of nutrients.
But, they may not be able to fulfill the nutritional requirements of rabbits.
Here’s a comparison of a cucumber’s nutritional contents vs a rabbit’s dietary requirements:
|Content||Value per 3.5 oz (100 g)||Minimum dietary requirements for rabbits per 3.5 oz (100 g)|
|Iron||0.28 mg||3 mg|
|Magnesium||13 mg||30 mg|
|Potassium||147 mg||600 mg|
|Vitamin A||105 IU||1000 IU|
Thus, it’s best not to rely on your rabbit’s diet entirely on cucumbers.
#3: May lead to weight loss
Cucumbers may supplement the nutrients in your rabbit’s daily intake…
But they aren’t the second-best alternative to hay.
Cucumber substitution may result in weight loss and malnutrition.
Furthermore, be cautious of these signs of malnutrition in your rabbits:
- Rough or dull coat.
- Lethargy or lack of energy.
- Prominent ribs, backbone, and pelvis.
- Hollowness between the ribs and the abdomen.
Note: Check your rabbit’s weight from time to time.
This helps you keep good track of their health.
#4: High amounts of vitamin C
Vitamin C is an important nutrient for your bunnies.
It helps repair and maintain the connective tissues in the body.
And feeding cucumbers may benefit them.
However, rabbits can already produce vitamin C in their liver.
That said, rabbits may still need vitamin C supplements.
Especially when they’re suffering from heat stress and other diseases.
But too much cucumber intake may result in kidney damage in rabbits.
#5: Affects rabbit poop quality
Cucumber flesh is low in fiber.
Even with the skin on, your rabbit gets 3% of fiber from eating it.
In comparison, rabbits need at least 30-35% of high fiber from hay alone.
According to a study, a low-fiber diet affects the nutrient contents of rabbit poop.
Dietary fiber in rabbits is crucial in their digestive system.
It has a direct effect on the particle separation in a rabbit’s gut.
Meanwhile, fiber nourishes your rabbit’s cecotropes.
Cecotropes are rabbit poop that contains vitamins that the body needs.
Bunnies munch on them straight from their anus.
So, it’s important to know what nutritional value your bunny gets from what they eat.
Or what you feed them even as a treat.
#6: May cause allergic reactions
Rabbits can get food allergies, too.
It may be difficult to assess this matter on your own.
Because most of the time, food allergy points to your rabbit’s genetics.
When rabbits inherit this trait…
Their body may develop reactions to certain food they eat.
Some previous health records from your bunny’s ancestors are a huge help.
However, you can also watch out for these common allergy symptoms:
- Dull coat.
- Constant feet licking.
- Itching and scratching.
Fur loss is also another symptom of food allergy.
But it takes a while to notice this.
Moreover, cucumbers may cause allergies in them.
But it’s vital to know that food allergies are unique in every bunny.
It’s tricky which food is good for them or not.
However, you may request a blood test at your vet.
“Prevention is better than cure.”
#7: Causes gastric dilation
Or in other terms, bloating.
Unfortunately, this is a serious condition that most rabbits suffer from.
Gastric dilation occurs if something blocks your bunny’s gut.
It could be hair buildup or foods that aren’t tummy-friendly.
If you feed cucumbers in large amounts…
Chances are, your rabbit’s stomach will have a hard time digesting it.
Since they can’t vomit, these low-fiber foods stay in their gut.
Plus, their digestive tract produces gas and fluids.
So, your bunny processes a lot of contents in their belly other than food.
This causes their abdomen to bloat and looks enlarged.
Sometimes, it looks like a balloon inside their tummy.
But, this may get painful for them as time goes by.
In severe cases, bloating messes up their blood flow.
BONUS: Cucumber skin contains chemical residue
Cucumbers have natural wax on their skin.
But commercial markets add another layer of synthetic wax to them.
This is to ensure that they’re in good shape before hitting the shelves.
However, this poses a threat to you and your rabbits if eaten.
Cucumbers have high levels of pesticide residue.
According to EWG, this fruit ranked 18th spot in 2022.
The Environmental Working Group refers to this list as the Dirty Dozen.
This is another vital thing to consider for your bunny.
Can rabbits eat cucumber skin?
Rabbits can eat cucumber skin. It’s richer in fiber than most parts of the fruit. However, be careful of chemical sprays and other toxin residues on the skin. It may cause digestive problems in your rabbits like diarrhea and constipation. Be sure to wash your cucumbers thoroughly with flowing water.
Can baby rabbits eat cucumber?
Baby rabbits can eat cucumber when they’re 12 weeks older. However, it must be done in moderation. Young rabbits may still undergo some adjustments in their gut. Some rabbits take up to 8 weeks from birth before they’re capable of digesting new food.