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Rabbits eating banana is one of those facts that you can go your whole life without knowing, and then bam, you join a rabbit Facebook group and it’s the subject of at least one post a day.
Is banana poisonous to rabbits?
No, they’re not, but they’re also not that great for them. They’re not harmful in small quantities, but your rabbit isn’t missing out on vital nutrients if you don’t give them banana. I mean, they’d hardly come across them in the wild.
How much banana can you give a rabbit?
I’m a mean bunny parent, so I give my rabbits that grim bit on the end that I don’t want to eat.
The specific quantity of banana that’s safe for your bunny will depend entirely on their size. If you don’t fancy weighing your rabbit (for reference: find box, weigh box, zero scale, put bunny in box is faaaaar easier than trying to hold your rabbit), then one thin slice of banana is plenty.
How often can you give a rabbit banana?
If you have the (frankly bizarre) desire to give your rabbit banana everyday, then you will have to weigh them, assess their history with GI stasis, probs consult a vet, etc etc etc.
I prefer to use the method of giving my rabbits a small slice of banana no more often than once a week.
Actually, I don’t even do that. I prefer to treat my rabbits with herbs, and reserve banana for times when they either need medication or when I’ve wronged them, for example clipped their nails. They don’t forgive me, but they don’t hate me either.
Which rabbits shouldn’t have banana?
I would advise not giving overweight rabbits banana. It’s not necessary to give rabbits sugary treats, and it’s highly unlikely that rabbits experience object permanence with something as specific as banana. This means that whilst humans lay awake at night thinking about cake and freshly baked bread, rabbits, er, don’t.
If a rabbit is hungry, they will eat food. If you give them a treat, they think ‘yay! A treat! but they weren’t thinking about that specific treat until you showed them it.
I do think that rabbits are more intelligent than people give them credit for – mine 100% know when it’s pellet time BUT they’re not sat there thinking ‘god, I really fancy a bit of banana’ so don’t worry that your rabbit is missing out.
(If you have fat bun and a thin bun, treat the thin bun away from the fat one. Otherwise you’re being mean).
Also, rabbits that have a history of GI stasis should avoid banana. Sugar can cause gas to build up, so it’s best to just avoid it altogether and reduce the risk.
Alternative treats to give instead of banana
Herbs are great – especially coriander/cilantro. It’s pretty high value but also really beneficial for rabbits. Don’t give parsley too often, because it’s high in calcium and can cause issues. A bit in moderation is fine though. I give mine a couple of stalks of parsley every week or so (I grow my herbs in an Aerogarden) and they’ve not had any problems.
A great, cheap treat, is simply using your rabbit’s usual pellets as a treat. This is especially useful if you’re trying to train overweight rabbits that don’t get pellets every day.
Just be sure that you don’t end up over feeding pellets. Either adjust the amount to give them at mealtimes, or increase the amount of exercise your rabbit is getting – if you’re doing fancy tricks or obstacle courses, your rabbit will probably burn enough extra calories to warrant the training pellets.