Most rabbits LOVE their vegetable snacks and it’s just so easy to give them a piece of whatever human food you are snacking on too. However, there are some foods that are safe for humans, but can be harmful to your pet bunny. One common food, mango, is often in question: Can rabbits eat mangoes safely?
Dr. Jess explains the answer below:
What Are Rabbits?
Rabbits and bunnies are small mammals that hop around from place to place.
They are commonly seen as pets with their sweet eyes, floppy ears, furry faces, and cute whiskers.
Rabbits come in many colors, shapes, and sizes, most commonly seen in shades of white, brown, black, and patches or combinations of those colors.
They can be seen with a large ear for their body size and even have long-eared varieties with even larger drooping ears.
Rabbits have long incisors (front teeth) that are constantly growing and needing to be filed either naturally or by the help of some intervention, both discussed further into this article.
What Do Rabbits Need From a Healthy Diet?
A well-balanced rabbit diet will need to deliver a multitude of things to the bunny ingesting it.
Just like humans, rabbits need the right combination of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and water to keep their organs working and functioning properly.
However, the daily nutritional requirements for a rabbit differ quite greatly from that of a human, and that is reflected in the common diet that most healthy and happy pet rabbits eat.
What Does a Typical Rabbit Diet Consist of?
An adult rabbit’s main source of food in their diet should come mostly from high-quality hay.
Hay is a forage that is low in calories and high in fiber, easy on the rabbit’s digestive system.
Other pieces of the rabbit’s diet may include commercial pellets and/or treats and snacks such as fruits and vegetables.
However, not all fruits and vegetables are safe for your bunny to have.
Let’s Talk Mango:
Mangoes are a fruit that is somewhat pear-shaped, in colors of green, orange, yellow, and red.
The mango fruit has a tough, thick peel or rind, and juicy sweet edible fruit inside.
Mangoes are used in many recipes, both food and in drinks, and even are used in sauces or dried for a snack.
Mangoes have a list of health benefits, but also have some health drawbacks too.
Mango Health Benefits:
Mango is a great source of antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals.
Let’s take a look at an overview of the contents, nutrients, and minerals of mangoes:
- High Sugar Content: This is not that surprising as it’s a fruit, and most fruit have a fairly high sugar content.
- Fiber Source: Fiber is important because it helps with digestion and makes blood sugar release slow down.
- Contains Calcium & Potassium: Important in maintaining healthy body function.
- Source of Vitamin C: The vitamin C content is extremely high compared to most other fruits and vegetables. Remember – rabbits need vitamin C to stay healthy.
Are Mangoes Healthy For Rabbits to Eat?
As mentioned previously, mangoes have a high amount of vitamin C in it – a vitamin that helps with the protection of important body systems that keep the body running and functioning appropriately.
Mangoes have a fiber content that will help your rabbit keep their digestive system running smoothly and can also help with keep blood sugar level stable if you have a worrisome diabetic rabbit.
A mango is packed with a multitude of nutrients which are great for the health of your pet rabbit.
Do Rabbits Eat Mangoes?
Most rabbits will eat mango when offered.
In a veggie garden, most rabbits will chose vegetables like peas, beans, beets, and carrots and really any sweet fruit offered to them.
But just because rabbits DO eat mango does not necessarily mean that this is the best or safest choice for your pet.
Don’t be too worried if your rabbit does not eat mango that is offered to them- some bunnies do not like mango, it’s normal.
You will find another fruit alternative as a source of fresh food that your bunny can enjoy eating.
Can Rabbits Eat Mango Safely?
There are some foods that us humans can eat that are actually toxic to your rabbit and need to be avoided all together.
While there isn’t anything toxic to rabbits in the actual mango itself, you shouldn’t give them too much because problems may arise as I will discuss further down in this article.
Pet owners can chose to feed mango to their rabbits, but it should not make up their entire diet. Rabbits prefer munching on grass, commercial feed pellets, and hay, along with a bowl of clean, fresh water.
You see, rabbits are herbivores and need a diet which is high-in fiber and low in sugar and fat.
They get their fiber supplied in the form of plants, such as hay which is a roughage that contains a lot of fiber.
This fiber is beneficial for two reasons:
- Dietary fiber keeps the rabbit’s digestive system running smoothly (it’s the same reason why some people take a fiber supplement like Metamucil!).
- The physical roughage (hay) helps keep the rabbit’s teeth healthy and worn down as their teeth are continually growing and need to be filed in order to prevent overgrowth.
So, long story short- Yes!
Adult rabbits can have mango, if offered to them safely, and I’ll cover that in just a bit.
You do not want to feed the wrong mango or the wrong amount or frequency, potentially making your furry friend unintentionally sick.
Can Rabbits Eat Mango Skin?
Yes, rabbits can eat mango skin – however, many rabbits will not eat mango skin.
Can Rabbits Eat Dried Mango? Can They Drink Mango Juice?
No, rabbits should not eat dried mango due to the increase sugar content in the dried version.
Rabbits should also not drink mango juice due to it’s high sugar content and high acidity content.
Can Baby Bunnies Eat Mangoes?
Compared to their adult counterparts, baby rabbits have much more sensitive gastrointestinal systems.
Avoid feeding baby bunnies any kinds of fruits and vegetables until they reach 12 weeks of age to allow their stomachs to mature with them.
Then, when ready to introduce them to juicy vegetables, take it very slowly, waiting at least 24 hours to observe any potential adverse side effects, before moving on and trying more of the same veggie snack or a different tasty treat.
Remember – baby and young, and juvenile rabbits have more sensitive digestive systems!
Wait 24 hours to see their reaction.
If everything is fine, you can move to the next treat.
Is The Rest Of The Mango Plant Safe To Eat?
Leaves: You can give your rabbit mango leaves.
Stem: Your rabbit will likely not eat the mango stem when offered other parts of the plant.
Mango Skin: Many rabbits will eat the mango skin. Just make sure that the mango skin is offered fresh, cleaned, and free of pests and blemishes.
Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Mango?
Do not give your rabbit any cooked mango.
Any cooked or processed mango is not recommended since your rabbit is an herbivore and they rely on raw foods to get their nutrients.
Everything a rabbit needs can be provided in fresh and raw form. Your rabbit’s stomach is just not made to handle cooked food, including mangoes.
One big advantage with offering raw fruits and vegetables is that it’s not only healthier for your rabbit, but it is much less effort on your part!
Medical & Health Concerns of Feeding Mango to Rabbits:
Are there any circumstances when mango might be bad for your pet?
Yes, some of the common issues seen with feeding mangoes to rabbits include:
- Pesticides: Mango should always be washed to make sure they are free of any pesticides or chemicals that could be harmful to rabbits.
- Parasites: Mango should be checked over for parasites that can lead to potential parasite problems with your rabbit
- Acidity: Mangoes contain natural acids in them. Therefore, too much mango means your rabbit is getting a lot of unnecessary additional acid – not a good idea for your rabbit’s health!
- Overly Ripened: Avoid rotten fruits and vegetables that can cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal upset.
- Baby Bunnies: Baby bunnies have a more sensitive digestive system than their adult counterparts do, and therefore you shouldn’t give your rabbit friend any fruits or vegetables until they reach around 12 weeks of age.
How To Feed Mango To Your Rabbit:
First off, you should always purchase high-quality mangoes for your bunny from a reputable food source.
All fruits and vegetables will need to have a visual inspection done to make sure that you are giving your pet a ripe, healthy food to eat.
Next, you will need to remove the seeds and any defects from the mango. Then cut, slice, chop, or dice up the mango so that your rabbit can safely eat it.
They will need food in bite-sized pieces at first. When first introducing your rabbit to mango, you want to see how they do after giving them one small piece!
You may need to consider mixing the cut mango pieces with other fruits and vegetables, up together to help discourage picking through their food bowl and eating only the preferred items in their dish.
Food should be presented in a shallow clean dish that is not easily tipped over.
Fresh water should always be available in a shallow dish that can’t be easily tipped over. This water dish should be washed and cleaned daily.
Any food left in your rabbit’s enclosure that is not eaten up will start to get old and become unsafe for your bunny to eat, if they will even touch it at all.
This could lead to some major health issues, as well as a smelly enclosure and a bug problem – things you definitely do not want to deal with.
So, it is very important to clean out any foods that your rabbit leaves behind in a timely manner.
- fresh store-bought mango
- kitchen knife
- kitchen cutting board
- Wash the mango properly to rid it of chemicals and pesticides.
- Peel off the skin of the mango if you are choosing to remove the mango skin before offering it to your pet (optional).
- Cut the mango in small bite-sized pieces.
- Place the cut mango pieces in their fruit or vegetable bowl.
- Remove any uneaten mango from the cage after a few hours because of potential bacterial growth.
If this is your first attempt at offering your rabbit mango, start with giving them just one small piece of mango, waiting to see of any adverse reactions, before giving them more mango to enjoy. Contact your veterinarian before changing or adding new foods to your pet's diet.
Serving Size of Mango To Feed Your Rabbit:
First step to focus in on is the serving size that you are giving your fur baby.
Depending on your rabbit’s size, the average mango portion should be up to 1 teaspoon per serving.
When first introducing your rabbit to mango, offer one small piece of mango and wait at least 24 hours to see if any adverse reactions occur before offering your pet more mango.
They should only be fed mango up to once per week at most, but not on a daily basis or any two days in a row. Work up to this frequency and amount however!
Remember that mango should be limited to a special treat only because of potential digestive and other assorted health problems.
Moderation is key when it comes to feeding mango to your rabbit!
How Much Mango to Feed:
Fresh fruits and vegetables should be as a supplement to your pet rabbit’s already well-balanced diet.
These fresh fruits and veggies should make up about 10-15% of your bunnies diet.
Depending on your rabbit’s size, the average blueberry portion should be up to 1 teaspoon per serving for an adult healthy rabbit. A smaller or dwarf rabbit should be fed less than this 1 teaspoon to compensate for their smaller stature.
Keep in mind that too many fruits and vegetables can cause digestive distress.
Common Signs of Adverse Reaction:
- diarrhea/loose stool
- excessive or increased itching/scratching/licking of skin or paws
Rabbits can have ripe, clean mango in moderation.
Too much mango can cause a bunch of health problems for your bunny.
Do not feed immature rabbits or rabbits with underlying health conditions mango even as a treat until they are of correct age to have it or their condition has improved and mango-munching has been approved by your veterinarian.
If you have concerns regarding feeding your rabbit mango, contact your local veterinarian beforehand.
- Oglesbee B. The 5 Minute Veterinary Consults Ferret and Rabbit, Blackwell 2006
- Rabbit Care
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional veterinary help.