Pet Consider

Can Rabbits Eat Mangoes?

Can Rabbits Have Mangoes?

Most of us love the colder half of the year for its hot, hearty, delicious meal opportunities—when the clouds roll in and the temperatures drop, we get to sip hot chocolate and indulge in thick, steaming heaps of comfort foods like pastas and soups and potatoes prepared in many different ways. Our cats and dogs love the hearty winter table scraps, too. For those of us who have little animal companions with twitching noses and cotton ball tails, however, the spoils of summer are more exciting. Rabbits are strict herbivores with finicky digestive systems, so we know that the abundance of fresh summer fruit is among the best treats for their little bodies.

One of the tastiest, most exciting summer fruits is the mango. We love to eat it fresh, dried, covered in chili powder, or blended into smoothies, but how should we go about giving it to our buns? Is it even safe?
 
Can you give your rabbit mangoes?

The answer is yes, rabbits can eat mango in small quantities. This creamy tropical fruit is, fortunately, completely poison-free—your bun can gobble up a couple chunks of mango without worrying about kidney or liver damage or any other symptoms of toxicity. Because this fruit is nontoxic, it is a safe treat option for your furry friend Even if your rabbit eats a portion size that is a little too large for them, it probably will not do any lasting damage to their tiny body.

Health Benefits of Feeding Your Rabbit Mangoes

mangoThat said, the mango’s status as a nontoxic food does not give you free reign to toss every unwanted scrap of mango flesh into your rabbit’s dish! Like all fruits, mangoes are high in sugar and should only be fed to rabbits as treats. A single large serving probably won’t affect their overall health, but too much mango on a regular basis can cause serious health problems. It helps to think of mangoes for your rabbit the way you think of chocolate cake for a small child.

Chocolate cake? But aren’t mangoes healthy? Well, yes—fruit is considered the safest, healthiest treat you can give your rabbit. Unlike chocolate cake, mangoes contain some nutrients that can actually benefit your rabbit’s health, such as folic acid, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. Vitamin A, which is found in most orange foods, can support a healthy skeletal system and keep your bun’s night vision sharp. Vitamin C can boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and decrease the risk of developing chronic diseases, including cancer. Mangoes also have the benefit of a moderate amount of dietary fiber, which is even more important for rabbit health than it is for human health.
So, yes, mangoes are excellent foods for humans, many other omnivores, and even certain types of herbivores.

Unfortunately, not all herbivores are built the same way. Rabbits are grazing herbivores, not frugivores. Their low tolerance for sugar is what makes fruit so unhealthy for them. Despite its high nutrient content, fruit can be just as dangerous to your bun as chocolate cake can be to your Kindergartener.

Just as most Kindergarteners love chocolate cake, the vast majority of rabbits love mangoes. If given an unlimited supply of chocolate cake, many Kindergarteners will eat themselves sick. The same can be said for your rabbit and fresh mangoes—though natural selection has granted our furry friends many strengths, portion control is not one of them, and your bun will binge on fruit if they are allowed.

Things to Consider

Rabbits and other grazing animals have unique digestive systems. Because they have evolved to eat diets that are extremely high in fiber, yet low in sugar, they are not well-suited to caloric, sweet foods like fruit. Your rabbit’s body is built to run almost exclusively on fibrous, low-calorie plant matter like hay and grass. As crazy as it sounds, bunnies could go their entire lives without a taste of fruit and remain completely healthy. Fruit is not a necessary part of the rabbit food pyramid.

If you give your rabbit too much mango (or any other fruit), they will likely wind up overweight or obese. Too much extra weight can cause foot pain, nutritional imbalances, matted fur, and an increased risk of disease.

Too much mango can also cause serious gastrointestinal problems, from diarrhea to gastrointestinal stasis. Without adequate fiber, the stomach and cecum can’t empty properly, which can be fatal. If your rabbit’s fecal pellets change in size, color, shape, consistency, or number, stop feeding them mangoes and seek veterinary care.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, mangoes are a safe dessert option for rabbits, but they should not be a dietary staple. These fruits are nontoxic, high in vitamins, and generally well-digested in small quantities. However, fruit can cause weight gain and gastrointestinal problems if it makes up a large portion of your rabbit’s diet. Mangoes are a safe treat, but your rabbit should live mostly on hay.

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