Can rabbits eat tomato? Despite being a very delicious and highly nutritious fruit, the tomato is a flowering plant belonging to the Solanaceae family. Therefore, it produces a potent alkaloid that’s highly toxic to animals, and this made me wonder, “can rabbits eat tomato?” So, I did thorough research on rabbits and tomatoes, and this is what I discovered.
Yes, rabbits can eat a ripe tomato, but in moderation. Tomatoes are safe and healthy for rabbits; however, the other parts of this plant can prove to be toxic to your pet. Not only this, but even an unripe green tomato can be toxic to your rabbit.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should never give your rabbit some ripe tomatoes as snacks. Remember, tomato is a highly nutritious fruit that can improve your bunny’s health. This article will focus on how you can safely feed your bunny and answer all your rabbit and tomato questions.
Can Rabbits Eat Tomato?
Yes, bunnies love tomatoes, and they can enjoy the nutritional benefits of this tasty fruit in small amounts. However, the other part of a tomato plant, including the green fruit and its seeds, can be pretty toxic to most pets. So, make sure you remove the seeds before feeding your rabbit.
Tomatoes are also known to have higher sugar levels than most vegetables. Therefore, feeding them too many tomatoes per week can be very dangerous to our pets. How many tomatoes should you feed your pet per week, and why are the other parts of this plant toxic?
Even though tomatoes can be a great source of antioxidants, potassium, and vitamins B6, C, and A, they shouldn’t be their only source of these nutrients. (source)
What Is the Right Amount of Tomato to Feed Our Bunnies per Week?
Despite not being as tasty as most fruits, tomatoes still have more sugar than most veggies; therefore, you should give bunnies this fruit in small amounts. Rabbits should be given fruits at least once per week. So you should give your pet two tablespoons of tomatoes per week per 5 pounds of body weight. (Source)
And just like vegetables, you must introduce fruits slowly. So give your rabbit a small amount of tomato and then wait for 24 hours to determine if it has affected it before giving it more.
What Happens if You Give A Rabbit Too Much Tomato?
The health benefits of this fruit are pretty exciting, but feeding your rabbit many tomatoes can be pretty detrimental to their health. And that is because tomatoes are highly acidic fruits that can affect your pet’s health. Some tomatoes like grape and cherry tomatoes have high sugar levels, which is not suitable for our pets. (Source)
Highly acidic foods are known to cause heartburn in people with sensitive stomachs. Therefore, in rabbits, the stomach upset caused by feeding on this highly acidic fruit can be even more pronounced. So you should try and feed your rabbit tomatoes with low acidity like Golden Jubilee and Lemon Boy, which turn yellow when ripe.
The bunny’s digestive system can process sugar in small moderations. However, the unprocessed sugar always ends up in the caecum, where bacteria break it down. Unfortunately, vast amounts of undigested sugars in the caecum can promote toxin-producing bacteria’s growth, which can affect our pet’s health. (Source)
Feeding your rabbit too much food that is high in sugar can also result in obesity. Therefore, you should moderate the amount of food your pet consumes, especially if it is highly acidic and has a high sugar level.
Can Rabbits Consume the Tomato Plant?
No, tomatoes belong to the Solanaceae family, so they are related to potatoes, eggplants, and nightshade. These plants produce a dangerous toxin referred to as tomatine, which is unappealing to animals. All parts of this plant except the ripe fruit have tomatine, but the highest concentration is in their stems and leaves (source)
Tomatine can be pretty toxic to our pets, especially when consumed in high quantities. Therefore, if your rabbit consumes any other part of the tomato plant other than the fruit, it can be poisoned. Some of the symptoms of tomatine poisoning include:
- Abdominal pain
Therefore, you should never take any risk with this toxin. Make sure you dispose of the tomato plant properly when preparing tomatoes for your pet. You can even remove the stalk and seeds.
What Are the Health Benefits of Tomatoes?
Tomatoes are highly nutritious fruits that can improve your bunny’s health, but they should never be the central part of your pet’s meal. Tomatoes have plenty of phytochemicals, minerals, and vitamins that can help improve your pet’s health. Tomatoes have several health benefits, and some of them include:
- Cancer Prevention
Cancer is referred to as the uncontrolled growth of cells that spread beyond their boundaries and even invade other body parts. Numerous observational studies have linked tomatoes with lower incidences of different types of cancers. Tomatoes contain a high content of lycopene that helps prevent cancers, heart disease, and cell damage. (Source)
Hypokalemia is a common condition among animals and humans characterized by low potassium levels in their bloodstreams. Some of the hypokalemia symptoms in rabbits include cardiac arrhythmias, weight loss, muscle weakness, and stunted growth. (Source) Luckily, tomatoes have high potassium levels, which can help prevent this condition.
- Rabbits Have High Fiber Levels
Tomato is an excellent source of fiber which is ideal for a bunny’s diet. And since rabbits don’t have a constant stomach movement, the high fiber level can help with food digestion. A considerable percentage of the fiber in tomatoes is insoluble in the form of cellulose and hemicellulose. (source)
- High Vitamin Levels
Tomatoes have high vitamin C levels. But unlike human beings, whose bodies can’t store vitamin C, bunnies can produce their own vitamin C. With these facts in mind, you shouldn’t use tomatoes as the primary source of vitamin C for your pet.
After all, high vitamin C levels can cause kidney damage. So make sure you feed your rabbit too many pieces of tomatoes per week. (Source)
“When I was growing up we had a barn in the back that was full of rabbits. I can tell you one thing we used to give them a lot was Comfrey. We grew a ton of this prickly green leafed plant and the rabbits just loved it. A few big leaves of Comfrey each week supplemented by a few treats like a small chunk of tomato flesh with the seeds removed was a real treat for our rabbits!”Jeremy Shantz aka Farmer Jer
Nutrients Present in 100g of tomato
According to the USDA, some of the nutrients present in 100g of tomatoes include: (source)
|Vitamin C`||13.7 milligrams|
How to Feed Tomatoes to Rabbits
Even though this fruit is highly nutritious, vast amounts of tomatoes can have negative health impacts on your pet. Therefore, you should consider the serving size and give your pet at least two pieces of tomatoes once per week as a treat. After all, giving your rabbit too many tomatoes can cause numerous digestive issues.
- When feeding your rabbit a piece of tomato, you should do the following:
- Get rid of any part of the plant that might be attached to the tomato.
- Wash the fruit thoroughly.
- Chop it into several small pieces
- Please get rid of all the seeds as they have no benefit and can be toxic.
- Feed a few pieces to your rabbits
Use tomatoes as a means of bonding with your pet, but don’t overfeed them simply because your rabbit is responding positively. You can feed them tomatoes as treats or together with other veggies and fruits.
Rabbit And Tomato FAQs
Can Bunnies Eat Tomato Sauce?
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Tomatoes?
Can Rabbits Eat Tomato Seeds?
Can I Feed My Rabbits Green Tomatoes?
Are Bunnies Allowed to Eat Cherry Tomatoes?
Tomatoes are highly nutritious fruits that can help improve our pet’s health, but they should enjoy the health benefits in moderation. And that is because they are highly acidic and have high sugar levels. Therefore, before sharing this snack with your bunny, you should clean it, remove the seeds and chop it into pieces.
Looking For A Video On Rabbit Foods?
I searched YouTube and found this decent video made a few years ago that goes through a bunch of rabbit-safe foods.