If you are a new rabbit owner, you might have a lot of questions about what your cute little buddy can and cannot eat. And if you cook, the one fruit/vegetable you would tend to leave on your kitchen counter would be that sour and tart citrus fruit that is the life of a Mexican dish. Yes, we are talking about Lemons (not those that life throws at you, the real ones)
Lemons, as you might know, are yellow citrus fruits. They have a juicy center and a slightly bitter peel. Though they are mostly just water, about 6% of that pulp inside contains citric acid, hence the family name and the sour taste.
Latin name: Citrus limon
Characteristics: sour insides. Zesty and bitter peel.
Should I feed my rabbit lemons for vitamin C?
Lemons, though not poisonous for domestic Rabbits and Bunny Rabbits, are generally considered unhealthy.
So, can rabbits eat lemon, you ask– well, technically yes.
Rabbits generally can eat small amounts of lemon, this won’t adversely affect them, but the line between safe and unhealthy is slim. Even though there is no immediate danger to your rabbit, there might be some ill effects that may show up shortly after if it consumes a lemon.
We have seen some websites saying that your rabbit should eat a lemon to get an adequate amount of vitamin C to keep their diets balanced and keep them healthy. But if the diet of your bunny is your primary concern, you can feed it some things it will actually enjoy. Thin slices of a banana would be perfect for loading up your rabbit’s vitamin and mineral tank, and your rabbit will honestly thank you for it.
And if you throw in one slice of cooled cucumber during those hot summer days, your rabbit will dance around due to the refreshment it gets.
Will a lemon be toxic for my rabbit?
This is something every new pet owner fears. Let us assure you again. No, lemon is not lethally toxic for your rabbit. It is considered to be safe in tiny amounts.
What will happen if my rabbit eats a lemon?
Lemons are citrus fruits and contain about 6% citric acid making them extremely sour, and though it satisfies the human palette, rabbits don’t like overly sour and tart stuff. As soon as your rabbit licks a lemon, it will make the cutest cringe face you’ve ever seen and will just push away the slice of lemon. And if it consumes a lot of the lemon, the concentrated citric acid will irritate your Bunny’s stomach and will cause an upset stomach and sometimes diarrhea.
Though rabbits don’t usually seek out lemons, as they already hate the sour and bitter smell of lemon, keeping cut lemon slices out of the reach of your little fella might be a good idea if your rabbit likes to put anything in its mouth. And lemons can be especially dangerous if your bunny is a baby or a is very small. For such rabbits, the seeds of lemon can prove as choking hazard, all the more reason to not toss them around in your kitchen.
Lemons might be one of the best immunity boosters for you, but for your pet rabbit, it’s far from helpful.
What happens if my rabbit overeats lemon?
If you suspect that your pet has eaten an unusually large amount of lemon, you need to keep an eye out for vomiting and/or nausea. Citric acid will irritate the digestive system of your rabbit, even if it has one of the toughest systems out there.
Usually, the symptoms manifest in the form of an upset stomach or diarrhea, but if substantial amounts of citric acid have been ingested by your rabbit, symptoms like white vomiting and nausea can occur too.
And if these symptoms get worse over time, and if you see that your rabbit has fainted, then you should go into the panic mode and call your vet immediately.
Are other citrus fruits harmful to my rabbit?
Almost all citrus fruits that are tart or sour are generally a bad idea for your rabbit.
Fruits like sweet lime and orange are considered as safe as they have more fructose than citric acid.
But fruits like lime, lemons, grapefruit, bitter orange, calamansi, etc. that have a very high concentration of citric acid are not recommended for your little friend.
You need to especially look out for fruits like grapefruit and bitter orange as they have a very high concentration of citric acid, and their seeds are generally quite big.
We suggest you keep your veterinarian’s number on speed dial all the time if you are a new pet owner.
Can my rabbit drink lemon juice?
Lemon juice is basically the pulp and flesh of the fruit diluted in some water. Even though the concentration will be less, but the citric acid is present in there nonetheless.
This can be especially dangerous for your rabbit if you mix in sugar, which will mask the sour taste of the lemon, which rabbits generally hate. this results in them consuming unusual amounts of citric acid and causes vomiting, nausea, and even weakness for a prolonged period of time.
All in all: DO NOT FEED YOUR RABBIT LEMON (or any other citrus fruit)
Now that you know what a tiny bit of harmless looking lemon can do to your little companion’s digestive system, we hope you never let your rabbit come near a lemon.
Citric acid is harmful to your rabbit even though not lethally toxic. It will mess up the stomach of your rabbit, resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and weakness.
And if you see any of the symptoms mentioned above and they’re not gone within a day or two, seek the help of a veterinarian.
A drop or two of lemon juice might not hurt your rabbit, but a whole slice definitely can.