They say dogs are the best companion of human beings. However, for some of us, rabbits make much better mates than a pup. Bunnies are adorable; they make your day with their cute antics and are quite smart as well. They can make your day by placing their cute furry little paws over your chest! It is in moments like these when you think of sharing whatever you have with your furball, especially food. However, caution must be exercised, as rabbit metabolism is different as compared to human metabolism. This confuses many people. What should I give my rabbit? A question that worries them constantly. Are nectarines OK? Are peaches safe? Well, in this discussion, we answer all of your doubts related to plums and prunes!
What are plums?
Before we answer the question that whether bunnies can eat plums or not, we must be aware of the fruits that fall into the category of plums. Well, fruits like apricots, cherries, peaches, and nectarines fall under the genus Prunus. This genus has well-known plum fruits. The question also arises in the mind, why plums? What are the health benefits associated with plums? Well, these fruits are loaded with fiber, carbohydrates, and vitamins, the most important of which are vitamins A, C, and K. Apart from vitamins, and plums have antioxidants and minerals like copper and manganese as well. Oh, and there are different varieties of plums. These include purple-blackish Damson, green Greengage, dark yellow Mirabelle and most commonly found in literature, flashy red Satsuma.
Can rabbits eat plums?
Apart from their health benefits, they are so sweet that you might be tempted to share a plum with your favorite bunny. However, the question is, should you? Well, the short answer is yes. Yes, you can share plums with your rabbit. Rabbits love eating the sweet stuff, they are sure to pounce on plums you offer them. However, there are a couple of points, which you must keep in mind. One, to avoid any choking hazards, give your bunny plums without pits. Secondly, give these fruits as an occasional treat to your pet. We see people forget the basic fact that too much sugar hardly does any good to your body. Oh, and quantity matters as well. Well, how many plums is ok? For a rabbit that is nearly two pounds, we would say a teaspoon is more than enough. Mixing up your fruity treats is also a great idea. How about a treat that consists of leafy and non-leafy vegetables?
What about skins and twigs?
Yes, your bunnies can eat plums. However, not all the parts, that is the point to be noted. What about the skin leaves and the plum twigs? Let us answer that one by one. Skin, yes it is fine. Your bunny will be ok if it eats plums with the skin. Wood, however, is not a safe option. Plum twigs are quite poisonous. It is this one part that we need you to be cautious and wary of, for your rabbit’s sake. The wood of the plum trees is reported to have several poisonous substances, the details of which cannot be made a part of this discussion. However, it suffices to mention that such twigs are quite detrimental to your pet’s health. It goes for the leaves as well. Therefore, we have a yes for plum skin and a no-no for the twigs and leaves. If your bunny loves nibbling on twigs and leaves, you can try giving your pet, the twigs from fruits like apples and grapes.
How to give your bunny a plum?
Although we have mentioned the number of plums already, we feel that there is room for discussion. Discussion on how you give your rabbit plums. First things first, wash them. It is not something that you are supposed to do with plums only. Wash any kind of fruit you are serving your bunny. It is best to wash the plums under a tap, rather than soaking and dipping them in a water bowl. This method is more efficient in getting rid of any kind of insecticides or pesticides. Then how much, a question that we have already answered. Start with baby steps, it is best to start with smaller amounts, in the case of treats. This also gives you a chance to analyze your rabbit’s stomach response to your fruity treat. A gap of one or two days is sufficient in this regard.
Prunes and plums: a difference
Sometimes, people ask the same question in a rather different manner without even knowing so. Can my rabbit have prunes? It can be confusing for some, and we understand that. Only the people who know what the term prunes stand for can answer this question better. So, what are prunes? Well, put simply, these are your dried plums. Nothing more than that. The next question that might pop up in your mind, are they safe? Well, of course, they are. Drying up the plums hardly turns them toxic. However, you need to be mindful of the quantity you give your bunny. The dried-up version of plums has three times more sugar than the fresh ones. We hope you get our concerns. Oh, and please oh please, do make sure that prunes are without pits. A point that we cannot emphasize strongly enough!
Science behind quantity
Well, as we move towards the wrap-up, we thought it would be interesting to put things in perspective, as far as the number of plums is concerned. Firstly, you must know what makes having too many plums bad. Well, plums have amygdalin. This is a compound, which breaks down into a poisonous substance, much like cyanide. The compound is usually found in the plum stone, as is the case. Apart from being a choking hazard, plum stones are also the source of toxicity associated with too many plums. It is speculated that 10 plum stones are sufficient to raise the level of amygdalin to dangerous levels in the body. This is a figure that is calculated for a rabbit that weighs anywhere around two kilograms. Hence, you can relax if your rabbit has swollen one or two plums with pits, by mistake. However, any more than that means your rabbit faces a double-edged sword. Not only the toxicity might get your bunny, but it can also choke, which is one of the most painful ways of losing your beloved pet. Folks, promise us, you will be careful, will not you?
Well, we wish we could go on, but the limitations of time and space force us to wrap this debate here. Before we go, let us summarize what we have preached in length in this article. Plums or their dried versions are available in different varieties and have various health benefits. These fruits are loved by bunnies, and there is no apparent harm in giving them as an occasional treat. However, too many plums, especially the ones without pets can lead to an issue or two. These issues include plum poisoning and toxicity. Hence, caution must be exercised, if you care about little furballs as much as we do. The wise bunnies are sometimes not that wise after all, look after them, won’t you?