Rabbit Mag

Can Rabbits Eat Oranges? – 4 Things You Should Know

Can rabbits eat oranges? This is a question that a lot of bunny owners have. The answer, as with most things rabbit-related, is it depends. Before you go giving your bunny an orange to snack on, there are a few things you should know. In this blog post, we’ll give you the fast facts about how oranges fare for bunnies and how to feed them. So keep reading to learn more!

Can Rabbits Eat Oranges?

The answer to this question is yes they can but should they? While oranges are not harmful in small amounts, they provide little to no nutritional value to your bunny’s diet.

Oranges are actually very bad for rabbits. While some fruit can be given on rare occasions, oranges should not be one of them–they’re highly acidic and full of sugar (sugar that has no nutritional value in a rabbit’s diet).

Unfortunately, some owners will give their rabbit oranges thinking it’s okay if the amount is small because it’s an occasional treat for their pet.

However, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t feed your buns citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons.

1. No nutritional benefits to rabbits

Oranges do not contain any essential nutrients that rabbits need to maintain a healthy life. They’re almost completely made up of water and carbohydrates, which is why they’re so high in sugar.

2. Tooth decay and obesity

A diet too high in sugars can lead to health problems in the long term such as tooth decay (yes rabbits can get cavities! I have seen them) and obesity.

3. Digestive problems

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, which means that high-vitamin-C foods are usually quite acidic. Oranges and other citrus fruits have an average pH of about 3 or 4.

High acidic fruits can cause upset stomachs or diarrhea and other health problems. The stomach acid of bunnies is already at a pH level of 1 to 2, which means that feeding too much orange may jeopardize your rabbit’s digestive system and acid-base balance. This can lead to diarrhea

4. Kidney damage

High levels of Vitamin C can potentially cause kidney damage so please make sure to feed acidic fruits sparingly in small portions. On another note rabbits produce their own Vitamin C so there is no real need to consume this acidic fruit.

Can rabbits eat oranges

what are the Nutritional values and benefits of oranges for rabbits?

Vitamin C is really the only Vitamin and mineral in a decent amount in this juicy fruit. Vitamin C is essential for healthy bones, teeth, collagen production, and healing wounds. These are vital to your rabbit’s health so it’s important that your bunny gets enough Vitamin C in his diet. It helps

  • Antioxidants help protect cells from damage and help fight cancer-causing free radicals
  • Helps your rabbit’s body make collagen, a protein that helps to heal wounds
  • Makes it easier to absorb iron to fight anemia
  • Boosts your bunny’s immune system, our body’s defense against germs

Dietary Fiber: Is pretty low in oranges at 2g per 100g and is not a major benefit

As mentioned, oranges are a powerhouse of Vitamin C with high water content, but really very little other nutritional benefits to your pet bunny. Below is the nutritional value of some vital nutrients in 100 grams of orange

  • Energy: 52kcal
  • Protein: 0.91g
  • Total carbohydrates: 11.8g
    • Sugar: 8.57g
    • Fiber: 2g
  • Calcium: 43mg
  • Potassium: 166mg
  • Vitamin C: 59.1mg

Are oranges Safe For Rabbits?

Oranges are safe to feed to rabbits in small quantities but are not recommended because they can be more harmful than beneficial. It’s not just an old wives’ tale that oranges can cause diarrhea in dogs and cats. Rabbits will get the same symptoms if they eat too many oranges.

As discussed earlier oranges can also cause tooth decay, obesity and kidney disease.

Healthy fruit alternatives to oranges for rabbits?

Oranges are a healthy treat for people and dogs, but they aren’t a good choice as a treat for rabbits.

Below is a list of popular fruits for you to consider that have a good source of vitamins and other essential nutrients for your rabbit’s health


Both apples and apple cores should be limited to less than one a day, and the seeds removed before eating.

Rabbits can’t digest apple seeds! The high amounts of fiber in apples also help prevent hairballs by moving food through the digestive tract faster.

It’s good to note that while apples and apple seeds contain cyanide, a rabbit would have to eat an ungodly amount of them in order for it to be fatal.


They offer similar nutritional benefits to apples that make them a good substitute fruit treat option.

Can rabbits eat orange peels?

They can – but they are not a healthy treat with almost zero nutritional value. The skin is often also sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals so they are best avoided.

Can rabbits eat mandarins (tangerines)?

Yes, your rabbit can be fed mandarin oranges or tangerines – they should be treated the same way as feeding your rabbit’s oranges. Mandarin oranges are part of the citrus family and so are also high in sugar with a high acid content with few other nutritional benefits. Only feed them one section once per week.


Can I give my rabbit orange juice?

No. Don’t give your adult rabbits orange juice. It has a very high sugar content which is bad for your rabbit’s teeth and waistline. It doesn’t matter if it contains the orange pulp or not – both can cause digestive issues and the problems mentioned.

Can I give my rabbit dried orange?

No. Dried orange is even more concentrated in sugar and calories

Are Orange seeds safe for rabbits?

No, the orange seeds are a choking hazard as the slippery slimy seeds can get lodged in your bunny’s throat.

Can I give my rabbit orange leaves?

No, orange leaves contain limonoids which can be poisonous to your bunny.

Orange leaves are not good for rabbits

Summing Up

While oranges and orange peels might seem like tasty treats for your furry friend, the best option is to avoid feeding your rabbit oranges altogether. Every time you feed any high-sugar fruit to your precious buns, it has the potential of causing upsets in your rabbit’s digestive system, dental problems, and, can lead to obesity.

If you want to provide your rabbit with something sweet, try fresh vegetables such as carrots or low sugar fruits such as strawberries and blackberries instead of these acidic citrus fruits. If you really want to feed your bunny orange – make sure they are peeled and only give them a small segment once every week.

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