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Can Rabbits Eat Oranges?

If your rabbit is acting abnormally and you have concerns please take them to a vet immediately.

Picture of sliced oranges.

Can Rabbits Eat Oranges? – Oranges are a fantastic fruit for nutrients and arguably more importantly, taste! Oranges have lots of Vitamin C and are extremely juicy. Pair this with their smell and you’ve got yourself an a treat!

Whilst rabbits are herbivores, this doesn’t mean that they should necessarily eat anything which has high acidity levels, natural sugars and potentially an excess of Vitamin C.

In this article, we will be tackling not only if rabbits can eat Oranges, but also the nutritional values, dangers & portion sizes.

Is Orange Safe for rabbits?

Yes, rabbits can eat oranges, However, they are extremely high in quantities of sugar and should typically be swapped out with other fruits & vegetables.

Excessive counts of Vitamin C in a diet can result in kidney damage, due to this, we would suggest replacing oranges with other fruits and vegetables with skins such as apples.

Some other citrus fruits can be mislabelled as oranges, as they are part of the orange family, these can inlclude Tangerines, Satsuma, Kishu Mikan, Tachibana Orange & Ponkan.

Mandarin oranges are still safe to give your rabbit and is often considered healthier as it has less sugar per slice.

How should you feed oranges to your rabbits

Before giving your rabbit any oranges, make sure to peel them completely and remove any of the pith (Which stringy parts of the orange). Both the skin and pith have almost no nutritional valur and should be avoided.

From here, you will want to give your rabbit one slice at a time, if you can cut it up, that’s even better but extremely messy!

Should I give my rabbit orange peels?

This is a debateable topic with some veterinarians, however, it is okay for your rabbit to eat orange peel. The main concern comes from peel waxings and pesticides which can make your rabbit incredibly sick.

We recommend peeling your orange entirely as washing sometimes doesn’t remove all of the pesticides. In short, it’s safer to not feed your rabbit any peel.

Additionally, Orange peels do not contain much in terms of nutrients, although better than expected

Can rabbits have citrus fruits?

Rabbits can consume other citrus fruits, for example, they can eat small portions of tangerines, satsumas, grapefruit, clementines & mandarins. However, these all have extremely high levels of acidity and can impact your rabbits gut leading to GI Stasis.

Additionally, these fruits all contain high levels of sugar which can lead to obesity.

What are the nutritional benefits of Oranges

Oranges much like its cousin the Satsuma is extremely sweet and full of natural sugars. Oranges have an incredible amount of Vitamin C contents but also have a fairly noticeable amount of fiber.

They contain around 91% Carbohydrates, 7% protein and 2% fat. This unfortunately means that despite them being extremely juicy they do offer the least amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals to sugar ratio.

You would be better offering your rabbit a treat like a Strawberry.

NutrientCommon Orange
Dietary Fiber2.4g
Vitamin C53.2mg
Oranges, raw, navels (Source)

Can my rabbit have orange juice?

If you do want to give your rabbit a small amount of orange juice that’s not a problem, but it’s not to be a substitute to your rabbits intake of water. If your rabbit is poorly, a small drop of orange juice in their water may be helpful in getting them hydrated on their own although results can vary.

Orange Juice among other citrus fruit drinks contain excessive amounts of sugars and not entirely natural sugars, this comes in the form of additives which are added to the juice solution. You may find Sucrose in many orange juices, this is a sugar compound which in itself isn’t dangerous but the quantity is what causes potential problems.

The Univesity of Western Ontario conducted a study which showed both orange and grapefruit juice decreased cholestrol excretion in rabbits which may suffer from general high cholestrol. This number can drop cholestrol down by 44-48%.

This was associated with total liver cholesterol reduction in the orange juice group (-18%, p < 0.05) and with hepatic cholesterol ester reduction in both juice groups (-42%, p < 0.05).

E.M.KurowskaPh.D. N.M.BorradaileM.S. J.D.SpenceM.D. K.K.CarrollPh.D

Thank you for reading this post!
Link is an incredibly spoilt rabbit who lives completely free roam. When he's not jumping on his owners heads at 5am or digging at carpet he can often be seen loafed or eating copious amounts of hay.