Can rats eat pineapple, or should it be avoided? Feeding your pet rat is a ton of fun. They can eat so many different kinds of food and discovering what they like and dislike is a very rewarding experience. However, while it’s true that rats can eat many different kinds of food, they can not eat everything safely.
There are certain foods that rats you should never give to your rat under circumstances. Finding out which foods are safe to offer, and which ones are not, is of crucial importance for any rat owner. After all, rats are unable to throw up because they do not have a gag reflex, so if you feed them the wrong food there can be disastrous consequences.
Today, we’re going to talk about pineapples and whether or not they’re safe for rats to eat. I’ll go over everything you need to know, ranging from whether or not rats like this fruit, to whether they derive any benefits from eating it. Let’s begin!
The quick answer is this: Both male and female rats can safely consume pineapple in small quantities. It should not be a large part of their diet since it’s quite high in sugar which makes it easy to overfeed your rat, but the occasional piece of pineapple as a treat is not harmful. Make sure to remove the rind and crown before feeding.
What’s in a pineapple?
Whenever I discuss whether or not a rat can eat a particular kind of food I always like to take a look at what exactly is in the food. That way, we can get a better idea of what exactly our pet rats are putting in their mouths.
A cup (5.8 ounces) of this fruit contains the following:
- 82.5 calories
- 1.7 grams of fat
- 1 gram of protein
- 21.6 grams of carbs
- 2.3 grams of fiber
- 16.3 grams of sugar
- 87% water
So, if we take a look at the nutrients above we can see that this fruit is quite high in sugar, but also contains a decent amount of fiber. Fiber is great for helping your rat’s digestion, but the high amount of sugar does mean that you should ensure that they do not eat too much of it.
However, this doesn’t tell the whole story. The fruit is also quite rich in many vitamins and minerals, so let’s take a look.
This fruit is exceptionally rich in vitamin C. If you’re a true rat expert, you might know that, unlike humans, these rodents have the ability to synthesize vitamin C in their liver. Nevertheless, studies have proven that they benefit from having additional vitamin C in their diet.
Pineapple is also very rich in manganese. There have been studies done on rats and they’ve concluded that manganese helps to suppress oxidative stress and inflammation. On top of that, manganese helps maintain a healthy metabolism.
Other vitamins & minerals
In addition, pineapples contain decent amounts of Copper, Thiamin, Folate, Potassium, Magnesium, and Iron. It also has trace amounts of vitamin A, and K, Phosphorus, Calcium, and Zinc. Furthermore, it’s a great source of antioxidants.
Is pineapple good for rats?
Now that we’ve taken a look at what this fruit contains, we can definitely say that the nutrients in it can be beneficial to your rat. Also, there’s nothing in this fruit that’s toxic to them, so it’s safe to give as a treat.
What about the skin?
The peel of the pineapple should not be fed to rats. Take a quick look at the image above, and you’ll probably see why – it’s very thorny! These thorns can harm the mouth of your pet. Also, it doesn’t contain many nutrients and most rats will not like it. Therefore, it’s best to remove them and only give them the flesh of the fruit.
How much pineapple can rats eat?
Rats are small animals and they do not need a whole lot of food. Giving them a whole pineapple is of course out of the question. They’re huge fruits, many times the size of the rat itself.
Around 20% of the rat’s diet should consist of fruits and vegetables, the rest should be pellets. However, that doesn’t mean that you can feed your rat a diet that’s made up of 80% pellets and 20% pineapple. They need a diverse range of fruits and veggies to thrive. I suggest that if you’re feeding pineapple to your rat, you feed them no more than a teaspoon every week or so. The rest of the fruit you can enjoy yourself.
Things to take into consideration
Okay, so now you know that rats can safely eat pineapples. That’s great, but there are some things that you need to take into consideration.
First off, make sure that you do not overfeed your rat. I’ve already gone over it briefly, but these fruits are high in sugar and should not be fed too often or in too high quantities.
Secondly, make sure that you only feed your rat only fresh, not dried or canned pineapple. The dried and canned variants are way too high in sugar.
Thirdly, make sure to remove the leaves, skin, and crown. Only the flesh should be eaten.
And lastly, if you’re feeding it to your rat for the first time, keep an eye on them to ensure that they tolerate this new addition to their diet well. Whenever you feed your rat a new food, especially one that’s high in water, they may get diarrhea. This can lead to dehydration so if they show signs of this it might mean that you’re either feeding them too much of this fruit or that they do not tolerate it well.
If that’s the case, it’s best to start looking for alternative fruits and veggies to feed your rat instead. Keep reading, in the next section I’ll recommend some alternatives.
Other fruits that rats can eat
If your rat doesn’t like pineapple or can’t tolerate it well, you might be wondering what other fruits you can give them instead. I’ve got some suggestions for you that I’ll list down below.
For a complete list of all the fruits and veggies that rats can eat, I suggest you check out my rat nutrition guide. It has a list of all the most popular fruits and vegetables and goes over whether or not they’re safe for your rat to consume. It also contains a list of all the foods that are poisonous to rats.