Who doesn’t love some refreshing pineapple on a hot day? The exotic fruit is very popular, so much that people used to rent pineapples to display at parties, as it was a sign of wealth1.
If you love pineapple, you may want to share it with your mischief. But can rats eat pineapple? What about the skin, core, and leaves?
Overall, pineapple is safe for rats so consume. Like other fruits, it contains a lot of sugar and should be offered in small amounts. Pineapple is also packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants so can have several health benefits for your mischief including lower rates of chronic disease.
If you want to find out about the benefits of feeding pineapple to your rats, read right on. We’ll also cover whether the skin, core, and leaves of the pineapple are edible or not.
Can You Feed Your Pet Rat Pineapple?
Are Rats Allowed Pineapple?
Pineapples boast an impressive nutrient profile. Most importantly, they are very high in vitamin C (ascorbic acid)2. Vitamin C is essential for skin and connective tissue health, as well as for the proper functioning of the immune system3.
Another micronutrient found in pineapples in manganese, which plays an important role in metabolic processes4.
Pineapples also contain vitamin K, vitamin A, various B vitamins, and zinc2.
The exotic fruit is loaded with antioxidants. The antioxidants in pineapple are mostly so-called bound antioxidants, which means that their effect in the body is longer lasting5.
Antioxidants combat free radicals inside cells and therefore counterbalance their damaging effects on the cell DNA. This leads to reduced inflammation and lower rates of cancer and chronic diseases, improved cardiovascular health and cognitive function, and a healthier immune system6-8.
All these are very good reasons to share your pineapple with your mischief! But how much pineapple can you offer your rats? Let’s have a look at the recommended amounts.
Can Rats Have too Much Pineapple?
The downside of feeding pineapple to your rats is the high sugar content. This is an issue that comes up with all fruit that are safe for rats. Therefore, vegetables should make up the bulk of your rats’ fresh diet, with fruit being only a small addition.
Think of fruit as a dessert – it’s not the main course, just something sweet on the side. A small piece of pineapple or other fruit once a day is fine for your rats.
Another potential downside of feeding pineapple is the water content. This can sometimes cause diarrhea in rats if offered in large amounts.
In general, fruit juice is higher in sugar and does not contain the healthy fiber that the whole fruit does. It’s not a particularly good choice for your rats.
The only good reason to offer pineapple juice could be to mask the taste of an unpleasant medicine that your rat needs to take.
Can Rats Eat Pineapple Core?
Pineapple cores contain a great deal of nutrients, just like the flesh. They are, however, very fibrous and tough to eat.
You can offer the core of the pineapple to your rats if you cut it up into small enough pieces. Don’t be surprised if they prefer the fleshier pieces, though.
This may be surprising to you, but pineapple peels are edible. They are not toxic and may even have some health benefits due to their high amounts of bromelain.
Bromelain has been used in modern medicine to inhibit tumor growth, to increase the absorption of certain drugs, as an anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory agent, and for the surgical debridement of third-degree burns9.
So, in theory, you could offer your rats small pieces of pineapple skin to eat. In practice, however, pineapple peels are very spiky and not particularly palatable, so rats probably would not eat them. They may even pose a slight choking hazard, so it’s best to avoid them.
Can Rats Eat Pineapple Leaves?
Pineapple leaves also contain bromelain, along with phenols and many antioxidants such as flavonoids, all of which have anti-inflammatory properties10,11.
In traditional medicine, pineapple leaf teas and herbal preparations are used for a wide variety of ailments. However, the leaves themselves – while not toxic – are hardly what you would call edible.
They are bitter, sharp, and very tough to chew. For all these reasons, I would not offer them to your rats as food – and they probably wouldn’t eat them, anyway.
What Fruit Can Rats Eat?
There are many fruits that you can share with your mischief. Good choices include kiwi, apples, pears, peaches, grapes (seedless), apricots, melon, and watermelon. Berries, including blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, also make a great snack for rats, as they are high in antioxidants but low in sugar.
Generally, fruit contains far more sugar than vegetables and should thus not make up the largest portion of your rats’ diet.
Fruit pips and stones are toxic, so remove these before feeding your rats fruit. The same goes for avocado skins and pits (avocados are fruits, too!). Citrus fruits and mangos contain d-limonene, which has been linked to kidney cancer in male rats – it’s therefore best to avoid these fruits if you have bucks in your mischief.
To Sum Up
Pineapples make a healthy and beloved treat for rats. Like other fruits, they are high in sugar and should be fed in moderation. The skin and leaves are technically edible but should not be fed to your mischief due to their rough texture.
1. ianVisits. When Londoners would rent pineapples instead of eating them. . 2020. https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/articles/when-lononders-would-rent-pineapples-instead-of-eating-them-36529/.
2. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central – Pineapple, raw, all varieties. 2021. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169124/nutrients.
3. Sorice A, Guerriero E, Capone F, et al. Ascorbic acid: its role in immune system and chronic inflammation diseases. Mini Rev Med Chem 2014;14:444-452. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24766384/.
4. Chen P, Bornhorst J, Aschner M. Manganese metabolism in humans. Front Biosci (Landmark Ed) 2018;23:1655-1679. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29293455/.
5. Cömert ED, Gökmen V. Antioxidants Bound to an Insoluble Food Matrix: Their Analysis, Regeneration Behavior, and Physiological Importance. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf 2017;16:382-399. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33371552/.
6. Neha K, Haider MR, Pathak A, et al. Medicinal prospects of antioxidants: A review. Eur J Med Chem 2019;178:687-704. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31228811/.
8. Knekt P, Reunanen A, Järvinen R, et al. Antioxidant vitamin intake and coronary mortality in a longitudinal population study. Am J Epidemiol 1994;139:1180-1189. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8209876/.
9. Taussig SJ, Batkin S. Bromelain, the enzyme complex of pineapple (Ananas comosus) and its clinical application. An update. J Ethnopharmacol 1988;22:191-203. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3287010/.
10. Xie W, Zhang S, Lei F, et al. Ananas comosus L. Leaf Phenols and p-Coumaric Acid Regulate Liver Fat Metabolism by Upregulating CPT-1 Expression. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM 2014;2014:903258-903258. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25197313
11. Kargutkar S, Brijesh S. Anti-inflammatory evaluation and characterization of leaf extract of Ananas comosus. Inflammopharmacology 2018;26:469-477. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28766086/.
Nina has a degree from the Veterinary School in Zurich, with a special focus on microbiological research. Nina has a passion for sports, nutrition and the outdoors and she loves all pets, but rats have a special place in her heart. When she’s not working or reading and writing about all things related to pet health, she loves to travel and surf.
As a small animal veterinarian, Nina is your go-to expert on pet health and nutrition.