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Can Donkeys Eat Grapes?

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Every donkey owner loves giving their animals treats occasionally.

Feeding donkeys various fruits and vegetables is a fantastic way to spend quality time together. It’s also an excellent way to incentivize good behavior and make any animal feel comfortable around humans.

Typically, fruits and vegetables are safe for donkeys to eat, but there are exceptions. So, what about grapes?

Can a donkey eat grapes?

Grapes are a delicious treat that you can safely feed your donkey whenever you want to give them something sweet. Donkeys can eat green grapes, purple grapes, and grapes with seeds.

Bunches of ripe black grapes hanging from the vine

Typically, donkeys are excited to eat anything sweet because their regular diet is so bland. They eat mostly hay and straw, so whenever you come around with a fistful of grapes, they’ll come running over to spend some time with you.

Here’s some helpful information on why grapes are a great treat for your donkeys and what you should know when feeding them grapes.

Are Grapes Healthy for Donkeys?

For thousands of years, humans have cultivated grapes for food, juice, and to make wine. But, every step of the way, farmers have had to fight off donkeys looking to get into vineyards trying to steal a mouthful of grapes.

little girl taking a picture with a donkey at the zoo

Not only are grapes tasty, but they are also healthy when eaten in moderation.

Grapes are believed to help lower cancer risks, decrease blood pressure, ease constipation, and more. In addition, they’re a rich source of fiber, vitamins, and important minerals like potassium.

Grapes are a healthy snack for donkeys because they’re full of water and fiber. Donkeys need a diet rich in fiber to keep their digestive systems healthy.

A clogged-up donkey can be very unhappy, and the wrong foods can make them sick. Sticking with grapes is a good option for treats when you’re trying to keep your donkey from getting constipated.

Giving in Moderation

Anytime you give your donkey a treat, you should do it in moderation. Constantly giving your donkey sweet snacks can make them gain too much weight and cause other health issues.

Obesity is a big problem, especially in miniature donkeys and donkeys that don’t get much exercise.

It’s one thing if you have a working donkey that has a lot of room to graze. However, many donkeys don’t get much activity, so you don’t want to give them too much sugar.

Grapes are small, but they have a high sugar content—higher than watermelons, for example. Giving a donkey a big bowl of grapes may be a great deal of sugar that your donkey’s stomach isn’t ready to handle.

man holding a bunch of grapes

How Often Should You Feed Grapes to Donkeys?

How often you give your donkey grapes depends on your relationship with your donkey, how well they stick to their regular diet, and their exercise level.

Some people will only give their donkeys grapes once a week or when grapes are on sale at the store. Other owners love to give their donkeys a smaller snack every day.

Typically, you should monitor how well your donkey is eating their regular food and look for any negative reaction from eating grapes.

For example, if feeding grapes to your donkey results in diarrhea or you see them refusing to eat their straw, then you should stop giving them so many treats.

man caressing and feed a wild donkey

How to Feed Your Donkey Grapes

Grapes are harder than some other fruits to feed donkeys because they’re small.

Grapes aren’t the best to give to children or people who are afraid of donkeys because they’ll drop the grapes on the ground during feeding.

The size of the grapes means you have to get closer to the donkeys’ mouths to get them in there. You may feel some bites and nibbles on your fingers.

Nibbles are fine if your donkey is friendly, but some animals aren’t used to being hand fed.

Donkeys frequently show aggressive behavior around people. If you have more than one donkey, they can get rowdy with each other while trying to get ahold of more grapes.

Ideally, you can buy clusters of grapes and cut them down to size.

This way, you’re not feeding your donkeys individual grapes but smaller clusters that are easier for them to grab onto with their mouths. You’ll avoid bites and can give a handful to friends and kids who want to take part in the feeding.

Grape Vines and Stems

Can donkeys eat grape vines and stems?

If you don’t mind them eating stems or vines, your donkeys can eat them without getting sick or anything. You don’t have to be very particular when you’re chopping up grape plants to feed them.

Bananas and banana slices in a plate on a black chopping Board with a knife.

Other Healthy Fruits for Donkeys

Besides grapes, there are a lot of different fruits you can feed your donkeys as a treat. However, these are all things you should feed them sparingly to keep them healthy.

Try feeding your donkeys apples, watermelon, bananas, berries, and pears. Anything sweet with a lot of water and good vitamins is a nice snack that will help you bond with your animal.

Lots of donkey owners use fruit or low-calorie vegetables like celery and carrots to train their donkeys.

These animals are notoriously stubborn, but you may see better results if you wave a carrot in their face as you try to get them to move or do something else. Also, a nice snack is a perfect way to keep them occupied during a visit with the vet.

Ask Your Vet for Advice

Owning and caring for a large animal like a donkey means you’ll need a regular vet who you can call for advice.

If you’re worried about feeding them any kind of food, give the vet a call to ask. It’s a good way to be sure before you give them anything new.

Final Thoughts

As always, watch your donkey closely in the days after you give them grapes or anything else they haven’t eaten before. They could be allergic or have some sort of negative reaction. However, remember that this is, by far, the exception.

For the most part, grapes are a healthy treat that your donkey will love.

Grapes and other fruits are a fantastic way to spend time with your donkey and build the bond that many owners crave. Keep them to an occasional treat, and have fun with your animals!