Humans love to bond over food. We show love and celebrate with food. It makes sense that bunny lovers want to create shared experiences with their rabbits. And one way we know to do that is with food! Can rabbits eat what we eat?
Sometimes! As you can imagine a rabbit’s digestive system is very different from ours. Just because something is healthy for us doesn’t mean it is for a rabbit.
There are many foods that a rabbit can eat though! So while you share your heart and home with your furry friends you can also share food.
As dedicated rabbit lovers, it's important to know what foods are on the yes list. These are foods that won’t wreak havoc on your rabbit’s digestive system but they will also provide them (and yourself) with quality nutrients to thrive on!
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Check out Sara on Youtube where she runs through the top 20 fresh foods for rabbits!
To Eat or Not To Eat
We all know that hay is the top priority. It’s the free choice food that should always be available for your rabbit. It has the fiber and nutrients they need to binky all their days.
But sometimes it’s treats that get them excited enough to want to binky. It’s so fun to give your rabbit food that they’re excited about. It’s hard to always judge what you should and shouldn’t give them.
Is it too much sugar? Is it filling them up too much? Will this make their stomach hurt?
The confusion really takes the fun out of giving your rabbit new things! Which is exactly why we’re here. To help find the favorite foods that you and your rabbit can share - the go-tos to celebrate the weekend together!
The Best Low-Sugar Vegetables That Rabbits Can Eat
One thing you may hear about when talking about foods rabbits can eat, is oxalic acid. Some leafy greens are high in oxalic acid which over time can damage a rabbit's kidneys if they get too much of it.
Vegetables like spinach, parsley, beet greens, and sprouts can have a lot of oxalic acid. So while it’s okay to give these to your rabbit on occasion, they shouldn’t be the go-to favorite.
Here’s a list of low-sugar and low-oxalic acid foods that should definitely be in the running for the shared favorite food.
- Bell peppers
- Carrot Tops
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Turnip Greens
- Herbs: basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme
- Spring greens
- Summer squash
- Dill leaves
When buying lettuce for your rabbit, you should be looking for dark leaves. The darker the better! Iceberg lettuce shouldn’t be the go-to.
When it comes to lettuce, the nutrients are in the color. Iceberg lettuce also contains lactucarium which can be harmful to rabbits in large quantities. Spring greens, kale, and romaine lettuce are much better choices.
Cruciferous vegetables include kale, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, and arugula. These vegetables are nutrient powerhouses.
But as you may find similar to your own system, too much of these vegetables can cause bloating. So keep these vegetables in the rotation but don’t overdo them.
Rabbits should eat all of their food raw. So while you might like some of the foods on this list cooked, keep it raw for the bun!
Bell peppers are a sweeter vegetable but the sugar content is still relatively low. Snacking on raw bell peppers with your rabbit… core memory waiting to happen.
The leaves of peppers (and tomatoes) you need to keep away from your rabbit. So if you’re growing these in your garden make sure your rabbit doesn’t have access to them.
The seeds and core don’t have the nutrients your rabbit wants. Just give your rabbit the flesh of the peppers. Also, Jalapeno peppers and other spicy peppers are definitely on the no-list.
Everyone wants to put rabbits with carrots. You should know the best part of the carrot for rabbits is actually the tops! The tops are low in sugar and carbs but high in vitamins like vitamin C.
So feel free to leave the root for yourself and hand the tops over to your bun!
Endive and Escarole
Endive is sometimes called chicory and it is a great addition to your salads! If you’ve never had it yourself, perhaps you and your bun can try something new together.
Endives give you and your rabbit beta carotene, vitamin E, riboflavin, folate, and potassium. It also has some iron, calcium, and magnesium. Plus endives are rich in B vitamins that are great for your rabbit's liver.
Escarole is also in the chicory family but it has a slightly less bitter taste. Add this to the list of greens to try as well!
Another topping for the salad! Things are looking beautiful on that plate. You will enjoy watercress best after removing the thickest stems.
Watercress has vitamins A and K, potassium, calcium, beta-carotene, folate, iron, carotenoids, and magnesium. A salad makes for a great multivitamin.
You may have heard of people eating wheatgrass as a powdered supplement or in liquid form. This is because it carries a big nutritional punch! It can be easier for humans to eat in these other forms but you can certainly add this to your salad whole and raw as well.
Rabbits love wheatgrass. It isn’t a grain, it’s similar to hay! It doesn’t have as much fiber as Timothy hay and it doesn’t wear down their teeth the way Timothy hay does.
So as with all of the foods on this list, make sure they don’t push out hay. Hay should always be at least 85% of your rabbit’s diet.
Zucchini, Cucumbers, and Summer Squash
When it comes to zucchini, cucumbers, and summer squash your rabbit can eat every part of them! I’m not telling you to give them a whole zucchini at once, but you don’t have to peel the skin off before giving them a piece.
The skin is higher in fiber than the flesh so it’s even better for them! Now if you’re someone who likes to peel your cucumbers then we’ve got a match made in friendship heaven! Give your rabbit the peel!
It’s important to wash vegetables before you give them to your rabbit. Pesticides can be harmful so try to get their vegetables as clean as possible.
Introduce New Foods Slowly
Anytime you are giving your rabbit something new, start small. If you want to share a cucumber for the first time just give them a bite-size piece.
Although these foods are safe for rabbits to enjoy, any sudden diet change can give your bun’s digestive system a hard time.
Some rabbits’ digestive systems are more sensitive than others. For example, vegetables with high water content (like cucumbers) could give some rabbits diarrhea if they eat too much.
So introduce new foods slowly and observe your rabbit to make sure they are still feeling great. You’ll soon find the favorites that you can give your rabbit confidently!
Can Rabbits Eat Dried Herbs?
You might add some dried oregano or basil to some of your dishes, and you can actually share that with your rabbit! A little sprinkle on top of their hay adds the same yummy flavor to their meal as it does to yours.
With herbs, you don’t have the concern of too much sugar so it’s a great way to get your rabbit a variety of nutrients without any digestive problems! A lot of the nutrients in herbs can actually improve their digestion.
Can Rabbits Eat High Sugar Fruits and Vegetables?
Hopefully, your rabbit can inspire you to eat more greens. But I imagine you may be more excited to share some fruits with your bun. Rabbits love fruit. They can usually smell it from across the room!
Sugar content is something we need to keep in mind when choosing foods to share. Fruit isn’t something you should be giving your rabbit every day, but a few times a week is fine.
1-2 tablespoons are all they should be getting of higher-sugar fruits and vegetables. That’s right I did say vegetables!
A carrot is a popular choice for rabbits but it's definitely higher in sugar and should be thought of more as a fruit. Bananas, strawberries, and apples are other popular favorites of our rabbit friends.
Hay Treats With a Touch of Fruit
One way to give your rabbit a fruity snack without overdoing it is with our Healthy Snackers. These are made of mostly hay but have a small amount of fruit mixed in.
This way they’re getting lots of fiber and crunch to go with their fruit. Something for their taste buds to be excited about while also keeping their digestive system happy.