When thinking about foods you should not feed your rabbit, keep in mind if it’s healthy for you, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy for your rabbit. Not all fruits and vegetables are on the buffet for our rabbit friends.
So, when you’re imagining Peter Cottontail eating up the whole garden, keep in mind there are some vegetables he was passing on.
Usually we give rabbits food other than their usual hay pile or hay pellets, because we want them to have a treat. It’s a loving gesture. It’s up to you to make sure that love is coming from food that your rabbits can thrive on. Check out this video to learn more about what not to feed your rabbit.
Also, we’re giving away 50 healthy snacker samplers to those who like, subscribe, and comment their bunny’s favorite snack on this video. Just make sure you send an email to email@example.com when you’re done so we can look out for you!
Vegetables You Should Not Give Your Rabbit
Some vegetables are toxic for your rabbit and others keep them from feeling their best.
Lettuce is one that you could easily go wrong with. While many types of lettuce are okay for your rabbit, iceberg lettuce is not. This is because it can contain a chemical called lactucarium. A lot of lactucarium can affect your rabbits nervous system which is related to gut issues. Iceberg lettuce also has little to no nutritional value for rabbits.
All types of mushrooms are poisonous for rabbits. This includes all varieties at the store as well as the wild mushrooms outside. Mushrooms contain mycotoxins which can lead to mycotoxicosis.
Potatoes are a human favorite all around the world. But they are something your rabbit needs to avoid. Both in raw and cooked form.
Rabbits can actually digest raw potatoes better than humans can! And you may see a wild rabbit dig up a raw potato. Still, the high starch content of a potato is not good for a rabbit's digestive system. That hungry wild bun might be going for calories rather than what’s best for its system.
Cooked potatoes are also not good for your rabbit. Any type of cooked food actually!
Cauliflower isn’t toxic for your rabbit. Small amounts may not affect them. However larger amounts of cauliflower is likely to make your rabbit gassy and bloated. Definitely something that lowers the height of those binkies and stops your rabbit from feeling their best.
Other vegetables in the brassica family can have a similar effect so be careful with broccoli and brussel sprouts as well!
Avocados contain persin which is toxic for rabbits. And this is found in all parts of the avocado - the pit, skin, and flesh. So, save the avocados for your guacamole and tell the little bun to move along.
Rhubarb contains oxalic acid which is toxic for your rabbit. Symptoms of this poisoning are:
loss of appetite
The stalks contain the least amount of oxalic acid, but still something to keep off the menu.
Onions, Garlic, and Leeks
These foods from the allium family are toxic to rabbits. These foods can cause hemolytic anemia in a rabbit. A loss of red blood cells leads to dizziness, and in severe cases this could kill the rabbit.
Onions can also have an immunosuppressive effect. This means the immune system isn’t working as it should to fight off illness.
Definitely an area of the garden you want to keep your rabbit out of.
Fruits You Should Not Give Your Rabbit
Rabbits love fruits. That smell of a freshly peeled banana brings all the rabbits to the yard. We know fruits need to be given in small quantities like any treat. However, there are a couple things you need to watch out for with fruits!
Fruit Seeds and Pits
Seeds and pits from many fruits contain cyanide. Apples and pears are the biggest offenders. So don’t use your rabbit as a garbage disposal for your apple cores.
Acidic fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes are too much for your rabbit's digestive system. While everyone is enjoying oranges at Christmas, don’t throw any your rabbit’s way.
Processed Foods and Store Bought Treats
Processed foods aren’t great for humans but they are even worse for rabbits. This includes bread, pasta, crackers, etc. Remember, rabbits are raw vegans. So any of these cooked foods that you eat won’t work for your rabbit.
Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine. Both are very toxic for rabbits. Another delicious human snack is nuts. But don’t be tempted to share those with your rabbit either. Peanut butter, walnuts, almonds, etc. are all too high in fat for your rabbit's digestive system.
In addition to taking human treats off the menu, there are also some rabbit treats that need to go. Rabbit treats like yogurt drops are very high in sugar which harms the bacteria growing in their digestive tract. You also should be turning your nose up at the word yogurt - remember our friends are vegan! So they shouldn’t have any products from animals, including dairy.
The best treats for rabbits are low in fat and added sugar. The only sugar they should be having is the natural sugar found in fruits.
So, What Is On The Dessert Menu?
Let’s throw one more reminder out there that your rabbit should be given constant access to hay. Fiber is the most important part of their diet. And chewing is an important part of their lifestyle! All of these foods we’re suggesting you give your rabbit are for special occasions or given in small quantities.
Carrots, apples, bananas, and berries are great fresh treats for your rabbit. Some of which you likely already have in your house. But if you’re looking for something more than that, here are two great ideas for packaged snacks for your rabbit.
Hay cubes are a fun way to get something new for your rabbit without straying from their usual diet of Timothy hay. These cubes also have alfalfa hay in them which makes them a little higher in fat but perfect for a treat.
These healthy snackers take Timothy pellets and mix them with different fruits. They add just enough sweetness to get your bun excited for dessert.
Any of these treats are sure to get your rabbit to kick their feet up. But don’t ever forget that feeding your rabbit a diet high in fiber with plenty of hay to chew on all day will keep them feeling their very best. That way they are able to kick their feet up! Binky high little buns.
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