What Vegetables Are Safe for Rabbits To Eat?
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Vegetables are an essential when it comes to a rabbit's diet. These furry little animals spend most of their day munching on leafy greens and other vegetables, so it's important we know which are safe for them to eat and which are toxic.
In this AnimalWised article we will give you a full list of the vegetables that are safe for rabbits to eat, as well as a full list of toxic vegetables that we should completely avoid. Keep reading to learn more!
Rabbits are herbivorous animals, meaning that their diet is based entirely on plants. What they eat and the amount will vary depending on what stage in their life they are currently in. However, a stable essential is hay. This should be available for them on an unlimited basis. You can also provide them with healthy rabbit pellets.
Other than that, it's very important to provide your rabbit with a variety of vegetables, such as leafy greens. We'll include a full list below of safe vegetables for rabbits. They need a variety of vegetables in order to receive all the minerals and nutrients that their body requires to be healthy.
Learn more in our article about how much food a rabbit should eat.
Safe vegetables for rabbits
Although rabbits have a wide range of plants to eat from, there are certain vegetables that are toxic to them. As their human companion we must be careful what vegetables we offer them. To help you, here we'll include a complete list of safe vegetables for rabbits. We'll divide it into different sections:
You can offer these vegetables daily:
- Hay (the base of their diet)
- Root leaves (carrot, radish, etc.)
- Lettuce (not iceberg or cabbage)
- Bell peppers
- Brussel sprouts
The vegetables that you can offer occasionally (1-2 times a week) are:
- Broccoli leaves
- Kale (very ocassionally)
- Collard greens
- Bok Choy
- Carrot tops
The wild herbs that you can offer your rabbit are:
- Alfalfa (only for rabbits younger than 6 months old)
- Shepherd's purse
- Bramble leaves
- Leaves of berries (such as blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc.)
Learn more about a rabbit's diet in our article about recommended fruits and vegetables for rabbits.
Toxic vegetables for rabbits
As we've previously mentioned, there are certain fruits and vegetables that are toxic to rabbits. Among the most common you'll find:
- Avocados: this fruit is deadly to rabbits. This is due to the fact that they contain a fungicidal toxin called persin, which is found in greater concentration in the shell and the bone. If your rabbit has minimal contact with this component, it can cause respiratory issues with fatal consequences.
- Iceberg lettuce: as we have mentioned, lettuce is a great addition to a rabbit's diet. However, there is a variety of this vegetable, the iceberg, which contains a very toxic component for rabbits called lactucarium.
- Rhubarb: this is a vegetable similar to chard, since they have a similar shape, but it stands out for its striking red color. This vegetable is also toxic to rabbits.
- Potato and sweet potato (including leaves): potatoes and sweet potatoes are toxic to your rabbit because it contains solanine. In addition, it's very indigestible when raw due to its high concentration of carbohydrates. For these reasons, there is absolutely no need to feed a rabbit potatoes. They can get those nutrients from safer fruits and vegetables.
- Onion and leek: these two vegetables (and others similar to these) are indigestible for rabbits, so it's advisable to avoid them at all costs, including the leaves. Onions are also known to lower the concentration of red blood cells in rabbits, therefore we should simply not feed it to our rabbits.
- Garlic: is indigestible for rabbits and therefore will cause digestion issues if given more than once. There are certain home remedies that recommend garlic for rabbits as a deworming method. However, it goes without saying that there are safer ways of deworming your rabbit and therefore is not recommended as it can cause other health issues.
- Legumes: such as beans, peas, etc. They are very very difficult to digest for rabbit and, therefore, they are not advisable for your pet.
- Seeds and grains: although the vast majority are not toxic to rabbits, it should be noted that their diet is mainly made up of vegetables such as leaves and stems. Although grains, seeds and nuts come from plants, they are not suitable for a rabbit's diet. For your rabbit's health, it's best to give them foods with which they can thrive on. This is why seeds and grains are not recommended for rabbits.
For the full list, we encourage you to visit our article about forbidden food for rabbits.
Lastly, there are many plants that can be at your fingertips in parks and gardens , since they are either used ornamentally or grow naturally, and that can be harmful to your rabbit:
- Bear's garlic
- Pink lily
- Scarlet Pimpernel
- Gherkin of the devil
- Tuberous begonia
- Angel trumpets
- Skunk epazote
- Water hemlock
- Wild saffron
- Lily of the valley
- Tree of the wigs
- Black broom
- Bird from paradise
- Sweet potato
- Jerusalem cherry
- Virginia creeper
- Morning glory
- Sweet Pea
- Poison Ivy
- Daisy flower
- Good night
- Elephant ear
Symptoms of an intoxicated rabbit
If your rabbit has been poisoned by eating toxic food, you must take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible in order to save their life. When identifying the symptoms of an intoxicated rabbit, you may observe:
- Diarrhea or absence of urine and feces within 12 hours.
- Apathy, little or no physical activity.
- They have not eaten or drunk water in 12 hours (especially if they have not eaten hay).
- Wounds in the mouth.
- Spasms, tremors, or seizures.
- Respiratory difficulties and / or mucus.
- Bleeding or bruising.
- Irritations or rashes on the skin.
To learn more, read our article about recognising a sick rabbit. With that being said, if you recognise any abnormal behavior from your rabbit, you must bring them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
If you want to read similar articles to What Vegetables Are Safe for Rabbits To Eat?, we recommend you visit our Healthy diets category.