What can my Rabbit Eat? (20 Common Foods Rabbits Can & Cannot Eat)

Are you wondering if a certain food is safe for your beloved rabbit? Here are 20 common foods that we have researched. Some of these foods may surprise you!

Safe Foods (in moderation)

  • Carrot
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Grass
  • Herbs
  • Lettuce (Dark leaves)
  • Spinach
  • Flowers (selected)
  • Celery

Not Recommended 

  • Peanuts
  • Corn
  • Popcorn
  • Bread
  • Cheese

Not Safe

  • Avocado
  • Almond
  • Mushroom
  • Chocolate
  • Meat

Disclaimer: This is by no means a complete list. As much as we want to share food with our beloved furry friends, we also need to remember that rabbits have sensitive digestive systems. Some foods may be alright for us humans, but they can be toxic to rabbits. If you’re ever unsure about feeding your rabbit a particular food, don’t do it. Should your rabbit eaten something you’re uncertain about, call your vet immediately.That said, a few of the food items below are entirely up for debate, so if you know something, leave your comments below! 

1. Can rabbits eat carrots? Sure, in moderation!

Everybody knows rabbits love carrots and most of us thought that rabbits survive on carrots alone. It’s undoubtedly true that rabbits love carrots. They are so crunchy and tasty. Like all fruits, carrots contain a very high level of sugar. It’s no wonder our sweet-toothed friends are mad about them.

While carrot tops can be given freely to your rabbit, the roots should not make up the bulk of its diet. Overeating in the long term can cause obesity, digestive problems, and tooth decay. Keeping that in mind, you are still welcome to feed them in sparing amount as an occasional treat.

2. Can rabbits eat bananas? Sure, in moderation!

Bananas are a perfect natural alternative to commercial rabbit treats. You will be surprised to know that rabbits love bananas and the peels as well.  Like all fruits, they contain a high level of sugar. Bananas also have very high starch content, which is hard to digest for rabbits. Regardless, your rabbits will get hooked on bananas very quickly and go crazy for them every time.

Bananas are a perfect natural alternative to commercial rabbit treats. You will be surprised to know that rabbits love bananas and the peels as well.  Like all fruits, they contain a high level of sugar. Bananas also have very high starch content, which is hard to digest for rabbits. Regardless, your rabbits will get hooked on bananas very quickly and go crazy for them every time.

Just remember, a rabbit should not be fed bananas larger than your thumb each time, and only to be fed every other day. Even if your rabbit begs you for more, resist the urge to give in and walk away!

3. Can rabbits eat apples? Sure, in moderation! (without seeds and stems)

Apples are safe for rabbits, but the seeds and stems are not. Apple seeds and stems contain cyanide, which is poisonous for rabbits. If you are going to give apples to your rabbit, please remove the seeds and stems. Also, it’s always a good idea to thoroughly wash apples before giving to your rabbit as the skin might still contain residual pesticides.

Like all fruits, apples have a high level of sugar content and should be given to your rabbits sparingly as an occasional treat. The general guideline is a rabbit’s daily fruit ration should not be more than 2 oz. (2 TBL) per 6 lbs. of its body weight.

4. Can rabbits eat avocado? Nope.

5. Can rabbits eat popcorn? Not recommended.

You’ve heard of rabbits or seen them on YouTube nibbling popcorns, and now you might think that it’s okay to give some too. Well, plain popcorn is not toxic to rabbits for sure. It’s still not recommended because there aren’t any nutritional benefits in eating popcorn for them.

It can only contribute to weight gain and potentially lead to some health problems. Also, there’s the risk of choking on uncooked kernels.

6. Can rabbits eat grapes? Sure, in moderation!

Grapes are both sweet and refreshing. Your rabbits would be delighted in having something different from their usual green and pellet diet. Grapes are perfectly safe for rabbits when consumed in small portions, and given only once in a while. Before feeding your rabbit grapes, please wash them thoroughly to remove any pesticide residues on the skin.

Like all fruits, grapes should be given sparingly because they contain a lot of sugar. By now, you should be aware that too much sugar for rabbits is detrimental to their health. Always keep in mind, a rabbit’s daily fruit ration should not be more than 2 oz. (2 TBL) Per 6 lbs. of its body weight.

7. Can rabbits eat mushrooms? Nope. 

You shouldn’t offer your rabbits mushrooms of any type (raw or cooked). Mushrooms are another group of food for rabbits that should be avoided at all costs. They are highly acidic and contain a lot of phosphorus. A rabbit’s delicate digestive systems cannot handle such food.

Keep in mind that the best diet for your rabbit is high in fibre and low in everything else – fats, carbs/sugar, protein, and calcium.

8. Can rabbits eat almonds and other nuts? Nope. How about peanuts (legumes)? Not recommended.

This is a tricky one. There are debates going on saying nuts should be avoided entirely, while others may say a few nuts won’t hurt.

First of all, you need to understand that rabbits have sensitive digestive systems which aren’t equipped to handle nuts. While it’s true that nuts are rich in fibre – great for rabbits, they are also excessive in protein, fat and other things your rabbit doesn’t need. Secondly, some nuts such as almonds and macadamia can be severely toxic for rabbits. To be on the safe side and give yourself the peace of mind, forget about nuts.  

What about peanuts, then? Peanuts are not nuts, and in fact, they are legumes. Feeding a peanut or two will not poison your rabbit, but it still isn’t a great idea. They are loaded with fats and generally don’t provide much nutritional value for your rabbit.

Your rabbit would be contented with lots of fresh hay, some quality pellets, some greens and occasional fresh fruits to stay healthy and happy.

9. Can rabbits eat celery? Sure, in moderation!

Celery is packed with a wide assortment of vitamins (A, B, C, E, K), minerals, fibre and also contain plenty of water. It’s a great addition to your rabbit’s diet besides hay and pellet.

The only thing to look out for is the strings found inside the celery stalks. The strands of strings may potentially cause choking problems for rabbits because they can’t vomit.  Before giving it to your rabbit, cut it up into smaller pieces. Please also thoroughly wash it first to remove any pesticides on the surface.

10. Can rabbits eat fresh grass? Sure!

Ran out of hay (dried grass)? Why not feed your rabbit fresh grass? Grass is the most natural food for rabbits to eat. It’s high in fibre, great for wearing down teeth and rabbits’ digestion system has been perfected to digest it. It doesn’t cost much (or not at all), and it’s available everywhere – in your backyard, at the park, etc. You could even grow them in a pot.

A word of caution though, do not feed lawn mower clippings to your rabbit. The heat of the engine and crushing action causes the grass to start fermenting which will upset the gut if eaten.

11. Can rabbits eat meat? Nope.

Excuse me, should we even be talking about this? Rabbits are herbivores, meaning that they are plant eaters. It’s unnatural for rabbits to consume meat. You should never give any meat to rabbits. They will not be able to digest it and potentially die from severe digestive problems.

12. Can rabbits eat bread? Not recommended.

Bread isn’t harmful to your rabbit, but it isn’t the most nutritious food for your rabbit to eat. It won’t hurt if somehow your rabbit nibbled a bit of your toast. The fact is that bread really doesn’t provide nutritional value in your rabbit’s diet. It’s high in carbs and starch, which is not ideal for rabbits.

13. Can rabbits eat cheese? Not recommended.

Cheese isn’t poisonous to rabbits, but they are incredibly unhealthy. It’s loaded with fat and has low fibre content. Besides that, adult rabbits are lactose intolerant.

Here’s a fun fact: all mammals in the animal kingdom become lactose intolerant by the time they are adults. Since they no longer drink their mother’s milk, their bodies stop producing lactase which is necessary to break it down.

If fed cheese regularly, your rabbit will suffer from indigestion, and eventually decline in health. Remember, rabbits need a significant amount of fibre in their diet to keep the food flowing through their gastrointestinal tract.

14. Can rabbits eat lettuce? Sure, but not Iceberg lettuce.

This is entirely up for debate as there are a few myths about feeding lettuce to rabbits. Some lettuces, particularly Iceberg lettuce, are harmful to rabbits because they contain lactucarium, which has a sedative effect and causes diarrhoea too.

If that weren’t enough, it contains mostly water and will add little to no nutritional value to a diet. Darker, more leafy varieties can be fed as they are higher in fibre and nutrients.  If you decide to feed lettuce, go for Romaine lettuce.

Just be careful not to overfeed them to your rabbit, which can cause digestive upset and diarrhoea. 

15. Can rabbits eat flowers? Sure, in moderation!

Rabbits can eat flowers and so can you. Flowers are not only pretty to look; they also contain some nutrients in them. So, go ahead and sprinkle some flowers on their hay to make it attractive.

Before you start picking the flowers, you have to understand that there are thousands of flowers in the world. Not all flowers are edible, and some can be severely toxic (e.g. oleander, foxglove, poppy, trumpet flowers, and the list goes on).

However, you can start with common edible flowers such as roses, hibiscus, dandelions, lavender, chamomile, nasturtiums, marigolds and pansies. This is not a complete list of all edible flowers, so if you can’t identify a flower, better pass it up.

A gentle reminder, always check with your vet if your rabbit has eaten something you are unsure.

16. Can rabbits eat chocolate? Nope.

Everyone should know this by now that rabbits absolutely cannot eat chocolate.

Chocolate contains two harmful chemicals- caffeine and theobromine. Both of these are toxic to rabbits. It’s a different case for us people as we have an enzyme that breaks down this toxic substance, but rabbits don’t. Should you discover that your rabbit devours some chocolate, it’s cause for an emergency visit to the vet. And really, steer clear of all chocolate and candies.

17. Can rabbits eat herbs? Sure, but only safe herbs and in moderation!

Herbs are akin to medicines gifted by Mother Nature. It’s imperative to know that not all herbs are safe for rabbits. The safe choices are common herbs such as basil, oregano, dill, cilantro, lemon balm, rosemary, sage, thyme, tarragon, lavender, peppermint, and clover.

Clover, although not toxic, should be given with caution as it causes gas. Since rabbits cannot expel gas, they become bloated, which can be very painful and upsetting. 

Still, the medicinal effects of herbs are undeniably beneficial for your rabbits. Basil for one, is high in vitamins and anti-inflammatory compounds that can aid digestion and even relief stress.

Cilantro is another excellent herb for rabbits. It’s high in fibre, which will help keep the food flowing properly through the intestines. This herb is also useful for treating gas and bloating, especially for rabbits who are prone to excess gas after eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. Cilantro even seems to have antimicrobial properties. This means that it can help your rabbit fight against common diseases and infection.

Sounds great, isn’t it? Now, let’s see if you can get your rabbit to eat it first. The catch is that cilantro does not contain much sugar and that will not appeal to our sweet-toothed rabbits.

Anyway, herbs are very healthy for your rabbits. As long as you keep to the known list of safe herbs, it’s okay to feed your rabbits herbs.

18. Can rabbits eat strawberries? Sure, in moderation! 

Strawberries fall into the same category as blueberries – they’re safe for your rabbit, but you shouldn’t go overboard.

Like most fruits, strawberries contain a lot of sugar besides the good fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants. Feed them sparingly as a treat. Hay should always be the main part of your rabbit’s diet.

Additionally, please make extra sure that you remove the stems and leaves from the top since these can potentially be hazardous.

19. Can rabbits eat corn? Not recommended.

Corn is one of those things that aren’t poisonous to rabbits but should generally be avoided. It contains far too many carbs and sugar for rabbits, which is bad for their digestion. There is also the risk of choking on the hulls. 

Corn is just not safe for your rabbits and does not provide any real nutritional value anyway. There are plenty of other veggies which we know are safe, so why bother taking a risk. 

20. Can rabbits eat spinach? Sure, but beware of oxalates!

Spinach is a wonderful green leafy vegetable. Listed as one of the world’s healthiest food, spinach contains a bunch of vitamins (A, B, C, E, K) and minerals (Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Folic Acid, Potassium, etc.).  

This might come as a surprise that this super healthy vegetable should be given in a limited amount to rabbits. Here’s the problem with spinach. It contains a higher level of oxalates than most vegetables, which can be harmful to rabbits if fed a lot.

Oxalates, which are naturally occurring food toxins will bind together minerals like Calcium and Magnesium, thus making them insoluble. The next thing that will happen to your rabbits is bladder stones.  In other words, feeding your rabbit spinach regularly, oxalates can become toxic.

Once a week, at most twice, is enough. You also have to be careful with other vegetables are high in oxalates, namely mustard greens, and parsley. 

A few final thoughts…

Never feed your rabbit anything you’re unsure about. Just stick with plenty of fresh hay and some high-quality pellets. It’s that simple. Keep in mind that rabbits have very delicate digestive systems. If your rabbit does eat something you’re unsure about, call your vet for assistance.

Here is a quick infographic of the foods mentioned.

Did any of these mentioned food items surprise you? Let me know in the comments below!

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