Keeping a rabbit safe is a very demanding job, so whether you need tips for your new rabbit enclosure, how to properly take care of it or simply looking for a new brush for a rabbit, there’s probably a guide out there that can help you.
Now we know you love your furry little friend – Who wouldn’t? – but there are some things that are best kept away from the bunny. Since we also love big ears and fluffy bottoms, here’s a list of 10 foods that are toxic to your rabbit.
What to know
Always keep in mind that you, as the owner, have a responsibility to educate yourself on all-things-rabbits. Your companion has a specialized digestive system, with their unique ability to process fiber and nutrients making them completely adaptable to many different environments. However, this special digestive system means that their human friends need to be extremely cautious about what they are feeding them.
There’s more than a few foods that can disrupt your little one’s digestion and put their health in jeopardy. There are also some foods – some of them more than a little surprising- which are actually poisonous to rabbits and should be avoided at all costs.
Honorable mention – Meat
We don’t need to say this, right? Bunnies are herbivores, meat is for, well, carnivores. Wild rabbits don’t consume meat and neither should your companion.
Most websites that contain rabbit information suggest that yogurt drops can contribute to your bunny developing a case of enterotoxemia, which is basically an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in the rabbit’s intestinal tract. We’re not saying that your bunny should not get any treats, but you can go for something like Brussels sprouts or green peppers.
Pay attention because you may see variations of yogurt drops at your local pet shop, but keep in mind that rabbits cannot vomit so giving them dairy products will almost always do more harm than good. The only time you should feed them yogurt drops is under your vet’s guidance.
Bread, Pasta, Cookies, and Crackers
Sugary snacks will only really serve to give your bunny stomach problems. High-carb foods are not really on a rabbit’s to eat list, so make sure to avoid them or any other treat containing artificial ingredients.
Basically, you can classify any kind of starchy food as a “no-go” for your fluffy-eared friend. As long as you’re avoiding those 4 items mentioned above, also add nuts, pasta, potatoes, beans, and seeds. Even though rabbits love them and an adult may occasionally try extremely small quantities of them, overdoing is way too risky so just try not to do it at all.
If you picture ideal rabbit snacks, you will almost always come up with fresh fruits and vegetables. However, your mind list should never include avocado due to the oily and fatty nature of the fruit. If ingested by a bunny, this can lead to swift and fatal consequences.
This is because of avocados containing a substance known as persin which has been proven to be highly toxic to rabbits. Even if it’s not fatal, the ingestion of this can cause a change in behavior, breathing troubles or even congestive heart failure.
We know, this may come as a shock, but the fact is you should always avoid feeding the light-colored lettuce to your bunny, including the famous “iceberg”. The reason for this is because it can contain a chemical called lactucarium which is really harmful.
There’s really no reason to feel sorry about it, as iceberg lettuce contains mostly water anyway and will do little in terms of your fluffy one’s nutritional well-being.
If you were hoping to feed two birds with one stone, so to speak, you shouldn’t try it. While it may seem the more financially viable way if you also own a hamster, we can assure you that the trips to the veterinarian will more than make up for it.
Rabbits need a special high-fiber diet with things like fresh vegetables, quality hay, and herbs. Since your hamster’s food contains none of those things (hopefully), it cannot be of any use when you are trying to feed your bunny.
Walnuts are basically the same thing as avocados when it comes to your rabbit. Since their main nutritional content is fat, not fiber, it can cause uncomfortable digestion when fed to your long-eared roommate.
Oatmeal is one of the foods which will not cause major harm if fed to a rabbit but, with that being said, we still think you should avoid it. While many bunny owners proudly claim that a pinch of oatmeal every now and then will make their fur extra-shiny, studies still show that it brings absolutely nothing beneficial when introduced in a rabbit’s diet.
Did we really even need to write this one? Chocolate is an absolute no-no for bunnies and most other animals, actually. That kind of sweetness can most definitely be poisonous and, if your pet manages to have some by accident, go to a veterinarian at once so he can help remove the chocolate from your companion’s body before it is digested.
Another food that won’t necessarily poison them, do keep in mind that potatoes are a human favorite, not a rabbit one. With their digestive system being so sensitive, the high contents of carbohydrates and starch that the potato proudly brings may cause issues for your little buddy’s tummy.
Even though cauliflower is a veggie, it does not represent a healthy snack alternative for a rabbit. The reason for this is that even though vegetables are the perfect partner to the high-fiber diet it requires, cauliflower causes bunnies to bloat and become gassy.
If you really can’t resist those darling eyes, consider some green peppers, beets, radishes or, if push comes to shove, at least stick to the cauliflower leaves.