In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “what human foods can rabbits eat?”. We will also talk about the best food options for rabbits to eat and foods to avoid feeding the rabbits.
What human foods can rabbits eat?
Rabbits are constantly munching and eating. Rabbits are herbivores which means they are plant-eating animals, however, that doesn’t mean they can eat all varieties of green vegetables and fruits.
There are a few fruits and vegetables that should be fed to rabbits as they can fall sick due to the chemicals and compounds in the respective food which the digestive system of rabbits cannot process.
Here we elaborate on the human foods that rabbits can eat.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables such as mixed greens, lettuces, spinach, and kale are a wonderful addition to a rabbit’s diet. Spinach and kale should be fed in moderation as they are high in oxalates which turn into calcium and cause kidney stones.
Raw vegetables are a great human food that can be shared with the pet rabbit. Rabbits love carrots, green beans, and cucumbers. One should be mindful to feed the carrots in moderation even though rabbits love carrots. The high starch content in carrots can make the rabbit fat and cause gastrointestinal problems.
Fruits that are high in sugar content should be fed in moderation as the high sugar content can lead to an obese rabbit with diabetic problems. Feeding the rabbit fruits with low sugar content is good. Fruits such as berries, apples, grapes, oranges, plums, and so on.
Fresh fruits with high sugar content like bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and peaches should be avoided as they can get the blood sugar of the rabbit to increase causing diabetes.
Rabbits can eat all kinds of herbs that a human can consume. It does not pose any threat to rabbits’ health. Herbs such as dill, rosemary, parsley, mint, coriander, etc.
Fresh water is a must in the rabbit’s diet as it is needed to keep them hydrated. A bowl of fresh water should always be available for the rabbits to drink as they are eating high-fibre food constantly.
What human foods rabbits should never eat?
It is normal to want to feed your pet whatever you are eating but one should be careful that feeding anything you eat can cause serious health problems to your pet rabbit.
Here we discuss the foods that should not be fed to rabbits that humans consume.
Avocados are a healthy snack for humans but are not the case for rabbits. Avocados contain a compound called Persin which is dangerously toxic to rabbits. If the rabbit eats avocado and ingests persin, it can cause behavioural abnormalities and respiratory problems.
Chocolates are a favourite treat for humans but they can be fatal if given to rabbits. Chocolates are extremely toxic to rabbits as it contains theobromine and caffeine which if ingested by the rabbit can cause diarrhoea, trembling, restlessness, panting, elevated heart rate, and hyperthermia.
Fruit seeds or pits
Be really careful while feeding rabbits with fruits that contain seeds or pits. The seeds and pits of many fruit varieties contain trace amounts of cyanide, especially apples and pears. The pits of plums, peaches, mangoes, apricots, and nectarines also contain minimal amounts of cyanide.
Even though the amount of cyanide is not much to cause any health issues, it is best to avoid feeding your pet rabbit.
Raw allium vegetables
Raw allium vegetables consist of onions, garlic, and leeks which are a source of an oxidant called n-propyl disulfide that attaches itself to red blood cells and can damage and destroy the red blood cells in the process.
This leads the rabbits to be affected by a condition called hemolytic anaemia which can be fatal if not treated promptly. The symptoms include lethargy, lack of interest in food and water, pale gums, and stumbling.
Meat, dairy, and eggs
The digestive system of rabbits is not designed to process the animal proteins as they are herbivores. They have sensitive digestive tracts that are only capable of processing and breakdown low fat and high fibre vegetation.
Therefore, it is best to avoid feeding the rabbit with dairy, meat, egg, and other animal-derived products.
Rhubarb contains a compound called oxalic acid which is toxic to rabbits and can cause kidney stones.
Iceberg lettuce is an exception as green leafy vegetables are good food for rabbits. Iceberg lettuce contains a chemical called lactucarium which is harmful and toxic if consumed in large quantities.
Bread, cookies, crackers
Since the bread, cookies and crackers are high on carbohydrates and sugar, it is best not to feed the rabbit as the high intake of sugar and carbs can lead to digestive discomfort, abnormal stools, obesity, and increased blood sugar.
In this brief guide, we answered the query, “what human foods can rabbits eat?”. We also talked about the best food options for rabbits to eat and foods to avoid feeding rabbits.
I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.