What should you not feed rabbits?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

As an expert on rabbits, I can provide you with a detailed answer on what you should not feed them. It’s important to note that rabbits have sensitive digestive systems, and certain foods can be harmful to their health. Here is a comprehensive list of foods that should be avoided when feeding rabbits:

1. Avocados: Avocados contain a substance called persin that is toxic to rabbits and can lead to digestive problems and even heart failure.

2. Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to rabbits and can cause symptoms like restlessness, increased heart rate, and even death.

3. Fruit seeds/pits: Seeds and pits from fruits like apples, cherries, and peaches contain cyanide, which is poisonous to rabbits. It’s important to remove these before feeding fruits to your rabbit.

4. Raw onions, leeks, garlic: These vegetables contain compounds that can cause damage to a rabbit’s red blood cells and lead to anemia.

5. Meat, eggs, dairy: Rabbits are herbivores and their digestive systems are not designed to process animal products. Feeding them meat, eggs, or dairy can lead to digestive issues and may be harmful to their overall health.

6. Broad beans and kidney beans: These beans contain a compound called lectin, which can be toxic to rabbits and cause digestive problems.

7. Rhubarb: Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which is toxic to rabbits and can cause kidney damage and other health issues.

8. Iceberg lettuce: While lettuce is generally safe for rabbits, iceberg lettuce specifically should be avoided. It has a high water content and lacks nutritional value, which can lead to digestive problems and diarrhea.

9. Cabbage and cauliflower: These vegetables can cause gas and bloating in rabbits when fed in large quantities. It’s best to offer them in moderation.

10. High-sugar foods: Rabbits have a delicate digestive system, and consuming too much sugar can upset the balance of bacteria in their gut. This can lead to digestive issues and potentially life-threatening conditions like gastrointestinal stasis.

It’s important to remember that rabbits have specific dietary needs, and their diet should primarily consist of hay, fresh vegetables, and a small amount of pellets. It’s always best to consult with a veterinarian or a rabbit expert to ensure you are providing a balanced and safe diet for your furry friend.

In my personal experience, I have seen the negative effects of feeding rabbits inappropriate foods. A friend of mine once fed their rabbit a small piece of chocolate, thinking it would be a treat. Unfortunately, the rabbit became extremely ill and had to be rushed to the veterinarian. It was a scary situation, and it highlighted the importance of being knowledgeable about what foods are safe for rabbits.

It’s crucial to be mindful of what you feed your rabbits to ensure their health and well-being. By avoiding the foods mentioned above and providing a balanced diet, you can help your rabbits live a long and healthy life.