Learning the foods toxic to rabbits is important as rabbits – on a normal day – do not eat the same food many other pets eat. So rabbit owners should not be oblivious of the strict dietary needs that rabbits have.
For one, rabbits should never be fed with avocado, fruit pips, or rhubarb. Even small quantities of these kinds of foods can be lethal to our rabbits. Some foods, although, may not be deadly, but can cause various health problems for our rabbits. These foods include muesli, dog/cat food, and nuts.
When these foods are fed regularly to rabbits, even in small quantities, they can cause certain adverse effects and reduce the life span of these rabbits.
Rabbits that maintain a balanced diet of food are less prone to feeding on unhealthy (or toxic) foods. That’s why it is imperative we give our rabbits a specie-appropriate diet. In most cases, rabbit dietary advice can be a bit daunting and confusing, so here is a guide that can help rabbit pet owners through their dietary process.
What Foods Are Rabbits Not Allowed to Eat?
Most rabbits have a digestive system that allows them to eat up to 30 times per day, so they require a constant supply of healthy and nutritional foods. Otherwise, they will start scavenging for small portions of food that they are not supposed to eat.
There are large amounts of food that should not be fed to rabbits, but only a few of these unhealthy foods can cause a fatal reaction. However, foods that have the capacity to cause immediate Deaths to rabbits are toxic foods, and they should be avoided at all cost.
In comparison, ‘unhealthy’ foods do not have an immediate death effect on our rabbits but can cause certain diseases for them, like severe diarrhoea, weight loss or weight gain, or other health problems.
Here are some (not all) foods that are not advisable to feed our pet rabbits and bunnies;
Avocado is one of the most deadly foods to feed your pet rabbit or bunny. Rabbits cannot eat avocado as it contains a toxic compound called Persin, If a substantial amount of this Persin is consumed, our rabbits will begin to show symptoms of respiratory problems.
In most cases, this respiratory defect can lead to acute Herat failure and ultimately death. If your pet rabbit, by some stroke of bad luck, ingests small amounts of avocado rich in Persin, they may not experience a severe reaction but it is still advisable to seek the advice of a vet.
Fruit Pips and Seeds
In as much as small amounts of apple skin is recommended, you should avoid feeding your rabbits any apple seeds. Just like avocado fruits, apple seeds possess a chemical compound that is toxic to rabbits. So, whenever you decide to serve up some slices of apple fruits as an occasional treat, endeavour to remove all the pips and seeds.
Pips from apricot, peach, and plum pits, are also harmful to our rabbits. These fruits are said to contain trace amounts of cyanide, which can lead to cyanide poisoning, which can be a death sentence to our rabbits.
Like other unhealthy foods, rhubarb can cause adverse allergic reactions in rabbits. The presence of a high concentration of oxalates in rhubarbs can alter calcium absorption in living organisms, especially our rabbits. As pet owners of rabbits, the conscious effort to keep our rabbits from our rhubarbs in our gardens or homes as a general is a top priority.
Some symptoms of rhubarb poisoning in rabbits include:
- Sore mouths
- Bloated stomach
- Loss of energy
Rhubarb poisoning can be averted if treated on time, however, its symptoms can be very aggravating.
There are basically two types of methylxanthines that are very harmful to rabbits when they are ingested. They are:
Basically, the more the content of cocoa, the greater the concentration of methylxanthines. So, if by any chance your rabbits were to consume a few squares of dark chocolate, you may have just signed their death warrants. These chocolates are more than capable of causing severe allergic reactions in our rabbits.
Here are some known symptoms of chocolate poisoning:
- Heavy breathing
- Increase in temperature
Allium vegetables can cause certain forms of illness in our pet rabbits. This kind of vegetables include:
- Onions (red and brown)
The main problem of this kind of vegetables is their tendency to cause haemolytic anaemia (a loss in erythrocyte concentration). A decrease in red blood cell concentration can cause dizziness, weakness, and eventual death if not treated on time.
What plants can rabbits eat?
Garden plants and fresh leafy vegetables are more than welcome in the diet of our pet rabbits. They often have high nutritional value, taste different and also add moisture to their diets.
The general rule with leafy vegetables is that any leafy green that is edible for us as humans are good for our rabbits. Some examples of these leafy greens that are good for our indoor or pet rabbits are iceberg lettuce, carrot tops, watercress, dandelion greens and raspberry leaves.
Do rabbits like cucumbers?
The answer is yes, rabbits do like cucumbers and it is advisable to feed them to our bunnies but in small amounts. Cucumbers are very good examples of a healthy and fun snack for our indoor rabbits. Although too much of cucumbers in their diets can cause digestive problems for our rabbits including diarrhoea and a loss of appetite.
Cucumbers are best given to indoor rabbits in small amounts and as occasional treats. When they begin to experience symptoms of diarrhoea, the addition of cucumbers in their diets should be stopped even as treats and snacks, instead use other treats that you know your pets will love.
Can pet rabbits eat beet greens?
Red beetroot greens are perfectly safe are safe options to include in the diet of your indoor rabbits and yes, in general, bunnies also like to eat them. Just like cucumbers, it is not advisable to give your pet rabbits beet greens on a regular basis. They should only take as a part of their diet at least only once or twice a week.
The reason is because –
- Irrespective of the fact that beetroot greens are classified as vegetables, they should be fed in small quantities because of the high concentrations of oxalic acid.
- Beet tops are highly concentrated in calcium, and our rabbits need calcium to develop stronger bones and teeth.
- Beetroot tops do not have as much fibre as hay does, but it’s common sense that moderation is used when designing an adequate diet for our rabbits.
Can rabbits eat crackers?
As usual, when feeding your rabbits treats, they should be given sparingly to so as to avoid certain health complications that may lead to the death of our indoor rabbits.
It is not really okay to feed our rabbits foods that are high in carbohydrate content. Such foods include pieces of bread, crackers, pasta, pretzels, cookies, chips, or cereal. There are many commercially sold rabbit treats that can be added to their diets but not all of them should be considered.
These treats are rich in fats and sugar and are not recommended for our rabbits.