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What Can A Rabbit Eat?

There are many misconceptions about what a rabbit should eat. Often, people buy a rabbit yet have no idea what it should actually eat to stay healthy. It’s not hard to find out what to feed a rabbit but it is best to make sure you know for sure before you get one home.

What can a rabbit eat? The safest food to feed to a rabbit is hay accompanied by plenty of fresh water. They can have the occasional treats listed as safe but make sure you avoid the foods highlighted as dangerous. Once you get used to what’s best for your rabbit, you will find it is very easy to prepare the healthiest meals to complement its staple diet.

You have to be careful about what you read on the internet. For every site out there saying that you can do something, there seems to be another saying you can’t. We’ve owned rabbits and have spent many hours researching their ideal diets, so I’m in a good position to give an informed answer to the question, “What can a rabbit eat?” I have noticed there are other diet-related questions that people ask time and time again so I have addressed those too.

What Can A Rabbit Eat?

Can Rabbits Eat Grapes?

Yes, a rabbit can eat grapes but only in moderation. Grapes should be classed as a treat and no more than one provided each day. You should ensure it has been washed thoroughly to ensure any pesticides have been removed. Like any new food and even with just one grape, you should just be conscious of how your rabbit is after consumption. If they have any kind of stomach issues then don’t give it grapes again – it’s not worth it as it’s just a treat and isn’t required for diet.

Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, a rabbit can eat tomatoes. However, they should only be provided as a treat. Even the smaller tomatoes shouldn’t be given whole. Chop them up into smaller pieces and remove any obvious signs of pips. Try them with a little bit and see how they get on with that. Make sure that it is only the tomato that is given and not any of the green stalk (or hull).

Can Rabbits Eat Celery?

Yes, a rabbit can eat celery. Of course, like most other foods, it is not something a rabbit would consume in the wild. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Although celery isn’t part of a rabbit natural diet, you can safely introduce a little celery just for variety. A rabbit will enjoy the crunchiness.

Can Rabbits Eat Cabbage?

Yes, a rabbit can eat cabbage. You may notice that it can cause some digestive problems and gas (as with some people!), so you may want to limit the amount you provide. Make sure it is organic if possible and ensure it has been washed.

Can Rabbits Eat Pumpkin?

Yes, a rabbit can eat pumpkin. However, it should only be consumed in small quantities and should certainly not be offered daily. Pumpkin flesh contains carbohydrates and although it is OK in small quantities, it shouldn’t be used as a regular food source for your rabbit. Also, any seeds should be removed from the flesh before serving pumpkin to your rabbit.

Can Rabbits Eat Apples?

Yes, a rabbit can eat apples. They should only be provided as a treat and should not form part of their daily diet as apples do contain a large volume of natural sugars, which your rabbit does not need and should not have.

Can Rabbits Eat Blueberries?

Yes, a rabbit can eat blueberries. As they are a fruit that contains high levels of sugars they should be classed as a treat and only provided now and again. Make sure any blueberries you provide have been washed and also cut into at least two pieces to make it easier for your rabbit to nibble.

Can Rabbits Eat Peppers?

Yes, rabbits can eat peppers. Although some sites have suggested green peppers are preferred, I’ve found that either red, green or yellow peppers are fine. I feel like I’m repeating myself with this information but as someone may just look at an individual question that they’re interested in I have to mention it. Please make sure you wash all your fresh fruit and vegetables before giving them to your rabbit! You want to ensure that there are no pesticide residuals left on them, and also ensure you chop them up into small, manageable pieces.

Can Rabbits Eat Cucumber?

Yes, rabbits can eat cucumber. They are able to consume both the fleshy part and the skin. Although organic is preferable, non-organic cucumbers can be used if washed thoroughly. What’s nice about the cucumber is its water content – about 96%. Do make sure you cut it into little pieces and remove any traces of seeds before serving. The easiest way to do this is to cut a cucumber in half lengthways and then use a teaspoon to scrape the seeds from the center.

Can Rabbits Eat Parsley?

Yes, your rabbit can eat parsley. However, it should not form the main ingredient of its diet. Parsley is considered a leafy green and should constitute no more than 75% of her diet and also not something t provide every day. So, rotate it with other leafy greens such as spinach, mustard greens, sprouts, etc.

What Can A Rabbit Eat?

What Other Foods Can a Rabbit Eat

Vegetables that can constitute 75% of a Rabbit’s Fresh Diet

The following vegetables (in alphabetical order) are deemed safe for your rabbit and should form 75% of the fresh component of her diet. 

  • Arugula
  • Basil 
  • Beet greens
  • Bok Choy
  • Carrot Tops ONLY
  • Chicory (also known as endive)
  • Cilantro
  • Cucumber leaves
  • Dandelion greens
  • Dill leaves
  • Fennel (the leafy tops as well as the base)
  • Green lettuce
  • Kale 
  • Mint 
  • Mustard greens
  • Parsley
  • Radicchio (actually a member of the chicory family)
  • Radish Tops
  • Raspberry leaves
  • Red lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Spring greens
  • Sprouts
  • Swiss chard (also known as plain chard)
  • Turnip greens
  • Watercress
  • Wheatgrass
  • Yu Choy

Contrary to popular belief, most types of lettuce are NOT appropriate for a rabbit’s digestive system and will actually cause stomach problems.

Vegetables that should only constitute 15% of a Rabbit’s Fresh Diet

The below should form no more than roughly 15% of her diet:

  • Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Chinese Pea Pods
  • Zucchini Squash

Fruits (No more than 10%)

  • Apple (remove stem and seeds)
  • Apricot
  • Banana (remove the peel)
  • Berries 
  • Cherries (any variety, remember to remove the seeds)
  • Currants
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Mango
  • Melons (can include peel and seeds)
  • Nectarine
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple (remove the skin, of course!)
  • Plum (remove pips)

Dangerous Foods for Rabbits

The foods to avoid feeding your rabbit are:

  • Apple Pips
  • Avocado
  • Bread
  • Biscuits
  • Chocolate
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Any root vegetables such as carrots – these cause serious tooth decay
  • Seeds in general
  • Tomato Plant (leaves. stems, stalks)

Summary

It’s quite easy to get things right when feeding your rabbit. Its staple diet is hay primarily but there’s no harm in adding some treats now and then to mix things up. So give them what they need primarily and then mix in a treat or two now and then. Just be sensible and (if you’re a bit of a geek like me) keep a diary of the food you give them. That way, if they become ill, you’ll be able to easily check to see if there’s any pattern emerging and quickly adjust their diet.

Finally, if you’re wondering why rabbits thump – check out my article, you may be surprised!

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