What can a rabbit eat?

A rabbit’s diet is very important to its health and longevity. Pet rabbits should be fed a high-quality, balanced diet consisting of hay, pellets and fresh vegetables or fruit. They also need plenty of water to stay heathly. A pet rabbit’s diet should be composed of approximately 80% hay, 10% pellets, 8% fresh vegetables and 2% fruit. Both a varied diet and portion control is necessary for a healthy rabbit, as they’re susceptible to poor nutrition such as obesity, dental problems and bladder stones.

Rabbits have sensitive digestive systems. Introduce new foods one at a time and in small amounts. The foods listed below contain general guidance for ‘What a rabbit can eat.’ Consult your veterinarian for your rabbit’s specific dietary requirements.

Hay

Hay is a rabbit’s primary source of food and should be changed daily. It contains a good source of fiber and helps them to maintain a healthy digestive system. Hay is also essential for a rabbit’s teeth as they grow continuoulsy throughtout their life. So they need a diet that is rich in roughage to wear their teeth down.

Hay

An adult rabbit can eat 3-4 cups of hay everyday. Hay should be placed at least 18″ from the edge of a rabbit’s cage to avoid it being over-used and wasted. Hay should be stored in a dry place and protected from the sun. If hay develops an unpleasant odor, it is a sign that the hay is no longer fit for consumption.

Type of hay or grassCan my rabbit eat it?Frequency
Timothy hayYesRegularly
Alfalfa hayYesModeration
Oat hayYesRegularly
Meadow hayYesRegularly
Orchard grassYesRegularly
WheatgrassYesRegularly

Vegetables

Vegetables are a great way to keep your rabbit’s diet varied, nutritious and interesting. When introducing a new vegetable it is recommended to introduce it slowly and one at a time, taking care for any changes in their behaviour and bowels. Once established in their systems the new vegetable can be rotated in their diet according to the frequency they are allowed to eat. In general, rabbits can be given 3 – 5 different types of vegetables per day. These types of vegetables can be divided into two groups: leafy and non-leafy vegetables.

Vegetables

Leafy vegetables

Leafy vegetables that are dark in color are particularly favoured because they are packed with nutrients and fiber. Lighter leafy vegetables are less favoured generally due to higher levels of oxalate and calcium, which can be a source of gastrointestinal tract and bladder problems.

The general guideline for dark leafy vegetables is 1 cup per 2 lbs body weight. Although this measurement may vary depending on the type, age and specific dietary requirements of your rabbit.

Leafy vegetablesCan my rabbit eat it?Frequency
Green lettuceYesRegularly
Red lettuceYesRegularly
Butterhead lettuceYesRegularly
Romaine lettuceYesRegularly
KaleYesOccasionally
Mustard greensYesModeration
Bok choyYesModeration
EndiveYesRegularly
ArugulaYesModeration
SpinachYesOccasionally
BasilYesOccasionally
Cilantro (leaves only)YesModeration
DillYesOccasionally
MintYesOccasionally
WatercressYesModeration

Non-leafy vegetables

Non-leafy vegetables are also a good source of vitamins and nutrients. When introducing non-leafy greens to your rabbit follow the process as with the leafy greens. However bear in mind the amount to be given to a rabbit is much lower: 1 tablespoon per 2 pounds body weight.

Non – leafy vegetablesCan my rabbit eat it?Frequency
Asparagus (including stalk)YesOccasionally
Avocado (including skin, pit and leaves)NoNever
Beetroot (including leaves)YesModeration
Bell peppersYesRegularly
Broccoli (including leaves and stem)YesModeration
Carrots (including leaves)YesOccasionally
CornNoNever
CucumberYesModeration
CabbageYesRegularly
Celery (including leaves, stalk and root)Yes Regularly
Onions (including bulb, leaves and flowers)NoNever
Potatoes (including skin and leaves)NoNever
RadishYesOccasionally
Rhubarb (including stalk and leaves)NoNever
Turnips (including leaves)YesModeration
ZucchiniYesModeration

Fruit

Fruit can be a tasty treat for your rabbit and can give them a boost in vitamins and minerals. However there are a couple key things to note when giving fruit to your furry friends. Fruit is high in sugar meaning too much can lead to health problems such as obesity and tooth decay. Remember, fruit should only make up about 2% of their diet.

Fruit

When preparing fruit take care how much you give them and make sure to remove any seeds or pits that are present as this can cause serious digestive issues for your rabbit (e.g. soft stools, build up of bad bacteria in the gut). The general recommended amount is: 1 teaspoon per 2 lbs body weight up to 3 times per week.

BerriesCan my rabbit eat it?Frequency
Blackberries (excluding stems and leaves)YesModeration
Blueberries (excluding stems)YesOccasionally
Cherries (excluding pits and stems)YesOccasionally
CranberriesYesOccasionally
Raspberries (excluding stem and leaves)YesModeration
Strawberries (including leaves)YesModeration

Citrus fruitCan a rabbit eat it?Frequency
LemonsNoNever
Oranges (excluding seeds and skin)YesOccasionally

MelonCan my rabbit eat it?Frequency
Cantaloupe (excluding seeds and rind)YesModeration
Watermelon (excluding seeds and rind)YesModeration

Other fruitCan my rabbit eat it?Frequency
Apple (excluding seeds, leaves and stalk)YesOccasionally
Apricots (excluding pit)YesModeration
Bananas (excluding skin)YesOccasionally
Grapes (seedless and with skin)YesModeration
Kiwi (including skin and seeds)YesOccasionally
Mangoes (including skin)YesOccasionally
Peaches (excluding pit and skin)YesOccasionally
Pears (excluding skin, leaves and seeds)YesModeration
Pineapple (excluding skin, leaves and core)YesOccasionally
Tomatoes (excluding vine and leaves)YesModeration

Other

Other

OtherCan my rabbit eat it?Frequency
Cereal*YesOccasionally
ChocolateNoNever
MuesliYesOccasionally
Peanut butterNoNever
PretzelsNoNever
Yogurt drops (dairy containing)NoNever