What Vegetables Can Rabbits Eat? (Safe Detailed List)

What Vegetables Can Rabbits Eat
What Vegetables Can Rabbits Eat

Most people know the stereotype that rabbits eat lettuce and carrots. Others may think that rabbits can eat any plant or vegetable just because they’re herbivores. The truth is, rabbits have some vegetables they can eat and some they can’t eat just like any other animal.

What vegetables can rabbits eat? As a rule of thumb, rabbits can eat vegetables that are high in fiber and low in sugar. This can include broccoli, dark lettuces, celery, and asparagus.

Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes?

What makes up a tomato? Tomatoes are:

  • 95% water
  • 2% sugar
  • 2% fiber
  • 1% protein

Tomatoes also are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which promotes heart health and helps prevent cancer. Tomatoes have an abundance of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and potassium

So can rabbits eat tomatoes? The answer is: sort of. Rabbits can eat certain parts of the tomato safely, while other parts are toxic. If you are feeding your rabbit a tomato, you should remove all the seeds, the tops, and keep any stems or leaves out of their reach. Only the skin and fruit itself are safe for your rabbit to eat. You also should be careful not to feed your rabbit any green or unripe tomatoes, and of course never feed your rabbit a rotten tomato. Because tomatoes are so high in water and low in fiber, they have little nutritional value for a rabbit and should only be fed as a treat. Tomatoes also have almost as much sugar as they do fiber, which can cause stomach issues for rabbits if they eat too much. To feed your rabbit tomato, wash the tomato and remove all stems and leaves. Cut a small slice into pieces and offer them to your rabbit. Don’t feed your rabbit more than about a tablespoon of tomato, as otherwise they can get an upset stomach.

Can Rabbits Eat Lettuce?

Lettuce is a great food for humans, as it contains many necessary vitamins and minerals. It’s also low calorie and full of water. Lettuce is:

  • 95% water
  • 2% fiber
  • 1% sugar
  • 1.5% protein
  • 0.5% other

Lettuce is very high in vitamin A, beta carotene (which processes vitamin A in the body), calcium, and potassium. Rabbits can only eat certain kinds of lettuce. The big no-no for rabbits when it comes to lettuce is iceberg lettuce, as well as any white part of a lettuce head. Iceberg lettuce contains a chemical called lactucarium, which can hurt or kill a rabbit if it eats too much of the lettuce. The white parts of other lettuce heads are the parts that are highest in water and lowest in fiber. Rabbits need a lot of fiber to keep their digestive system moving, so low fiber options aren’t the best for them. While lettuce is low calorie, which means a rabbit likely won’t get overweight due to eating it, it doesn’t provide rabbits with many nutrients that they need to stay well-fed. Lettuce should only be fed as part of a larger serving of other veggies or as a supplement to grass or hay.

Can Rabbits Eat Green Peppers?

Bell peppers come in many different colors, with some of the most common being green. All bell peppers are the same regardless of color, and they contain:

  • 92% water
  • 2% fiber
  • 2.5% sugar
  • 1% protein
  • 2.5% other

Bell peppers are like the candy of vegetables to rabbits. They’re sweet, they’re delicious, and they’re not something you should feed your rabbit all the time. Green (or yellow, or red) bell peppers are a great treat because they’re high in vitamins and antioxidants, but they only have a moderate amount of fiber, especially compared to some leafy greens and your rabbit’s usual diet of hay. Bell peppers can be fed once a day or every few days to keep your rabbit’s diet interesting with new textures and colors, but they shouldn’t be a major part of its diet. When it comes to other types of peppers, rabbits beware! Spicy peppers and peppercorns are definitely not good for a rabbit and should be avoided at all costs. Not only is the capsaicin in these peppers dangerous to rabbits, any member of the nightshade family (like most spicy peppers) is automatically toxic to rabbits as well.

Can Rabbits Eat Basil?

Basil adds a delicious flavor to many savory dishes, but this herb isn’t just for show. Basil contains the following:

  • 92% water
  • 0.5% fat
  • 1.5% fiber
  • 0.5% sugar
  • 3.5% protein
  • 2% other

Basil is a favorite among rabbits for its flavor and texture. It’s a favorite for pet owners as well due to its high amounts of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron and manganese. Rabbits love leafy greens, so if you have an herb garden with basil, expect wild visitors. If you want to feed your pet rabbit basil, home grown is best because you can guarantee that it’s free of pesticides and other chemicals. If you’re getting it from the store, organic basil is the best option, while anything else you should wash thoroughly by soaking it in water before giving any to your rabbit. Basil may not be the best option to feed your rabbit in large quantities just because it’s more expensive than other leafy options, but there’s no hard limit on how much you can feed your rabbit.

Can Rabbits Eat Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are delicious with butter or sugar for a human, but maybe not for a rabbit. Sweet potatoes contain:

  • 77% water
  • 20% carbs – only 3% fiber and 2% sugar
  • 1% protein
  • 2% other

Sweet potatoes are a root vegetable, which means they’re not readily available for wild rabbits to eat. Because of this, rabbits haven’t adapted to digest the large amounts of starch in a sweet potato. It wouldn’t be good to feed your rabbit any amount of sweet potato at all. Sweet potatoes are also high in calories compared to the very low-calorie vegetables your rabbit is used to, so even if your rabbit could digest them they’d quickly become overweight. Rabbits can’t digest carbohydrates, so when a food is high in starches and sugars it just sits in their stomach and starts to ferment. This causes bad bacteria to grow and can be fatal. Sweet potatoes should definitely be kept on the table and out of rabbit food bowls.

Can Rabbits Eat Cabbage?

Cabbage is very similar to lettuce both in composition and in its health properties. Cabbage differs from lettuce by only 1 or 2% in most categories:

  • 93% water
  • 2.5% fiber
  • 3% sugar
  • 1.5% protein

Cabbage is another good food for rabbits to eat as part of a larger serving of veggies. Cabbage is high in water and low in calories, which fits well into a rabbit’s diet. Any type of cabbage is safe for a rabbit, whether it be red, green, or bok choy (Chinese cabbage). However, cabbage has the potential to make your rabbit gassy, which is very dangerous to a rabbit’s digestive system. Rabbits can’t pass gas, so a gas buildup will result in bloating and runny stool. Make sure to introduce cabbage slowly to make sure your rabbit isn’t going to have this reaction. If it shows any of these signs, stop feeding it cabbage immediately and leave it out of your rabbit’s diet going forward.

Can Rabbits Eat Cucumber?

Cucumbers are technically a fruit and not a vegetable, though most people consider them to be vegetables anyway. Cucumbers are another type of food that is high in water and low in calories. Altogether, cucumbers have:

  • 95% water
  • 0.5% fiber
  • 1.5% sugar
  • 1% protein
  • 2% other

While humans can eat large amounts of cucumber without any ill effects, rabbits should be fed cucumber sparingly, only as a treat. It shouldn’t make up any large portion of their diet, not because it’s unhealthy but because it doesn’t have the nutrients they need. Cucumbers aren’t a significant source of any vitamins or minerals because they’re almost completely water. This may make them a good treat on a hot day when your rabbit needs to stay hydrated, but a rabbit that eats only cucumbers will starve. Too much cucumber can also cause runny stool and indigestion due to the sugar content. Try to feed your rabbit one tablespoon or less of cucumber at a time.

Can Rabbits Eat Rice?

Rice is actually a grain rather than a vegetable, but it’s a staple side dish for many people just like a salad. Rice has different composition depending on whether it’s dry or cooked, but cooked this is what it looks like:

  • 68% water
  • 28% carbohydrates – 0.5% fiber and 0.1% sugar
  • 3% protein
  • 1% other

Like root vegetables and other grains, rice is almost entirely starch. This means that your rabbit can’t digest it properly, and you should never feed rice to it. While it’s not poisonous by definition, rice will clog up your rabbit’s digestive tract with starches and sugars, which will keep your rabbit from having healthy bowel movements. Whether the rice is cooked or dry doesn’t matter – in fact, dry rice can pose even more of a risk if it expands in your rabbit’s stomach. Stay away from rice and other grains completely when feeding rabbits.

Can Rabbits Eat Broccoli?

Broccoli has different fiber contents in different parts of the plant, which means that some parts are better for rabbits while others are better for humans. Overall, broccoli has:

  • 90% water
  • 3% fiber
  • 2% sugar
  • 3% protein
  • 2% other

The heads of broccoli are typically the parts that humans eat, while the stems are thrown away because they’re too tough to eat. The opposite is true for rabbits. The heads, or florets, of the broccoli plant can actually cause gas and bloating in rabbits, especially if fed too much. The stems, on the other hand, have a great fiber content and a crunchy texture that rabbits love. If you’re eating broccoli and find yourself about to throw out the stem, consider giving it to your rabbit as a treat instead. The florets aren’t necessarily bad for your rabbit either; just make sure you introduce them slowly and stop if you notice any changes in your rabbit’s behavior or stool.

Can Rabbits Eat Celery?

Celery is well-known for being such a low-calorie snack that it actually takes more calories to digest than it does to eat. Celery breaks down as follows:

  • 95% water
  • 1% fiber
  • 1% sugar
  • 0% protein
  • 3% other

While celery is a good source of fiber, the ratio of fiber to water is very low. This means that rabbits don’t get many nutrients out of celery, despite the fact that it has a reputation for being very healthy. Celery is so low in calories and nutrients that rabbits would starve if they were to eat only celery. Celery should be introduced slowly to make sure that your rabbit doesn’t have any adverse side effects such as bloating or unusual stool. Only feed celery sparingly, just like with any other vegetable that is low in fiber. If you feed your rabbit celery, you should cut it up into small pieces so that long strands of fiber don’t get caught in your rabbit’s teeth.

Can Rabbits Eat Green Beans?

Green beans are another food that is great for humans but may be different for rabbits. Green beans are:

  • 90% water
  • 3.5% fiber
  • 3.5% sugar
  • 2% protein
  • 1% other

Green beans have a lot of folic acid, which is great for humans, and a comparatively large amount of fiber. Green beans are also full of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Most of these nutrients are also good for rabbits, but that doesn’t mean you should feed your rabbit tons of green beans. Green beans can cause digestive issues because of their higher sugar content, so despite the higher fiber content you should feed them sparingly. Make sure to portion out the green beans carefully, as rabbits will typically eat whatever is in front of them, especially if they like it! Green beans have a crunchy texture and sweet flavor that rabbits love, so it’s up to you to make sure they only eat a small amount. Less than two tablespoons raw, cut up into small pieces is a good daily amount.

Can Rabbits Eat Avocado?

Avocado are another vegetable that’s actually a fruit – but regardless, they’re great for humans and considered full of heart-healthy fats. Avocados have:

  • 73% water
  • 7% fiber
  • 1% sugar
  • 2% protein
  • 17% fat

You may notice something different about those stats – most other vegetables have an almost unnoticeable amount of fat in them, but avocados are almost 20% fat! This should be your first clue that avocados are not good for rabbits. Rabbits need a low-fat, low-carb, high fiber diet. They’re not built to digest large amounts of fat like that, and can get sick very easily if they eat that much. On top of that, avocados contain a chemical called persin that can cause severe sickness and even death in rabbits and most other animals. Persin is present in every part of the avocado, from the seed to the fruit to the skin. You shouldn’t feed your rabbit any part of the avocado and should always keep your trash out of their reach.

Can Rabbits Eat Onions?

Onions are the vegetable that make you cry, and all those sharp smells and chemicals may give you an idea as to whether they’re safe for rabbits. Onions are:

  • 89% water
  • 2% fiber
  • 4% sugar
  • 1% protein
  • 4% other

Rabbits will be put off by the smell of onions if they happen across them, but a curious or starving rabbit may take a bite. This is a very bad thing, as onions and other herbs in the family (like garlic) can cause a number of health issues even in small amounts. First, they can cause your rabbit to become anemic due to a loss of red blood cells. Second, they can cause your rabbit to have a reduced immune system, making them more likely to catch other diseases. In some cases, rabbits can also have a severe allergic reaction to onions. The chemicals in onions and garlic have been shown to cause paralysis as well. This goes for all types of onions, which include red and green onions. Keep all of these out of reach of your rabbit.

Can Rabbits Eat Radishes?

Radishes can be delicious to humans, but are they safe for rabbits as well? Let’s look at how a radish measures up:

  • 95% water
  • 2% fiber
  • 2% water
  • 1% protein

Radishes are somewhere in the middle when it comes to whether they’re good for rabbits. On the one hand, rabbits love the flavor and the crunchy texture, and they’re likely to eat as much radish as you’ll let them. Radishes also have a number of vitamins that can be good for rabbits, such as vitamin C. However, radishes are acidic and contain a lot of starch, which means they can upset your rabbit’s stomach. Feeding them too much radish or feeding them radishes too frequently can cause their stomach acidity to get out of balance and can cause serious digestive issues. Radishes should be fed raw and in small amounts to preserve the fiber and vitamins that will help your rabbit stay healthy, and they shouldn’t be fed as a major part of your rabbit’s diet.

Can Rabbits Eat Carrots?

Carrots have a couple stereotypes that go along with them – one, that they’re good for your eyes, and two that rabbits love them. Carrots break down like this:

  • 88% water
  • 3% fiber
  • 5% sugar
  • 1% protein
  • 3% other

Despite popular belief, carrots are not a vegetable of choice for rabbits. Carrots are a root vegetable, and rabbits don’t dig up rooted plants. Instead, they eat above-ground plants and stop eating at the soil line. This means that rabbits aren’t adapted to eating the starchy and sugary roots. Rabbits will, however, eat carrots that have been dug up and left by other animals as a nice treat. This doesn’t mean that they should eat a lot – carrots are high in sugar compared to other vegetables, and rabbits can’t properly digest them. Carrots should be considered a rare treat for rabbits, as anything more can cause gassiness and bloating. Just like sugary fruits, rabbits are likely to love carrots and will eat as much as you will give them.

Can Rabbits Eat Mint?

Mint has many healing and healthy properties for humans, and many people will put it in teas or simply eat it. Mint contains the following:

  • 87% water
  • 8% fiber
  • 1% sugar
  • 4% protein

Mint has a number of vitamins and minerals that it offers in small amounts, and rabbits will love the flavor as well. Mint has almost no oxalic acid, which is the primary chemical that causes health issues in rabbits when they are fed too many leafy greens. Mint shouldn’t be the main part of your rabbit’s diet, as it doesn’t contain everything your rabbit needs, but it’s perfectly fine and even good for your rabbit to eat. Throw in a few mint leaves with your rabbit’s daily hay to give it a bit of variety and keep its breath fresh.

Can Rabbits Eat Kale?

Kale is very popular among humans as an alternative to lettuce or other leafy greens, but can it be substituted for the same in your rabbit’s diet? For reference, kale has:

  • 84% water
  • 2.5% fiber
  • 1.5% sugar
  • 4% protein
  • 1% fat
  • 7% other

Kale is often regarded as a “super food” for humans, but for rabbits it’s not quite as good. While a few leaves of kale a day can mix up your rabbit’s diet and keep it happy, kale contains large amounts of calcium that can build up in your rabbit’s system and cause kidney failure. Don’t feed your rabbit too much kale, and certainly don’t substitute it for other leafy greens like lettuce and certain herbs that you can feed your rabbit in larger amounts. You should only feed your rabbit about a cup of greens a day, and kale should only be a small part of that.

Can Rabbits Eat Beets?

Beets are rising in popularity among humans, with new blended juices and beet dishes becoming the next big thing. Beets contain:

  • 88% water
  • 3% fiber
  • 7% sugar
  • 2% protein

The sugar content in beets is the biggest factor that makes them not very good for rabbits. Rabbits can’t digest large amounts of sugar, and that coupled with the relatively low fiber content means that beets will sit in a rabbit’s stomach and ferment, causing bacterial growth and indigestion. While rabbits may enjoy the taste of beets, they should only be fed in very small amounts, about a teaspoon to a tablespoon every few days. This should be followed up with plenty of fiber such as hay or grass to prevent diarrhea and gassiness in your rabbit. If you feed your rabbit beets, you should feed them raw to preserve the nutrients and fiber and help your rabbit get as much as possible out of their treat.

Can Rabbits Eat Eggplant?

Eggplants may seem like an odd choice to feed your rabbit, as even most humans don’t eat them. To start off, eggplants contain:

  • 92% water
  • 3% fiber
  • 4% sugar
  • 1% protein

Eggplants are a little complicated. They’re technically a member of the nightshade family, and they contain certain alkaloids that can be dangerous to any pets if eaten in high amounts. Some say to avoid eggplant altogether, and this is definitely true for the tops and leaves, which have much higher concentrations of the toxin. However, the eggplant itself can be fed in small amounts to a rabbit if introduced very slowly. Because eggplant is so touchy, you should only feed your rabbit a tiny amount to start and monitor it carefully. If it likes the eggplant and presents no issues as you increase the amounts, you should be able to feed eggplant to your rabbit very sparingly. However, eggplant also has inflammatory effects that can worsen conditions like arthritis. If your rabbit has any inflammatory conditions, eggplant should definitely be avoided to prevent those from becoming worse.

Related Questions

What should I feed my rabbit? Rabbits need a lot of fiber that they usually get from grass or hay. This should be supplemented with smaller amounts of pellets and vegetables, with fruit as an occasional treat.

Where should I get vegetables to feed my rabbit? Homegrown vegetables are always your best bet, but if this isn’t an option for you then organic vegetables are a close second. Any other vegetables should be washed thoroughly or avoided in case of pesticides.

How much should my rabbit eat? Rabbits need an unlimited amount of grass and hay available, and they’ll eat as much as they need. You should also provide about a cup of leafy greens or other vegetables, with no more than a tablespoon of fruit a day.