38 Things Rabbits Can Eat, and 55 They Cannot

Ask any rabbit owner and they will tell you: these fuzzy cutie-pies have surprisingly big appetites. You probably already know that rabbits are herbivores, that means they eat nothing but plant matter.

a white-brownish rabbit
a white-brownish rabbit

But in a way, rabbits have a more varied and more restrictive diet than you might be thinking – even though the title off this article suggest there’re more foods they can’t have than those they can.

Rabbits eat a lot more than just grass and other leafy plant matter, but just because something is green or grows on trees or bushes doesn’t mean it’s safe for them. There’s a whole lot of stuff out there that can make them upset, sick, or potentially even kill them.

To help you keep your best buddy or all of your bunnies happy and healthy, I’m bringing you a list of foods that they can have, 55 they can’t, and answering some of the most common questions about other foods. Grab your notepad and we’ll get right into it…

Things Rabbits Can Eat

  • Alfalfa (only for young rabbits)
  • Apples (seeds removed)
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Banana (sparingly)
  • Basil
  • Blueberries
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli (sparingly)
  • Carrots (sparingly)
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Clover
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Fennel
  • Grass
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • Lavender
  • Lettuce (Not Iceberg!)
  • Mango (sparingly)
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Peaches (sparingly)
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Spinach (sparingly)
  • Strawberries
  • Swiss chard
  • Thyme
  • Tomatoes (fruit only, sparingly)
  • Turnips
  • Zucchini

Things Rabbits Shouldn’t Have

  • Acorns
  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Beans (like kidney, lima)
  • Bread
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe (high in sugar)
  • Chocolate
  • Corn
  • Daffodils
  • Dates
  • Dog food
  • Eggplant
  • Eggs
  • Ferns
  • Figs
  • French fries
  • Garlic
  • Goat feed
  • Gourds
  • Grains
  • Grape vines
  • Honey
  • Ice cream
  • Ivy
  • Jackfruit
  • Jalapenos
  • Leek
  • Lemon
  • Limes
  • Maple leaves
  • Marigolds
  • Meat
  • Mushrooms
  • Nasturtiums
  • Nettles
  • Nuts
  • Onion
  • Oranges
  • Oregano (can cause indigestion)
  • Pasta
  • Peanuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Pickles
  • Pine needles
  • Pineapple
  • Popcorn
  • Potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Raisins
  • Rice
  • Roses
  • Seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Tomatoes (leaves, roots, and stems are toxic)

Can Rabbits Eat Dairy?

No, rabbits cannot eat dairy foods. Although they are mammals and drink milk when they are newborns, as they grow and develop, rabbits will no longer have the digestive enzymes to process the lactose in milk and other dairy foods. Drinking milk or having dairy foods after infancy can cause serious digestive tract problems and diarrhea.

Can Rabbits Eat Dogwood?

Yes, they can. Dogwood leaves, stems, and branches are safe for rabbits. Dogwood branches can be a good option for helping rabbits sharpen their teeth.

Can Rabbits Eat Eucalyptus?

No, they can’t.

This one is slightly contested, as you’ll still run into sources out on the internet and in print that say small amounts of eucalyptus leaves are okay for rabbits, but the consensus is that they should be avoided since they have a tendency to cause digestive problems.

It’s best not to risk it in any case, though you probably don’t have to worry if your rabbit gets just a nibble of eucalyptus.

Can Rabbits Eat Foxtail?

No! Foxtail grass has a nasty tendency to get lodged in a rabbit’s mouth or throat thanks to the spiny nature of the seeds and stems.

This can cause serious injury or death, and in any case, often requires veterinary intervention to correct without doing more harm. Just don’t risk it, and don’t let your rabbits play around outside or go near it if it grows on your property.

Can Rabbits Eat Gourds?

No. Gourds are way too hard and fibrous to be a good food for rabbits, and some of them can be toxic. Even the edible ones, especially prepared, have so little nutritional value as to be a waste of time for your bunnies. Find something else for them to eat!

Can Rabbits Eat Hemlock?

Absolutely not! Both water and poison hemlock are hideously poisonous and will easily kill your rabbit stone-cold dead. Even a tiny nibble from any part of the plant might be sufficient to kill or gravely sicken a rabbit.

Can Rabbits Eat Honeysuckle?

No, it’s a bad idea. Although honeysuckle blooms are safe for rabbits to eat in limited quantities, ingesting any other part of the plant can cause illness, and potentially severe illness in larger amounts.

Note that rabbits are often attracted to the fragrant smell of honeysuckle, so pay attention and keep them safe. Cull dangerous plants if necessary.

Can Rabbits Eat Horse Feed?

No, not as a rule. Horse feed is specially designed and fortified for the nutritional requirements of horses, and is badly imbalanced for rabbits. It has too much protein and various vitamins and minerals but not enough of other things.

That said, if your rabbit gets just a tiny bite or two of horse feed, it is unlikely to cause harm.

Can Rabbits Eat Instant Oatmeal?

No, not really. Most instant oatmeals contain too much in the way of sugars, strange additives, and artificial ingredients to be safe or good for rabbits. In any case, you don’t want to give grains to your rabbits anyway as they are bad for them; that includes plain oatmeal.

Can Rabbits Eat Irises?

No. Irises are overtly toxic to rabbits, and all parts of the plant are dangerous. Avoid!

Can Rabbits Eat Jasmine?

Yes. Though it is a good idea to give it to them only in moderation. Fresh or dried “true” jasmine should be okay for your bunnies, but some sources have expressed concern that it can cause indigestion. Limited quantities as part of a complete diet should be fine.

Can Rabbits Eat Jerusalem Artichokes?

Yes, they can. Although an unconventional food for rabbits, they are a safe, nutritious and tasty in limited quantities as part of a complete diet.

Can Rabbits Eat Kelp?

No. Kelp is another bad idea for rabbits. This is something they would never normally get in nature, and kelp often contains high levels of iodine which their systems can’t handle. This can lead to tons of health problems.

Can Rabbits Eat Kidney Beans?

No. Uncooked beans are poisonous to bunnies, and cooked ones are still a no-go since they contain way too much starch and protein to be good for them.

Can Rabbits Eat Knotweed?

Yes. Rabbits have been known to graze on knotweed when given an opportunity with no ill effects. However, the consequences of long-term ingestion are unknown. If in doubt, avoid it. There are plenty of other things they can eat with no known issues.

Can Rabbits Eat Kumquats?

Yes, kumquats are safe for rabbits. However, like so many fruits, they are just too high in sugar and should only be given in strict moderation as a rare treat. Too much fast-absorbing carbs will cause digestive trouble and tooth decay in rabbits.

Can Rabbits Eat Lambs Quarter?

Yes. Lamb’s quarter is a safe, nutritious, and healthy option for rabbits.

Can Rabbits Eat Lantana?

No! Lantana is poisonous to rabbits, and they must not eat any part of the plant.

Can Rabbits Eat Lilac?

Yes, they can. Lilac, though not a common food for rabbits, is safe for them to eat. They will nibble on flowers, leaves, and stems and may chew on branches.

Can Rabbits Eat Lime?

No. Limes are entirely too acidic to be good for rabbits and can easily throw their stomach and the rest of their digestive tract out of whack. It might be funny to see how they react to such a sour food, but you don’t want to inflict that kind of discomfort on your precious bunny.

Can Rabbits Eat Nightshade?

No! Plants like deadly nightshade tell you everything you need to know in the name, and rabbits must not have any part of them.

The fruits of some veggies in the nightshade family like peppers and tomatoes are safe in limited quantities, but all other parts of these plants, including the leaves, vines, stems, calyx, and even the roots, contain dangerous solanine, a toxin.

Can Rabbits Eat Orchard Grass?

Yes, they can. Orchard grass is a popular dietary option for rabbits, especially in the form of hay, and is a great source of fiber.

As always, consider a nutritional analysis on any hay you aren’t getting from vetted sources to make sure it’s supplying your bunnies with the vitamins and minerals they need.

Can Rabbits Eat Poison Ivy?

No. Although the results are inconclusive, strictly speaking, since wild rabbits have been known to nibble on poison ivy leaves and fruits, it is said to cause severe gastrointestinal distress, drooling, and potentially seizures in domestic rabbits.

Just don’t risk it, and in any case, the oils will get on their fur and then on to you, causing a breakout.

Can Rabbits Eat Queen Anne’s Lace?

Yes, they can! Queen Anne’s Lace is nothing more than a wild carrot, and rabbits love the tops though they aren’t as crazy about the root. Turns out those cartoons lied to us, didn’t they?

Can Rabbits Eat Quick Oats?

No. Quick oats are just grains by any other form, and contain too much starch to be good for rabbits. Whether they are plain or not, you want to avoid them.

Can Rabbits Eat Quince?

Yes. Rabbits don’t seem to mind the peculiar, tart taste of raw quince, but it still contains too much sugar to be a regular item on their menu. You can feed it to them sparingly, and occasionally, as a treat though.

Can Rabbits Eat Raw Eggs?

No! Rabbits are strict herbivores and can’t have any meat or other animal products, and that includes eggs. Raw, cooked, or any other way, they are a no-go.

Can Rabbits Eat Silage?

Yes, but cautiously. Introduced to their diet quickly, it can easily lead to digestive upset. It is also imperative that the silage be fresh and properly prepared, or else it can make rabbits deathly sick. If in doubt, just stick with fresh hay.

Can Rabbits Eat Spicy Food?

No. Rabbits, like pretty much every other mammal, are negatively impacted by the capsaicin present in spicy foods, a defense that the plants evolved to protect them from just such an occasion.

Even if your rabbit will eat spicy peppers or other foods willingly, it can easily give them severe diarrhea and cause other problems. Don’t even think about it!

Can Rabbits Eat Zinnias?

Yes, they can. Ask any gardener, and they will tell you that rabbits are more than happy to chow down on zinnias and come back for seconds.

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