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What Not to Feed Your Rabbit

June 1, 2014

A rabbit’s regular diet of hay should be supplemented with fruits veggies and fruits. It isn’t as simple as just offering whatever you’ve picked up at the supermarket, though. Below, your Rapid City veterinarian tells you about a few foods you should never give to your rabbit.


Lettuce might seem like something that would be a staple of a rabbit’s diet, but it’s actually a poor choice. Even though rabbits may eat lettuce if it’s given to them, it can cause diarrhea because of a compound known as lactucarium. There have even been cases of rabbit fatalities due to too much lettuce consumption, so take care not to let your rabbit nibble on any.

High-Carb Foods

Foods with lots of carbs, like bread, corn, beans, or nuts, don’t have any real nutritional value for your rabbit. They’re most likely just adding excess fat to your rabbit’s body composition, so it’s best to avoid them. Also take note that a rabbit’s digestive system has real trouble digesting the hulls of corn kennels.

Cabbage, Cauliflower, Parsnips

Cabbage, cauliflower, and parsnips have been known to give rabbits diarrhea and bloat, resulting in serious health problems. It’s best to avoid these veggies to negate any risk. Broccoli is a controversial vegetable in veterinary circles; some vets recommend avoiding it as well, while others say it’s okay in small amounts. Have a conversation with your veterinarian to learn more about broccoli and how it may affect your rabbit.

Weeds, Plants, Flowers

Many rabbit owners let their pet roam around in the backyard once the weather warms. This is fine and can be great fun for your rabbit, but make sure he or she can’t come in contact with any dangerous plants, flowers, or weeds. The list of potentially hazardous flora is long—daffodils, foxglove, tulips, clover, ivy, hemlock, honeysuckle, and iris are only a few of the flowers and plants that could cause harm. Monitor your rabbit constantly if you let her outdoors.

If you have any questions about your rabbit’s diet or health in general, don’t hesitate to contact your Rapid City vet . He or she can advise you on everything you need to know to keep your pet happy and healthy!

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