What Do Rabbits Eat? The Essential Guide to Rabbit Nutrition


People often ask, what do rabbits eat? They have visions of these adorable creatures nonchalantly bounding through fields, munching on carrots as they hop cheerfully from tree to tree, but rabbit nutrition is a serious concern. If you have a pet rabbit or are thinking of bringing one into your home, try to learn as much as possible about their unique dietary needs in advance. This is essential for their happiness and well-being and will save you time, money and heartache in the future. 

The foundation of a rabbit's diet is hay. This does not mean it’s okay to feed them grass cuttings from a lawn mower or compost heap. Grass and hay from these sources could have begun fermenting, due to the heat from a lawn mower or various biodegrading processes occurring within the compost. Fermenting hay could cause tummy upsets for your furry friend and unnecessary anxiety for you. 

But Can’t Rabbits Eat Just About Anything?

In a word, no! Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your rabbit can eat just anything and be okay. Like most pets, rabbits have very sensitive stomachs, and their diets should not be experimental in any way. You should seek advice immediately if your furry friend ingests any of the following foods.

  • Rhubarb
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Avocadoes
  • Leaves or flowers of house plants
  • Chocolates and sweets
  • Fruit seeds or pits
  • Raw onions, leeks or garlic
  • Mushrooms and other fungi
  • Broad beans and kidney beans
  • Processed foods such as biscuits, bread, crackers, or pasta
  • Meat, eggs, milk or cheese
  • Uncooked potatoes
  • Root vegetables

High-quality grass hay should be the mainstay of your rabbit’s daily intake. This is where your furry friend will get the necessary fibre to keep his or her digestive system running smoothly and keep obesity and tummy troubles at bay.

Can Rabbits Eat Cucumber?

So, apart from hay, what do rabbits eat? Can rabbits eat cucumbers and other salad fruits and vegetables? Of course they can! As well as hay, rabbits can eat a wide variety of fresh vegetables. These delicious and nutritious foods form a vitally important part of a rabbit’s diet. 

Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce are rich in essential nutrients, which are necessary for keeping your bunny in tip-top health. 

As well as leafy greens, rabbits can also enjoy a wide range of other vegetables and some fruits in moderation. Bell peppers, cucumbers and, of course, carrots, can help to provide your rabbit with nutrients that will support their immune system and give them a shiny, healthy coat.

However, some foods should only be given in moderation. For example, your bunny will easily gain weight or get tummy upsets if given too many sugary or starchy vegetables, and you should also use your discretion even when giving salad and vegetables. 

Cucumber, for example, because of its high water content, can often result in diarrhoea, so proceed with caution and continuously monitor results and reactions. 

So, can rabbits eat cucumber? Absolutely! But keep in mind that the ideal food for bunnies is high-quality grass hay, and excessive consumption of salads and veg should be avoided. 

Introduce new vegetables gradually to avoid upsetting their sensitive digestive systems, and monitor as you go..

Can Rabbits Eat Celery?

With the celery juice craze in full swing, many people are exploring the benefits of including more celery in their diet, and, in some cases, they wonder whether it might be safe to offer it to their pets. This has led to an increase in the number of people asking, can rabbits eat celery? 

Although not necessarily safe for all pets, celery is rich in vitamin B, vitamin C, and potassium, and is highly beneficial to rabbits. Not only is celery good for rabbits, it can also provide them with high-quality fibre.  

Not all vegetables, fruit and salads are safe for rabbits, however. For example, you should avoid feeding them iceberg lettuce, cabbage, and too many sugary fruits.

Like cucumbers, celery is an excellent source of hydration for your rabbit. And, speaking of hydration, fresh water is also crucial for a rabbit's health, so be sure to provide plenty of clean water in a sipper bottle or heavy bowl, and continually monitor your fur baby’s water intake.

So, can rabbits eat celery? Absolutely! 

Can I Give Pellets to My Rabbit? 

You can also buy pellets that are specially formulated for rabbits, but these should be used in moderation. Pellets should never replace a healthy diet of hay and appropriate fresh vegetables. Choose high-quality pellets that are rich in nutrients and have a high fibre content. 

Pellets are a convenient way to top up your rabbit with essential vitamins and minerals, but they should never be used as a food substitute.

So, What Do Rabbits Eat? – In a Nutshell!

Rabbits should eat a balanced diet comprising mostly high-quality hay, with some fresh vegetables, occasional fruits, and limited pellets. This is the best diet for keeping you out of the vet’s office and keeping your rabbit a happy bunny.  

How the Garden Vets at Keele Can Help.

A rabbit's diet can vary depending on age, size, and health status. A rabbit-aware veterinarian will suggest a diet plan that’s perfect for the individual needs of your furry friend.

Sign up for our exclusive PetCare™ Plan today and give your rabbit the best all-round care possible.