80 Foods Rabbits Can Eat Safe Plants, Herbs, Vegetables, More!
Pet rabbits make excellent pets and companions. But, they depend on you to provide them with the best and healthiest food choices. Many foods make an ideal snack for very active rabbits or those confined to a cage all day. There is an equal number of foods that you should avoid at all times (see article on what foods are poisonous to rabbits).
Rabbits cannot properly digest fats and some sugars, so diets low in both of those components are essential. As a general rule, most rabbit owners keep their bunnies on a diet that consists entirely of grass, hay, and fresh greens. Commercial pellet feeds are not required by any means to have happy and healthy rabbits. They make feeding your bunny more convenient.
There are hundreds of potential foods you can feed your rabbits, some are safe, and others are dangerous. Some foods are controversial, with no solid answer on whether or not they are safe for your bunny to consume. In this case, I recommend that you err on the side of caution and avoid that food entirely.
Foundational Foods Rabbits Should Eat
The bulk, about 75%, of your rabbit’s diet should consist of high-quality hay-fed free choice, with a mixed salad of fresh leafy greens offered daily. Rabbits need a high fiber diet that has little to no excess sugars or fats to remain healthy.
There are many hay types you can offer your rabbit. You can purchase most types of hay in small bales at pet stores. You may also choose to buy your hay from a feed store in larger amounts to ensure your bunny never runs out of forage.
Grass and Hay: The Foundation of A Healthy Diet
Rabbits need a high amount of fiber and roughage to digest their food. Their digestive tracts are similar to imminent animals (cows, goats, sheep) in that rabbits similarly digest food although they are monogastric. Because of this, rabbits can get energy and nutrients from low nutrient foods that people and other mammals can’t digest, such as grass and hay. Grass, hay, and alfalfa are the foundation of a healthy rabbit’s diet.
- Alfalfa is an excellent choice for rabbits under six months of age or rabbits underweight and needs a boost. This high-protein legume offers a wide range of nutrients and vitamins to help your young bunny put on weight quickly! Alfalfa should be fed as part of a mixed diet and not more than 50% of your rabbit’s diet (because it is so strong in nutrients and can cause gas or bloating)
- Bermudagrass Hay is a high-fiber but sometimes costly choice for rabbit owners to consider. It contains one of the lowest amounts of calcium, making it an excellent choice for rabbits with bladder issues or calcium intolerance.
- Brome hay has a sweet flavor with tender leaves and most rabbits love it. The thick stalks from this high-fiber roughage is an excellent and natural way to keep your bunny’s teeth filed down to safe and manageable levels.
- Kentucky Bluegrass is an excellent alternative to Timothy Hay for rabbits of all ages. The nutrient levels and texture are very similar, making this a great choice if you cannot find Timothy Hay in your area, depending on the season.
- Meadowgrass Hay has excellent levels of fiber and protein, making it a trendy hay choice for rabbit owners. Additionally, you can usually find this hay at livestock feed stores in large bales for prices more reasonable than you may find at pet stores.
- Oat Hay contains up to 30% crude fiber and around 10% crude protein making it an excellent choice for your rabbit. This hay is rich in a variety of minerals and vitamins to ensure your bunny has a long and happy life.
- Orchard Grass hay is a sweet-smelling and highly favored hay for rabbits of all ages. It contains a high amount of fiber and up to 10% crude protein to help keep your bunny’s gastrointestinal tract working perfectly!
- Timothy Hay is the most commonly used hay for rabbits of all ages as it contains up to 34% crude fiber and 12% crude protein. The dried leaves are tender and easy to digest, while the stalks help keep teeth worn down to safe lengths.
- Clover is high in protein and nutrients. All of the clover plant is edible to rabbits. Clover is most similar in nutrition to alfalfa. Bunnies should not eat clover until they are three months old. Feed clover in moderation.
Lettuce and Leafy Greens Rabbits Love
Leafy greens should make up the bulk of your bunny’s treats. They are generally low in sugar and calories and high in antioxidants and vitamins. Rabbits enjoy the stems, and lower cuttings that people usually throw away, so feeding your leafy green waste to your rabbit is a great way to reduce overall food waste.
- Romaine lettuce is easily found at most grocery stores and makes a delicious snack for your rabbit. The darker and larger leaves have a much better concentration of fiber and nutrients your bunny needs so always try to feed those only.
- Green leaf lettuce has an excellent balance of nutrients and minerals for your rabbit. Feed leafy green lettuce to rabbits of all ages and breeds. Additionally, it has a low amount of calories which can help overweight rabbits lose the pounds!
- Red leaf lettuce is one of the better lettuce choices for your rabbit. This variety is high in fiber, Vitamin K, Vitamin B-6 and healthy antioxidants. It’s also a delicious tasting snack that very few rabbits will refuse.
- Bibb lettuce is a very dark green that rabbits love to munch on. It offers a nice crunch that can help keep teeth filed down in rabbits of all ages. Additionally, you can buy Bibb lettuce in both a head or bunched form at the grocery store.
- Butterhead lettuce is often found in grocery stores and many rabbits love the flavor. However this option should be limited to an occasional snack more than a daily offering since it is higher than average in Vitamin C.
- Spinach is a great snack to offer your rabbit, but it is high in oxalic acid so should be mixed with other leafy greens or lettuces. Always diversify the types of greens you offer so your rabbit gets a balanced amount of vitamins and minerals.
- Arugula is a very crunchy and tasty option for your rabbit to enjoy. This leafy green is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial antioxidants to help rabbits of all ages remain healthy.
- Turnip Greens are high in Vitamin A and K, but low in fiber. As a result, this option is best used as part of a salad for your bunny. Mix it in with 3 or 4 other types of lettuce or leafy greens to help balance out the nutrients it offers.
- Tatsoi is a small leafy green similar to Bok Choy that is often found in assorted “spring mixes” at the grocery store. This is a very healthy snack to offer your rabbit as it contains a high amount of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Edible Herbs for Rabbits
- Basil is a great herb to let your bunny snack on daily! It’s a great source of Vitamin K which helps promote nerve health in your rabbits.
- Cilantro is a great herb to offer your bunny on a daily basis along with other grasses and hays. It’s packed full of vitamins and minerals to keep your rabbit healthy!
- Oregano is an easy to grow herb your rabbit will love snacking on! Feed it fed daily to your bunny as part of a diverse diet of leafy greens.
- Parsley is a decent source of iron and Vitamin C for your rabbits to enjoy on a daily basis. Mix it into their salad or offer a sprig cluster to help add variety to their diet.
- Peppermint smells great and most rabbits love munching on all parts of this leafy green herb daily. It is a good source of fiber and iron for your bunny too.
- Rosemary is an excellent choice for your bunny to eat on a daily basis. It can also help relieve stress. It helps increase digestion and blood circulation.
Safe Fruits and Vegetables for Frequent Rabbit Snacks
Rabbits can live healthy lives on a diet that consists entirely of grasses, hays and fresh vegetables. The pellets found in the pet store are a convenient and cost effective way to provide your rabbit with a suitable diet, but it is not as healthy as a fresh diet.
Offering your rabbit a diverse variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs can help ensure they receive a broad and balanced amount of nutrients. It’s always best to switch up the food you offer on a daily or twice-weekly basis. This not only keeps your beloved bunny interested in the food it receives but also ensures you are not overloading your pet’s system with any one nutrient.
Adult rabbits can safely enjoy a variety of multiple fruits and vegetables daily. Limit these treats to only once a day, so your bunny doesn’t get overweight or develop diabetes.
- Apples are one of the top foods to offer your rabbit. Most bunny owners will remove the seeds. Branches and leaves from the apple tree are okay for your bunny to enjoy too!
- Bell peppers of all colors are a great daily snack for your rabbit. These vegetables include fiber and are a great source of extra hydration for your bunny too.
- Bok Choy is a very nutrient-dense vegetable to help keep your rabbit hydrated. You can safely feed this to your bunny on a daily basis.
- Broccoli is a very fiber-rich food for your rabbits to eat daily. While most people only offer the leaves, broccoli stems and florets are safe to eat as well!
- Brussels Sprouts are not a huge hit with all rabbits, but some love it! It may cause excess gas in older rabbits so introduce this leafy green into their diet slowly.
- Carrots are high in sugar and should only be fed to your bunny two or three times a week. The leafy tops, however, make an excellent daily choice for your rabbit to eat.
- Celery is packed full of healthy vitamins for your bunny. It makes a great daily green to offer your pet, and all parts of the plant are safe to eat.
- Endive is favored by most bunnies but should be limited to an occasional snack. It’s high in acids which benefit some rabbits more than others.
- Escarole is a sweeter version of endive and due to the higher amount of sugar should be limited to an occasional snack.
- Fennel is found in most grocery stores and the entire thing is edible! Most rabbits love chewing on the greens before enjoying small pieces of the bulb.
- Kale is an excellent source of a wide range of vitamins that benefit your rabbit. You can offer it daily as part of your rabbit’s assorted salad of leafy greens.
- Okra is a great choice for rabbits with long teeth. The tough exterior and thick stems help file down overgrown teeth safely in rabbits of all ages.
- Watercress has a high amount of calcium so should be limited to a snack more than a daily diet. However most rabbits love the flavor, and it’s easy to find in most areas.
Safe Fruits, Vegetables and Seeds to Feed in Moderation
Rabbits are not picky when it comes to sweet tasting or sugary snacks, so it is up to you to limit their intake of these fattening foods. Too much sugar in a rabbit’s diet can lead to health problems and obesity, however a weekly or seasonal treat is perfectly fine for your bunny.
Feed sugary fruits to your rabbit no more than 1-2 times a week. 1 Tablespoon per rabbit is an appropriate amount. More will increase their likelihood of diabetes.
- Apricots are a great, naturally sweet treat for your bunny. Chop the fruit into small chunks and let your rabbit enjoy it, but don’t let them have the seed!
- Banana is very high in fiber and great for your rabbit to eat as an occasional snack. They can even eat the peel, though most rabbits avoid it.
- Blackberries are an excellent choice for bunnies with a sweet tooth. They are naturally sweet and include various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Blueberries are the favorite treat of most rabbits of all ages. They’re also a very healthy, vitamin-rich sweet snack for your bunny too!
- Broccoli is a controversial vegetable. Some people say all parts are safe, while others say to only feed the stems. Broccoli is a good source of fiber and Vitamin K.
- Cantaloupe is sugary but contains a good amount of Vitamin B6 which helps keep your bunny healthy! You can offer this melon as a weekly treat to your rabbits.
- Chard is high in oxalic acid, but makes an excellent choice to offer your bunny on a weekly basis. It’s a great vegetable to offer as part of your rabbit’s fresh greens salad.
- Cherries contain calcium and phosphorus which help your bunny develop strong bones. All types of cherries, with the pit removed, make an excellent weekly treat!
- Cranberries include decent amounts of phosphorus, fiber and calcium. Most rabbits will absolutely love a weekly treat of this flavorful berry to round out their diet!
- Cucumber is not very nutritious, but makes a great treat for your rabbit twice a week. It also contains a high amount of water to help keep your bunny hydrated!
- Eggplant/Aubergine is a minor source of vitamins for your bunny, but it is very low in sugar. The fruit itself is safe, but never let your rabbit eat the stem or plant leaves.
- Grapes are sugary but make an excellent weekly treat. They’re high in beta carotene which helps reduce the amount of plaque in your rabbit’s arteries.
- Kiwi is a great weekly or bi-weekly treat for your rabbit, and the seeds are safe as well. It contains a good amount of fiber, iron, and calcium to help keep your bunny healthy.
- Mango is an excellent source of Vitamin A and C but is high in sugar. Most rabbits love it, so that you can offer it to your bunny on a weekly or bi-weekly basis as a treat.
- Mustard Greens are a good source of Vitamin A for your rabbit, but it has many oxalic acid. For this reason, it is best to limit the offering of these greens to once a week.
- Nectarines are a great way to provide hydration to your bunny. They’re high in natural sugar so should be limited. Do not let your bunny chew on the seed or pit, however.
- Oranges are high in sugars and acids, so should only be offered occasionally, but most rabbits love eating the juicy wedges. Don’t feed your bunny the peel.
- Papaya Don’t feed the seeds to your rabbit, but the flesh and skin are a delicious snack! This fruit is high in vitamins A and C, as well as fiber!
- Pears are sugary but make an excellent weekly or twice-weekly treat for your rabbits. They can also enjoy chewing on the stems and dried branches of the pear tree.
- Pineapple, either fresh or dried, contains bromelain which can help your rabbit with its digestion and relieve stress. Don’t feed your rabbit pineapple more than once a week.
- Plums contain vitamins A, C, and K and make a delicious fruit snack for your bunny. Don’t offer them the seed, but the rest of the fruit is safe!
- Pumpkins are packed with fiber and make a great seasonal treat for your bunny! All parts of the pumpkin are safe to eat but should be offered in small amounts.
- Raspberries have one of the lowest sugar contents of all fruit. It makes an outstanding treat for your bunny to enjoy now and then!
- Strawberries are a sugary treat so it should be limited to a weekly offering, but rabbits love them. The leaves and stems are safe for your bunny to eat too!
- Safflower seeds are high in fat so it should be limited to a seasonal snack. The high oil content can help add luster and shine to your rabbit’s coat, though!
- Sunflower seeds make an excellent seasonal snack for rabbits as they are high in fiber, fat, and Vitamin E. Most people will offer these seeds as treats in the winter.
Safe Wildflowers and Houseplants to Offer as Occasional Treats
You might see a brightly colored flower in your yard and wonder if your bunny can enjoy it as a snack. Some wildflowers and plants are safe for your rabbit to eat.
One of the best ways to feed your rabbit wildflowers is by sprinkling the colorful petals or leaves on their hay. This encourages them to eat their hay while also giving them tasty little snacks to find!
Additionally, finding rabbit-safe plants to have indoors is essential, especially if you let your bunnies roam around. If they happen to knock over a potted plant and nibble on a bloom or leaf, you can rest assured knowing the below plants are all safe and non-toxic to your little friend.
- Coneflower is a charming wildflower that makes an excellent snack for your rabbits. High in antioxidants, you can offer any part of the plant as an occasional treat.
- Cornflowers are a highly nutritious snack for your bunny, and the leaves and petals are highly favored. These colorful plants are high in fiber, vitamins, and micronutrients too.
- Gerbera Daisies are a delicious snack for both domestic and wild rabbits. If you have some growing in your garden, your bunny would love to snack on the petals and leaves!
- Hibiscus blooms are a great treat to offer your rabbit every week! They’re high in antioxidants and iron, which help aid in the healthy production of red blood cells.
- Hollyhocks are attractive plants to keep in a garden. All parts of the plant are safe if your bunny happens to nibble on a colorful bloom, leaf, or stem!
- Nasturtiums are a common potted plant to keep on your patio or near a sunny window. They are colorful, fragrant, and all parts of the plant are safe for your bunny to eat!
- Roses are edible for bunnies, both fresh and dried. Your rabbit will love chewing on the stem and munching on the petals and leaves!
- Sunflowers are a favorite treat of many rabbits, and all parts of the plant are safe to eat. Practice moderation with the seeds as they are high in fat.
- Wild Pansies are a common indoor and outdoor potted plant. If your rabbits show an interest in it, you can safely offer them any part of the plant as a snack!
- Yarrow can be fed to your bunny, dried or fresh. The flower blooms, leaves, and stems are all safe and delicious for your bunny to eat as a snack!
Weeds Your Rabbits Love and Can Help Control
- Dandelions are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals for your rabbit. Both the bloom and leaves are delicious and healthy food options.
- Marshmallow (mallow) Plant is usually considered a weed and is very prolific. All plant parts are edible, and rabbits usually love this tasty treat, from the roots to the seed pods.
- Smooth Sow Thistle looks like a dandelion but grows upright and often gets a grey or purple tint as it grows older. The flowers grow in clusters and are smaller than dandelion flowers.
- Stinging Nettle is one weed that your rabbits will love and can help to control the spread. If you need to handle stinging nettle and don’t have gloves, remember to pinch it firmly to avoid or reduce irritation.
- Dead Nettle is very similar to stinging nettle but doesn’t pose the same skin irritation when it’s handled. Rabbits love this weed.
- Broadleaf Plantain is usually considered a weed and is different from the plantain that’s related to bananas. Broadleaf plantain is native to almost every continent.
- Chicory with the lovely blue flowers is often cultivated but is found wild throughout Europe and North America. The plant is edible to rabbits.
- CatNip is edible to rabbits, but many rabbits don’t like it as much. It should be fed fresh, not dried, to rabbits.
- Purslane is a ground cover that looks a lot like a succulent. It’s edible and high in omega 3s and antioxidants.
Rabbits are a wonderful addition to your family, and overall their care is straightforward. As long as you are mindful of what foods you offer your bunny, they will lead a happy and healthy life under your care. If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not a food item is safe for your bunny or not, it is best to avoid it. You have many choices of healthy foods your rabbit can enjoy.