Vegetables are crucial in a rabbit’s diet to ensure that they’re getting all the vitamins and minerals that they need. Your rabbit should be eating a variety of fresh, raw vegetables every day – around five different leafy greens can be given to your rabbit every day.
The majority of vegetables should be served in similar portion sizes – one cup of leafy greens for every two pounds that your rabbit weighs.
You can give your rabbit non-leafy vegetables too. However, these don’t tend to be as healthy, so they should be given to your rabbit in smaller amounts. Root vegetables like carrots or parsnip should be limited to one teaspoon for every two pounds your rabbit weighs.
Look out for links throughout this article that take a deeper look into each vegetable.
There are a bunch of reasons why your rabbit should be eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Just from eating the wrong portion size or type of food, your rabbit can develop:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Nutritional deficiency
- Dental issues
- Fussy eating
It’s important to alternate the types of vegetables so they don’t get bored and also to make sure that they are getting a wide range of nutrients.
When Preparing Vegetables for Rabbits
Although every vegetable is different, there are a few common practices that you should follow before giving your rabbit any vegetable:
- You should buy organic if you can or grow your own without using any chemicals or pesticides.
- Always wash the vegetables thoroughly under cold water (even if they’re organic as they can still contain dirt and traces of chemicals).
- Inspect the vegetables. You should look out for parasites or signs that it’s rotting like the color-changing (to brown) or if it’s becoming softer than it should be.
- Check out any instructions specific to that vegetable. For example, if the roots need to be cut off before giving it to your rabbit.
- If you’re introducing a new food into your rabbit’s diet, you should always do it gradually. Start with a tiny amount and monitor for any signs of a reaction immediately after. Only increase the portion if your rabbit is fine after eating it.
- Rabbits shouldn’t branch out to eating vegetables until they’re at least three months old. Some people wait until closer to the one-year mark to start introducing more adventurous food into their rabbit’s diet.
And onto our list of the top 25 best vegetables for your rabbit!
It starts with leafy greens – which are undoubtedly the best vegetables since they have tons of health benefits for rabbits. The only potential risks tend to be from over-feeding rather than problems with the vegetable.
Following that, the list branches out into root vegetables and other various options that are a little less healthy – since the sugar, starch, and gas levels are high in some of these vegetables. But everything on this list is a tasty snack and still worth including for the nutritional value, as long as it’s eaten in moderation.
Kale is rich in fiber and packed full of vitamins. It’s also one of the few vegetables that can be frozen and then given to your rabbit once it’s thawed. Rabbits can eat both the stems and leaves of kale, as part of the vegetable part of their diet.
Your rabbit can eat all varieties of kale. The only drawback is that if they eat too much they can develop health issues from absorbing too much calcium.
Check out our post about ‘Can Rabbits Eat Kale?‘ for more information.
Also known as coriander, cilantro is packed with multiple vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are beneficial to rabbits. They can safely eat it in dried and fresh forms and also eat cilantro flowers.
You’ll need to remove the seeds and roots before letting your rabbit have any – as they’re a choking hazard, fatty, and taste bad. This is another vegetable that should be given in moderation as eating spoiled cilantro or overeating can cause gas, diarrhea, and overload a rabbit’s calcium levels.
Check out our post about ‘Can Rabbits Eat Cilantro?‘ for more information.
Rabbits can eat both curly and flat-leaf parsley. It’s like a superfood for rabbits. It’s got remarkable low levels of sugar and fat, and high levels of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
The only drawback of parsley is the high levels of vitamin C and calcium. In small doses, these are absolutely fine for your rabbit, but too much can be problematic. If your rabbit has kidney or bladder issues, you should skip parsley as the calcium can negatively affect them.
Also known as arugula, this leafy green contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that will help your rabbit. It’s particularly high in vitamins A, E, and K which are beneficial for their skin, eyes, and bones to name a few.
On the other hand, rocket also has a high level of vitamin C – but rabbits produce this by themselves so any extra will be too much. The same goes for calcium, taking in too much can cause urinary stones in the worst case. But this can be controlled by measuring the portion and making sure that your rabbit doesn’t overindulge.
Your rabbit might not be too fussed on this leafy green, as it has a distinct peppery taste that won’t be to the liking of every rabbit.
Find out everything you need to know in this post.
Apart from spinach roots, rabbits can eat all parts of spinach (leaves, stems, and stalks). They can also safely eat all types of spinach including savoy, flat-leaf, and semi-savoy.
Spinach should be given to your rabbit only around once per week, despite the nutritional value spinach has high levels of oxalates. The oxalates are manageable in small doses and worth eating for the health benefits but too many can damage your rabbit’s urinary tract.
Keep track of how many vegetables your rabbit eats that contain oxalates. If you make sure that you limit the portions and don’t feed your rabbit more than one high oxalate food, the levels shouldn’t rise to a dangerous level. Such foods include beets, parsley, sprouts, radish tops, and mustard greens.
Check out this post for more information.
6. Romaine, Dark Green, and Red Leaf Lettuce
In terms of lettuce, the darker the leaf color the better. Your rabbit can eat romaine, arugula red leaf, dark green lettuce, and others, with little problem. Stick with the recommended feeding guidelines and your rabbit will enjoy some lettuce mixed in with their daily vegetables.
Your rabbit should stay away from iceberg lettuce because it contains an opiate called lactucarium that can affect their nervous system. It also offers very little nutritional value and has a super high water content that can cause diarrhea and bloating.
Lettuce is an example of a vegetable that needs to be thoroughly washed and checked over before giving it to your rabbit, watching out for pesticides and parasites.
You should cut off the root and wash the asparagus, serving it raw. It has low sugar content, moderate fiber, and vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K.
Asparagus is a little different in shape than the other leafy green vegetables so the measurement for the portion is different too. A good portion size is two inches of asparagus for an average-sized rabbit.
Raw cabbage makes a fine snack for rabbits. There are several types of cabbages, and all of them are safe for your rabbit to eat (such as green, napa, savoy, and red). You should make sure that it’s only the leaves as the stalks and roots are difficult to digest and wouldn’t be nice for your rabbit to try and eat.
Though cabbage is packed with important vitamins and minerals and is low in sugar, there are several potential risks associated with rabbits eating cabbage. Due to it containing sulfurous compounds, cabbage is quite gassy and can cause problems if eaten in large portions. It also has a lot of calcium which can eventually cause kidney damage if too much is eaten.
If you stick to one cup of mixed vegetables, your rabbit should avoid any problems.
Check out this post if you’re interested in learning more.
9. Bok Choy
This Chinese cabbage is a tasty, healthy snack for rabbits. They can eat stems, cores, and leaves but a lot of rabbit owners just stick with the leaves as the other parts are gassier.
This crunchy snack is a favorite for rabbits to sink their teeth into. It’s full of vitamins and minerals that provide your rabbit with health benefits.
The main drawback with this vegetable is how gassy it can be, though this can be solved by keeping the portion small and making sure your rabbit isn’t eating gassy food in other parts of their diet.
Dandelions are more than just weeds in your yard – they’re also tasty and nutritional snacks for your rabbit. The flowers, leaves, and roots can all be eaten and they contain high amounts of fiber, vitamins, and beta-carotene.
The risks come from baby rabbits eating dandelions before their stomachs have developed to be able to digest them, or if the dandelions have wilted or had chemicals on them. In these cases, rabbits can get sick if the weed isn’t fresh and free of pesticides.
It’s also important to determine that they’re true dandelions, and not one of the many look-alikes. Though these similar plants aren’t toxic, but not great for their health either.
Watercress is super easy to grow at home, or you can pick it up from most supermarkets. It has a distinct peppery taste that provides some variety for your rabbit and is especially high in vitamins C and K, as well as a bunch of useful minerals.
Before serving any watercress to your rabbit, wash it and remove the roots and any brown leaves. As long as it’s served to rabbits in moderation, it makes a tasty, nutritional treat. As always, feed vegetables amongst a balanced diet, mixing several leafy greens.
For a guide on how to grow watercress at home, and a more in-depth look at this hydroponic plant, check out this post.
The newly sprouted leaves on a wheat plant make an enjoyable snack for a rabbit. Eaten by wild and domestic rabbits alike, this vegetable is a good supplement to their diet. It should never replace hay – it has less fiber and can’t wear their teeth down in the same way.
Cut the roots and stalk off, leaving the green wheatgrass, and then cut it into bite-size pieces to mix with other vegetables. Once the stalks turn brown, then it’s a sign the wheatgrass is ripening into hay.
Wheatgrass turned hay has no nutritional value for your rabbit, but while it isn’t worth using it as a food source you can instead use it as bedding.
13. Leaves From Berry Plants
While there’s a bunch of berries that your rabbit can eat as occasional treats, the plants they grow on can also be utilized in making your rabbit a meal. The leaves from a bunch of berry plants – including raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry – can be eaten by rabbits.
The leaves are far healthier than the often sugary fruits, and just need washing and checking to make sure they’re fresh still.
You shouldn’t give your rabbit free reign in the garden though, as there’s still a bunch of toxic plants. Apple tree seeds and stems, tomato and potato plants, and a wide range of flowers are harmful to rabbits. Some of these can be fatal if eaten in large doses and would require emergency vet treatment.
Always monitor your rabbit outside, and keep them away from poisonous plants.
All types of cucumber are safe for rabbits to eat, proving that it’s cut into thin slices. It’s notably low in calories and contains a decent amount of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your rabbit’s health.
Rabbits can also safely eat all parts of the cucumber too – the peel, seeds, and all parts of the cucumber plant. Make sure the portion doesn’t exceed more than two thin slices of cucumber for an average-sized rabbit.
The only problem with cucumbers is the high water content, in small doses it’s fine but eating too much can lead to diarrhea and uneaten cecotropes.
Celery is a low-calorie, fibrous snack is great for your rabbit’s dental health and contains particularly high levels of vitamins A, B6, and C. Your rabbit can eat half of a medium-sized raw celery stick if it’s cut into slices less than one inch long.
Rabbits can also eat the stems, leaves, and roots of the celery plant. You should always wash the celery and monitor your rabbit while they eat it.
There are several drawbacks with this crunchy snack though, that reinforces just how important it is to limit the portion size. The celery strings can cause your rabbit to choke or cause internal blockages, and the high oxalate content can lead to diarrhea, obesity, or bladder stones.
Find out more in this post.
Contrary to popular belief, carrots should be fed to your rabbit as treats here and there, not as a staple in their diet. Due to the high sugar content, your rabbit should stick to a quarter of a medium-sized raw carrot once or twice per week.
As well as the orange vegetable, rabbits can eat the stem, leaves, and stalks of the carrot. The green parts are full of nutrients and can be mixed with other greens for your rabbit’s meal, while the carrot itself should just be a treat.
As always, make sure the carrot has been washed thoroughly before eating it and keep the vegetable raw.
For more details on this orange treat, you can check out this post.
17. Green Beans
Raw green beans are a good option for a treat for your rabbit, containing multiple vitamins. An average-sized rabbit can eat two full green beans, as long as they’re cut into bite-size pieces.
It’s worth noting that this vegetable is gassy, and eating too much of it can lead to health problems for your rabbit. They might face diarrhea, an overload of calcium, and digestional issues if they eat too many in one go.
For tips on how to feed your rabbit green beans and frequently asked questions, take a look at this post.
Plain, raw parsnips make an extra tasty treat for rabbits. A fully grown rabbit can have two tablespoons of parsnip as a treat, a couple of times per week. It’s a tough vegetable, good for rabbits to sink their teeth into, where they can get fiber, minerals, and a filling treat.
You should stick to the portion size recommended above, as parsnips are high in sugar and phosphorus which are safe only in small quantities.
The best way to serve parsnips to rabbits is after washing, peeling, and cutting them into bite-size chunks. Avoid giving your rabbit the peel (since it’s too thin for them to bite and a choking hazard) and parsnip tops (which may or may not be toxic).
Rabbits can eat peas, pea pods, and all parts of the pea plant. The portion should either be two pea pods for an adult rabbit, or one teaspoon of peas for every two pounds of their body weight. The green plant parts can be eaten in bigger portions, mixed with other greens.
They can either have fresh or frozen peas, but not dried (as they would be a choking and blocking hazard). Peas, despite their small size, are surprisingly high in carbohydrates and calories. Combined with being low in fiber, this makes peas unhealthy in large amounts.
This sweet vegetable (also known as zucchini squash) is a summer squash that is a low-calorie, tasty and nutritional treat for rabbits.
Rabbits can have a teaspoon of chopped courgette for every two pounds that they weigh. You don’t need to remove the skin or seeds, both are edible and don’t pose a choking risk.
The biggest thing you need to look out for is if your rabbit gets toxic squash syndrome. This is due to a toxic chemical called cucurbitacins that comes from squashes grown in the wild.
The best way to combat this is either by avoiding wild squash completely, or peeling it, cutting off the ends, and then washing it before serving.
You can learn more about this here.
21. Bell Peppers
These colorful vegetables can be cut up and served to rabbits, up to one tablespoon worth for every two pounds that your rabbit weighs. This should be an occasional treat, not every day.
You should remove the seeds, stems, and cores from the bell pepper before your rabbit can go near it. And as with any vegetable, it’ll need a thorough rinse too.
Serve this vegetable raw, and limit the portion as advised to avoid problems related to the high sugar content.
Different colored peppers have slightly different nutritional values too. If you want more information on that, check out this post.
Bean sprouts and brussel sprouts are both safe for rabbits to eat – as long as it’s in small portions.
A good way to measure the bean sprouts is a teaspoon for every two pounds that your rabbit weighs. For brussel sprouts, it should be one entire sprout (but cut into smaller pieces).
Brussel sprouts are especially gassy, so if you feed your rabbit this treat make sure that you limit any other gassy food in their diet. This avoids health issues from developing.
Raw cauliflower makes a fun, tasty treat for your rabbit. They can eat one tablespoon of cauliflower for every two pounds your adult rabbit weighs.
The leaves and stalks are also safe to eat. The stalks contain the highest amount of fiber, and the leaves are extremely healthy and can be eaten more regularly along with other leafy greens.
They can eat green, purple, and orange-colored cauliflower, they’re all similar in nutritional value. Cauliflower is full of antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber, and for this reason, it’s a brilliant treat.
On the other hand, too much cauliflower can make your rabbit gassy and cause stomach pain. If the cauliflower hasn’t been properly rinsed and checked, that can cause problems too.
Rabbits can eat raw turnips as well as their tops and roots. For this vegetable, stick to one teaspoon of cut-up turnip per two pounds of body weight, and for the tops, they can have up to one cup of mixed greens.
You should be aware that turnips are high in calories and sugar, which could cause obesity, dental problems, and gastrointestinal issues. But in small doses, they shouldn’t be harmful to your rabbit’s long-term health.
The good news is that turnips have several vitamins, a bunch of minerals, and beta-carotene in them. Your rabbit will also love them since they are sugary.
This starchy vegetable is a favorite of rabbits and somewhat of a superfood. The texture is great for their teeth, it’s low calorie, and contains an array of vitamins and minerals.
Rabbits can eat radish leaves, roots, stems, and tops too. But this should be in moderation since they contain high levels of oxalates that can be harmful if overeaten.
Despite the many health benefits your rabbit can get from eating radishes, there are quite a few risks from it. They’re starchy and acidic, which can cause internal problems for your rabbit.
For more details, head over to our ‘Can Rabbits Eat Radishes?‘ post.
A Note on Balanced Diets
While vegetables are incredibly important in your rabbit’s diet, they need to be balanced with several other food groups to ensure that your rabbit gets everything they need.
Perhaps more essential than vegetables is fiber. Your rabbit should have unlimited high-quality hay at all times. This is needed to aid digestion and to keep their gut moving. It’s also useful for wearing down rabbit teeth by preventing them from overgrowing.
In addition to hay and vegetables, your rabbit can have an egg cup worth of pellets each day which tops up their fiber levels. They can also have treats up to twice per week. The best treats are fresh fruits like apple slices or berries that are rabbit-friendly.
The final part of a rabbit’s diet is water. At all times rabbits must have access to clean, drinking water. They can quickly deteriorate if dehydrated, so it’s extra important to stay on top of the water flow.
For every healthy vegetable, there’s another that should be avoided. Some of them are toxic while others are so unhealthy that the negatives outweigh the benefits.
For example, avoid giving your rabbit:
For further information on your rabbit’s diet, there are tons of great resources about rabbit care that you can find online. You can use this to double-check and discover the ins and outs of what your rabbit needs to be as healthy and happy as possible.
Check out these websites: