Can Rabbits Eat Beets?

Yes, rabbits can eat raw beets as a treat. This root vegetable (fully named beetroot) makes a delicious, nutritious treat for rabbits. One teaspoon of beet for every two pounds that your rabbit weighs is an ideal portion. Rabbits can have this treat no more than twice per week.

Make sure that you remove the roots from the beets – they’re super starchy and harmful to your rabbits overall health. Your rabbit can safely eat beetroot, beet tops (the green part), and leaves.

What Type of Beetroot Can Rabbits Eat?

There’s a few types of beetroot that your rabbit can eat:

Type of BeetCan Rabbits Eat It?
Garden beetYes
Swiss chardYes
Silver beetNo
Sugar beetNo

Health Benefits of Rabbits Eating Beet

Beets are a brilliant snack for your rabbit, they’re bursting with vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your rabbit’s health.

Beets contain:

  • Vitamin B6: For metabolism, growth, and healthy digestion.
  • Vitamin C: For boosting the immune system and protecting the cells.
  • Protein: For growth and repair.
  • Fiber: For smooth digestion.
  • Folate: For reproductive health.
  • Magnesium: For helping calcium with blood clotting and strengthening teeth.
  • Potassium: For balancing body fluids and preventing hypokalemia.
  • Phosphorus: For bone growth.
  • Manganese: For helping your rabbit grow and have strong bones.
  • Iron: For making red blood cells.

Beets are also low in calories, low in fat content and high in fiber. This is an ideal combination for a good snack for your rabbit.

Risks of Rabbits Eating Beet

There are several risks your rabbit can face if they eat the wrong diet like too many beets or not varying the vegetables in their diet.

Some problems with beets include:

  • High in starch: Too much starch can cause diarrhea, gas, and bloating. It can also lead to obesity and further gastrointestinal health issues.
  • Not enough fiber: Though beet does contain fiber, it doesn’t have enough fiber in their diet as they need, they’ll have issues with their teeth, gut, and digestion. In the worst case they can get GI stasis which can be a fatal problem when your rabbit has no gut motility.
  • Too many oxalates: Beet greens (leaves and tops) have high levels of oxalates. In small doses they’re safe, but you need to be careful not to give your rabbit beet greens mixed with other high oxalate foods or it’ll be too much. For example, don’t combine it with spinach, parsley, and sprouts with beet.

Also, you might notice that your rabbit’s urine is tinted red after they’ve eaten beets. Don’t panic, this is a common side effect that looks scary but is just a result of eating the crimson-purple colored beetroot.

Be extra careful when giving your rabbit the beetroot as the distinct color can stain their fur and be difficult to get out later.

Which Parts of the Beet Plant Can Rabbits Eat?

In short, rabbits can eat all parts of the beetroot plant, except the roots. Make sure to thoroughly wash all parts of the beet before letting your rabbit have any and buy organic if you can.

Apart from the beet itself, scroll on to find out which parts of the beet plant your rabbit can eat:

Can Rabbits Eat a Beet’s Root?

No, rabbits can’t eat the root from beets. It’s too starchy for rabbits and can quickly cause gastrointestinal health issues if your rabbit eats too much.

Can Rabbits Eat Beet Leaves?

Yes, rabbits can eat beet leaves. But if you give them to your rabbit, make sure they’re either organic or properly rinsed so there’s no lingering chemicals. Also, moderate the portion as the leaves are high in harmful oxalates.

Can Rabbits Eat Beet Stalks?

Yes, rabbits can eat beet stalks, but like beet leaves, this green part of the beet plant has high levels of oxalates. So it is safe, as long as you limit the oxalates they’re getting from other parts of their diet and wash it first.

Can Rabbits Eat Canned Beet?

No, rabbits shouldn’t eat canned beets. This is because they are full of extra ingredients like sugar, starch, and salts which act as preservatives to give the beet a long shelf life. But these additives make the beet extra unhealthy for your rabbit.

Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Beet?

No, rabbits can’t eat cooked beet. No matter how it’s been cooked (roasted, boiled, or something else) the cooking process will decrease the nutrients and change the texture. Rabbits need to avoid eating soft food that doesn’t have much nutritional value.

Can Baby Rabbits Eat Beets?

No, baby rabbits can’t eat beets. Until they’re three months old, rabbits need to be eating only hay and pellets. These should be age-appropriate and are the only things your rabbit needs at this stage. When they’re older, you can gradually introduce new food into their diet.

How to Introduce Beet to Your Rabbit

When giving your rabbit beet for the first time, just give them half a teaspoon of beet to try. Limiting the portion allows you to make sure your rabbit can digest it with no issues. If this is the case, you can increase the portion next time.

What Else Do Rabbits Eat?

In addition to occasional treats like beetroot, rabbits need unlimited access to hay, a mixture of fresh vegetables every day. They should also have a daily bowl of pellets and fresh drinking water.

Leave a Comment