Yes, rabbits can eat bok choy. This type of Chinese cabbage is safe for rabbits to eat and can be given to them as part of the fresh vegetable part of their diet. It has a lot of nutrients that are beneficial to your rabbit. The stems, cores, and leaves are all safe for rabbits to eat – but most people prefer to just give rabbits the leaves which are the least gassy.
Rabbits should have one cup of fresh vegetables for every two pounds that they weigh. This is best if it’s made up of a variety of different vegetables, but can include bok choy.
Health Benefits of Rabbits Eating Bok Choy
Bok choy is a tasty snack for your rabbit that’ll give them a bunch of health benefits if it’s eaten in moderation.
Bok choy contains:
- Calcium: Good for preventing bladder stones and for strong teeth and bones.
- Antioxidants: It fights free radicals and helps protect your rabbit’s body from disease.
- Vitamin A: Boosts your rabbit’s vision and reproductive functions.
- Vitamin C: An antioxidant that aids the formation of bones, teeth, and gums as well as supporting iron absorption.
- Vitamin K: Helps blood to clot and for a more efficient immune system.
- Hardly any calories: So your rabbit can eat it without being at risk from significant weight gain.
- Low amounts of oxalates: Unlike other leafy greens (like spinach), bok choy has a low amount of harmful oxalates.
It’s also crunchy (which rabbits love) and it’ll benefit their teeth to eat food with a crunchy texture.
Risks of Rabbits Eating Bok Choy
Although it’s packed full of nutrients, too much bok choy can harm your rabbit.
Bok Choy can cause:
- Gas: Bok choy is a gassy snack, with the leaves being the least gassy part. In large quantities, it can cause painful bloating. One distinct sign of gas is if your rabbit is hunched or sitting in an unusual position.
- Diarrhea: An upset stomach for your rabbit might look like loose stools. This can quickly lead to dehydration and your rabbit missing out on nutrients.
- Gastrointestinal Stasis: Eating the wrong diet can upset the bacteria balance in your rabbit’s stomach. This slows down the passage of food through the GI tract and can cause blockages. If untreated, it can be fatal.
If your rabbit is in discomfort, has stopped eating, or has been unwell after eating bok choy, contact a vet as soon as you can.
How to Give Your Rabbit Bok Choy for the First Time
If your rabbit hasn’t had bok choy before, follow these steps:
- Wash the bok choy under running water (to rinse off any chemicals).
- Cut off the stems and cores (you can keep these if you choose, but be aware that they are gassier than the leaves).
- Serve just a couple of leaves to your rabbit.
- Monitor them for any reaction (if they get sick, speak to a vet).
- If they’re okay, you can give them a bigger portion next time.
- Make sure they have plenty of hay and water.
- Mix bok choy with other leafy greens for the healthiest diet.
Organic bok choy is best, but wherever you get it from it’s always worth washing it before letting your rabbit eat any.
Can Rabbits Have Bok Choy Stems?
Yes, rabbits can have bok choy stems. The stems (and cores) are gassier, so take care to limit the portions when you give them to your rabbits so they don’t overeat. If your rabbit has a sensitive stomach, you may want to avoid giving them bok choy stems.
Can Rabbits Have Bok Choy Cores?
Yes, rabbits can have bok choy cores. The cores (and the stems) can cause more gas in rabbits, so while it’s safe, make sure you moderate the portions so as not to overdo it. If your rabbit has a history of a sensitive stomach, you might want to avoid giving them bok choy cores.
Can Rabbits Have Bok Choy Leaves?
Yes, rabbits can eat bok choy leaves. This is the most common part of bok choy that’s usually given to rabbits, although the stems and cores are all safe in moderation. As always, remember to wash vegetables before serving them to your rabbit.
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Bok Choy?
No, baby rabbits can’t eat bok choy. You should wait until your rabbit has had time to mature before you give them new foods. Once they’re over three months old, it’s a good time to slowly bring new food into their diet. Before this, they should just eat hay and pellets.
What Else Should Rabbits Eat?
As well as fresh vegetables every day (including bok choy), rabbits should have unlimited hay and drinking water. Every day they can have a small number of pellets and two or three times a week they can have treats. The key to a healthy rabbit is a balanced diet.