No, your rabbit shouldn’t eat garlic. The only time that you should think about letting your rabbit have any sort of garlic is if you’re following the express instructions of a vet.
You should be extra careful to keep your rabbit away from garlic, onions, and tubers – which are all toxic due to such high levels of starch. These three are very similar as they are part of the lily family and all as bad as each other.
Don’t give your rabbit bulbs, cloves, raw, cooked garlic, or any other way you can imagine to have garlic. Unless specifically directed to by a vet and told exactly what dose they recommend, you could be doing more harm than good.
Though garlic does have some pretty great health benefits, it also has some serious risks – especially if large doses are consumed.
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Garlic can cause a range of issues for your rabbit. These risks are increased with the more garlic that is consumed.
Garlic contains a high content of starch which is not ideal for your rabbit’s digestive system, which is designed for fiber-rich foods like hay.
The following issues are worst-case scenarios if your rabbit ate garlic. If this has happened and you’re worried, contact a vet ASAP. A small amount of garlic may pass through your rabbit with little effect, but you won’t know their reaction until they’re in that position.
- Immunosuppressive effect: Garlic can cause your rabbit’s immune system to weaken, which in turn makes them more likely to pick up diseases and they could suffer worse than they usually would if they hadn’t eaten garlic.
- Anaphylactic reaction: This can be triggered after an immunosuppressive effect and is potentially fatal for your rabbit.
- Too much starch: With so much starch, garlic can upset your rabbit’s gut, causing diarrhea and digestive issues.
Garlic has many health benefits for humans and almost as many for rabbits. This is due to its antibacterial properties. If used in very small amounts under the direction of a vet, garlic can be beneficial for your rabbit.
- Increases antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties from high vitamin and mineral levels.
- Helps the respiratory system function well by removing excess mucus.
- Eliminates certain toxins from the skin.
- Reduces gas in the digestive tract and your rabbit’s stomach muscles.
- Lowers serum cholesterol levels that build up from high-fat diets.
The most important part of a rabbit’s diet is fiber, and the best source of this is hay.
You should also be giving your rabbit fresh vegetables twice daily, a portion of pellets every day, and treats. Don’t forget to make sure they always have access to water too.
Fun Fact: Rabbits, like many other animals, don’t like the distinct smell of garlic. Garlic is often used as a repellent for this reason. Wild rabbits won’t go near garlic if they come across any growing.