Yes, rabbits can eat grass. They can eat a lot of grass since it’s one of the best sources of fiber (second only to hay). It’s so good that wild rabbits live self-sufficiently from it. Grass also contains a bunch of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your rabbit.
Always supervise your rabbit if they’re eating grass outside. There are plenty of dangers in the garden that you need to look out for – like predators or toxic plants. And if you don’t have a yard with grass, don’t worry – there are other options.
Read on to find out more.
Your rabbit will love free reign in your yard to eat grass to their heart’s content.
But if you don’t have grass? There are a few alternatives you can do so your rabbit isn’t missing out!
- You could use someone else’s yard (with their permission). Make sure the area is secure and the grass untreated.
- Pet stores sell grass based products. You can also get extra flavors like dandelion or herbs.
- You could grow grass in your home. If you have a tray, soil, and grass seed you’ll just need a sunny spot and remember to water it.
There are also a few things worth checking if you do have grass, to help keep your rabbit safe. This can help prevent an ordinary grazing from turning into a worrying vet trip.
- Is the garden secure? This means no points where the rabbit can leave the property, no dangerous items, and safe from predators.
- Has the grass been treated? If you’ve used any sort of chemicals like weed killer or repellent, it becomes toxic to rabbits.
- What else grows? There are a bunch of toxic plants, flowers, and weeds that your rabbit needs to stay far away from. Find out which ones from Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund.
- Is your rabbit sick? If your rabbit eats grass with chemicals on or fermented grass, they might get the following symptoms: Fatigue, loss of appetite, or seizures. If you notice any of these, take your rabbit to the vet ASAP.
- Has your rabbit had grass before? If it’s your rabbit’s first time eating grass, they can only have a small amount. Too much too soon won’t give your rabbit’s stomach time to adapt to the new snack.
The most important part of a rabbit’s diet is fiber. A rabbit should eat fiber-rich foods such as hay and fresh grass to make up around 80% of their diet.
There are several reasons why rabbits need fiber. One of the most important is for gut mobility – rabbits need to be constantly getting food through their bodies to avoid blockages and aid digestion.
Another important reason for rabbits to eat fiber is to maintain good dental health. By constantly chewing, they’re preventing their teeth from growing too long and causing problems.
If a rabbit doesn’t get enough fiber, they’re going to get very sick, very quickly.
One of the most dangerous problems is if your rabbit gets gastrointestinal (GI) stasis. This condition can be fatal, by stopping the rabbit’s digestive system, they can get blockages and deteriorate really fast.
If you’re worried that your rabbit could have GI stasis, take them to a vet immediately. Symptoms include loss of appetite, diarrhea, reduced defecation, lethargy, and weight loss.
Rabbits on a low fiber diet tend to be overweight. Rabbits need a balanced diet and exercise to be as healthy as can be.
Can Rabbits Eat Grass Clippings?
No, your rabbit can’t eat grass clippings. Once the grass is cut, it starts to ferment quickly. Eating fermented grass will cause digestive issues for your rabbit. If you pick grass, it should be given to your rabbit right away, the longer it is out of the ground, the less healthy it is.
Can Rabbits Eat Grass Instead of Hay?
No, grass should be in addition to hay – not as a substitute. Hay has a lot more fiber which is essential for digestion and nutrient absorption. Also, the texture of hay means it’s great for rabbits to chew on. Finally, it isn’t as practical or possible for your rabbit to eat enough hay that they need, whereas hay is readily available from any pet store.
When Can Baby Rabbits Eat Grass?
Your baby rabbit has to be at least twelve weeks old before they can be introduced to grass. Before this, their stomachs won’t be able to digest it.
Can Rabbits Eat Grass Seed?
Yes, your rabbit could eat grass seeds as they aren’t toxic. However, too many grass seeds might lead to weight gain which in turn leads to further health issues. There are better alternatives to grass seed for your rabbit to eat.
What Should a Rabbit Eat?
As well as 80% fiber-based products like hay, your rabbit should be having a small number of pellets, a variety of fresh vegetables and treats up to twice per week. They should also have clean, fresh water at all times.