No, rabbits can’t have iceberg lettuce. Though there are some types of lettuce (read on to find out which ones) that are beneficial for rabbits, iceberg lettuce isn’t one of those.
Iceberg lettuce has a natural opiate called lactucarium in it, which is harmful to rabbits in large doses. It also has very little nutritional value.
Why Can’t Rabbits Eat Iceberg Lettuce?
There are several reasons why you shouldn’t give your rabbit iceberg lettuce.
It provides barely any nutrition – with low levels of vitamins, minerals, and fiber (all of which your rabbit needs a lot of).
The opiate lactucarium is especially bad in large doses for rabbits. It affects the nervous system by having a sedative effect. If you suspect that your rabbit is unwell after eating iceberg lettuce, take them to a vet ASAP.
Iceberg lettuce also has a very high water content. This can be the cause of diarrhea and also bloating. Your rabbit should have access to fresh water to keep hydrated.
What if My Rabbit Eats Iceberg Lettuce?
If your rabbit has eaten iceberg lettuce, they might be okay. In small amounts, the lettuce might have no effect or just cause some minor stomach pain for your furry friend.
But if your rabbit eats a lot of lettuce, they’re more likely to have a problem.
Keep a close eye on your pet after they’ve eaten iceberg lettuce. Always be ready to make a trip to the vet if necessary. The only other thing you should be doing is feeding your rabbit a balanced diet of hay, rabbit-friendly vegetables, pellets, and treats.
What Lettuce Can Rabbits Eat?
Two of the best varieties of lettuce that are rabbit-friendly include Romaine and dark leaf lettuce. Rabbits can also have arugula lettuce. It’s also known as ‘rocket lettuce’ – a leafy green vegetable with a peppery taste.
If your rabbit is trying either of these rabbit-friendly lettuces for the first time (or any new food) they need to be introduced to it slowly. Start with a small piece of lettuce and monitor your rabbit over the next day. You need to be especially checking their poop. If it’s loose, there’s a problem.
Before giving your rabbit lettuce, make sure you wash it first. You want to rinse off any potential chemicals left from when the lettuce was grown.