No, rabbits can’t eat potato chips. This fried, crunchy snack we know and love as potato chips (or crisps if you’re outside of America) is a potato product that’s either fried or baked. This snack contains carbohydrates and sometimes extra seasonings which won’t agree with your rabbit’s gut.
Potatoes have solanine which is toxic to rabbits in large amounts. Potato skins, leaves, and sprouts have exceptionally high contents of solanine and are very harmful to rabbits.
Anything with the word ‘potato’ in the name is best to be avoided.
Potatoes are high in starch and low in fiber.
Fiber is the most important part of a rabbit’s diet. The best form of fiber is hay, which they should have unlimited access to. Potatoes are not designed for your rabbit’s sensitive gut which is specifically made for digesting fiber.
If your rabbit does eat starch, it can cause a wide range of digestive issues. The fact that most potato chips have extra flavoring only makes them worse for your rabbit.
Your rabbit will get no little nutritional value from them and (to top it off) will end up risking upsetting their gut. It’s just not worth it.
If your rabbit has eaten a chip or two, it’s unlikely that they’ll have a fatal reaction. But you should be especially vigilant for any signs of distress or issues from your rabbit.
Potato chips are not ideal snacks but are better than their counterparts – raw, cooked, or growing potatoes. If your rabbit manages to eat one or more potatoes, you may need to check with a veterinarian and monitor for signs that they have been poisoned by a toxin called solanine.
Wild rabbits will avoid potatoes – an instinct honed to protect them from toxic foods so they’re not tempted to take a bite. Domesticated rabbits should be the same, but if offered they would likely eat cooked potato products.
If a rabbit does eat a large number of potato leaves, skins, or any foods with similarly high levels of solanine, they may suffer from solanine toxicity.
Signs to look out for with solanine toxicity include:
- Breathing difficulty: If your rabbit is struggling to breathe, they need to go directly to a vet ASAP.
- Lethargy: Lack of energy or no inclination to be active.
- Lack of appetite: Not wanting to eat could indicate internal issues.
- Diarrhea: Your rabbit’s stool has a different consistency.
- Abdominal pain: They may be hunched over in pain.
- Acting out of character: They’re not their normal selves.
If you notice any signs or suspect your rabbit has solanine toxicity, seek immediate veterinary help. In the worst cases, rabbits can fall into a coma and even die. You must protect your pet from this potential problem.
Can Rabbits Eat Raw Potatoes?
No, all potato products should be kept far out of reach of your rabbit. Though typically raw foods are best for rabbits, raw potato simply offers little nutrition and potential for gastrointestinal problems.
Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Potato?
No, your rabbit shouldn’t have any cooked potato products. Regardless of if the potato is mashed, roasted, boiled, fried, or cooked in any other way, cooked potato is very unhealthy for your rabbit.
Can Rabbits Eat the Leaves From a Potato?
No, under no circumstances should your rabbit eat leaves from a potato, this is because they are extremely toxic to rabbits. A poison called solanine can be found in potato leaves which can be fatal, so take care to steer clear from potato leaves.
Can Rabbits Eat Potato Peel?
No, you shouldn’t give your rabbit any sort of potato skin or peel. This will potentially cause digestional issues for your rabbit.