No, your rabbit can’t eat potatoes. As well as being extremely starchy, potatoes contain a toxin called solanine which is harmful to rabbits if consumed in large amounts. The safest thing to do is to avoid all things potatoes – including potato skins, leaves, sprouts, and potato products.
It doesn’t matter how it’s cooked, what other ingredients it’s combined with, or which part of the potato. If your rabbit regularly eats anything potato, they will without a doubt end up sick. Their sickness could be diarrhea, or it could end up being fatal (or somewhere in between).
So for the sake of your rabbit, keep away from potatoes and stick with a rabbit-friendly diet. Ideally, they would get unlimited hay, two portions of mixed fresh vegetables every day, a handful of pellets daily, fresh water, and treats.
The green parts of the potato plant (leaves, stalks, and vines) have a high concentration of the toxin solanine.
If a rabbit does eat a large number of potato parts that have high levels of solanine, they may suffer from solanine toxicity. Quick reactions like removing the toxic food and getting your rabbit to a vet as fast as you can will often have a hand in your rabbit’s recovery speed.
Watch out for these signs which could indicate that your rabbit is suffering from solanine toxicity:
- Breathing difficulty: If your rabbit is struggling to breathe, it’s extremely important to get them to a vet as fast as you can.
- Lethargy: Lack of energy or no inclination to move around.
- Lack of appetite: Lack of interest in food could indicate internal issues.
- Diarrhea: Your rabbit’s stool is loose.
- Abdominal pain: They may be hunched over in pain.
- Acting out of character: They’re not behaving as they normally do.
If you offered potatoes to your rabbit, they’d probably take a bite. As grazers, rabbits would eat all day long and try pretty much anything. But that doesn’t mean they can eat anything. As herbivores, rabbits need to be on a specific, plant-based diet to be healthy.
If your rabbit eats just a little bit of potato, they might be okay. Monitor them for any reactions and make sure they have access to water and hay.
However, if your rabbit eats potatoes regularly or eats a lot of potatoes in one go, you should take them to a vet. Watch out for any signs of solanine toxicity and take the potato away from your rabbit immediately. Usually, the faster you react, the greater the chances of recovery are for your rabbit.
Fun Fact: Wild rabbits will typically ignore potatoes growing in the wild in favor of safer, more nutritious options. They have evolved to know not to eat certain foods that can be fatal to them. That being said, if there are few alternatives, wild rabbits will eat potatoes if it’s the difference between life or death for them (and in some cases, it might be if they eat too much solanine without medical intervention).
Are Any Parts of Potato Safe to Eat?
To sum up, no part of potatoes or the potato plant is safe for rabbits to eat. They’re all likely to upset your rabbit’s stomach if eaten. Some of them are worse since they contain high levels of solanine, but none of them make an ideal snack.
You should never give your rabbit potato leaves to eat. The toxin solanine is found in extra-large quantities in potato leaves. Although leaves usually make a brilliant snack for rabbits, in the case of potatoes you should steer clear. If your rabbit does eat potato leaves, they might have serious gastrointestinal problems afterward.
No, rabbits can’t eat potato skin or peel. The starchy peel of the potato should be avoided. Despite having fiber and less starch than the potato itself, the peel still has enough starch to cause gastrointestinal distress.
No, rabbits can’t eat potato sprouts. Similar to potato leaves, potato sprouts are toxic to rabbits and can cause a great deal of harm if eaten. If your rabbit had a little nibble on a potato sprout in the garden, they should be okay. It’s only if they eat a lot of potato sprouts that the toxin builds up and may require a vet trip.
No, rabbits can’t eat potato stalks. They are (like the other green parts of the potato) toxic to rabbits since the stalks have solanine in them. If you grow potatoes at home, you need to be extra careful to keep your rabbit away from where they grow.
Can Rabbits Eat Raw Potatoes?
No, rabbits can’t eat raw potatoes. Starchy carbohydrates are not ideal for rabbits. The general rule of thumb for rabbit food is that it should be given to them raw, but in this case, both raw and cooked potatoes are as bad as each other. There’s no safe way for your rabbit to eat raw potatoes.
Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Potato?
No, your rabbit shouldn’t have any cooked potato products. The process of cooking breaks down the fiber in the potato and leaves it packed full of starch. All forms of potato should be avoided, it doesn’t matter how the potato is cooked – if it’s boiled, baked, fried, or any other method of cooking.
Can Rabbits Eat Sweet Potatoes?
No, your rabbit shouldn’t eat sweet potatoes. Though they aren’t toxic (like regular potatoes), they are packed full of sugar and starch. For humans that gives them an extra sweet taste – but for rabbits, that gives them digestive issues.
Can Rabbits Eat Sweet Potato Vines and Leaves?
Yes, rabbits can eat sweet potato vines and leaves. They are safe to eat and make a super tasty snack for rabbits. The sweet potato leaves also contain fiber and protein that are essential for rabbit growth and digestion. As long as you make sure it’s just the vines and leaves (not the sweet potatoes themselves) then you should be good.
Can Rabbits Eat Potato Chips?
No, rabbits can’t eat potato chips. They contain carbohydrates and a lot of the time have extra seasonings that won’t agree with your rabbit’s gut. Eating too many potato chips would result in stomach upset for your rabbit.