You know that rabbits have specific dietary needs to stay healthy. While hay should make up the majority of your bunny’s diet, fresh foods can also be beneficial for your pet’s health. It can be tempting to try to share some of your own food with your rabbit, especially if they’re curious about what’s on your plate. However, it’s important to know which human foods are safe for rabbits to eat, and which ones could be harmful.
Vegetables are the best human food to give your pet rabbit, especially fresh raw greens like kale, herbs, and spring greens. Sweet vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, cucumber, and broccoli can also be given occasionally (but not all the time), as can some sweet fruits. It’s important to note that fresh foods should only be given in moderation and should never replace hay in a rabbit’s diet.
However, not all human foods are safe for rabbits to eat. Some foods can cause digestive problems or even be toxic to your pet. For example, iceberg lettuce, avocado, fruit pits or pips, and rhubarb are all dangerous for rabbits to consume. Learn more about which foods to avoid by checking out my other article on bad foods for rabbits.
Remember, always introduce any new food slowly to monitor how your rabbit reacts, and focus on variety to provide a range of nutrients.
Important: This post contains affiliate links. As an associate to Amazon, Small Pet Select, and Chewy.com, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
1. Salad greens
Salad greens are probably the best type of human food to give to your rabbit (there is a reason it’s jokingly called rabbit food). While you certainly don’t want to overdo it and give your rabbit unlimited salad greens, they are overall quite healthy for rabbits to have and a recommended part of their daily diet. Generally, it’s okay to give your rabbit up to 1-2 cups of salad greens per day.
The options are pretty wide here too. Just about any salad mix you find in the grocery store is okay to give your rabbit. I usually prefer to find some kind of ‘spring mix’ salad, since these tend to have the most nutritional choices of greens for rabbits.
If you’re looking for specific salad greens, romaine lettuce, leafy lettuces, arugula, and kale tend to be my rabbit’s favorites. You can check out a full list of salad greens that are safe for rabbits.
The one that it’s worth mentioning to stay away from is iceberg lettuce. This type of lettuce is not nutritionally beneficial for your bunny, and it has the potential to lead to digestive issues over time.
2. Cuttings from vegetables
It’s also great to give rabbits the parts of human foods that you would otherwise throw out. When you’re chopping veggies for your meal, don’t toss all the trimmings just yet! Your bunny might appreciate a nibble on these nutritious cuttings.
Always remember moderation is key. Your bunny’s main diet should still be hay, but these greens can provide a good variety.
Here’s a quick list of ideas for veggie cuttings that are safe for your bunny:
- Carrot tops
- Strawberry leaves
- Broccoli stems and leaves
- Celery leaves
- Cucumber ends
- Herb stems (such as parsley and cilantro)
*Avoid any stems and leaves from tomatoes and potatoes and any kind of pips or pits.
Lastly, just like when cooking for yourself, wash all cuttings well to remove pesticides or contaminants. And watch your bunny’s reaction to new foods—introduce them slowly and be mindful of any changes in digestion or behavior.
3. Fresh and dried fruits
When it comes to treating your bunny, fresh fruits are a great option. Most rabbits have a pretty serious sweet tooth, and they’ll go crazy for any kind of fruit they can get their mouth on.
However, it’s essential to serve fruit in moderation due to their high sugar content. Think of fresh fruits as little treats and not a major part of their diet. The ideal amount for your rabbit will depend on their size and how hardy their digestion is, but these are some basic rules of thumb for fruit treats for rabbits per day:
- 1 medium slice of apple
- 1 medium strawberry
- 2-3 blueberries
- 1-2 raspberries
- 1-2 slices of banana
- 1-2 grapes
Dried fruits are also okay to give to rabbits, but they are more concentrated in sugar, so you need to be extra cautious with the portion size. If you decide to offer dried fruit, keep it to the equivalent fresh fruit portion. For instance, if 2 grapes are the max fresh serving, then 2 raisins would be the max dried serving. Always ensure that the dried fruit is free of added sugars or preservatives.
Some fruits that your bunny might enjoy include:
- Apple (seeds removed)
- Bell pepper
You can also offer mashed fruit, such as unsweetened applesauce, to your rabbit.
4. Herbs (dried herbs too)
Your bunny can benefit from a variety of herbs, whether fresh or dried. Herbs are one of the best ways to supplement your bunny’s diet with extra flavor and nutrients. If you use herbs with your own food prep, you can remove the leafy bits to cook with and give the stems to your rabbits. One of my rabbits even prefers the stems!
Safe herbs for bunnies include:
- (More types of herbs)
Herbs that contain flowers should be given only as treats, since the flowers tend to have more calories and less fiber.
Consider dried herb blends for rabbits too! Dried herbs are a convenient option since you don’t have to worry about them spoiling in your fridge or how quickly they can grow back in the pot. Dried herbs can also easily be mixed with hay to entice your furry friend to eat more of the high-fiber hay while they’re searching for the yummy herbs.
You may want to check out Small Pet Select herb blends, which are tailored for small pets and add variety to their diet. My rabbits favorites are currently the Vit-a-licious blend and the Zen Tranquility blend. (You can use code BUNNYLADY to get 15% off of your first order)
5. Unsweetened fruit juices
When looking to treat your bunny with a drink other than water, unsweetened fruit juices are an option, but remember, only in small amounts since these are quite high in sugar already (only about a bottle cap full). It’s best to serve the juice diluted too. Aim for about 4 parts water to 1 part juice when offering it as a treat.
Bunnies have delicate digestive systems, so while this is a cute treat to give your rabbit, it’s crucial to keep it to a minimum and don’t go for anything with added sugars or artificial sweeteners. And of course, stick to non-alcoholic options only, as alcohol is harmful to rabbits.
A note on pineapple juice: There is a common idea that pineapple juice can help breakdown hairballs in a rabbit’s stomach and is good to give rabbits when they are having minor digestive issues. This is mostly a myth and pineapple juice should only be given as an occasional treat and not for medicinal purposes.
6. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are one of the few types of seeds that are okay for rabbits to eat (in small amounts, of course). I’ve had several rabbits in the past who went crazy for sunflower seeds whenever we’d give them some as treats.
Black oil sunflower seeds, in particular, contain higher levels of vitamins and nutrients that can be beneficial to rabbits. However, it’s also important to note that sunflower seeds are, in essence, high in fat and low in fiber. You want to be very careful to not overfeed these to your rabbit as it can very quickly lead to weight gain and obesity.
In general, seeds have a higher fat content than is typical of a natural rabbit diet. While these particular types of seeds are safe for rabbits to eat occasionally, they should not be given to rabbits every day.
Other types of seeds that are safe for rabbits to have as occasional treats include:
- Sunflower seeds
- Watermelon seeds
- Pine nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Safflower seeds
- Squash seeds
- “Treats,” WabbitWiki. Accessed December 10, 2023. https://wabbitwiki.com/wiki/Treats
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Recommended Products and Brands
Important: These are Affiliate links. As an associate to Amazon, Small Pet Select, and Chewy.com, I may receive a small commission from qualifying purchases.
The two brands that I use when buying food for my rabbit are Oxbow and Small Pet Select. These both have high quality rabbit products and are companies that care about the health of our small animals. If you are purchasing anything from Small Pet Select use the code BUNNYLADY at checkout to get 15% off your first order.
- Hay: Second Cutting Timothy Hay from Small Pet Select
- Pellets: Oxbow Garden Select Food for Rabbits
- Treats: Oxbow Simple Rewards
- Toys: Small Pet Select Natural Toys
- Enclosure/cage: A rabbit exercise pen
- Rabbit carrier: SleepyPod Mobile Pet Bed