Can rabbits eat carrots as part of a healthy diet? Yes, but only in moderation! Rabbits love eating carrots. They taste great and satisfy their instinct to chew. But although bunnies like eating carrots, they aren’t as healthy as they might seem. Carrots are a root vegetable, high in carbohydrates including sugars. This means they aren’t ideal for their digestion or teeth. Feeding a bit of carrot every other day to a bunny over 3 months old won’t hurt most rabbits, but you need to be careful that they are eating other less yummy things that their bodies need too. A good pet bunny diet should be mostly hay or grass, with their rabbit pellets and the occasional treat making up the rest. Today we’ll share exactly how to dish out those carroty treats to help keep your bunnies healthy at each stage of their growth and development.
- What are carrots?
- Can rabbits eat carrots every day?
- How often can rabbits eat carrots?
- Can wild rabbits eat carrots?
- Feeding carrots to baby bunnies
Carrots and rabbits seem like the perfect pairing, mainly thanks to a certain cartoon bunny. But are these sweet root vegetables really good for your pet? Animal experts say no. But why is that?
What Are Carrots?
Carrots are a veggie, so naturally we assume that they are healthy. But in reality, not all vegetables are equal when it comes to what they contain.
Carrots are a root vegetable, growing underground in a similar manner to the potato. And just like the potato, they are very high in carbohydrates.
Can Rabbits Eat Carrots Every Day?
Bugs Bunny may have loved them, but in reality carrots shouldn’t be a big part of your rabbit’s diet. Rabbits are herbivores. Their natural diet consists of a lot of fibrous plant material that keeps their digestive system in good shape.
While carrots do contain some beneficial nutrients, they’re also high in sugar. Bunnies love ’em, but they are best used as treats.
Too much sugar and starch can disrupt your rabbit’s sensitive digestion, changing the delicate balance of the gut flora in his stomach. Can rabbits eat carrots every day?
If your rabbit has no health issues, it’s fine for him to nibble a carrot every day. But only in limited amounts. Bunnies should enjoy these sweet treats sparingly.
Can Rabbits Eat Carrots As Part Of A Healthy Diet?
Carrots are high in fibre, calcium and Vitamin A. But they’re also high in sugar and starch. So it’s important to get the balance right when introducing them to your bunny’s diet.
This doesn’t mean rabbits can’t ever have carrots, but you need to be careful. They should never make up the bulk of your bunny’s diet as they can cause health problems in the long-term.
If he eats too many carrots your rabbit could suffer from obesity, digestive problems and tooth decay. Think of them as nature’s candy. Just as you wouldn’t eat chocolate bars every day, your bunny shouldn’t either!
Do Rabbits Like Carrots?
Of course they do! Rabbits find carrots highly palatable. Not only are they sweet and tasty, carrots also have a tough texture that rabbits love. Bunnies need to gnaw.
Chewing on tough food helps them keep their teeth sharp, and boost their dental health. So your rabbit will go crazy for a carrot, but it’s important not to let them become addicted. Feed them too many carrots and they might start turning their nose up at their regular food.
While carrots are a great treat option, there are other sweet snacks your bunny will enjoy such as apples and bananas (in moderation of course!). Keep a few treats in rotation so he doesn’t get bored or fussy, and gets a wider range of nutrients.
Do bunnies eat carrots? Yes, but they shouldn’t be allowed to binge on them!
Can Rabbits Eat Carrots In The Wild?
In the wild, rabbits spend nearly half of their time eating. They forage for their food, coming out mostly in the late afternoon and evening.
So do rabbits eat carrots in the wild? Yes, if they get the opportunity. A wild rabbit might come across a patch of tasty carrots in someone’s vegetable plot, and they wouldn’t miss the chance to devour whatever they could.
These sweet treats are not only delicious, they’re also energy dense and provide a good meal. But wild rabbits are unlikely to eat carrots on a regular basis. Most of their meals would consist of grass, hay, roots, leaves and fruit and veggies when they can get them.
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Carrots?
Baby bunnies are still developing their digestive systems, so it’s important to go slow with any new food. Your new bunny shouldn’t get vegetables until they are over 3 months old.
At that stage, you can introduce veggies one at a time in small quantities. A small slice once a day will suffice. If your rabbit has any elimination problems, or vomiting, then don’t feed them any more carrot and consult your vet.
Can Rabbits Eat Carrots Safely?
Rabbits are herbivores. Their digestive systems are designed to handle large amounts of roughage. They do best with lots of fibrous food such as hay, grass, roots, herbs, leaves, bark and veggies and fruits as treats.
An adult rabbit’s diet should be made up of good quality nuggets, along with hay and a few leafy greens
They hay should make up the vast majority.
So can you feed rabbits carrots too?
Yes. But no more than a quarter of a carrot every other day is a good rule of thumb.
Should Rabbits Eat Carrots?
Carrots (and carrot tops) are high in nutrients and fibre, so shouldn’t be avoided entirely. You can even use carrots as a training treat or a way to measure your rabbit’s appetite.
If your bunny isn’t eating it could be a sign that something’s wrong. And if he’s not tempted by a delicious carrot, you might need to investigate further with your vet.
Always make sure you use fresh carrots, that have been rinsed well. And choose organic where possible. A rabbit’s digestive system is very sensitive to spoiled food so give your bunny the best. And make sure he always has enough water on hand to keep him happy and hydrated.
More Rabbit Guides
- Gibb, J, A, “Sociality, time and space in a sparse population of rabbits.”, Journal of Zoology, 1993
- The House Rabbit Society
- The Humane Society of the United States,
- Peter R. Cheeke. Rabbit Feeding and Nutrition.
- Buddington and Diamond. 1990. Ontogenetic development of monosaccharide and amino acid transporters in rabbit intestine. American Journal of Physiology.
- Hamilton and Carol. 1976. Plasma cholesterol levels in rabbits fed low fat, low cholesterol diets Effects of dietary proteins, carbohydrates and fibre from different sources. Atherosclerosis.