Things That Are Harmful for Your Rabbit

Things harmful to rabbits

Things harmful to rabbits

Rabbits can be adversely affected by a number of foods, plants and products. The effects can range from harmful to poisonous so it is vital to know what kind of things could prove fatal for your bunny.


Rabbits may well be vegetarians but don’t assume that this means that any vegetable or plant can be tolerated. Many of the foods that we safely consume should not be given to bunnies. Some foods that are known to be problematic for rabbits include:

Fruit Pips and Some Fruits: These contain small amounts of cyanide, which can be harmful for rabbits. Apple and pear pips fall into this category, along with the pits from apricots, peaches and plums. Cherry pits can be poisonous. Cyanide can also be found in mango

Parsnips: These contain psolarens, which can be poisonous for bunnies.

Avocadoes: These contain persin, which can be toxic for rabbits.

Nuts: Nuts are not good for overall health as their protein content can lead to weight gain and shorten your rabbit’s life span.

Grapes and raisins: These are not poisonous as such but they should not be fed regularly due to the sugar content.

Chocolate: The presence of theobromine can be harmful for rabbits (along with cats and dogs) as they cannot break it down.

Anything containing Xylitol sweeteners: Any food item containing this sweetener can lead to liver failure and seizures in rabbits.

Milk and Milk-Based Foods: Rabbits are not able to break down lactose as well as most humans, which can lead to digestive problems such as diarrhoea.

Onion, Garlic & Chive: These can cause gastrointestinal problems, which could prove fatal.


If your rabbit is able to play in the garden, be aware that there are several garden plants that can be very harmful, including:


All parts can be dangerous if ingested but the leaves and berries are a particular concern. The symptoms of ivy poisoning can include lethargy, diarrhoea and loss of appetite. Severe poisoning usually proves fatal and can be indicated by fitting, twitching, collapse and paralysis. Seek emergency treatment from your vet if you suspect that your rabbit has developed ivy poisoning.


Raw rhubarb in particular can be poisonous for many animals, including rabbits. Symptoms of rhubarb poisoning include mouth irritation, loss of appetite, lethargy, diarrhoea, tenderness in the abdominal area and severe dehydration. Although this type of poisoning is not normally fatal, you should still consult your vet if you think that your bunny has eaten rhubarb.


This plant contains cardiac glycosides, which can be toxic even if eaten in very small amounts. Symptoms of foxglove poisoning include dehydration, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, weakness and an irregular heartbeat. Severe poisoning can be indicated by tremors and fits but this is not that common.


While rabbits can usually eat these foods, the plants can be harmful if ingested by rabbits.

Cleaning Products

Most household cleaning products can be harmful for rabbits. To be on the safe side, use a weak combination of vinegar and water to clean your bunny’s hutch, litter box and any other areas where your rabbit tends to go.


Plants that have recently been sprayed with herbicides (weed killers) can expose your rabbit to glyphosate and other potentially poisonous ingredients. Symptoms of poisoning include weakness, lethargy and appetite loss. Some rabbits may also experience strong abdominal pain and breathing problems, and have less chance of recovery even with treatment.

Remember that large amounts good quality grass and hay are the best thing to promote dental, gastrointestinal and general health for rabbits.

[Photo Credits:Dulup]