Can rabbits eat potatoes?
June 16, 2021
Potato is a staple for many people in most countries in the world, and you must be wondering if it’s a good meal for your pet rabbit’s too.
As potatoes are always at hand in houses, you might give a slice of potato to your rabbits without knowing the damage it can do it your rabbit’s health.
- Can rabbits eat potatoes?;
- Why do rabbits in the wild eat potatoes?
- Can rabbits eat potato peels?
- What if your pet rabbit eats potatoes by mistake?
Potatoes are not toxic for rabbits, and it doesn’t have any health benefits for rabbits either.
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Can rabbits eat potatoes?
Yes, rabbits can eat potatoes, but potatoes are very unhealthy for rabbits. I avoid feeding potatoes to rabbits at all costs.
Any fruit or vegetable containing a high level of sugar or carbohydrate is unhealthy for rabbits. On the other hand, potatoes have high starch and carbohydrate content.
A healthy house rabbit doesn’t need excess starch or carbohydrate in its diet because rabbits obtain all the essential minerals and nutrition from hay, dry grass, and fresh greens.
So, serving sugary fruits or vegetables like a carrot to pet rabbits is suitable as a treat. But potatoes are so rich in starch and calories that considering it a treat for rabbits is not a good idea.
Avoiding giving potatoes is best for rabbits.
Potatoes are not toxic for rabbits, but it is entirely unnecessary to feed rabbits any food with zero health benefits.
Your rabbit will not die instantly eating potatoes.
However, eating potatoes can lead to an overweight rabbit or even gastrointestinal stasis in rabbits.
Potatoes are not suitable for house rabbits.
Why do rabbits in the wild eat potatoes?
You might saw rabbits in the wild eat potatoes and thought giving potatoes to your house rabbits is also an excellent idea.
Rabbits in the wild have a similar digestive system to house rabbits. So why not give potatoes to house rabbits too?
Wild rabbits grow in a different environment and surrounding from house rabbits.
A wild rabbit has a bigger space to run around, and they hop around all day to look for food. Wild rabbits need to hide from predators and disappear in a flash.
Therefore, eating potatoes is sometimes necessary for wild rabbits. As I mentioned, potatoes are rich in starch and carbohydrates, and it helps the wild rabbits keep them full and gives them the energy to live in the wild.
On the contrary, house rabbits live an easy life, and they don’t face all the things wild rabbits have to go through.
Similarly, wild rabbits understand how much food they need for their well-being, and they won’t eat potatoes excessively. But house rabbits can be very greedy, and they don’t have the instincts to stop quickly. So eating excessive potatoes for house rabbits can be fatal.
House rabbits don’t need starchy foods at all.
A wild rabbit can have starchy food that will give them energy for some time, especially during the winter when foods are scarce for rabbits.
Can rabbits eat potato peels?
Before you cook potatoes, it might sound like a good idea to give potato peels to your pet rabbits.
Potato peels are rich in fiber, but they also have very high sugar content and carbohydrate.
So feeding potato peel is a No-No for rabbits.
Potatoes and potato peels are equally harmful to house rabbits. I suggest never feed potatoes or potato peels to your pet rabbits.
What to do if your pet rabbit eats potatoes by mistake?
If your house rabbit eats potato by mistake or potato skin, then monitor your pet rabbits for the next 24 hours.
Typically, after eating potatoes, a rabbit will have loose stools, and if the potato doesn’t alter the rabbit’s digestive system massively, then the loose stool will stop before 24 hours pass.
If your rabbit doesn’t stop defecating loose stools over 24 hours, then it’s time to take your rabbit to the vet.
Also, after consuming potatoes, a rabbit may stop defecating entirely. If you notice that your rabbit is not defecating normally, you must take your rabbit to the vet.
So it is crucial to observe your rabbits even if they eat potatoes by mistake to keep them healthy.
Another precaution to prevent rabbits from eating potatoes or potato peels by mistake is to keep potatoes in places where your rabbits can’t access them. Also, don’t keep potato peels where your rabbits can easily access them.
Potatoes are a starchy food, and pet rabbits will be attracted to that and might overeat.
You, as a rabbit guardian, want to give varieties of food to rabbits. That is a good thing for pet rabbits because a variable diet keeps rabbits healthy and happy.
However, potato is not an option to include in your rabbits’ diet.
I strongly suggest never to feed potatoes to pet rabbits, no matter how much interest your rabbit shows in eating potatoes.
Potatoes are not toxic, but it’s best to prevent rabbits from eating potatoes or potato skin.