Can Rabbits Eat Dandelion?

Rabbits May 2, 2022
Written by | Updated May 4, 2022
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Can Rabbits Eat Dandelion?

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For decades, dandelions have been viewed as nothing more than weeds. These days, many of us are sparing the dandelions in our lawns since they are one of the first spring foods for bees.

If you’re among those who don’t mind fragrant yellow flowers popping up in your lawn, you might be wondering if it’s okay to give some of those dandelions to your rabbit.

The quick answer is yes! Dandelions are okay for rabbits. There’s a lot more to learn though, so stick with us. We’re about to share everything we know about dandelions for rabbits.

Can Rabbits Have Dandelions?

Yes! Dandelions are a healthy, natural treat for rabbits. Even so, it’s very important to give your bunny a gradual introduction to dandelion.

In addition, it’s vital to make sure that you get your rabbit’s dandelions from a safe source. Make sure that no herbicide or pesticide has been used, and double check to ensure that other pets haven’t used that area as a toilet.

Is Dandelion Good For Rabbits?

Yes! Dandelions are a source of many vitamins and minerals that can help your bunny thrive. If you’re feeling adventurous you can try them, too.

Quick pointer: Only give a rabbit dandelion that’s fresh and crisp, or that has been dried like hay. Wilted dandelions ferment quickly and this can cause bloating and discomfort for your bunny

Do Rabbits Like Dandelions?

Absolutely! Rabbits have always loved dandelions. We humans used to love them too.

Fun fact: during the Victorian era, people grew dandelions as salad greens. The bright yellow blossoms were highly prized for their fragrance and color, and for their usefulness as a key ingredient in dandelion wine!

These days, people are rediscovering dandelion as a healthy food source – some farms grow dandelion and some markets carry it. If you can’t find wild dandelion growing, you may be able to purchase some as a treat for your rabbit and in addition to your own salad

How Much Dandelion Can A Rabbit Eat?

It all depends on your rabbit’s size and whether they’re accustomed to eating fresh foods.

Here’s how much dandelion to feed a rabbit:

AgeAmount
Baby rabbitNone
Adult rabbit5 large dandelion leaves – enough to make a nice handful

Even though dandelion is perfectly natural, you’ll want to make a gradual introduction just as you do with other new foods you feed your rabbit.

Start by offering your bunny just one or two dandelion leaves. If you have fresh dandelion flowers, it’s okay to offer a small piece of blossom as well – just about the size of a nickel.

While indigestion isn’t likely, you should keep a close eye on your rabbit for the next 24 hours or so. Watch for problems including bloating, discomfort, and diarrhea. This is something you should do every time your rabbit tries a new food for the very first time.

So long as everything turns out okay, you can offer your rabbit dandelion in larger amounts as time passes. Just be sure to mix it with other greens if you’re offering it frequently.

How Often Can A Rabbit Eat Dandelions?

Even though dandelions are one hundred percent natural, they are very high in calcium. It’s important to watch your rabbit’s calcium intake since too much calcium can bind to the oxalates in vegetables and eventually lead to the formation of bladder sludge and kidney stones.

This means you’ll want to limit your rabbit’s dandelion consumption.

If you have fresh, clean dandelions on hand, you can offer them to your rabbit 3 to 4 times per week but not on the same days as you offer other high calcium foods

The Correct Diet is Important

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching wild bunnies, you might already know that dandelion is a natural part of the wild rabbit’s diet. No wonder pet bunnies love them!

Dandelions might be perfectly natural and beneficial to your rabbit, but they should only make up a small portion of your rabbit’s overall intake.

Here’s a quick guide to feeding your rabbit every day:

  • Timothy, orchard, or oat hayFresh hay should be your rabbit’s main food source. Keep it available 24/7.
  • Age-appropriate rabbit food – Check the package to see how much rabbit food your bunny should eat every day.
  • About one tablespoon of large unsalted seeds unless they’re pre-mixed into your rabbit’s food. Pumpkin seeds, pepitas, and sunflower seeds are some favorites, and they’re great for your rabbit’s teeth.
  • About a cup of fresh leafy greens per two pounds of your rabbit’s body weight, plus a few crunchy veggies for nibbling.
  • Clean, fresh water – Rinse and refill your rabbit’s drinking bottle at least once each day.
  • Natural treats including fruits and vegetables. Offer just a teaspoon of fruit per two pounds of your rabbit’s body weight.

Besides good food, your rabbit needs plenty of things to chew. Constant chewing and nibbling is essential for your rabbit’s dental health.

A rabbit’s teeth are always growing. It’s very important to provide your bunny with rabbit toys, hay cubes, and other safe chewable items.

Besides preventing your rabbit’s teeth from becoming overgrown, these items help prevent boredom. Just like comfy bedding, they make your rabbits hutch feel like home.

What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Dandelions In A Rabbit’s Diet?

Besides dandelion, there are lots of other healthy treats to consider for your pet bunny.

Here are some to try:

Remember to look for details about each new food you plan to give your rabbit. This is the best way to avoid toxins and to ensure that your bunny gets the right amount of each item on their menu.

For now, why not offer your rabbit dandelion and see how they respond? Most bunnies love it!

FAQ

Is dandelion safe for rabbits?

Yes, so long as you have a safe source of dandelion that hasn't been treated with chemicals or used as a toilet by other pets, dandelion is safe for your rabbit to eat.

Can dandelion make my rabbit sick?

Yes – unfortunately, dandelion can make your rabbit sick even though it isn't very likely. The best way to keep your rabbits safe is to offer just a little bit of dandelion at first and to gradually increase the amount you provide.
Remember that dandelion is high in calcium and only offer it as recommended. This can help prevent the likelihood of long-term issues related with the overconsumption of calcium rich foods. Keeping your rabbits dandelion intake at a moderate level can help prevent kidney stones and bladder sludge.

Can rabbits eat dandelion flowers?

Yes! Rabbits can eat dandelion flowers. Most bunnies go crazy for dandelion blossoms.

Can rabbits eat dandelion roots?

Yes – even though wild rabbits don't dig up dandelion roots and eat them, their safe for your bunny to eat so long as they haven't been treated with any chemicals. If you decide to give a rabbit dandelion root, be sure to wash it well before offering it to them.

Can my rabbit eat dandelion from the lawn?

Yes, it's okay to let your rabbit eat dandelions from the lawn so long as they have not been treated with herbicides, pesticides, or other chemicals.

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Anne is a wellness writer with a lifelong love of animals large and small. As a former veterinary technician, she has a passion for your pet’s well-being. Anne rescues and rehabilitates animals in need. She shares her farm with lots of critters including horses, sheep, dogs, cats, rabbits, and chickens.
2 Comments
  1. Wayne

    What age do you consider to be baby rabbit? Someone brought me a wild baby not fully weened and I tried solid food. It had a preference for dandelion leaf. High calcium should not be much of a problem for babys.

    • Kate Barrington

      Hi Wayne! We'd generally consider a rabbit to be a baby or juvenile up until about 6 months. Some breeds may reach their full size more quickly.

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