Can Rabbits Eat Onion?

Rabbits May 11, 2022
Written by | Updated Mar 31, 2024
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Can Rabbits Eat Onion?

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Onions add savory flavor to dishes of all kinds. They’re an essential ingredient in many foods, and for those who enjoy eating them raw, they can be an outstanding addition to salads and sandwiches.

If you’re someone who loves onions, you probably wonder whether it’s okay to share with your pet.

When it comes to the subject of onions for bunny rabbits, there are a couple of questions we hear often, and it’s time we addressed them:

Can rabbits have onions? If so, how much can they have and how often can they eat them?

Stick with us, because were about to share everything we know about onions for rabbits – including the reasons why this is one veggie that needs to be put on your bunny’s “danger” list.

Onion Nutritional Facts

If you like onions, you’re in luck! Even though you shouldn’t share them with your bunny, they make a good addition to your diet.

Onion is a good source of many nutrients, but the amount of each one depends on the variety of onion you choose.

Most varieties contain the following nutrients:

  • vitamin C
  • vitamin A
  • potassium
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • iron
  • folate
  • phosphorus
  • zinc
  • manganese

Can Rabbits Have Onion?

No! Unfortunately, rabbits cannot have allium vegetables of any kind – including onions. While this vegetable is perfectly safe for humans and many animals, it’s one of a handful of foods that are toxic to rabbits.

Is Onion Good For Rabbits?

Absolutely not! Onions can cause your rabbit to lose red blood cells, creating a potentially fatal disorder called hemolytic anemia. In addition, onions can cause anaphylactic shock in rabbits.

If your rabbit eats even a little bit of onion, you might notice that they seem dizzy and weak shortly afterward. It’s important to seek treatment immediately.

Do Rabbits Like Onion?

Since onions are toxic to rabbits, we’ve never attempted to offer any. There’s no way we’d risk our pets’ lives for the sake of a silly food experiment.

How Much Onion Can A Rabbit Eat?

None! Never give onion to a rabbit.

Age Amount
Baby rabbit None
Adult rabbit 5 onion leaves

In case you’re here after the fact and your rabbit has ingested any amount of onion, get on the phone with your vet immediately. We aren’t here to frighten you, but your bunny could die without medical intervention.

How Often Can A Rabbit Eat Onion?

Since this is another common question about onions for rabbits, we thought we’d better provide an answer. We’re pretty sure that you already guessed what it is.

Never. Don’t even think about giving an onion to a rabbit.

The Correct Diet is Important

Since onions aren’t on the menu, you might be wondering about what rabbits should eat as part of a healthy diet.

Good news! There are lots of health foods they can have instead of onion.

We recommend feeding your pet bunny a diet that closely mimics that of a wild rabbit. In the wild, rabbits eat a selection of low growing plants – mostly grasses.

A rabbit’s digestive system is designed specifically for this diet. The long fibers in the grasses keep your rabbit’s digestion moving.

With optimal health in mind, here are our recommendations for feeding your rabbit the right way, every day:

  • Fresh hay is a bunny rabbit’s most important food source. Not only does the fiber keep your pet’s digestive tract moving, all that adorable nibbling helps keep your rabbit’s teeth from becoming overgrown. Keep fresh rabbit hay available 24/7.
  • High-quality rabbit food – Since different brands recommend different serving sizes, it’s important to check the package to see how much rabbit food your bunny should eat every day.
  • About one tablespoon of seeds unless they’re pre-mixed into your rabbit’s food. Pumpkin seeds, unsalted pepitas, and sunflower seeds are some favorites.
  • Clean, fresh water – be sure to take a moment to rinse and refill your rabbit’s drinking bottle at least once each day. Your bunny needs 24/7 access to water.
  • About a cup of fresh leafy greens per two pounds of your rabbit’s body weight, along with a few crunchy veggies for nibbling.
  • Natural treats including fruits and vegetables. Keep fruit intake low; offer no more than about a teaspoon of fruit per two pounds of your rabbit’s body weight.

There’s one more thing we’d like to mention – and that’s appropriate dental care for your bunny.

Good news! You don’t have to brush your rabbit’s teeth. Instead, you simply need to make sure that they have safe, chewable items available at all times.

The reason for this is that rabbits’ teeth never stop growing. Constant chewing and nibbling keeps your pet’s teeth at the right length, preventing them from becoming overgrown, painful and perhaps even infected.

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

Aren’t you glad that you checked to see whether onions are safe for rabbits before offering any to your bunny?

Here’s a list of healthy treats you can offer instead:

  • carrot
  • carrot tops
  • beets
  • beet tops
  • kale
  • basil
  • spinach
  • romaine
  • endive
  • escarole
  • butter lettuce
  • rocket
  • buttercrunch lettuce
  • arugula
  • swiss chard
  • cucumber
  • tomato
  • bibb lettuce
  • green beans
  • pumpkin
  • summer squash
  • winter squash
  • zucchini
  • celery
  • parsnip
  • bell pepper
  • broccoli
  • broccolini
  • watercress

The items on this list are only the beginning. There are many vegetables, fruits, and herbs that are safe for rabbits – and that your bunny will probably enjoy eating!

Just remember to look for information about every new food you consider offering your rabbit. This is the best way to avoid potential toxins and make sure that you offer healthy treats in appropriate portions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are onions safe for rabbits?

No! Onions can cause serious problems for your rabbit. Never give a rabbit onion.

Can onions make my rabbit sick?

Yes – unfortunately, onions are highly toxic to rabbits, causing serious health problems including hemolytic anemia and anaphylactic shock. Both of these issues can be deadly without immediate treatment. If your rabbit has accidentally ingested onion of any kind, call your vet immediately for next steps.

Can rabbits have green onions?

No. Green onions are as toxic to rabbits as full grown onions are.

Can rabbits have red onions?

Absolutely not! Red onions are poisonous to rabbits, just like white onions.

Are sweet onions OK for rabbits?

No. Sweet onions are toxic to rabbits, just like all other varieties of onions.

Can I give vidalia onion to a rabbit?

Absolutely not! Vidalia onions are toxic to rabbits. Never give rabbits onions of any kind.

Can rabbits have shallots?

No. Shallots are in the same family as onions, and are equally toxic. Never give a rabbit shallots.

Can I give a rabbit garlic?

No. Garlic is in the same family as onions and is just as toxic to rabbits. Never give a rabbit garlic.

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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.
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