Can Rabbits Eat Potatoes?
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People have been eating potatoes for thousands of years – in fact, these nutritious tubers are a mainstay for many. It’s no wonder then, that you’re curious about whether rabbits can have potatoes!
The quick answer to your question is “No, rabbits shouldn’t eat potatoes.”
There are a few reasons for this, which we’ll cover in our complete guide to potatoes for rabbits. In addition, we’ll give you lots of ideas about what to give your bunny instead.
Potato Nutrition Stats
Even though rabbits shouldn’t have potatoes, they can be a healthy, satisfying addition to your own diet. One medium-sized potato with skin gives you about:
- 160 calories
- 37 g carbohydrates
- 8 g fiber
- 3 g protein
- .2 g fat
Potato Nutritional Facts
French fries and other heavily processed potato-based foods give this tuber a bad reputation but the truth is that whole potatoes have lots of essential nutrients.
That same medium-sized potato with skin offers approximately:
- 3 IU vitamin A
- 5 mg vitamin C
- .1 mg vitamin E
- 5 mcg vitamin K
- .1 mg thiamine
- .1 mg riboflavin
- 4 mg niacin
- 4 mcg folate
- .5 mg vitamin B6
- 9 mg calcium
- 9 mg iron
- 4 mg magnesium
- 121 mg phosphorus
- 926 mg potassium
- .6 mg zinc
- .4 mg manganese
Can Rabbits Have Potatoes?
No. Rabbits should not eat potatoes. Some older guides to rabbit care recommended cooked potato for rabbits but these days, we know better.
Rabbits shouldn’t eat starchy foods, as these can lead to serious problems. In addition, certain parts of the potato plant (including potato skin) contain toxins called glycoalkaloids.
These poisonous compounds are found in potato vines, potato leaves, and potato sprouts. They’re heavily concentrated around a potato’s eyes, which are points for new growth. Glycoalkaloids increase when potatoes start to turn green.
Are Potatoes Good For Rabbits?
Absolutely not. Potatoes do have lots of nutrients and some pets can eat them. But when it comes to rabbits, potatoes are off the menu.
Do Rabbits Like Potatoes?
Since rabbits shouldn’t eat potatoes, we’ve never checked to see whether bunnies enjoy these tubers.
It just isn’t worth the risk.
How Much Potato Can A Rabbit Eat?
Here’s how much potato to feed your rabbit: None!
Even though those older guides to rabbit nutrition mention that it’s OK to feed a rabbit potatoes, we’re standing by our statement that this tuber shouldn’t be given to rabbits, ever.
Some other sources say that you can give a rabbit potatoes in small amounts, so long as it’s cooked, maybe as a treat. We disagree.
Potatoes and other heavily starchy foods such as bread can cause your rabbit’s digestive tract to slow down and in some cases, can lead to a potentially fatal condition called GI stasis.
Add to that the potential for accidental toxin overload and we think you’ll agree that your bunny is better off when potatoes aren’t part of their meal plan.
How Often Can A Rabbit Eat Potato?
Never! Don’t give potatoes to rabbits. This includes the toxic leaves and vines.
It also includes potato peels, which you might be tempted to share with your rabbit. There are far better treats available, without the potential for harm.
The Correct Diet Is Important
There are no potatoes in a rabbit’s natural diet.
Instead, wild rabbits eat lots of grass, clover, and other small plants including garden vegetables when given the chance. Rabbits don’t dig for foods that grow underground, meaning even if they did manage to encounter potatoes in the wild, they’d never dig down and find the tubers.
Domesticated rabbits have the same digestive system their wild cousins do. This means that we need to offer a diet that looks very similar to what wild rabbits eat.
Here’s what you should feed your rabbit instead of potatoes:
- Fresh hay is the most important part of your rabbit’s diet since it replaces the grasses consumed in the wild. Your rabbit should have access to an unlimited amount of hay at all times.
- Your pet will thrive when you offer high-quality rabbit food each day. Check the package’s label to find out how much to feed your bunny since amounts vary from one brand to the next.
- Fresh vegetables aren’t a must-have but they do make your rabbit happier (and perhaps healthier)! Your bunny can have about one cup of leafy greens plus a tablespoon of crunchy veggies per two pounds of bunny body weight each day.
- Your rabbit can have 1 teaspoon of fruit per 2 pounds of body weight as a treat. This amount is just a general recommendation.
- We don’t often think of water as a nutrient, but it’s an important part of your rabbit’s daily intake. Your bunny needs 24/7 access to clean, fresh water. Remember to rinse and refill your rabbit’s water bottle daily.
- Since a rabbit’s teeth are always growing, your bunny needs ‘round the clock access to chewable items such as rabbit toys, bits of untreated softwood, unbleached loofah, or natural coconut shell. Without lots of chewing, your rabbit’s teeth could become overgrown, painful, and even infected.
What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Potato In A Rabbit’s Diet?
Potatoes aren’t part of the picture, but there are lots of other options!
Next time you’re looking for a healthy, all-natural treat for your rabbit, try:
- carrot tops
- swiss chard
- beet greens
- radish tops
- romaine lettuce
- butter lettuce
- dandelion greens
- bok choy
- yu choy
- bell peppers
It’s important to spend a few minutes researching each fruit and vegetable you plan to give your bunny to make sure it’s safe and to ensure that you’re offering the right amount.
Although giving your rabbit potato isn’t a good idea, there are lots of other things they can have – and the items on this list are just the beginning!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is potato safe for rabbits?
No, it’s not safe to feed potato to your rabbit – not even a little bit.
Can potato make my rabbit sick?
Yes, potato can make your rabbit very sick. The starch can cause serious digestive problems, and there are toxins in potato leaves, vines, and eyes that can harm your rabbit.
Can my rabbit have potato chips?
No. Potato chips won’t poison your rabbit, but the starch, fat, and salt in the chips are terrible for your bunny’s health.
Can my rabbit have French fries?
No. You shouldn’t give a rabbit French fries since they’re starchy, oily, and salty. Even though French fries aren’t poisonous to rabbits, the starch can cause terrible digestive problems. Rabbits should never have processed foods and this includes French fries.