The carrot is a root vegetable often claimed to be the perfect health food. They are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. But can rabbits eat carrots?
If movies and cartoons have taught us anything, it is that rabbits love carrots. While that is true, their diet doesn’t solely depend on the carrot intake.
Contrary to popular belief, rabbits should not be eating a carrot all that regularly. In fact, your rabbit should barely be eating carrot tops and carrot greens. It can contribute to a lot of different health problems, some of which can cause early death, or at least severe pain, for your pet rabbit.
Can Rabbits Eat Carrots?
Rabbits do not naturally eat root vegetables. This means that they wouldn’t normally eat carrots in the wild. They have another diet. This is not to say that your pet rabbit can’t eat carrots. It can. It just can be a little bit tricky for your animal to digest in certain cases. You will almost certainly not want to be overfeeding your pet rabbit (more on that in a short while).
This means all parts of the carrot. Your pet rabbit can’t consume any carrot tops or any carrot greens. While the latter two are less likely to cause the same issues that eating a whole carrot can cause, it is still something that you should be avoiding feeding your rabbit.
Why Can’t Rabbits Eat Carrots?
Because carrots are ridiculously high in sugar. A study carried out by the RSPCA in the United Kingdom found that 11% of all rabbits that they looked at suffered from tooth decay as a result of being overfed carrots and other fruits and vegetables.
While your rabbit is unlikely to show any sort-of outward pain as a result of their tooth decay, you should be aware that it is causing them immense amounts of pain. In addition to this, if the tooth decay ends up getting worse, then it could potentially kill your rabbit.
Even if we put the tooth decay issues to one side here, you also need to think about the stomach issues that overeating carrots will cause your rabbit. Your rabbit will not be able to digest the food properly, which can lead to sickness.
Sugar is going to impact a pet rabbit the same way that it impacts you and me too. This means hyperactivity and all sorts of diseases that we do not want. Basically, it can cause early death in your animal.
How Many Carrots Can a Rabbit Eat?
Obviously, you should try to avoid feeding your rabbit carrots at all. Instead, stick to their standard diet. However, if you do want to give them a little bit of a treat every so often, then cut up small chunks of carrot and feed it to them.
Just tiny chunks. Make sure that you hand feed it to your animal too. Do not leave it in their bowl. It is prone to going moldy, which is likely going to cause even more illness for them.
When you are giving the rabbit carrots for the first time, you will want to watch them for a couple of days after. You will be able to see whether they have digested it well, or managed to get sick from the carrot. At the most, you should only be feeding the rabbit a few small chunks each week.