Can Rabbits Have Broccoli?
Without a doubt, us humans can sometimes slack on getting the proper amount of nutrients we need in our diet. Some days we may eat fewer veggies, protein, or even fiber than we should. This differs when it comes to our pets since we have a bit more control over what they eat. We may even assume rabbits are missing out on some nutrients. So with good intentions, we give them a piece of our carrots or broccoli.
Before you continue to try and supplement your pet’s diet with food that is nutritious for humans, take a moment to consider if it is good for rabbits. Typically a good rule of thumb is to imagine a rabbit in the wild and picture what they would eat, but do rabbits come across broccoli in the wild often? Can you give your rabbit broccoli?
Answer: Yes, but it should be in moderation. Broccoli can be an excellent source of nutrients for your little guy. However, these crunchy greens are also packed with powerful substances that can cause painful gas. Consider these tips and information before sharing your broccoli.
Did you know that often times those dark leafy vegetables are often what will be best for your rabbit? Consider spinach for example. These tend to be lower on the calories while providing a good serving of fiber. Broccoli falls into this category!
Broccoli is filled with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and plenty of fiber. From the vitamin category, you will be feeding your little guy vitamin C, A, D, K, B6, and E. Minerals include potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. While your bunny probably gets enough nutrients from their standard bunny food, a varied diet can benefit the long-term health and wellness of your bunny.
A rabbit requires high amounts of fiber in order to have a healthy diet. Without enough fiber, your rabbit can develop intestinal diseases. Broccoli can certainly help rabbits meet those needs.
Things to keep in mind
The most important thing to remember when feeding your rabbit broccoli is ensuring moderation. Broccoli is one of the cruciferous vegetables, which means it is known to cause gas. This can affect some rabbits more than others so it is always a good idea to start with a very small amount and see how they react. If your rabbit gets gas, they are probably more sensitive to the vegetable than most and it is better to move onto other treats.
If your rabbit does not react then it is probably ok to continue to toss over a bit of broccoli on occasion and just a small amount. If your rabbit does happen to get gas it is probably painful for your little guy. Watch your pet for the next few hours and if it does not improve within four hours it may be time to visit the vet. If untreated you could risk your pet experiencing Gastrointestinal Stasis (GI). GI is very serious and potentially fatal. It could slow a rabbit’s digestive system to stop. As a result, there will be a buildup of bad bacteria in their intestines. If you suspect your rabbit has GI, here are some symptoms to look for:
- Swollen or hard belly
- Unusual sounds coming from the stomach
- Your rabbit is curled up
- Your rabbit has lost interest in eating
- Your rabbit has lost interest in playing
At the first signs of gas, give your furry friend gentle belly massages. Rub in circles towards their rear, this will help break up the gas. If possible, encourage your pet to move around to also help break up the gas. Be sure to encourage drinking of water since dehydration can only cause constipation and make the problem much worse.
It may also be helpful to know that some bunny owners report higher levels of gas when allowing their rabbit to consume the leaves and florets.
When you are in the kitchen chopping up some vegetables, consider the scraps for your rabbit after checking our website! Often times the parts we discard can be great for our pets. They are both tough and filled with fiber, which often makes them a favorite for rabbits. Like broccoli stalks, carrot leaves, and cauliflower leaves.
Broccoli certainly is a healthy food for humans, it can be just as beneficial for our pets but only if we administer in moderation. Too much can cause your rabbit to have gas. Even a little big can cause some rabbits tender bellies bloat. Proceed with caution when giving your pet a broccoli treat and keep a close eye on them. Visit your vet if gas does not subdue in 4 hours and check out some of our other articles on healthy rabbit snacks!