Potatoes are one of the favourite vegetables of humans. They are popular as a worldwide staple and used in different cuisines from Europe to America to India and beyond in order to make delicious recipes. People who love potatoes based recipes often offer some piece of the potato from their plate to their rabbits as well. If you are also having the habit to offer potato based food to your bunny, the first thing that can rabbits eat potatoes? Is it safe for your bunny?
If you used to offer potato based recipe to your rabbit, stop doing it. Potato is not recommended for rabbits. Rabbit is a herbivore animal that thrives only on plant based diet. Despite being herbivore, they cannot digest potatoes. Potatoes are rich in starch and calories which often leads to the development of diarrhea and stomach upset in bunnies.
Potatoes have a high value of calories and start and offer no nutritional value to rabbits. This is the reason why we don’t recommend giving potatoes to rabbits. This is not the only reason to not offer potato to bunnies. They because of high starch can’t be digested by rabbit and thus lead to diarrhea and stomach issues in bunnies.
Here in this guide, we will discuss on can rabbits eat potatoes, if not then why?
Can Rabbits Eat Potatoes?
No, rabbits can’t digest the diet with high calories and starch/carbohydrates. Potato is simply a starch diet having a high level of calories that causes stomach upset and digestive issues in bunnies.
The diet of the rabbit should be comprised of a high fiber-rich diet like grasses and Hay. Hay and grasses should compose the base diet of rabbits forming 85% of the total diet and the rest of the bunny’s diet should be comprised of leafy greens, some protein, and fat for cell growth.
Are Potatoes toxic for Rabbits?
No, potatoes are not toxic for rabbits still are not recommended. As they are high in calories and starch, it is difficult for the poor bunny to digest them. Even the human with a much developed digestive system can not digest the raw potato, how can we expect the poor bunny with poor digestion to digest such a high amount of starch?
Though the potato is not toxic in rabbits, this doesn’t mean that offering potato is safe. Even a small amount of potato can cause diarrhea and stomach upsets in bunnies.
Why Bunnies accept Potatoes when Offered?
Though potato is unhealthy for rabbits, rabbits will love eating potato. When you offer them with potato, they will readily accept it despite how unhealthy it is for them. Potatoes don’t offer any nutritional value to rabbits, still, they find them tasty. The reason why the bunnies are drawn to the potato is their evolutionary behavior.
Rabbit because of their evolutionary behavior tends to eat a more high calorie diet. In wild conditions, rabbits need to roam and run here and there the entire day. They generally do much exercise in wild condition thus requires some calorie in their diet. While in the pet condition, the schedule is completely changed. They require very little energy. Thus we should not offer high calorie diet to rabbits in pet condition. Not only diarrhea and stomach upset, the potatoes with high calories often cause the problem of obesity in bunnies.
In wild conditions, it is good for bunnies to pick high calorie vegetables and eat them. They are adapted to eat high-caloric vegetables. This will not only prevent weight loss but will also provide them with long time energy to survive for long without the need for food.
But in pet condition, the rabbits are not having much exercise schedule as wild rabbits do. For them, feeding with high starch and caloric food is a bad thing. When you offer the potato to your domesticated bunny, they will overeat it without realizing how unhealthy it is for them. They are little creature don’t understand what is healthy and what is unhealthy for them. You should take care and offer your bunny with healthy diet only.
How a Potato is Hazardous for Rabbits?
Though the potato is not toxic to rabbits, still they possess much harm to the rabbit. The body of the bunny is not designed to digest the high starch value in potatoes. The potatoes are harmful to bunnies in the same way as junk food is unhealthy for us.
Potatoes when are eaten in high quantity by rabbits, it will make them sick. Because of high starch and calories, the potato causes digestive upset in bunnies. Rabbits already have a very sensitive digestive system. It is very difficult for them to digest the starch-dense potato diet.
Potatoes, when getting old leads to the formation of sprouts. The eyes on potatoes are nothing but the step part. This old potato is highly toxic for bunnies. The stem part contains a chemical toxin namely Solanine which is highly toxic for bunnies and can lead to instant death.
In the case when you are having potato in your garden, prevent your bunny to crave on your potato plant. The green part, stem, and leaves are highly toxic for bunnies and can cause death in them.
Can Rabbits Eat Processed Potatoes?
Though cooking removes much amount of starch in the potato, still the processed and cooked potato contains plenty of starch remained. The rabbit can not even digest the cooked potato.
Cooked and processed potato have a similar health impact as the raw potato has on the rabbit’s body. They will also lead to the development of diarrhea and stomach upset in bunnies.
Are Potato Peels Safe for Bunnies?
Though the peel portion of potato is rich in fiber content, still it is not healthy for bunnies. The peel portion of potato along with high fiber content also contains a high amount of starch making it difficult to digest for the poor bunny.
Can Rabbits Eat Potato Chips?
Humans are having a much developed digestive system. The junk potato chips are not even healthy for humans and then how can we expect the poor bunny with a sensitive digestive system to digest it.
If the potato is bad for bunnies then the potato chips are worse for them. They along with rich in starch also contain a high value of fat which leads to the development of obesity, digestive issues, and many more health complications in bunnies.
Can Rabbits Eat the green part of Potatoes?
The stem, leaves, and other green parts of the potato contain a chemical namely Solanine which is highly toxic for rabbits. It can lead to the instant death of the bunny.
What are the health complications associated with the consumption of Potatoes in Bunnies?
Eating potatoes by bunnies can lead to:
- Weight gain
- GI stasis
- Stomach pain
- Constipation because f GI stasis
Constipation in case of GI stasis is highly dangerous as it will stop the complete digestive system leading to hazardous health complications in bunnies. This may indicate the permanent demise of your bunny in the absence of proper treatment.
The bottom line
Complete guide can rabbits eat Potatoes? Potatoes are a starch-dense vegetable that doesn’t offer any nutritional value. Though your bunny may like and be drawn toward potatoes, you should take care to prevent your bunny to crave potatoes.