Potatoes are a controversial vegetable (two words that early go together) because while they are healthy for us humans, they are often used to produce very unhealthy foods. But what about our animal friends and in particular bunnies? Can rabbits eat potatoes, how much can they eat and if not, what makes them dangerous or toxic?
If you have a rabbit and you’re wondering whether or not they should consume this vegetable, then read on because we have some very important information to tell you.
Can Rabbits Eat Potatoes?
Firstly, it is important to note that there is nothing in potatoes that will do serious and instant harm to your rabbit if they eat them. However, they really should not be eating them because there is also very little goodness in them.
It would be like asking the same question about humans and wood pulp. Yes we can technically eat it and (believe it or not) it wouldn’t do us any serious harm. However, we should not be eating it because there is simply no goodness in there and by filling up on something that has empty calories we are depriving our bodies of high quality calories.
This is even more important for rabbits as they have very delicate digestive systems that require a strict diet and can be troubled even with minimal changes. This was discussed at length in our page on Bunny Diets and it is something we have also addressed in pages such as Rabbits and Lettuce and Rabbits and Grass.
Potatoes are not good for your rabbit and while a little bit won’t do them any harm, it shouldn’t be something you include in their daily diet, nor should it be a treat.
And if you’re asking this question because you’re pondering whether your rabbit will eat a little chip or French fry like a dog or cat would, the answer is “probably not”, but the main point we want to get across is, “You shouldn’t be offering it”.
Why Potatoes Can Cause Rabbits Harm
A rabbit needs a lot of fiber and, believe it or not, very few minerals and vitamins. In fact, a lot of the foods they eat on a daily basis have very little nutrient value and merely serve to bulk up the fibre that they consume. When you add potatoes to the mix you are giving them a massive amount of carbohydrates in the form of starch, as well as all of those vitamins and minerals that are great for us humans, but not much use to your bunny.
Add the fact that raw potatoes can be toxic to many animals and that anything cooked in vegetable oils (and any oil for that matter) can cause serious harm, and you have a recipe for disaster and a message that should be clear: Yes rabbits can eat potatoes, but you should not let them go anywhere near them.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, you may also want to take a look at our page on why sweet potatoes are not ideal for your cat. There are many potentially dangerous ingredients in your kitchen as far as you pets are concerned and it pays to be informed.