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Home > General > Can Rabbits Eat Beets? Vet-Reviewed Safety Facts & FAQ

Can Rabbits Eat Beets? Vet-Reviewed Safety Facts & FAQ

Can Rabbits Eat beets

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Dr. Maja Platisa Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Maja Platisa

Veterinarian, DVM MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Beets are a common food found in different cuisines throughout the world. You may be familiar with this purple root vegetable used in a variety of dishes or as a food colorant. However, you may not be sure whether beets are on a rabbit’s list of acceptable foods.

Yes, rabbits can eat beets and beets in moderation. However, it’s important to note that the beet plant consists of a root vegetable and leafy stalks. We’ll go over which part of the beet is good for rabbits to eat, which part is occasionally acceptable for your rabbit to eat, and why it’s important to only offer your rabbit beets in moderation.


The Beetroot

beetroot shredded
Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

The root vegetable of the beet plant, known as the beetroot, is acceptable to feed to your rabbit. However, we recommend feeding only limited portions on sporadic occasions to your rabbits. Beets are high in starch and sugar, which may cause weight gain and serious digestive issues.

A Colorful Surprise

On a practical note, this round purple-colored root ball can stain your rabbit’s fur. Also, you may get an unpleasant surprise when you notice your rabbit’s urine has turned a reddish color. Don’t be alarmed at this color change. It’s not blood but rather the plant pigment coloring passing through your rabbit’s system. However, if you notice changes in your rabbit’s urine and they have not been offered root vegetables such as beetroot or others rich in carotenoids, then consult with your veterinarian promptly. 

Beetroot Benefits

Beetroot contains many important nutrients but also a high percentage of carbs. It’s unlikely that your rabbit will reap any significant benefits from occasionally eating beets. Remember that a rabbit’s diet is based on hay, which makes up 85% of their daily food intake, while leafy greens, other veggies, and fruits combined make up no more than 10% of their daily food intake. This balance is crucial due to the rabbit’s high fiber requirement in order to keep their teeth adequately worn out and their digestion running smoothly.

Can Rabbits Eat Canned Beets?

It’s best to avoid any canned or cooked beets. The processing of the beets increases the starch and sugar levels to an unsafe amount for your rabbit, alongside other additives, and it makes the beet softer, while chewing is very important for rabbits to keep their teeth from overgrowing. Raw beetroots are your best option.

The Leafy Beet Stalks

beets stalks
Image by _Alicja_ from Pixabay

When considering whether to give your rabbit beet leaf stalks, you should speak to your veterinarian about oxalates and oxalic acid, especially if your rabbit has any underlying urinary health issues. Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds present in the beet roots and leaves,with the leaves having 10 times more oxalate. Excessive presence of calcium in the diet may predispose rabbits to formation of calcium oxalate urinary stones, bladder sludge, or other urinary issues. 

Oxalates are present in other leafy greens as well, and the extent of their role in formation of urinary stones remains under investigation, while some veterinary professionals caution against it. However, it seems that although many vegetables are high in calcium, which is often in the form of calcium oxalate that is not metabolized by rabbits, they are less likely to contribute to urinary sludge or stones.

Safely Pair Your Beet Stalks

Oxalates and oxalic acid are found in the entire beet plant, from the root to the stalks. It’s most prevalent in the leafy greens of beets and other greens such as Swiss chard, spinach, parsley, mustard greens, radish tops, and sprouts. Speak with your veterinarian about the best vegetable options for your rabbit and their recommended amount, especially when it comes to those rich in calcium. You can also consider other options like romaine lettuce, carrot tops, watercress, basil, kohlrabi, broccoli, Bok choy, spring greens, fennel, turnip greens, or cilantro. But remember, moderation is key.

Can Baby Rabbits Eat Beets?

It’s best to speak to your vet before introducing beetroot or beet stalks to a young growing bunny, as their nutritional needs will differ from an adult rabbit’s. As with many new foods, it’s important to only offer a small amount to avoid digestive issues.



Beets are acceptable to give your rabbit, but only in moderation. The beetroot in raw form and beet greens may provide your rabbit with a little bit of extra nutrients, which are unlikely to be significant due to the small amounts that are appropriate for rabbits to safely eat. 

Always consult with your vet before offering your rabbit any new food ingredients, especially if they have underlying health issues. There is a concern regarding veggies particularly rich in calcium, which may predispose some rabbits to urinary issues and calcium oxalate stones, but it remains unclear about the role of oxalic acid from vegetables like beets. You can occasionally mix beet stalks into your rabbit’s food, but take extra care of how you pair it with other leafy greens based on your vet’s advice.

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