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Home > Rabbits > Can Rabbits Eat Cucumbers? Vet Reviewed Health Facts & FAQ

Can Rabbits Eat Cucumbers? Vet Reviewed Health Facts & FAQ

Can Rabbits Eat cucumbers

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Athena Gaffud

Veterinarian, DVM

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

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Rabbits are herbivorous and need a high-fiber diet to keep them healthy, and you might wonder if the humble cucumber is safe for them to eat. The good news is, yes, rabbits can eat cucumbers and often do so quite happily! However, cucumber shouldn’t be offered in large quantities, and you should only offer it to your rabbit as an occasional treat. Read on to discover what makes cucumbers a hydrating but seldom-given snack and what benefits your bunny could get from eating one.

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What Are Cucumbers?

Cucumbers grow around the world but originated in India. The cucumber fruit grows on vines. This fruit is widely used as an ingredient in many cuisines. Cucumbers have several varieties; the most common species sold in stores across the US is the Cucumis sativus.

cucumber
Image By: ka_re, Pixabay

Are Cucumbers Safe for Rabbits?

Cucumbers are safe for rabbits to eat in moderation since they aren’t toxic and don’t cause any adverse effects when ingested. There is a risk that too much cucumber can cause loose stools and diarrhea, but it usually doesn’t cause a problem if it’s eaten conservatively.

Only fresh cucumbers should be given to your rabbit as an occasional treat; old or pickled cucumbers carry additional risks. It’s also important not to replace other nutritional vegetables in your rabbit’s diet with cucumber since it contains lots of water and has less nutritional value than many alternatives.

What Parts of a Cucumber Are Safe for Rabbits to Eat?

Every part of the cucumber plant is safe for rabbits to eat. If you buy your cucumbers from the store, the skin, flesh, and seeds are OK for your rabbit to eat. If you’re lucky enough to grow your cucumber plants, the leaves and flowers are also safe for rabbits to eat. In fact, many gardeners find their cucumber plants nibbled by wild rabbits!

divider-rabbitpaw1 Are Cucumbers Healthy for Rabbits?

Cucumbers have some health benefits for rabbits if fed in moderation. Cucumbers are fruits that contain fiber, water, nutrients, and vitamins.

They can provide your rabbit with the following:
  • Lignans (phytochemicals): Antioxidants that can clear cell-damaging free radicals in a rabbit’s body.
  • Potassium: Potassium is vital for a rabbit’s heart and muscular health; low potassium (hypokalemia) can cause arrhythmia and muscle damage.
  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A helps a rabbit’s cartilage form correctly as a young growing rabbit and in pregnant rabbits. Rabbits deficient in vitamin A can display drooping ears due to a lack of strength in the ear cartilage and may suffer from reproductive problems such as miscarriage and abortion. Unfortunately, cucumbers only provide a limited amount of vitamin A.

Cucumbers are particularly helpful for rabbits with dehydration or those living in warmer climates; because cucumbers are over 90% water, a slice of cucumber can help keep rabbits hydrated and cool in the summer.

Image By: Monika Stawowy, pixabay

How Much Cucumber Can My Rabbit Have?

You can give your rabbit a few slices of cucumber each week to nibble on safely, but any more can cause adverse effects such as diarrhea. Cucumbers should be treated as a fruit in your rabbit’s diet and, as such, should only make up 5% of your rabbit’s total diet. It’s important to remember that other vegetables, such as Bok choy, contain as much fiber but provide more nutrition.

Are All Cucumbers Safe?

Cucumbers are safe if they are fresh and raw. Any additional ingredients added to cucumber, such as salt, should not be given to rabbits. Also, pickled cucumbers aren’t safe for rabbits because the acidic brine is dangerously salty. Rabbits can safely eat both fresh dill and cucumbers, but not if they’ve been pickled. If bought in the market, make sure to thoroughly wash the cucumber first.

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Final Thoughts

Cucumbers make a tasty and refreshing treat for rabbits and are safe for them to eat. Because cucumbers are full of water, they’re not the most nutritionally dense food your rabbit can eat. It’s best to feed only a few slices of cucumber as a snack at a time; too much can cause gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea. Rabbits can also eat the leaves of the cucumber plant, which provides more nutrition. In the summer, cucumber slices are ideal treats for outdoor rabbits living in warmer climates.

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