Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

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

Can Rabbits Eat Sweet Potato? Vet-Reviewed Safety Facts & FAQ

Can Rabbits Eat sweet potatoes

Vet approved

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.

Learn more »

As you try to vary your rabbit’s diet, you may be considering giving them sweet potatoes. Since sweet potatoes seem to match the plant-type diet that your bunny follows, you may be inclined to cut up a few chunks as a special treat for them.

Sweet potatoes should not be offered to rabbits, as they can be harmful for them depending on a few factors. They are also listed by the Merck Veterinary Manual as plants and foods toxic to rabbits. Unfortunately, the available evidence-based information is currently limited and is somewhat conflicting when it comes to the safety of sweet potatoes, Ipomoea batatas, in rabbits, and we recommend not to give any to your bunny.

Always consult with your vet before making any changes to your rabbit’s diet. Let’s look at the composition of sweet potatoes and go over why you should avoid feeding this particular vegetable to your rabbit.


Great for Humans but Not Suitable for Rabbits

close up sliced sweet potato
Image Credit: ivabalk, Pixabay

It’s true that we humans enjoy our potatoes. Sweet potatoes in particular have many helpful nutrients and are a part of a healthy human diet. So, it makes sense that while you’re cooking up sweet potatoes as a side dish for your dinner, you’d set a portion aside for your bunny. However, sweet potatoes aren’t the healthiest for rabbits. While these vegetables are technically safe for your bunny to eat, you should instead offer them something from their regular vet-approved menu.

However, sweet potatoes aren’t a good option for rabbits. These vegetables may be harmful for your bunny based on the available scientific evidence, and you should instead offer them something from their regular vet-approved menu.

What If My Rabbit Likes Eating Sweet Potatoes?

Unfortunately, just because something tastes good doesn’t make it an appropriate and nutritious choice. If offered a few pieces of sweet potatoes, most rabbits would likely gobble them up and ask for more, but this is not recommended and can be dangerous for your rabbit, and we’ll explain why.

Why Should I Avoid Giving Sweet Potatoes to My Rabbit?

Sweet potatoes are listed as harmful and toxic foods for rabbits by the Merck Veterinary Manual.1 Upon a detailed search of the veterinary literature, we have found limited safety information on sweet potatoes in rabbits, but generally, this starchy vegetable is not suitable for pet rabbits.

Sweet potatoes have been used in research as a food supplement for growing production rabbits, as they may have a favorable impact on their growth performance. There is also a study published in 2022 that has shown a potential of sweet potato in treating stomach ulcers in rabbits.

Sweet potatoes do not contain solanine, unlike the potato, whose alkaloid compounds are considered toxic for rabbits. On the other hand, sweet potato belongs to another plant family called the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae), and may produce toxic substances, such as furanoterpenoid and ipomearone, if contaminated with a mold called Fusarium solani. Moldy sweet potatoes can lead to a severe respiratory illness in rabbits and cattle, which can be fatal.

Sweet potatoes can also cause digestive issues, as foods rich in starch and sugar are not appropriate for rabbits. A rabbit’s diet should be based on fresh hay and grass, which make up 85% of their daily food intake.

sweet potato
Image Credit: Silentpilot, Pixabay

Why Are Sweet Potatoes Bad for Rabbits?

Sweet potatoes may be toxic to your rabbit if they contain ipomearone, and they are generally not recommended due to the limited safety information available. It’s just not worth the risk for your rabbit, and you should always consult with your vet when it comes to rabbit nutrition and husbandry, particularly if you feel they have eaten something they shouldn’t have.

Sweet potatoes are also rich in two things that your rabbit’s digestive system doesn’t need: sugar and starch. Rabbits need fiber-rich foods like hay or grass, with the addition of leafy greens. The high quantity of sugar and starch in sweet potatoes drives up the calorie count well out of a rabbit’s natural dietary range and doesn’t do their digestion or dental health any favors. Teeth overgrowth, inadequate wear, and development of sharp spurs and points is commonly caused by an inappropriate diet lacking in fiber and having an excess of carbohydrates.

Sweet potatoes are also difficult for your rabbit to properly digest. Your rabbit may experience a stomach upset or gut stasis and refuse to eat, or their feces may change in size and consistency, become dry or loose, or they may stop defecating altogether. All of these conditions need urgent veterinary care.

dried sweet potato
Image by 鸿 张 from Pixabay



Although a tempting treat, you’re better off not feeding sweet potatoes to your rabbit. They may enjoy eating this food, but it isn’t worth the possible health issues and risks we discussed. To keep your rabbit healthy, stick to high-quality hay and leafy vegetables. A slice of banana or a bit of apple or carrot tops are better choices if you’d like to give your rabbit an occasional treat in moderation.

Related Reads: 

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets