Since rabbits are known for being herbivores, many pet lovers are interested in knowing— can rabbits eat arugula? Arugula is a peppery and tart herb that rabbits love to munch on if given fresh. But is it also good for pet bunnies?
You won’t be surprised to find that rabbits can eat arugula, which can be a nutritious addition to their diet when fed in moderation. Arugula is a low-calorie food high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it an excellent feed for rabbits.
However, there are both benefits and risks associated with rabbits eating arugula. Let’s discuss five benefits and risks of rabbits eating arugula. So, read on to learn more.
6 Benefits of Feeding Arugula to Rabbits
Arugula is a nutritious leafy green that is low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals. This makes it an excellent addition to a rabbit’s diet.
Here are six benefits of feeding arugula to rabbits:
- High in Fiber: Arugula is a great source of fiber, which is crucial for a healthy digestive system. Fiber helps prevent gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, diarrhea, and bloating and helps maintain a healthy weight.
- Low in Calories: Arugula is a low-calorie food, making it a great choice for overweight rabbits or prone to obesity. Feeding your rabbit arugula instead of high-calorie treats can help them maintain a healthy weight.
- Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Arugula is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium, iron, and potassium. These vitamins and minerals are essential for a rabbit’s overall health and well-being and help support a healthy immune system, strong bones, and healthy blood clotting.
- Helps Prevent Dental Problems: Eating leafy greens like arugula can help prevent dental problems in rabbits. The fiber and texture of the leaves can help wear down their teeth naturally, which helps prevent overgrowth and other dental problems.
- Helps Hydrate: Arugula is high in water content, which can help keep your rabbit hydrated. This is especially important during hot weather or if your rabbit is prone to dehydration.
- Boosts Immune System: Arugula is high in antioxidants, which help boost a rabbit’s immune system and protect against disease.
Overall, arugula is a nutritious leafy green that can provide several health benefits for rabbits. However, it’s important to feed it in moderation and monitor your rabbit for any signs of digestive upset or other health issues.
If you have concerns about adding arugula to your rabbit’s diet, consult a veterinarian for guidance.
Risks of Feeding Arugula to Rabbits
While arugula is generally safe for rabbits to eat, some risks should be considered. Here are a few potential problems that can arise from feeding arugula to rabbits:
- Excess in Oxalates: Arugula contains oxalates, which can bind to calcium and form crystals in the urinary tract, leading to urinary tract infections, bladder sludge, and kidney stones. Rabbits are susceptible to these conditions, and feeding large amounts of arugula can increase the risk.
- Digestive Upset: Arugula is high in fiber, which is good for rabbits, but it can also cause digestive upset if fed in large quantities or if the rabbit is not used to eating it. Symptoms of digestive upset may include diarrhea, bloating, and discomfort.
- Chemical Residues: Arugula may be sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals that can harm rabbits if ingested. It is important to wash arugula thoroughly before feeding it to rabbits, or better yet, choose organic arugula.
- Nutritional Imbalances: While arugula is a healthy addition to a rabbit’s diet, it should not be the only leafy green vegetable fed. Rabbits require a varied diet to get all the nutrients they need, and relying too heavily on arugula could lead to nutritional imbalances.
How Much Arugula Can Rabbits Eat Daily?
Despite there being differences between rabbits, bunnies, and hares, their diets are nearly the same. While arugula is a nutritious food for these fluffy animals, it should only be fed in moderation.
A diet that is too high in arugula can lead to digestive problems, kidney stones, and other health issues in rabbits.
So, your pet bunny should eat arugula as part of a balanced diet, but it should only make up a small portion of their overall food intake.
As a general guideline, rabbits should consume about two cups of fresh, leafy greens for every 6 pounds of body weight daily. Hence, the amount of arugula you feed your bunny should comprise at most ten percent of its daily diet.
But make sure you’re providing your rabbit with a variety of fresh vegetables, hay, pellets, and arugula. This is to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need.
However, if you’re unsure about how much arugula to feed your rabbit, it’s always a good idea to consult a veterinarian.
Can Small Rabbits Eat Arugula?
Yes, small rabbits can eat arugula in moderation. Arugula is a safe and healthy food for rabbits, containing beneficial nutrients like vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron.
However, like any other food, arugula should be introduced gradually into a small rabbit’s diet to avoid digestive upset. For up to three weeks, a baby bunny should only consume its mother’s milk. In contrast, after seven months of age, you may introduce other vegetables like arugula, romaine lettuce, bok choy, etc..
It’s important to note that arugula should not be the only food in your little bunny’s diet. It will surely need a balanced diet of alfalfa hay, fresh vegetables, and a small number of pellets to stay healthy.
Also, ensure the arugula is washed thoroughly and free of pesticides or other chemicals before feeding it to your rabbit. Moreover, ensure you don’t feed your young rabbits the ones prohibited for adult rabbits.
Remember, whether it’s about your bunny’s small size or age, you must be careful about their diet. For instance, in terms of size, the Netherlands Dwarf Rabbits have a delicate digestive tract that requires excellent-quality pellets.
At least seventy percent of their regular diet should include hay, whereas you may provide other supplements amounting to not more than ten to fifteen percent.
How to Feed Arugula to Rabbits
If you decide to feed arugula to your rabbit, there are a few things to remember. Here are some tips for safely feeding arugula to rabbits:
- Wash the Arugula Thoroughly: As mentioned earlier, arugula can contain pesticide residue, so it’s essential to wash it thoroughly before feeding it to your rabbit. Rinse the arugula under cold running water and pat it dry with a clean towel.
- Introduce it Gradually: If your rabbit has never eaten arugula before, it’s essential to introduce it gradually. Start with a small amount, and gradually increase the serving size over a few days. This will give your rabbit’s digestive system time to adjust to the new food and prevent any digestive upset.
- Offer a Variety of Greens: While arugula is a nutritious food, it’s important to offer a variety of greens to your rabbit. This will ensure they get a wide range of vitamins and minerals and prevent them from getting bored with their diet. Some other leafy greens that rabbits enjoy include kale, spinach, and romaine lettuce.
- Avoid Feeding Wilted or Spoiled Arugula: Like all leafy greens, arugula can spoil quickly, especially if it’s not stored properly. Avoid feeding your rabbit any arugula that looks wilted or has brown spots on the leaves.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can bunnies eat arugula every day?
Rabbits shouldn’t eat arugula every day as overfeeding this veg to your bunny may put its urinary tract and kidneys in trouble. Arugula contains high amounts of calcium, which may lead to bladder sludge in rabbits upon overconsumption.
Is there any leafy green that rabbits can’t eat?
Ans: There are a few leafy green vegetables that rabbits can’t or shouldn’t eat that much. Among them, silverbeet, iceberg lettuce, cauliflower, tomato tops, potato leaves, etc., are a few. Most of the leafy greens don’t provide the required nutrition to the rabbits while filling their bellies up and leading to digestion problems.
What if my rabbit rejects arugula?
Ans: Not all rabbits may find arugula pleasant to their taste. So, if your bunny doesn’t want to eat arugula, don’t be so surprised at this. Some rabbit species may not relish the peppery strong taste of arugula, hence, rejecting it repeatedly. Try something else like romaine lettuce, bok choy, carrot tops, and many other beneficial green vegetables.
Arugula can be a healthy addition to a rabbit’s diet when fed in moderation. However, it’s important to consider the potential risks associated with feeding arugula to rabbits, including its high oxalate content and the risk of pesticide residue.
As with any new food, it’s essential to introduce arugula gradually and monitor your rabbit for any signs of digestive upset. Arugula can be a safe and nutritious part of your rabbit’s diet with proper care and attention.