Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes? All You Need to Know

Tomatoes, one of the luscious veggies comprising the human diet, is quite a lot of times enticing to cute rabbits. You might think of offering the bright red tomatoes to your pet bunny, but you are not that sure of doing so. As can be expected, the question of “can rabbits eat tomatoes” automatically pops up in your mind, right? 

can rabbits eat tomatoes

Your concern for your little rabbit is absolutely justified! Like potatoes, eggplants, and peppers, tomatoes also belong to a member of the nightshade family. The presence of the chemical element solanine might hamper the health of the rabbits. 

But, there is nothing to be worried about. You can feed the rabbits with tomatoes, but you need to be very cautious and careful at the same time. Read along to know more as to how you can give your rabbit a healthy, nutrient-filled diet. 

We will start from the very base, so let’s see….

What Are Rabbits?

Rabbits, bunnies

As we all know, rabbits are little mammals belonging to the family of Leporidae. These long-eared mammals have a super cute appearance and are really adorable creatures. 

The rabbits tend to survive on the ground and thrive in a wide range of environments starting from the desert landscape to the tropical grasslands and marshes. 

Known for their extraordinary speed and agility, rabbits make for the loveliest fast creatures. They do not maintain an aggressive attitude and feed mainly on fruits and vegetables. 

What Do Rabbits Need From a Healthy Diet?

rabbit healthy eating

Were you perplexed as to what the rabbits require from a healthy diet? Well, we have come up with a clear answer to your query. 

  • Plenty of pure drinking water and hay/grass of superior quality forms an integral part of a rabbit’s diet. 

Fresh and good-quality hay is necessary to ensure the overall teeth health of the rabbits. 

  • Avoid feeding your rabbit carrots or any other kind of root vegetables in excessive quantities. 
  • Commercial rabbit pellets or nuggets can be incorporated into the diet of a pet rabbit. Always follow the instructions of the manufacturer while providing the rabbits with the chunks. 

1 to 2 tablespoons of nuggets a day should be good enough to maintain the health of the rabbits.

  • Make sure to feed the rabbits with absolutely fresh leafy green vegetables every day during the morning and evening. 
  • Never let the rabbits eat lawnmower clippings, as these can upset the sensitive digestive system of the rabbits. 
  • Muesli-style foods are to be avoided to shield your bunny from complicated health disorders. 
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Rabbits need to have enough nutrients, fiber, and water so that the foods are easily digested in their digestive system, and they can enjoy the benefits of an ideal dietary practice. 

What Does a Typical Rabbit Diet Consist of?

rabbit typical diet

A typical rabbit diet consists of the following food items. 

  • Clean drinking water 
  • Hay and grass 
  • Green leafy vegetables 
  1. Broccoli leaves 
  2. Cauliflower leaves 
  3. Lettuce 
  4. Spinach 
  5. Cucumber 
  6. Radish 
  7. Salad Peppers 
  8. Watercress 
  • Herb plants 
  1. Rosemary 
  2. Oregano 
  3. Sage 
  4. Mint 
  5. Parsley 

Never ever feed your rabbit with dairy products, tomato stalks, muesli, leafy rhubarb, and potatoes. 

Just like we humans go for rich treats occasionally, similarly, rabbits too can be fed treats occasionally. Do note that there are certain foods that can be fed to the rabbits only in small amounts. These include the following items. 

  • Tomatoes 
  • Grapes 
  • Dandelion 
  • Bananas 
  • Kale 
  • Pears 
  • Strawberries 
  • Pineapple 
  • Melon 

Do Rabbits Eat Tomatoes?

tomatoes with rabbits

Feeding rabbits tomatoes is fine only if it is offered to them in small quantities. 

Tomatoes can not be a part of the staple diet of the rabbits but do make for a good occasional treat. 

Do you know that fresh tomatoes are the storehouse of Vitamin A and Vitamin C? 

Eating tomato plants is not actually detrimental but make sure you are giving it to them once in a few weeks and that too in significantly small amounts. 

Hay, grass, vegetables, and leaves flowers to form a major part of the rabbit diet. 

Tomatoes constitute only a small percentage of the diet and must be served to them in bite-sized pieces. 

Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes? Are They Safe?

Rabbits having their meal

Yes, rabbits can eat tomatoes but not in excessive amounts. Basically, rabbits are herbivores relying on a diet that consists of high fiber and low fat and sugar amounts. Hay is the staple food item of the rabbits as the dietary fiber that it contains, helps in the proper functioning of their digestive system. 

Moreover, the hay forms the physical roughage that is much needed by the rabbits to ensure they get a proper, healthy set of teeth. 

It is important for you to remember that tomatoes are not a good food item for baby rabbits. But it is safe to feed the adult rabbits with tomatoes occasionally. 

Making your bunnies have tomatoes quite frequently and in huge quantities can adversely affect their sensitive digestive system and make them fall sick. 

Your furry buddy can tolerate only a limited quantity of tomato, so try not to give them tomato fruit treats too frequently. 

Can Bunnies Eat Tomatoes?

cherry tomato for rabbits

We’ll now steer away from your confusion as to whether bunnies can eat tomatoes. Well, as you might already know, baby rabbits have a sensitive digestive system. 

Therefore, it is recommended that you don’t feed the baby rabbits with fruits and veggies until the point when they reach 12 weeks of age and their stomachs get fully developed. 

Succulent and juicy fruits can be provided to the bunnies but be cautious and look for any kind of harmful impact on the bunny that the tomatoes or any other juicy fruit might cast within 24 hours of its consumption. 

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Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces so that your furry bunny doesn’t get choked by its large size. Offering them tomatoes in the size of a cherry tomato is advisable if you wish to feed the rabbits with tomatoes frequently. 

Always remember that a tomato itself is not poisonous for a rabbit but its stem and plant part might be. 

Is The Rest Of The Tomato Plant Safe To Eat?

Green parts of the tomato plant

Except for the tomato fruit, the green pigmented parts of the tomato plant are highly toxic for rabbits. The tomato leaves, flowers, stems, and green fruits of the tomato plant contain a highly poisonous alkaloid element called solanine. This chemical produces another toxic substance called tomatidine at the time when the tomato is being digested in the digestive tract of your pet bunnies. 

Serious health diseases might result if you feed the green parts of the tomatoes to rabbits. 

Tomato seeds are also to be avoided at all costs. However, if you have forgotten to remove some seeds while feeding your rabbits, there is nothing to be worried about. It is expected that the rabbit will poop out a few seeds that it has consumed. 

Have a constant check on your pet rabbit’s condition and movement. If you find anything strange in its behavior, immediately report to the veterinarian. 

Medical & Health Concerns of Feeding Tomatoes to Bunnies:

a rabbit
  • Ensure if you have washed the tomato completely so as to remove the pesticides from it. 
  • Never let the bunny eat rotten tomatoes as it might make them afflicted with diseases such as diarrhoea and cause problems in the gastrointestinal tract. 
  • Canned, packed or cooked tomatoes are to be avoided at all costs as these are high in sugar and might have an adverse impact on your furry pet. 
  • Give the baby rabbit tomatoes only after they have reached 12 weeks of age. 
  • Check for the presence of the parasites in the tomatoes and if found, instantly remove them as these are highly poisonous to rabbits. 

Can Rabbits Eat Cherry Tomatoes?

Yes, rabbits can eat cherry tomatoes! The amazing news is that cherry and yellow tomatoes and other varied kinds of tomato fruit can be fed to the rabbits. Give these in moderate amounts to your bunny and never offer them any green parts of the tomato. 

How To Feed Tomatoes To A Rabbit:

  • Chop off the green parts of the tomato such as leaves, stems or stalk as these can be highly toxic to rabbits. 
  • Wash the fruit carefully to remove traces of pesticides and chemicals. 
  • First, cut the tomatoes into big slices. Then, cut these slices to small, bite-sized pieces. 
  • Get rid of any seeds that might be present in the tomato. 
  • Rabbits eat tomato plants but they must be provided in an amount that equals the amount of cherry tomatoes. 
  • Excess tomato or the leftover are to be kept in the refrigerator after storing it in an air-tight container. 

SHOULD RABBITS EAT TOMATOES?

The answer is in the affirmative. Rabbits eat tomatoes, yes! But its amount has to be controlled as tomatoes are high in sugar and lack all the nutrients that your bunny is supposed to have. Consider tomato as an occasional treat in your rabbit’s diet and feed it to the rabbit only in small amounts. 

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Potassium in tomatoes is absorbed in the rabbit’s digestive system, so it is a plus point of the tomatoes. 

CAN RABBITS EAT TOMATO LEAVES?

As we had mentioned before, you can not offer tomato leaves to your bunny as this is the green part of the tomato plants and may affect your bunny by making them suffer from stomach pain or any other kind of GI tract-related problems. 

If you have a garden in your house with tomato plants in abundance, it is a good idea to fence your rabbit so that it becomes unable to encroach upon the green parts of the tomato growing in the garden. You may also devise your own way of restricting the bunny from straying in the garden. 

HOW SHOULD RABBITS EAT TOMATOES?

Make your rabbit have only bite-sized tomato pieces occasionally. Consider it as a treat and not a part of the regular diet plan. 

Ensure if you are including fresh hay in the rabbit’s diet plan as no other fruits or vegetables can replace the nutrient value of hay for a bunny. 

BENEFITS OF TOMATO PLANTS FOR RABBITS

Tomatoes, themselves alone, cannot provide the rabbit with an adequate amount of nutrients. Prepare a platter that is a combination of green leafy vegetables, hay, and fruits to give your pet bunny the best nutrition. Tomatoes can be given to them only in small amounts. 

Tomatoes are rich in vitamins that your rabbit needs, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, folate, and potassium. Giving tomatoes to the rabbits occasionally as a treat is not at all harmful if you exclude the green parts of it. 

FAQs

Is it safe for rabbits to eat tomatoes?

Yes, it is safe for rabbits to eat tomatoes but these are to be given to them in small portions as a treat occasionally. The green parts of the tomato are mandatory to be removed to preserve the good health of the bunnies. 

What foods are toxic to rabbits?

Avocados, chocolate items, onions and garlic (in raw form), mushrooms, processed/canned foods, meat, dairy products, and potatoes are toxic to rabbits and are never to be fed to these little furry creatures. 

Can rabbits eat tomatoes daily?

Rabbits can eat tomatoes daily but it has to be provided to them only in small quantities, that is, not more than ¼ cup of tomato daily. 

Can rabbits eat tomatoes and peppers?

Eat tomatoes? Yes, rabbits can eat tomato fruit as well as peppers in little amounts. The green part or stems of both the fruits are to be eliminated while feeding them. Potassium and Vitamin C are essential for the development of the rabbit’s body and tomatoes contain a great deal of the required macronutrients.
Peppers contain folate, iron, and fiber that ensures the smooth functioning of the GI tract of rabbits. So, you can feed your pet bunny peppers sometimes and not often. 

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Author
Abdul Rahim