Can I Give My Rabbit (Iceberg) Lettuce?

Can I Give My Rabbit Lettuce?

Can you give your rabbit lettuce/ iceberg lettuce?

When it comes to diet, a rabbit’s needs are simple and pretty much the same for all of them. A domestic rabbit’s diet should mirror the wild rabbit’s diet as much as possible, with plenty of hay and grass with smaller portions of greens and pellets.

Primary Diet is Grass & Hay

As long as your bunny is eating 80 to 90% hay and grass, they can be fed some vegetables as a snack each day. Vegetables for your rabbit should be free of pesticides and washed thoroughly before being eaten. Unlike what many of us have grown up believing, in part due to Bugs Bunny’s carrot habit, it’s that rabbits eat carrots. It follows in our minds that they enjoy all vegetables, but the truth is that they they need to eat their body weight in hay each day, and veggies are more of a tasty snack – not a main course.

Can I Give My Rabbit Lettuce? No!

Iceberg Lettuce is listed as a food that rabbits should not eat according to humanesociety.org and, well everyone who knows rabbit health. It is nutrient-weak compared to other lettuces – meaning it has no nutritional value – and due to it’s high water content can cause diarrhea.  Diarrhea in rabbits can cause death quickly, so your bunny is better off without it.

If you want to give your bunny lettuce, offer romaine or dark leaf (no iceburg lettuce and no cabbage) and if they haven’t had it before introduce it very slowly over the course of a few days. Only add one new vegetable to the diet at a time so if the rabbit has diarrhea or other problems it will be possible to tell which vegetable is the culprit. After giving any new food to your bunny, wait to see if their excrement is soft or runny. Rabbit digestive systems are very sensitive and new foods can upset them very easily.

Vegetables to Limit and Avoid

Lots of rabbit keepers like to make their little furry friends a salad each day. If you want to give your bunny a salad, use Romain or dark leaf lettuces, never iceberg lettuce! Other vegetables to limit are celery, parsley and spinach, while other vegetable to totally avoid include corn, peas, Pennyroyal mint (toxic) and potatoes.

5 Responses to “Can I Give My Rabbit (Iceberg) Lettuce?”

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  1. Laila says:

    Hi, great and fun website. I like your posts. I do not wholly agree with your take on iceberg though, as all experts say that iceberg is completely harmless, except for the amount of pesticides in conventionel salad due to the water content. Iceberg has got its bad name due to pesticides and the fact that many feed their new baby bunny icebergs, and think that the loose stools are a result of this. In most cases, it is caused by stress.

    Saying that iceberg is bad due to its moisture level is saying that grass is bad for rabbits, since the moisture level is higher in grass. What about water? Is it then bad for rabbits to drink water? Or eat cucumber?

  2. Monique says:

    I dont thing nothing is wrong with feeding a rabbit iceberg lettuce I always feed my rabbit that and i never had a problem with it But when Your rabbit has a litter its best to feed them greenleaf lettuce.

    • Tamra Summy says:

      The baby bunnies are dehydrated so I figured maybe iceberg lettuce would help them get a little water until the mother returns…???

  3. Holly says:

    Hello,

    I have recently got my bunnies, and was unaware not give iceburg…I have been for a few days, will the be okay?

    • nico says:

      Hi Holly,

      Hope that your bunnies are doing fine.

      We do not recommend you to feed them iceberg lettuce as it has no nutritional value and it’s too watery for them. Especially if they are not eating a lot of hey.

      How old are they? Age is also important. For young rabbits, vegetables should only be fed to after 12 weeks of age and introduced one at a time in quantities under 1/2 oz.

      ! If you see any sign of soft stool stop feeding any type of veggies. Feed only hay (different types to add variety). Avoid alfalfa hay. You can also feed high fiber pellets as a topping for hay. You have to wait until he’s back on track again. Slowly start feeding him veggies. If you see no improvement contact a vet as soon as possible. But they should be fine.

      The quantity is also very important. Try to feed a variety of vegetables and in the right quantity. Maybe your rabbit will be fine after a few leaves of iceberg lettuce but do not make this a habit. Their gut is very sensitive, in general, and they can become more an more prone to diseases.

      Pet rabbit food should be made of: 80% hay, fresh foods 10 – 15%, and pellets 10%.
      The majority of fresh food include:
      1. leafy fresh food (about 75% of the fresh part of the diet);
      2. non-leafy fresh food (25% of the fresh part of the diet: 15% non-leafy vegetables and 10% good fruits).

      Here you can read more about other veggies and other watery veggies as well:
      https://rabbits.life/how-much-to-feed-a-rabbit/
      https://rabbits.life/choose-the-best-greens-for-rabbits/
      https://rabbits.life/cucumber/
      https://rabbits.life/green-peppers/

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