Let’s know about Can Rabbits Eat Potatoes. The potato is a worldwide staple, found in cuisines from the Americas to Europe to India and beyond. Did you know that humans cannot digest raw potatoes? It’s true: Before our stomachs can do anything useful with these popular tubers, their starches must be cooked down.
Of course, rabbit and human digestive systems are quite different. Rabbits are herbivores, after all – and are very adept at eating and digesting raw foods like hay, (1) greens and carrots. If this convinces you that rabbits can eat potatoes, you are correct!
However, just because a rabbit can eat potatoes doesn’t mean it should . While the root of a potato tuber is not toxic to a rabbit, there are other compelling reasons why you should not let your pet rabbit snack on your Idaho spud.
So in this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about whether or not rabbits can eat potatoes. After looking at why potatoes are not a good choice for your rabbit’s diet, we answer common questions about whether rabbits can eat cooked potatoes or sweet potatoes, as well as examining the dangers that can come with eating potatoes. are for the health of your rabbit. (2)
Potatoes Aren’t Poisonous… But They’re Not Good For Your Rabbit
Unlike humans, rabbits have a digestive system that is well suited for breaking down raw foods.
In the case of potatoes, humans really can’t digest them raw: while the starch might just give us a bad stomachache, a toxic compound called solanine can cause much worse sickness. Solanine is especially concentrated in potatoes that are still green on the inside, or newly sprouted green “eyes”. (3)
However, rabbits can be seen digging up and eating raw potatoes in the wild. While their herbivorous digestive systems are better equipped to digest the starch of raw potatoes, (4) rabbits’ lack of ability to pass gas can turn even the slightest digestive upset into a fatal problem. Combine this with the possibility of eating a green, poisonous potato eye, and it is clear that you should not let your rabbit eat potatoes!
Health Hazards of Potatoes for Rabbits
If potatoes are too dangerous for rabbits to eat, why might you see a wild rabbit digging them up for a snack? Or even see your house rabbit digging in a bag of potatoes in winter? Simple: (5) potatoes are a rich source of carbohydrates and calories, and rabbits will preferentially select them based on a deep-seated evolutionary survival mechanism.
This fondness for sweet, starchy, high-calorie foods often overshadows the rabbit’s superior understanding of what is good for him. Even a little too much potato can cause severe gastrointestinal distress for rabbits – a condition that can become dangerous or fatal very quickly. (6)
GI stasis, a potentially fatal disease in rabbits, is often not caused by a physical obstruction… but by a change in the bacteria in your rabbit’s gut. If your rabbit has eaten a potato and you are concerned about its health, keep a close eye on its eating and defecation habits: if there is a sudden stoppage, call your vet immediately to have your rabbit’s bowels checked .
Can Rabbits Eat Baked Potatoes?
Just as humans cannot eat raw potatoes, rabbits are equally unfit to eat cooked potatoes—or any cooked food, for that matter. As dedicated herbivores, rabbits lack the digestive enzymes needed to break down cooked foods. While almost every rabbit avoids anything cooked, you should make sure never to feed your rabbit cooked potatoes (or any other cooked food).
Can Rabbits Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Because of their characteristic sugariness, raw sweet potatoes can be even more tempting for your rabbit to steal from your kitchen. Just like standard potatoes, however, sweet potatoes are not suitable for rabbit consumption and should not be intentionally fed to your rabbit.
Final Thoughts on Rabbits Eating Potatoes
While potatoes may not pose an immediate threat to your rabbit’s health the way poisonous plants do, they are still a nutritionally empty option that may cause more harm than good. If your rabbit has ingested potatoes by accident, be sure to watch for signs of GI stress and call your vet immediately if they stop pooping or eating.
Thanks for reading today – we hope you’ve learned everything you need to know about potatoes and how to handle your pet rabbit!