Can rabbits eat sweet potatoes?
Sweet potatoes are easy to grow, yummy tubers. Since you enjoy eating them so much, you’ve probably wondered if your rabbit can eat sweet potatoes too. Are sweet potatoes toxic to rabbits, or are they a safe treat? The answer to this question is a bit tricky. Sweet potatoes are high in both sugar and starch, and being root vegetables they’re not part of a rabbit’s natural diet. So what that means is, sweet potatoes are unhealthier than the average sugary treat. If the average treat like carrots, berries and bell peppers is junk food, then sweet potato is junk food bought from a roaming street vendor. It’s still edible and tasty, but there’s a good chance your bunny will regret eating it. In addition, sweet potatoes contain compounds that destroy healthy nutrients. So allthough sweet potatoes won’t kill your rabbit instantly, they may get problems with their sensitive digestive systems due to it. In other words, you are probably better off finding other safer and healthier treats for your beloved pet rabbit than sweet potatoes
Are sweet potatoes healthy for rabbits?
Sweet potatoes contain many essential micronutrients we humans need. It’s also rich in vitamin A, B and C, manganese, potassium and fiber. You may think that’d make it healthy for buns, but that’s unfortunately not the case. Rabbits need lots of fiber and vitamin A, but they obtain both from leafy greens. Sweet potatoes provide practically no fiber to them. Another important thing is that natural sugars, which don’t harm us humans and can be consumed while on a diet, effectively act as junk food for bunnies. A bunny’s digestive system works very differently from a human’s, so what’s healthy for us may actually be harmful for our furry little friends. And as mentioned previously, sweet potatoes contain some harmful compounds for bunnies
In certain cases, a vet may actually recommend sweet potatoes if the rabbit’s very thin and is having trouble putting on weigh, a bit of sweet potatoes can get the weight up. Another instance in which sweet potato could be used is if you’re training your bunny and want to give him treats. We’d advise against the latter, as there are healthier treats available. If your vet suggests something, however, always obey their instructions over anyone else’s. Including what you read on this site and any other site on the web
A bunny’s diet should be mostly fresh hay, high quality pellets and leafy greens, so only a very small portion of it can be sweet treats. Now, when introducing your rabbit to a new type of food, always give them a small amount first to see if they digest it well. Now observe them carefully over the next couple days to see if they show any signs of distress or an upset stomach. Strange behavior, coughing, wheezing, rapid or slow heart rate, and weird poop are all signs that there is something wrong. Additionally, if your rabbit seems to be avoiding food or pressing his or her stomach to the ground to alleviate pain, that’s another red flag. Contact your local vet immediately if your rabbit seems seriously ill, don’t wait and see if it passes by itself, it might be to late then
Can rabbits eat sweet potato leaves? What about peels?
Sweet potato leaves are a yes! In fact, a study found that sweet potato vines and leaves are rather healthy for rabbits. They’re leafy greens high in fiber, and your bunny will love eating them. If you grow them, your bunny can have the leaves while you eat the tubers, and you can use your pet’s poop to make compost. As for sweet potato peels, we couldn’t find information from trustworthy sources, so we’d suggest that you avoid giving them to your pet. When in doubt, always err on the side of caution
Remember to contact your local veterinarian or rabbit breeder if you have questions or concerns regarding your rabbits diet or general health. There are also online veterinarians that you can ask questions about your pets for free, like for example on the mainpage of the site PetCoach. You can also find others by Googling search terms like online veterinarian and ask a veterinarian