Rabbits are strict herbivores who absolutely delight in grasses, and other greens. You know by now all the basic snacks that you can feed your rabbit, like carrots and lettuce on occasion. But how about arugula? It seems harmless enough, right? These leafy greens are super nutritious, but can your rabbits eat them?
Absolutely! Rabbits can definitely have arugula along with their standard pellet diet and hay supplements. However, there are certain things you should consider here, and we will get into that below. Still, just to ease your mind, arugula is in no way toxic. It is actually super healthy and beneficial to your bunny.
Arugula Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: One half cup
Health Benefits of Arugula for Rabbits
If you know anything about your rabbits by now, you know what a huge fan they are of leafy greens. It might be one of their favorite snacks. Of course, any leafy green or veggie is not meant to trump the power of rabbit pellets, as these are entirely balanced to fit all of the nutritional needs of domestic rabbits.
However, putting food items like a variety of leafy greens in your rabbit’s daily diet is incredibly important because it aids digestion and gives them a boost of hydration and the raw vitamins and minerals their bodies need. It also adds to mental enrichment for your rabbits.
The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) recommends feeding rabbits 85% feeding grass or hay, 10% vegetables and 5% extruded rabbit pellets.
Arugula Concerns for Rabbits
Too much arugula can be a problem as well. First, it’s very high in water content which can cause diarrhea in your rabbit if they’re eating arugula solely. It is not a complete and balanced meal as arugula does not have the nutrient profile necessary to keep up with your rabbit’s physical needs.
So always make sure to feed a leaf of arugula here and there in moderation alongside other fresh snacks.
Arugula can also be commercially grown, meaning it may have come in contact with many pesticides. It’s best to buy organic when you can. However, if that’s not an option, wash the arugula leaves thoroughly before ever serving them to your rabbit.
Rabbits can be extremely sensitive to chemical compounds that could even lead to death. To ensure that there’s nothing funky on your arugula leaves, put them in a strainer and let the water run over them for several minutes to ensure that any chemical residue is completely gone.
Standard Rabbit Diet
We discussed the importance of feeding your rabbit a well-rounded commercial pellet. This is because it would be incredibly challenging for someone to provide all of the nutritional content that your rabbits need without veterinary supervision.
Pellets are designed to have exactly what your rabbit needs to stay their healthiest. That’s why it’s so imperative to have a solid base for your rabbit’s diet. Too many fruits and vegetables can upset their digestive tract, and one should not undermine how many grains they need.
So always give your rabbit a well-suited commercial pellet, not muesli, as the primary dietary source. They also require Timothy hay which you will see them munching on most of the day. In fact, you might be surprised at how much they go through.
So now you know that your rabbit can eat arugula, and they will be perfectly fine, and even better because of it. However, always wash any arugula pieces and buy organic when you can.
Also, never substitute your rabbit’s daily rations for arugula, as it doesn’t have the nutrient content necessary to maintain health. Arugula should be a savory snack your rabbit can enjoy on occasion.
Featured Image Credit: Sea Wave, Shutterstock
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.