Not every food that is suitable for humans is also suitable for rabbits. Although rabbits are herbivores, this also applies to many plant-based foods. Onions are one of these foods that are not healthy for rabbits.
Rabbits should not eat onions or other members of the onion family. Onions are toxic to rabbits; they can cause hemolytic anemia and anaphylactic shock. They also have an immunosuppressive effect and can cause dizziness. Do not give your rabbits onions or other foods containing onions.
So, although onions are good for humans, they should not be fed to rabbits under any circumstances.
If your rabbits roam freely in a garden with onions, you should fence them off.
Although most rabbits naturally avoid onions, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It would be best not to risk your rabbits’ health by letting them eat onions.
Why Are Onions So Dangerous for Rabbits?
Onions are dangerous for rabbits for several reasons. First, they contain thiosulfate, which is toxic to rabbits and attacks the red blood cells.
Eating onions can lead to hemolytic anemia, where the red blood cells can burst.
This can lead to the rabbit’s death, and unfortunately, there is little you can do about it if a rabbit has eaten a piece of onion.
Rabbits cannot vomit and, therefore, cannot excrete food that they cannot tolerate once they have swallowed it.
In addition, onions contain what is known as organosulfur, which increases the risk of a rabbit absorbing toxins through its digestive system.
In addition, the immunosuppressive effect could make your rabbits more susceptible to disease, even if the onion doesn’t kill your rabbits.
You may notice that your rabbits seem lethargic or dizzy after eating onions. If your rabbits can no longer control their feet and are constantly stumbling, this may be due to the onion.
Onions can cause severe anemia and sometimes even death if rabbits overeat them.
Finally, onion can cause an anaphylactic reaction in your rabbits, leading to shock.
Even a tiny piece of onion can be very harmful to rabbits. So please do not give them onions under any circumstances.
Other foods, such as avocado, are also toxic to rabbits. It would be best always to find out beforehand whether a food is suitable for rabbits.
What Should I Do if My Rabbit Has Eaten Onions?
Sometimes accidents happen, no matter how hard you try. Although most rabbits know that they should not eat onions, this can happen.
Especially if you leave something that smells tempting within reach of your rabbits, a sandwich with onions, for example, can attract the attention of your rabbits.
If a rabbit accidentally eats a piece of onion, you should take it to a vet as soon as possible.
The rabbit may not suffer from all the above consequences, but it could suffer. The quicker you get medical attention, the more likely it is to survive.
Of course, a small amount of onions may not have dire consequences, but better safe than sorry. Therefore, you should definitely seek advice from a vet on what to do.
If your rabbit shows dizziness or other negative signs, don’t wait; get help, or it could die.
If you cannot take your rabbit to a vet immediately, keep it calm and still, and do not give it any other food.
Ensure it is not stressed by anything, and see a vet as soon as possible.
Can Rabbits Eat Other Types of Onions?
Of course, white onions are not the only onions. You may be wondering if your rabbits can at least enjoy other types of onion plants.
However, it would be best to avoid all types of onions, including white onions, red onions, and green onions.
Please do not put any of these onions in your rabbits’ bowls or leave them near the rabbit’s enclosure. They all contain these toxins and can kill your rabbits, even in small amounts.
Other family members, such as garlic and chives, should also be avoided. They, too, are unsafe and should never be fed to a rabbit.
Can I Give My Rabbits Any Part of the Onion?
No, you should not give any part of the onion plant to a rabbit. All parts can contain these toxins.
So don’t give your rabbits onion leaves, skins, or roots either. If you have cooked with onions, never share with your rabbits the leftovers from the meal.
Also, wash your hands before playing with your rabbits if you have had contact with an onion.
You shouldn’t give rabbits cooked food anyway, but make sure you don’t offer them any leftover food that may contain onions.
This also applies to salads, which may contain onion slices or possibly crushed garlic.
If you want to give your rabbits ready-made food, always ensure the ingredients list is safe. Check the recipe to make sure no onions or garlic have been used.
If in doubt, don’t give your rabbit any of the food. Play it safe, just in case it contains onions.
What Are the Symptoms When a Rabbit Eats Onions?
In addition to dizziness, you may also observe weakness after eating onions.
Rabbits may have difficulty standing up, or they may simply lie on their side.
You may also notice rapid breathing or a lack of responsiveness.
Other symptoms may include tremors, but sometimes there are no signs other than lethargy. See a vet quickly if you notice any of these problems.
What Can Rabbits Eat As an Alternative?
Rabbits benefit from eating fruit and vegetables, and it is safe to give your rabbit about ten percent of its daily diet in this way.
However, choose foods that you know are safe. These foods include
- Carrots and carrot greens
- Dark lettuce (e.g., romaine lettuce)
- Green beans
Always check whether your rabbits can tolerate a small portion of a new food before offering it in larger quantities. Sometimes, even safe food can cause stomach upsets in some rabbits.
Conclusion: Can Rabbits Eat Onions?
Rabbits should never be fed onions. They are not safe for them and can cause them serious harm.
Onions contain numerous toxins that cause a whole range of problems. They can even kill your rabbits quickly in the worst cases.
If you have onion plants in your garden, fence them off. And keep onions away from your rabbits’ cage.