You should not feed rabbits onion or any members of the onion family. They are poisonous to rabbits, and they can cause an issue known as hemolytic anemia, as well as anaphylactic shock. They are also immunosuppressant and can cause dizziness. Do not give your rabbit onions or any food that contains onion.
Although onions are good for people, they should not be fed to rabbits under any circumstances. If your rabbit is roaming free in a garden with onions, you may wish to fence them off. Although most rabbits will avoid onions, it is better to be safe and not risk your rabbit eating any.
Why Are Onions So Dangerous?
Onions are dangerous to rabbits for a number of reasons. Firstly, they contain something known as thiosulphate, which is toxic for bunnies, and will affect the red blood cells. Consuming onion can result in hemolytic anemia, which can make the red blood cells burst.
This may kill your rabbit, and unfortunately, there is little that you can do about it once your rabbit has consumed the onion. Rabbits don’t have the ability to vomit, so they cannot eject foods that don’t agree with them once they have been swallowed.
Furthermore, onions contain something called organosulfur, which can increase the risk of your rabbit absorbing toxins through its digestive system. On top of this, the immunosuppressant effect could make your rabbit more vulnerable to diseases, even if the onion does not kill your rabbit.
You might notice that your rabbit seems lethargic or dizzy after eating onion. If your rabbit cannot find its feet and keeps stumbling around, this may be because of the onion. Onion can cause severe anemia, and sometimes even death if enough is consumed.
Finally, onion could cause an anaphylactic reaction in your bunny, sending it into shock.
Even small quantities of onion can be really bad for your rabbit, so make sure that you do not give it any.
What Should I Do If My Rabbit Eats Onions?
Sometimes, in spite of your best efforts, accidents happen. Although most rabbits will know better than to eat onions, it is not impossible for this to occur, especially if you leave something that smells tempting within your rabbit’s reach. A sandwich with onion in, for example, may attract your bunny’s attention.
If your rabbit has eaten onion accidentally, you should get it to a vet as soon as you can. Your rabbit may not suffer from all of the effects above, but it could do, and the faster you can get it medical attention, the more likely it is to survive.
Of course, a small quantity of onion may not actually produce any bad effects, but it is better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you contact a vet for advice on what to do. If your rabbit is showing any dizziness or other negative signs, don’t wait; get it help, because otherwise it may die.
If you cannot immediately get your rabbit to a vet, keep it calm and quiet and do not give it other food. Make sure it is not stressed by anything, and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Can Rabbits Eat Other Kinds Of Onions?
Of course, white onions aren’t the only onions, and you may be wondering if there are any other options that your rabbit can enjoy. However, all kinds of onions should be avoided, including white onions, red onions, and green onions.
Do not chop any of these into your rabbit’s bowl or leave them within reach of the bunny’s enclosure. All of them contain these toxins, and could kill your rabbit, even in relatively small quantities.
Other members of the family, such as garlic and chives, should equally be avoided. They are not safe either, and should never be given to a rabbit.
Can I Give Any Part Of The Onion To My Rabbit?
No, no part of the onion plant should be fed to a rabbit; all of them can contain these toxins. Do not give your rabbit onion, onion leaves, onion skin, or onion roots. If you have cooked with onions, never offer your rabbit any scraps from the cooking. Wash your hands before playing with your bunny.
You should not give rabbits cooked food anyway, but make sure you never provide leftover food scraps that may contain onion. This also goes for salads, which are likely to contain slices of onion or possibly crushed garlic.
If you wish to share any pre-made foods with a rabbit, always check that the ingredients list is safe, or refer to your recipe to make sure no onion or garlic was used. If in doubt, do not give your rabbit any of the food, just in case it contains onion.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Rabbit Eating Onion?
Apart from dizziness, you might also see weakness. Your rabbit may struggle to get up, or might simply lie on its side. You may notice fast breathing or a lack of responsiveness.
Other symptoms may include trembling, but sometimes, you won’t see any signs beyond lethargy. Be quick about seeking medical treatment if you see any of these problems occur.
What Else Can Rabbits Have?
Rabbits do benefit from eating fruits and vegetables, and it’s safe to give your bunny around ten percent of its daily food allowance in this way. Choose from foods that you know are safe, such as:
- Carrots and carrot tops
- Dark lettuces (e.g. Romaine lettuce)
- Green beans
Always check that a small portion of food agrees with your rabbit before you start offering it in bigger quantities, as sometimes even a safe food can cause stomach upsets for some bunnies.
Rabbits should not be given onion at any point; it is not a safe food for them. It contains multiple toxins which can cause a whole host of different issues, and could quickly kill your rabbit. Fence off onion plants in your garden, and keep onions away from your bunny’s cage.