3 Main Reasons Why Onions Are Dangerous to Rabbits

Onions offer several health benefits to us. However, not all of us can eat it despite the vitamins and minerals. The same goes for our little fluffy friends. Bunnies cannot eat rabbits.

In this article, we will find out why rabbits cannot eat onions.

What are the Health Benefits of Onions?

can rabbits eat onions

Onions contain certain compounds that help boost our immune system. You can trust the onions when it comes to providing nutrients. However, not all onions are the same. Some varieties may be wide with Vitamins, while the other types of onions may be rich in nutrients.

In general, most onion varieties are good sources of the following nutrients:

  • Calcium
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc

There is no question about what onion can offer. In fact, this has been proved by people’s thorough research and studies about onions. Instead, the real question is, who can eat onions?

Can Rabbits Eat Onions?

can bunnies eat onions

Onions may be full of nutrients that we can benefit from. It may help us with our blood pressure issues and other health problems. But despite these benefits, unfortunately, our fluffy friends cannot eat onions.

Onions contain disulfide and other compounds that can upset their stomach, and despite the nutrients it offers, onions can cause them health problems or escalate their existing diseases to rabbits.

For example, suppose you feed a diabetic rabbit with onions. In that case, there is a big chance that the rabbit’s sugar will jump beyond its average blood sugar, and you might rush your rabbit to the vet.

Some health issues that rabbits may get when they eat onions are hemolytic anemia, respiratory issues, and heart problems in rabbits.

Thus, adding onions into the rabbits’ diet is not advisable. Do not even attempt offering them any food with onions in it, whether it is cooked or not. It can still cause them health problems, and probably death.

3 Main Reasons Why Onions Are Dangerous to Rabbits

do rabbits eat onions

Onions may cause rabbits quite a several health problems. But here are the three common health problems that may arise when you feed rabbits onions.


Thiosulphate may sound good to some, but this compound is deadly to rabbits. Once the rabbit ingests this, hemoglobin may start to rupture. Unfortunately, suppose there is too much-damaged hemoglobin.

In that case, that rabbit’s system will have difficulty transmitting oxygen, causing hemolytic anemia. Or worst, sudden death.

Immunosuppressant effect

Onions may cause an immunosuppressant effect, weakening their immune system and making the rabbits resistant to any deadly infection.

Rabbits who are affected by this effect are more likely to die. It is not because they are left untreated but because the infection is hard to treat.

There are only a few cases where rabbits survived after falling into this health problem. Most died after a few days of suffering from the immunosuppressant effect.

Anaphylactic Shock

This doesn’t happen a lot, but still, your rabbit has a high chance of experiencing anaphylactic shock.

Suppose your rabbits are allergic to some compounds found in onions. In that case, they may undergo a severe allergic reaction that can be fatal.

To prevent all these from happening, avoid feeding your rabbits onions. It doesn’t matter if they are white, red, or fall under other varieties. These onions may still cause your rabbits to die.

Can Rabbits Eat Onions: Signs and Symptoms

can rabbits eat red onion

When your rabbit eats an onion, you may act weird, dizzy, and weak.

But the easiest way to tell your rabbit’s health after eating onion is to check and see if they are dizzy. The effects of the onions on your rabbit’s system may take a couple of minutes, so it is advisable that you must monitor the rabbit.

However, do not immediately conclude that the onions caused your rabbits dizzy. Look for other symptoms like weakness. If your rabbit is lethargic and prefers to lie down instead of playing with its favorite toy or beating fast, you may need to bring them to the vet.

Can Rabbits Eat Onions: Treatment

Apply first aid when you notice that your rabbit is experiencing the above symptoms. Rabbits are not like dogs or cats. They vomit the food that they feel is harmful to their body.

But if there’s a way for you to help them vomit, do so. This will relieve them from the adverse effect of eating onions.

You may also give your rabbit water to help them flush the toxins out. However, this may or may not work. So, the best thing to treat your rabbit is to bring the rabbit to the vet.

Surely, the veterinarian will be able to help your rabbit. Make sure to bring the rabbit immediately to the vet. Do not wait for them to be dying before you have them checked.

Can Rabbits Eat Onions: Are Onion Tops Good for Rabbits?

can rabbits eat onion

Any Onion variety, including parts like their bulbs, leaves, and flowers, are poisonous to rabbits. There are also some vegetables that belong to the Allium family, like the onions.

You must avoid feeding your rabbits with these vegetables:

  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Chives

These vegetables give the same effect as onions when ingested. They can cause severe anemia, weakness, and death to rabbits.

Apart from that, there are also some fruits and vegetables that you commonly see in your kitchen that you must avoid giving your rabbits. These fruits and vegetables may have the same health effects on rabbits. But what is on the list can lead them to die early.

Avoid giving the following to your rabbits:

If by any chance, your rabbit may have eaten any of these, you may need to call the vet immediately. Ask for the best remedy that you can get for your rabbit to prevent their system from deteriorating and shutting down completely.

What food can rabbits eat?

There are several alternatives that you can give to your rabbits. Some good onion alternatives are as follows:

  • Arugula
  • Basil
  • Beet Tops
  • Beets
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Buttercrunch Lettuce
  • Carrot
  • Carrot Tops
  • Cucumber
  • Green Beans
  • Summer Squash
  • Zucchini

The vegetables on the list above are just some of the best alternatives that you can give to your rabbits. Rabbits can eat fruits, too. The list goes on. But make sure to check their health condition first before giving them the vegetables.

Most rabbits can eat any vegetables, but some have medical conditions that we need to monitor.

What is the ideal diet for rabbits?

Show rabbits, pet rabbits, wild rabbits, and rabbits raised for their meat don’t have the same diet. However, in general, rabbits’ diet must contain 75% fiber and 25% fruits and vegetables.

Ensure that your rabbits have enough fiber to keep their digestive system healthy for the day. The proper food portion that you will give your rabbits should look like this:


You should prioritize this since this has the biggest cut. Giving them fresh hay every day does not only help them to have a good digestive tract. It also helps to fill the rabbit’s teeth from developing the most common dental problem in rabbits – overgrown teeth.

Rabbit Food

This type of food refers to commercially-made rabbit food. Some rabbits, especially those for pet shows, always have this type of food in their diet.

This helps them get more vitamins and minerals to develop and maintain their fur and build.


Adding vegetables to your rabbits’ food gives them a balanced diet. They love to munch on some crunchy vegetables.


Of course, a diet without a treat is boring. However, do not overfeed them with treats. Instead, give them treats in proportion to their weight, a teaspoon per body weight.

Fresh Water

Rabbits need water every day, just like how much we need water. Thus, your rabbits must always have access to clean, freshwater.

Do Rabbits Like Onions?

Onions are a common herb that you usually see in your kitchen. It was popular with most chefs as it gives because of its aroma. However, this is not the case when it comes to rabbits.

Onions from the genus Allium and their pungent smell is a natural rabbit repellant. Some people intentionally put onions in their backyard or garden to prevent the rabbits from coming and damaging their yard, flowers, or plants.

However, that doesn’t mean that your pet rabbits will automatically avoid eating the onions. You must still be cautious and not put any human food containing onion near them.


Onions contain harmful substances that may affect your rabbit’s entire system, killing them. Thus, you shouldn’t feed your rabbit with onion, whether cooked or raw. I hope that this article ‘Can RabbitsEat Onions?’ helps you or guides you in your rabbit-raising journey.

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