Can Rabbits Safely Enjoy Nuts As A Snack? The Verdict Is In…


When feeding your bunny, It can be tempting to share with them just about everything you are eating. However, there are certain foods that could pose a life threatening risk to your pets, however healthy it may be to you. One such type of snack is nuts which are considered to be  a super food. While they are packed with all the right nutrients and minerals, they may not be the best choice of snacks for your furry friend. 

Let me explain more about feeding different nuts to a rabbit, the risks involved and what to do if they eat it in a large quantity.

Should You Feed Nuts To Your Rabbit?

The short answer is No. Nuts are high in calories, oily fats and sugar which makes them a bad choice for your bunny even as a snack. 

Rabbits are herbivores by nature which makes their digestive system delicate. Their diet, therefore, should reflect food items that are easy on their stomach. Fibre rich foods are easily digestive and hence food such as hay should make the most of their diet. 

Nuts, unfortunately, are low in fibre content and could disturb the normal flow of the Rabbit’s digestive system which could result in severe digestive problems, liver damage or in worst case, death of your bunny.

Can Your Rabbit Eat Almonds?

Almonds do not qualify as a safe choice for your rabbit even though they are rich in all the nutrients. And it is for 2 reasons:

1. Fat content. Rabbits require fat for energy and to absorb vitamins and they meet the minimum requirements for it from their daily diet of hay, water and a small quantity of fruit or vegetable. They don’t need fat in any form added to their feed.

Now, Almonds are known to be high in fat and excess amounts of fat can cause obesity which in turn can lead to hepatic lipidosis(accumulation of excess fat in liver).

One piece of almond wouldn’t really hurt but there are safer and healthier choices like Apples or Blueberries that would make a healthy snack. Roasted or salted almonds, however, are a big no-no since it adds a high level of oil and salt to it.

2. Presence of Cyanide. Cyanide is toxic for Rabbits and if consumed in large quantities, it could lead to cyanide poisoning which can be life threatening.

Can Your Rabbit Eat Walnuts?

100 grams of walnut has 65 grams of Fat while hay has only 4 grams of fat to offer. This makes walnut a bad choice for snacking since Rabbit’s digestive system is not designed to break down so much fat. If nothing else, walnuts will definitely make your furry friend obese which is only going to invite different health complexities with it. 

Although a bite of walnut wouldn’t hurt, make sure to break the walnut into tiny pieces to avoid choking and double make sure to only feed a tiny bit and nothing more.

Related: How much carrot should you feed to your Rabbit?

Can Your Rabbit Eat Peanuts? 

You may enjoy this high protein rich nut and your bug bunny will agree to accompany you to it but that doesn’t mean they should be fed peanuts.

Like any other nut, it is high in oily fats and carbohydrates, basically, everything that can make your Rabbit look fluffy. But not the cute fluffy but the unhealthy and obese kind of fluffy. Now as a pet owner, we don’t want that.

But Rabbits love snacks, I mean who doesn’t. And they should eat a little bit of something other than just hay which makes up for most of their diet. There are plenty of healthy alternative snacks such as apple, watermelon or blueberries that you can share with your furry friend. Just make sure to exercise moderation while sharing snacks.

Can Your Rabbit Eat Cashew?

If you have read so far, you probably know the answer to this question. And the answer is: no and yes. Cashews should never be a part of their daily diet or even daily snack. Can you treat them occasionally, maybe once a month and just a tiny bit of it? Sure. That wouldn’t hurt their delicate stomach. 

It is important to note here that if you decide to introduce cashew and for that matter, any other nut, fruit and vegetable for the first time, monitor if they are not allergic to it. They may show behavioral or physical discomfort like disturbed sleep, runny nose, red patches in the body or eyes etc. If you notice such symptoms, immediately take your bunny to the vet for examination.

Can Your Rabbit Eat Hazelnut?

As with any other nut, Hazelnuts are low in fibre and high in calories and fat. But more than this, they also contain a high amount of Calcium and Phosphorus. A high amount of these would make it difficult for them to pass stool so it is best to avoid giving this to your best furry friend. 

Can Your Rabbit Eat Pistachios?

Every 100 grams of pistachios contains 560 calories, 45 grams of fat, 22 grams of carbs, 7 grams of sugar and only 10 grams of fibre. Rabbits requires way more fibre and way less calories and fat from the same amount of any food. This makes pistachio a no-no food for rabbits.

Instead treat your bugs bunny with fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, blueberries or watermelon.

A quick look at what you should ask the pet expert:

What Does a Typical Rabbit Diet Look Like?

Rabbits are herbivores by nature and need a diet which is high in fibre and nutrients but low in calories. 

Rabbit’s daily diet should consist of an unlimited supply of hay and water while Fruits, Vegetables and other healthy snacks or treats take 10-15% of the share.

Hay is just grass which is cut and dried so that it can be used as animal fodder. It is a common food for a variety of pets like rabbits, sheep, goats etc. It is extremely rich in fibre and Rabbit can munch on it all day long without having to worry about any digestive problems. The fibre from hay is beneficial for 2 reasons:

  1. Fibre has a proven track record for keeping the gut healthy. It also helps in normalising the bowel movements.
  2. Rabbits have open rooted teeth which means their teeth grow throughout their life. If they don’t chew enough everyday, the teeth tend to overgrow. Overgrown teeth can damage the tongue & oral skin(also called oral mucosa) and introduce dental diseases.

    Chewing hay helps with filing their teeth to prevent overgrowth and keeping them in proper length and shape. 


Bottom Line

To summarize, all the nuts are generally a bad choice for your Rabbit. They seem really healthy given how nutritious they are, however, Rabbit’s digestive system is not strong enough to break down those complex nutrients. Additionally, the excess fat from the nuts will lead to obesity for your Rabbit which is the last thing any pet owner would want for their pets. 

A wise choice would be to replace nuts with fruits or vegetables for their daily munching needs.

Source: 101Rabbits

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What types of nuts can bunnies eat?
    You shouldn’t feed rabbits any of the nuts. Rabbit needs a high fibre and low calories diet and nuts are lacking in both the departments. They are rich in fats and carbohydrates which is the last thing you would want to feed your Rabbit.

  2. Can my bunny die from eating nuts?
    A nut or two will not hurt your rabbit but if you feed nuts daily or in large quantities, the large amount of fat present in the nuts can lead to obesity which poses fatal risk in Rabbits in the long term.

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