A rabbit probably thinks a cucumber tastes delicious and refreshing. And this is why your bunny tries to steal the cucumber out of your salad or snack bowl. But should you be as cool as a cucumber when your rabbit eats some of this green fruit?
You may wonder if rabbits can eat cucumbers, and is cucumber safe for rabbits?
Rabbits can eat all parts of cucumber: the leaves, flowers, skin, seeds, and flesh. Cucumbers aren’t toxic to rabbits. However, rabbits should eat cucumbers in moderation – as a treat – because it isn’t an essential part of their diet. So give your bun a thin slice of cucumber 2-3 times a week.
Want to know more about feeding cucumbers to your fluffy-tailed bestie? We’ve got everything you need to know and more!
Is Cucumber OK for Rabbits to Eat?
Cucumber is more than OK for rabbits to eat. The best part is that rabbits can eat all the parts of the cucumber – the leaves, the flowers, the fruit’s skin, flesh, and seeds. Feed only cucumber as a fresh vegetable (fruit) to your bun.
Just be sure to wash the cucumber or all parts of the plants thoroughly. You don’t want your sweet pet bunny ingesting any pesticides or harmful chemicals used in the growing process.
Where possible, choose organically grown cucumbers for your bunny (and you!).
Cucumbers make a tasty treat for your pet rabbit and should be fed in moderation. However, rabbits are sometimes very picky eaters, and some rabbits do not enjoy the taste of cucumbers.
Luckily, cucumbers aren’t an integral part of a rabbit’s diet, so don’t force your rabbit to eat these green fruits (cucumbers aren’t a vegetable) if they don’t like it.
If your bun does like a cucumber, introduce the fruit in small quantities as part of their diet to diversify it. Eating too much cucumber doesn’t bode well for your bun as they’ll suffer from various health problems.
The leaves of a cucumber plant, however, can be part of the leafy greens you feed your rabbit twice a day.
Benefits of Feeding Cucumber to Rabbits
There are a few benefits to feeding cucumbers to rabbits:
High Water Content
A cucumber is 96% water. So feeding a few slices to your bun is a great way to up their water intake, especially if your rabbit doesn’t want to drink water.
Cucumbers add more hydration in a fun way on those extra hot days.
Good for Teeth
A cucumber’s skin can be quite tough, especially if you buy North American varieties. English cucumbers have softer skin.
The benefit of the harder skin is that it helps wear down your rabbit’s teeth as they bite and chew the cucumber peel.
High in Fiber
The skin of a cucumber is high in fiber, and rabbits need a lot of fiber in their diet to keep their digestive systems in peak condition.
While your rabbit gets most of its fiber from roughage like grass hay and rabbit-friendly pellets, cucumbers as treats (like other fruits and vegetables) add to the fiber content your pet bunny gets. (#win-win)
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
The leaves of the cucumber plant are very nutritious. The cucumber leaves contain high levels of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, and fiber.
They are also low in oxalic acid, which is good news as too much oxalic acid causes kidney issues.
As such, it’s a good idea to include cucumber leaves in your rabbit’s diet with the other leafy greens they eat twice a day.
Low in Calories
A cucumber doesn’t contain a lot of carbs, and as such, it’s a low-calorie treat. This is great news for obese rabbits.
If you have an overweight rabbit, you can safely feed cucumbers – still in moderation – as treats and not worry about further weight gain.
A Refreshing Treat
On a hot day, keep some cucumber slices in the fridge and feed them to your rabbit to help it stay cool and hydrated.
Risks of Feeding Rabbits Too Many Cucumbers
Cucumbers in small amounts are beneficial to your bun, but in high quantities, cucumbers pose various risks:
While cucumber’s content is high in water is good, too much cucumber with its watery content poses a problem.
A rabbit’s digestive system is created to digest dry vegetation, and too much water makes it difficult for your bun’s guts to cope.
The result is diarrhea and watery poop. Diarrhea is dangerous if not treated soon enough, and it can even be fatal.
Weight Loss and Illness
You may think this is great news if you want to lose some weight, but it ain’t good news for your bun.
Cucumbers are nutritionally sparse, and there are only 4% of trace minerals and vitamins to be found in these long green fruits.
If your rabbit mostly eats cucumbers, they won’t get the nutrients and fiber that they need to stay healthy. Soon, your rabbit will lose weight and become sickly.
How Many Cucumbers Can I Give My Rabbit?
Cucumbers are fruit, and while they aren’t high in sugar or calories like carrots or apples, they should only be fed as treats to your rabbit.
Feed your rabbit one serving of cucumber about 2-3 times a week. You don’t want a rabbit that loves cucumbers to only want to eat cucumbers. Rabbits need a varied diet to help them remain healthy.
So how much is one serving of cucumber for a rabbit?
It is only 1-2 thin (less than ¼ of an inch) slices.
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Cucumber?
Baby rabbits, or kits, should not eat cucumbers. You should only – slowly – introduce cucumbers when your rabbit is 3-6 months old as a kit’s digestive system is only fully developed then.
Cucumber leaves can be introduced around the 3-month mark as this is when bunnies start eating leafy greens.
A newborn rabbit lives off the doe’s milk, and they start eating solid food when they are around a month old.
Around the 2-month mark, the baby bunny is weaned off the milk and they’ll mostly eat high-quality Alfalfa hay and pellets.
If you feed cucumber to a baby rabbit before its digestive system is fully formed, it’ll suffer from diarrhea or gastrointestinal stasis. Either of these conditions can be fatal.
My Last Bunny Thoughts
It’s safe to feed your rabbit fresh cucumber as these fruits aren’t toxic. However, cucumbers don’t have enough nutritional value to be part of your rabbit’s regular diet, but cucumber leaves should and can be.
Rabbits require high-quality hay, pellets, water, and leafy greens every day. But a cucumber every now and again as a treat helps you to train your bun, reward it for good behavior, and let your bunny know you love them.