Rabbits need a steady supply of quality grass and hay in order to thrive and survive. And although you can add green vegetables to their daily diet or to serve as one of their treats, you need to know that not all vegetables can safely be consumed by rabbits. Some of them can even be dangerous to their health.
This is why when preparing your rabbit’s treats or meal plan, you need to do your research first. Otherwise, you might end up accidentally giving something dangerous to your beloved pet. Some of the things that people want to give to their bunnies are lettuce, specifically, iceberg lettuce.
This may be because they are readily available in most supermarkets or because most households will have many leftovers of this vegetable every couple of days. Although we all know that they are great-tasting and nutritious, we have to take a closer look at it so we can check if it is good for our rabbits.
Rabbits can actually eat lettuce, as a matter of fact, they might even like to eat it a lot simply because it tastes nice especially if it still has a crisp texture. However, this does not mean that you should give your pet rabbits iceberg lettuce. This is because many experts believe that it contains a harmful substance.
Basically, lettuce is mainly made up of water. This is why some pet owners will want to try giving it to their rabbits especially during a hot day to help their pets stay hydrated. Some will even try to cool them inside the refrigerator before serving them to their pets so that they can stay cool during summer.
With that in mind, you should also know that lettuce does not contain a lot of nutrients. In fact, only 5% of its total make up is composed of proteins, carbohydrates and sugars. It also contains very small amounts of calcium and calories, this is why it can never replace the rabbit’s regular diet of grass.
Although lettuce does not contain a lot of sugar that can cause diarrhea or an unexpected weight increase, it does have a lot of water that might actually cause bloating or gas buildup in rabbits. If they are given cold, you will actually make it worse since it can easily further upset the rabbit’s stomach.
Lettuce is also known to contain lactucarium, a milky white substance that can act much like opium when given to rabbits. This harmful substance is known to cause lethargy as well as a euphoric high in rabbits. This substance is also predominantly found in iceberg lettuce and it acts as a sedative.
Although it might seem harmless at first, you need to understand that its effects are actually quite significant in such small animals. In fact, if they are allowed to take in a lot of lactucarium, the rabbit can easily die from its effects. This is also one of the key reasons why you should avoid giving it to your pet.
Lettuce are known to have great flavor and texture. But because they contain very little nutrients, many experts recommend that you skip it and opt for other vegetables instead if you want to improve your rabbit’s health or if you want to give a treat. Lettuce is also known to contain a lot of water.
Although this might sound good for your pet’s hydration, this can actually cause gas buildup as well as an upset stomach. What’s more, lettuce is also known to contain lactucarium. This is a milky substance that can act as an opiate which can cause lethargy or sedation and even death in rabbits.
Have you given lettuce to your rabbits in the past? Tell us more about what happened to your pet after in the comments section.
My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.