Rabbits may be tiny.
But they’re incredibly strong.
They can kick really hard and end up breaking their own back.
Well, you might think…
“My bunny can be a great superhero like Popeye!”
But should your rabbit eat spinach, too?
Read on to learn more:
- When baby rabbits should eat spinach.
- 9 possible dangers of bunnies eating spinach.
- 9 surprising benefits of feeding spinach to your rabbits.
- And so much more…
Can rabbits eat spinach?
Rabbits can eat spinach. It’s rich in vitamins like vitamins A, E, and K and other minerals that help supplement your bunny’s needs. However, beware of feeding them too much spinach. It may cause tummy pain in your rabbits.
Rabbit eating spinach- 9 benefits
#1: Great for your bunny’s eye health
Your rabbit’s vitamin A intake should at least range from 5,000-75,000 IU per 35.27 oz (1 kg) of body weight.
They can get this nutrient from their main diet consisting of grass hay.
Interestingly, spinach contains 9, 380 IU of vitamin A per 3.5 oz (100 g) serving.
So, feeding your bunnies spinach treats 1-2 times a week helps them keep their eyes healthy.
Your bunnies need it to keep their vision sharp.
Especially at night.
Trivia: Rabbits have difficulty seeing things near them, especially face-front.
#2: Keeps preggy bunnies healthy
Rabbits need vitamin K in their system.
Especially in your pregnant female bunnies.
Vitamin K helps prevent your mother rabbits from the following:
- Placental hemorrhage or when the placenta splits from the uterus.
Interestingly, rabbits already produce vitamin K in their body through coprophagy.
Or when bunnies eat their poop.
But during pregnancy, female rabbits need vitamin K supplements to bear healthy offspring.
#3: Nourishes baby rabbits in the uterus
Spinach contains 0.00009 oz (2.71 mg) of iron per 3.5 oz (100 g) serving.
Iron is vital in your rabbit’s nutrition.
Especially during the gestation period or pregnancy.
Mother rabbits aren’t able to properly transport iron to their milk.
Except for their placenta.
The placenta nourishes and maintains the offspring’s well-being in the uterus.
Thus, an essential organ for transporting doses of iron to their baby rabbits.
#4: Gives your rabbits a soft coat
Want to make your fur buddy more fluffy-looking?
An occasional spinach treat may give them that smooth and healthy coat.
Moreover, feeding spinach to your bunnies helps them prevent the following:
- Fur discoloration.
- Bone defects at birth.
Containing at least 0.000004 oz (0.13 mg) of copper, bunnies also help their body’s collagen formation.
#5: Strengthens their bones
Rabbits love to jump, hop and run most of the time.
But if your bunny suffers from manganese deficiency, they’ll have:
- Brittle bones.
- Deformed legs.
- A decrease in bone density.
Surprisingly, spinach contains 0.00003 oz (0.897 mg) of manganese in a 3.5 oz (100 g) serving.
And feeding them to your bunny may support bone development and strength.
Moreover, spinach also helps in tissue repair and nutrient absorption in your bunnies.
As well as cartilage formation.
#6: Provides hydration
Generally, temperatures exceeding 60-65°F (15-18°C) aren’t ideal for your rabbits.
And they need enough water intake to prevent heat stress.
Another way for providing hydration to your bunnies is by feeding them some spinach.
Containing at least 93% water, spinach gives a soothing effect to their senses.
Especially in summer or during warm weather.
Moreover, heat stress may affect your rabbits in the following areas:
- Death rate.
- Daily weight.
- Fertility or the ability to produce offspring.
#7: Helps prevent hypokalemia
Rabbits need at least 0.6% of potassium for maximum growth.
Prevention of potassium deficiencies in your bunnies requires a proper diet.
But an occasional feeding of veggie treats like spinach may help, too.
The 0.02 oz (558 mg) potassium content in a 3.5 oz (100 g) spinach helps your bunnies from hypokalemia.
Or potassium deficiency.
If left untreated, this causes a high death rate in your fur babies according to a study.
Moreover, potassium-deficient rabbits may suffer from the following:
- Muscle weakness.
- Respiratory distress.
- Paralysis or inability to move.
Interesting read: What To Do If Rabbit Eats Poisonous Plant? Checklist
#8: Helps your bunny’s body functions
Spinach contains a B-complex vitamin called folate.
And your rabbits need folate to function and stay healthy.
Moreover, a study confirms the effects of folate on their body.
It helps reduce your bunny’s homocysteine levels.
Homocysteine is an amino acid that plays a vital role in metabolism.
But high levels pose toxicity in the body.
Furthermore, high homocysteine levels in your bunny may cause the following:
- Artery lining damage.
- Blood vessel disorders.
- Increase in blood clot formation.
#9: Prevents cell damage
Your bunnies need vitamin E to prevent cell and DNA damage.
And they can get this from eating spinach.
A 3.5 oz (100 g) of spinach contains 0.00007 oz (2.03 mg) of vitamin E.
Moreover, vitamin E helps protect your bunnies from oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is an imbalance in the pro-oxidants and antioxidants in the body.
An excess intake of fats also causes oxidative stress in your rabbits.
Meanwhile, rabbits may suffer from deficiencies in vitamin E, too.
Without proper medical attention, this may result in the following:
- Muscle destruction.
- Damage in cell fats and proteins in the liver.
Rabbit eating spinach- 9 dangers
#1: Top 2 highest pesticide content
According to the annual Dirty Dozens list of EWG, spinach contains permethrin.
Permethrin is a neurotoxic pesticide that can cause tremors (shaking) and seizures.
Especially when consumed in high doses.
Landing on the second spot, spinach poses a health hazard for your bunnies.
Thus, unlimited or regular feeding is a big no.
Important: Permethrin is also present in head lice products and mosquito-repellent fabrics.
#2: High in oxalates
Spinach is high in oxalate or oxalic acid content.
Oxalates are anti-nutrients that are present in leafy vegetables and beans.
They inhibit nutrient absorption in the body.
When this happens, it leads to kidney damage in your rabbits.
Furthermore, avoid mixing these foods with spinach:
- Mustard greens.
- Radish greens.
These veggies also contain high levels of oxalic acid.
So, be cautious when feeding your furry ones with leafy greens.
#3: Excess in vitamin C
Your rabbits already produce vitamin C or ascorbic acid in their body.
They may still need additional doses of vitamin C.
Especially when they’re under stress.
But feeding your bunnies excess amounts of spinach may cause them serious harm.
Not to mention, the formation of kidney stones.
Symptoms of kidney stones in rabbits include:
- Blood in their urine.
- Pain during urination.
- Thick or cloudy brown urine.
#4: Low in fiber for a rabbit’s need
According to the USDA, spinach contains 0.08 oz (2.2 g) of fiber in a 3.5 oz (100 g) serving.
Your rabbit needs more than that to live a healthy life.
They need 0.88 oz (25 g) of fiber per 35 oz (1 kg) of their body weight.
Moreover, feeding them lots of spinach won’t solve the problem.
Non-fiber foods will only lead your bunnies to suffer from the following:
- Digestive blockages.
- Dental misalignment or malocclusion.
#5: Causes digestive problems
Too much spinach intake in your rabbits may cause bloating.
Bloating may sound like a normal thing in their tummy.
But the pain that your bunnies go through could be life-threatening.
These are traceable in the amounts of carbohydrate residue in their system.
It could be due to the imbalance in your rabbit’s diet.
Especially a low-fiber and high-carbohydrate diet.
Or a one-time spinach treat.
Unfortunately, a 3.5 oz (100 g) of spinach alone contains 0.13 oz (3.63 g) of carbohydrates.
Tip: Rabbits need a fibrous diet consisting of 80-90% grass hay.
#6: Causes bladder sludge
There’s a lot to look out for in your fur buddy’s health.
Especially the effects of the food they eat.
In general, rabbits can’t take up too much calcium in their tiny bodies.
It may be great for their bone development.
But excess calcium intake may only lead to severe kidney failure.
Not to mention, bladder sludge.
Here are some symptoms to watch out for:
- Loss of appetite.
- Excessive thirst.
- Frequent urination.
- Blood in their urine.
- Loud teeth grinding.
- Little to no droppings.
- Lethargy or weakness.
- Thick, white, and grit-like urine.
Watch this video of the causes and treatment of rabbits with bladder sludge:
#7: Can lead to obesity
Your rabbits are prone to obesity and weight gain.
Especially when their food lacks fiber like spinach.
However, too many carbohydrates in their gut trigger them to eat more.
“How is this possible?”
Eating or chewing a lot is your bunny’s instinct.
Most of the time, you’ll see them munching on something.
It’s good if they’re nibbling on grass hay.
But if not…
Your rabbits will keep on eating something because they need to feel full.
And eating spinach won’t help.
Instead, too many portions of spinach will only make them unhealthy.
#8: Triggers behavioral problems
Quick treats like spinach may trigger some behavioral issues with your bunnies.
As mentioned in the previous item, fiber helps keep bunnies full.
But if their food doesn’t satisfy them…
Rabbits may develop the following:
- Fur chewing or pulling.
Tip: Chew balls can make a great healthy toy for your bunny. They’re made with grass hay and are safe to chew.
#9: Lacks vitamin D
Rabbits can get vitamin D through sunshine.
Indoor bunnies get it from the food they eat.
Vitamin D helps regulate calcium and phosphorus absorption in your rabbit’s body.
These minerals are essential for bone development.
Unfortunately, there’s no trace of vitamin D in spinach.
As a result, vitamin D deficiency affects their bones and teeth.
Not to mention, their immune system.
Important: Rabbits need at least 1,000-1,500 IU per 35.27 oz (kg) of body weight.
Can baby rabbits eat spinach?
Baby rabbits shouldn’t eat spinach or any vegetables just yet. Their primary diet must consist of their mother’s milk. You can only feed them spinach when they become 12 weeks older. But only do so in moderation.
Can rabbits eat spinach daily?
Rabbits shouldn’t eat spinach every day. It’ll lead to digestive issues like bloating and diarrhea. In general, rabbits should have a fibrous diet to maintain their digestive health.
Can wild rabbits eat spinach?
Wild rabbits can eat spinach. As grazing animals, wild rabbits spend most of their time looking for food in the field. Some leafy greens are no exception. However, they’ll find grass hays more appetizing than spinach.