Can Rabbits Eat Red Onions? What’s the True?

In our day-to-day life, we use red onions to cook a wide range of dishes. Also, red onions are used for potential health benefits and nutritional value. In some cultures red onions are used as traditional medicine, even onions work against oxidative stress and free radicals.

Moreover, red onions are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese. So, it’s clear to us, all types of onions including red onions are safe for humans. But are red onions safe for rabbits, and can rabbits eat red onions?

The answer to both questions is “NO”, rabbits don’t eat red onions, and on the other hand, onions are not safe for rabbits. And our today’s experiment proved it. Yes, today we gave a little amount of red onions to our rabbits to see whether rabbits actually eat red onions or not.

For experimental purposes, we just gave only 8 grams of red onions to our 2 rabbits. And they ate only a little amount of red onion, and while eating we noticed some weird movements of them.

Here we will describe to you how much red onions our rabbits ate and after eating how were their movements and activities. Additionally, we will tell you the harmfulness of red onions for rabbits. So, let’s start and describe that experiment.


Are Onions Bad For Rabbits?

Yes, onions are bad for rabbits, even eating a higher amount of onions can cause death for rabbits. Onions contain some compounds which consider toxic to rabbits and these compounds can destroy red blood cells. Yes, the same problem can happen if your rabbits also eat garlic.

So, both garlic and onions are unsafe for rabbits. Recently, we have experimented to see whether can rabbits eat garlic, if you are interested then you can see the result of rabbits and garlic.

Blood cells destroy and rabbit’s death can happen if your rabbits eat a large amount of onions at a time. But what will happen if rabbits eat a small amount of onions? It’s sad to say that a small amount of onions also can be very harmful to rabbits’ health.

First of all, you rabbits can feel digestive problems if they eat a small amount of onions. As well as feeling digestive problems they can also feel weakness, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, pale gums, rapid heart rate, and jaundice.

So, it’s clear to us that whether the amount is small or high, both amounts can cause serious health problems to rabbits. So, it’s better for you, never to give a single piece of onion to your rabbits, without onions there are thousands of rabbit-safe foods.


How Much Red Onion We Gave To Our Rabbits?

Today before their (our rabbits) morning meal we have a little number of red onions in front of them to see whether our rabbits eat red onions or not. The amount was 8 grams.

How Much Red Onion We Gave To Our Rabbits
Image – How Much Red Onion We Gave To Our Rabbits

We knew red onions are harmful to rabbits but our expectation was they may eat a little bit of red onions (like 5 to 6 grams). There is a reason beyond our expectations because, in the previous experiment, we gave red onion skins to our rabbits.

Our experiment was about whether can rabbits eat onion skins or not. Although skins are harmful to them they ate the whole amount of onion skins that we gave to them, that’s why today when we gave onions to them we also expect that they might eat 5 to 6 grams.

But, our expectation was wrong, they ate only 1 gram. And to serve the red onion, first, we wash the onion and then peel off it using a knife.

Then we sliced it into a couple of pieces, then we took only 2 pieces which was 8 grams. We didn’t give the whole onion because we knew the harmfulness of an onion to rabbits.


The Truth About Rabbits and Red Onions

In a word the answer is “NO”, our rabbits don’t like to eat red onions and they took only one bite. More specifically the female one named Cleo took a bite of red onion, and then she stopped.

Let’s explain it from the beginning. First of all, we cleaned, peel-off, and served 2 small pieces of red onions to our rabbits. When we served, we saw they were smelling and tried to find their taste, because as you know rabbits smelling power is so strong.

And then, the female one named Cleo took a bite of the onion and start chewing. On the other hand, the male one named Dot didn’t take a single bite, he just smelled all the time, maybe he found something risky by smelling.

Within 30 seconds our female rabbit also stopped chewing and she start to smell. And we took the onions in front of them almost for 2 minutes, and in that time they didn’t bite twice, just smelled.

During eating, we noticed that Cleo didn’t move, it looks weird. She just chewed and try to find its taste. They ate only one gram and left 7 grams, which means our rabbits ate only 12.5% of them.

So, that’s the result of the experiment, for your convenience we are sharing the video here where you can see the result of the live experiment.


So, if you are not interested to watch the video, then you can skip it. Just take a look at the chart, it will make everything clear to you.

Rabbits Names Food Items & Weight Eat Or Not (Yes Or No) Percentage Of Eating Percentage Of Residual
Cleo Red Onions (8 Grams) A Little Bit 12.5% 87.5%
Dot Red Onions (8 Grams) No 0% 100%


The Dangers of Red Onions for Rabbits

We have mentioned multiple times why red onions are dangerous for rabbits. And now here we will show you the potential risk of red onions for rabbits.

Red Onions
Image – Red Onions

One thing you should remember the risk can vary from rabbit to rabbit, or maybe some rabbits can eat red onions. Also, the possibility of danger depends on the rabbit’s age.

Yes, bunnies that are newborns or if their age is less than 12 weeks, for them the risk can be more. So those who want to know if can bunnies eat red onions should note that red onions can cause more danger to bunnies.

Anyway, here are the possible dangers of red onions for rabbits.

  1. Red onion contains some compounds, which can destroy rabbit blood cells
  2. Red onions consider toxic and unsafe for rabbits
  3. Eating a high amount of red onions can cause death in rabbits
  4. A small number of red onions can make your rabbits weaker
  5. Red onions are also responsible for rabbits some serious health problems like loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, pale gums, rapid heart rate, and jaundice


What Should I Do If My Rabbit Eats Onion?

So, now you are aware of the danger of red onions, hope you never give red onions to your rabbits. But somehow if your rabbits eat red onions then what should you do?

Well, here we will tell you what you should do if your pet rabbits eat red onions.

Remove Onion Access:

When you noticed that your rabbits are eating onions then instantly remove the remaining onions in front of them.

Monitor Your Rabbit

Now you have to measure the amount, how much they ate. If the amount is large then instantly contact a veterinarian. Or if the amount is low then monitor your rabbits for a while. See how they behave and whether they are doing weird movements or not.

Contact With A Veterinarian

If you notice some weird movements of them instantly call a veterinarian, and explain everything to them, including the amount they ate. And then carefully listen to their instruction, if any treatment is needed, manage it as soon as possible.

Take Extra Care Of Them

Not only for rabbits but also for all types of pets you should take extra care, especially when they are sick. And after the treatment, you should take extra at least for the next 2 to 3 days.

These are the things that you should do if your rabbits eat red onions. And hope now it’s clear to you whether rabbits eat red onions or not. In our next experiment, we will serve spring onions to our rabbits and show you can rabbits eat spring onions or not.

Until the next experiment stay connected with us by subscribing to our blogs. And take care of your rabbits. If you have more questions like this feel free to ask us by sending an email and commenting below the comment box.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do rabbits not like onions?

A: Rabbits don’t like to eat onions, and rabbits’ digestive systems are not familiar with onions. Also, onions are considered harmful and unsafe foods for rabbits. And our experiment also proved that rabbits don’t like to eat onions, because they (2 rabbits) eat only one gram of onion.

Q: Can rabbits eat raw onions?

A: No, raw onions consider toxic to rabbits, and the compounds that raw onions contain are harmful to rabbits. Even, the taste of raw onions is not good, that’s why rabbits don’t eat raw onions.

But, some individuals can eat raw onions, if you notice that then stopped that because feeding raw onions to rabbits can cause rabbit death.

Q: Can rabbits eat onions and garlic?

A: Onion and garlic both are considered toxic, unsafe, and harmful for rabbits. Both contain some compounds which destroy red blood cells.

Also, a little amount of garlic or onion can make serious health problems to your rabbits. Even, the plants, flowers, and skins of onion and garlic consider harmful and unsafe for rabbits.

Q: Can rabbits eat onion skin?

A: Although onion skins are unsafe for rabbits, feeding a little amount of onion skins can cause serious health problems for rabbits. But surprisingly, rabbits eat onion skins and in our previous experiment, our rabbits ate all the onion skins that we gave to them.

Although the amount was quite low, which was less than 2 grams. But the surprising fact is they eat the whole in less than 30 seconds. So, we can say that rabbits can eat onion skins but we recommend don’t feed onion skins to your rabbits.

Q: Do rabbits eat onions in the garden?

A: Generally rabbits don’t love to eat onions and onions are also unsafe for them. But in different cases, some individual rabbits may eat onions, although onions are toxic for them.

But you should take care of them and don’t serve onions to them. If they are wild rabbits then use fences to protect them from these toxic foods.

Q: Can onions make a rabbit dizzy?

A: Onions are unsafe for rabbits, and if rabbits eat a small amount of onion then they can feel weakness, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, and pale gums. So, if rabbits eat a small quantity of inion they may feel dizzy or more serious problems.

Q: Do rabbits enjoy the taste of red onions?

A: Rabbits don’t like to eat red onions and foods like onion and garlic don’t taste good to rabbits. Because rabbits like to eat leafy greens, grasses, hays, and other fibrous items.

Q: Can red onions be included in a rabbit’s regular diet?

A: Never, rabbit’s diet should be healthy and balanced. We always prefer to feed healthy foods to rabbits. And regularly we serve different types of safe foods to our rabbits, and we have a safe rabbit food chart.

And onions are not safe for rabbits, because the compounds that onion contains are totally unsafe for rabbits. So never include inions, onion peels, and onion leaves on a rabbit’s diet.


Useful Links: Bad Effect of Onion on Rabbits, Side Effects of Onions

Shaharier Islam (Akash)
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