Can Rabbits Eat Onions? Is It Really That Bad?

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This post will give you everything you need to know about the complex and toxic relationship between onions and rabbits.

including what makes onions a major no-no for bunnies, what will happen to your rabbit if he happens to eat an onion, and what action you should take should such an instance occur.

Can Rabbits Eat Onions?

Long story short, NO. Onions are not bunny-friendly and you should avoid feeding your rabbit with this human vegetable.

Onions can cause more damage to your friend than just disturbing breath.

This culinary addition contains a toxin that can cause some really serious complications for rabbits.

Onions feature an ingredient that bears the name of thiosulphate that’s toxic rabbits.

If your bunny eats this vegetable, their red blood cells will be damaged – it’s a disease called hemolytic anemia.

This disorder will cause the red blood cells that are circulating through the pet’s body to burst.

In addition, onions also carry a substance called organosulfur.

This compound has been known to elicit a medical condition in rabbits, where the poison can easily become absorbed by the rabbit’s digestive system.

Side effects and potential risks will occur with rabbits that consume any amount of onions.

With that said, it’s in both you and your rabbit’s interest to leave out the onions altogether.

What Part of an Onion is Toxic to Rabbits?

No specific part of an onion carries the toxin that is harmful to rabbits — they’re in the whole thing! This includes the flesh, juice, leaves, and even processed powders.

This means that onions can cause harm to rabbits if they are consumed even after they are cooked, fried, or powdered.

Actually, all other foods in the allium family, including garlic, shallots, leeks, and chives, are also harmful to rabbits as they contain the same toxin.

Onion and garlic powders are actually even more potent than fresh onions, which is extra dangerous news because they are found in so many human foods.

Symptoms of Onion Toxicity in Rabbits

If you think that your bunny companion may have eaten some of this veggie, look for the following signs:

  • Excessive salivation
  • Collapse
  • Irritation of the mouth
  • Reddish urine
  • Fainting
  • Pale gums
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also lists panting, elevated heart rate, and vomiting as the additional signs of the onion toxicity.

If you notice any of these symptoms, you’ll have to take him to your local veterinarian as soon as it is possible.

He or she will diagnose the rabbit’s condition based on his blood work and the symptoms.

If the veterinarian detects the formation of the so-called Heinz bodies or just the hemolytic anemia, and the rabbit was recently exposed to vegetables, all signs will inevitably point to onion toxicity.

There are many conditions that could be the possible causes of your pet’s hemolytic anemia, which is precisely why it’s essential to get an accurate diagnosis and give your pooch an appropriate therapy.

Other Typical Foods That Are Dangerous to Rabbits

Unfortunately, onion isn’t the only kind of food that could be harmful to your pet.

Take a look at the following foods – you should keep them out of your pet’s reach:

  • Avocado: rabbits typically can have a bad reaction to avocados, but it’s the birds that are in the greatest danger. If they eat some of this fruit, they will have severe respiratory problems and possibly die.
  • Raisins & Grapes: both of these fruits easily cause kidney failure. Every form of these fruits should be kept out of the bunny’s reach, and that includes grape juice and raisin bagels.


Onions are very dangerous for rabbits in both large and tiny amounts.

A normal bunny weighs about 2.5 kg, which means eating only 20 grams of onion is life-threatening.

Every layer of the onion contains the toxins disulfides and thiosulphates which cause red blood cell damage.

I recommend that you never feed your guinea pig onions in any form.

This is definitely the safest choice to keep your guinea pig healthy.

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Chafik Abderrahman is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of

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