Can rabbits eat almonds? Find out at

Can Rabbits Eat Almonds? Everything You Need To Know

Can rabbits eat almonds? Good question! So, you probably just got a new pet rabbit, or maybe you have always had one, and you’re at that point where you want to change its diet or add something new to it. I’m assuming that the step you want involves almonds, and you need to know whether it is healthy to feed your rabbit or not. We are here to provide the answer you need and much more.

It would be best if you did not feed your rabbits with Almonds. They are high in fat and carbohydrate content and have little to no benefit when providing adequate nutritional requirements. Also, the bitter variants contain hydrogen cyanide which is poisonous to them.

Now, you might wonder why this is so since Almonds have numerous nutritional benefits to humans and are frequently recommended by nutritionists and doctors for us to have a better and improved diet and live a healthier lifestyle in general. A better understanding of an Almond’s contents, the rabbit’s digestive system, and how it’s affected by eating Almonds will help to sort your thoughts out.

Let’s Talk About Almonds For A Second

Can rabbits eat almonds in shells or out? Find out at
Almonds and green leaves isolated on white background

Almonds (Prunus dulcis), although generically referred to as nuts, are drupes (having an outer hull and a hard shell that holds the seed) in botanical terms and thus are not nuts. They are from fruit trees indigenous to Iran and some other neighboring countries. Still, they have been cultivated widely globally in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and the United States of America more recently. (source)

Though having a sweet name, not all Almonds are sweet to taste, like bananas or strawberries, with bitter types with considerable amounts of hydrogen cyanide that have poisonous effects in adults and can even prove lethal in children. Hence, they are not generally domesticated and distributed since they do not have as much commercial purpose as their counterparts.

Nutrition – Can Rabbits Eat Almonds?

As mentioned earlier, almonds are very nutritious to humans, especially rich in protein, fat, and the antioxidant vitamin E. But for rabbits, their fat and carbohydrate content is too high. A summary of their nutritional value is in the table below. (source)

Energy 2,423 kJ (579 kcal)
Vitaminsvitamin A, vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9), choline, and vitamin E.
MineralsCalcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, magnesium, and sodium.
Water 4.4g

Rabbits Eating Habits

Rabbits are small mammals generally classified as herbivores (having a strictly plant-based diet). They are more specifically folivores, animals that have evolved to live on a diet with primarily green vegetation, such as leaves, grass, etc. (source)

As a result of their small sizes, rabbits have high metabolism rates and therefore have developed a digestive system that enables them to deal with this increased metabolic rate. Some results of this development include;

  • Eating large amounts of food.
  • Need for the consumption of food high in indigestible and fermentable fiber.
  • A system that quickly removes slowly fermentable fibrous waste.

Rabbit Diet And Nutrition

Diet Of Wild Rabbits 

Rabbits survive solely on a plant-based diet, and wild rabbits survive mainly on grasses, weeds, and leaves. As mentioned earlier, their digestive system adapts to a high-fiber diet. (source)

Diet Of Captive Rabbits

Before, many sought to match captive rabbits’ diets with wild rabbits as much as possible. It includes a wide variety of forage materials. We should point out that rabbits in captivity refer to those kept as pets and those for production purposes. 

Now, most people feed their pet rabbits with pellets. However, large-scale companies develop these pellets for rabbit farms. Therefore, these rabbits’ nutritional requirements differ from those kept as pets. For example, pet rabbits have longer lives than those used for production purposes. So these pellets can sometimes fall short of providing a balanced diet for them, particularly having insufficient fiber. (source)

Required Basic Nutrients

Water is an essential nutrient for rabbits and every living thing. Rabbits, especially those in captivity, should always be provided with fresh, clean water. Not having access to this can cause them not to eat. Imagine having to eat every time without drinking water. 

Some ways to contain water include; (source)

  • Use a water bottle. It is best because your pet cannot easily spill it, and it helps maintain the cage’s cleanliness.
  • Use of a bowl. Fasten it down to prevent spillage. It should be cleaned and disinfected, and the water should be changed as frequently as possible to avoid bacterial problems.


Rabbits are energetic animals, especially in the wild, where they need to outrun predators. Hence they need for a source of energy in their diet, which is where carbohydrates c.omes in.

Not all Carbohydrates are necessary for a rabbit’s diet as some in excess can cause health problems for the rabbit.


Enough protein in their diet is essential. It is essential for good bone, hair, and muscle health. When too much protein can lead to kidney damage. 


Fats are also a source of energy for rabbits and help their digestive systems absorb specific vitamins from their foods. Too much fat can cause them to be overweight and even lead to heart disease, especially in older rabbits. 


Fiber is essential in a rabbit’s diet as it aids gut motility. Insufficient fiber in its diet can lead to numerous digestive issues and can eventually even cause death.


Vitamins are a crucial part of a rabbit’s diet. They cannot make their vitamins, so they must get them from their food. Rabbits need all vitamins except for vitamin C. \Like most nutrients, an excess of some of these vitamins can cause health problems.

An excess of vitamin C causes kidney damage. An excess of vitamin D causes abnormal calcium deposits to form in tissues. Excess vitamin A causes neurological and skin damage.


Another class of nutrients that are essential for rabbits are minerals. They are necessary for the proper bodily functioning of a rabbit. Most plants have high amounts of minerals, so feeding your rabbit enough vegetables covers their mineral needs. A plus side to this class of nutrients is that most do not produce any side effects when given in excess. An exception, though, is calcium. It is because their bodies do not know when to stop absorbing calcium. So you should provide them with controlled amounts. If not, it can cause conditions such as “bladder sludge” if they absorb too much. But be careful not to feed them too little calcium as it can lead to bone degeneration and weakness. 

Food Sources Of Nutrients For Rabbits

Now, you must be thinking, “since I can’t feed them almonds or I don’t want to only stick to the regular pellets, what can I feed them?” The answer isn’t just carrots; if your pet rabbit is Bugs Bunny, you can go ahead and feed it a truckload. 

Rabbits feed on a wide range of plant-based foods, and a rule of thumb is to adapt their diet to that of their wild counterparts if possible. The table below gives a solid lead on what you can feed your rabbit. (source)

Carbohydrate Grains (oat, wheat, barley, etc.), and fruits such as peaches, pears, pineapples, etc., are mainly used as treats or in controlled amounts due to their high sugar content.
Proteingrass hay, alfalfa hay (most suitable for young rabbits), lespedeza, Timothy, etc.
FatsVegetable oil, flaxseed oil.
FiberIndigestible parts of plants, hay straw, branches, fruits (in controlled amounts), and vegetables such as Pumpkin leaves, broccoli, etc.
VitaminsFruits and vegetables.
MineralsVegetables, but remember to check their calcium content.
WaterIf you can’t drink it, then they shouldn’t.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Safe To Feed My Rabbit Nuts?

No, it isn’t safe to feed your rabbit nuts. Nuts are difficult to digest and can cause blockages in their digestive system. They also contain high calorific values, leading to obesity and other health problems.

Are Nuts Safe As Treats?

You can give almonds as treats on infrequent occasions, but it is a bad idea. If you choose to feed your rabbit nuts, ensure they are clean, microbe-free, properly grounded, and mixed with hay to aid digestion.

Can I Feed My Rabbit Human Food?

Humans are omnivores and what we can eat is vast. Foods such as vegetables and fruits are for humans and also eaten by rabbits, but rabbits should not have human treats such as bread, chocolate, cookies, etc.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, almonds, and nuts, in general, should be avoided when creating a diet plan for your rabbits; they can be more detrimental than beneficial to their health. You should also consider factors such as age, sex, and species. Are there any suitable substitutes for almonds or nuts you can suggest? Leave a comment in the comment section below and let us know.

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