Sweet potatoes are among the most beneficial root crops available around the world. These delicious veggies provide humans with numerous health benefits. We bet you also want your rabbit to enjoy the nutrition the root crop can bring! But, can rabbits eat sweet potatoes?
On this page, you’ll learn the top nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes and their effect on rabbit health. Let’s hop in!
Sweet Potatoes and Human Health
Sweet potatoes are starchy food abundant worldwide. They have great nutritional value when added to a human’s diet.
Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Besides essential nutrients, sweet potatoes also provide humans with excellent health benefits.
Among the top benefits of sweet potatoes is maintaining good blood pressure levels. Because one serving of sweet potato has around 259 mg of potassium, it is one of the vegetables considered to lower blood pressure.
Another health benefit of sweet potatoes is improving the health of diabetic individuals. People with diabetes, specifically Type 2, can eat white sweet potatoes for better insulin sensitivity.
On top of that, sweet potatoes can reduce the risk of cancer. Thanks to its beta-carotene, the vegetable serves as an anti-oxidant to your body.
Anti-oxidants remove toxins and impurities from our system. Because of this, antioxidants may help reduce the risk for various types of cancer. These types include prostate and lung cancer.
Sweet potatoes are also known to improve our vision and protect eye health. Being an abundant source of provitamin A, sweet potatoes can give you enough vitamin A to ensure good eyesight.
Content per 100 g sweet potato
Can rabbits eat sweet potatoes?
With the benefits of sweet potatoes to humans, you might be curious whether you can give your rabbit sweet potatoes. Who doesn’t want their beloved rabbits to have healthy blood pressure levels and eyesight?
So, can rabbits eat sweet potatoes? Unfortunately, the answer is no. No matter how tempting it can be, it’s best not to give your rabbit sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes can be part of a human’s daily diet, but they are not recommended for your rabbit. Feeding them starch-rich food may do more bad than good.
Sweet Potatoes and Rabbit Health
Why are sweet potatoes not recommended for rabbits? While sweet potatoes give humans great health benefits and enough nutrients, it is not the same for rabbits.
Sweet potatoes contain high levels of starch and low fiber. If you include them in your rabbit’s diet, your rabbit might become overweight or eventually obese.
Sweet potatoes have carbohydrates that inhibit motilin. Motilin is a hormone that keeps foods moving in your rabbit’s gut. For this reason, there are health problems that your rabbit may encounter. These include enteritis, diarrhea, and other digestive concerns.
However, this does not particularly mean that carbohydrates are bad for your rabbit. Carbs are an excellent source of energy for your pet. But of course, always give food in moderation! It’s best to research and know which foods are safe and not.
Can I feed my rabbit raw sweet potatoes once?
As much as humans enjoy sweet potatoes, we do not recommend giving sweet potatoes to your rabbit. Never give your rabbit sweet potatoes, no matter what age or size.
Giving them sweet potatoes in large proportions can lead to an upset stomach and other GI problems. But in some cases, when a rabbit is underweight, sweet potatoes may be given cautiously under the close supervision of a veterinarian.
Sweet Potato Alternatives
Instead of giving sweet potatoes, here are alternative foods you may consider:
- Bibb lettuce
- Carrot tops
- Summer squash
- Winter squash
- Bell pepper
- Celery steams
Can rabbits eat sweet potatoes that are cooked or boiled?
Cooked sweet potatoes contain less acidic content and starch. They may be more beneficial as compared to raw sweet potatoes.
We recommend giving only boiled sweet potatoes over fried sweet potatoes in the smallest amount. Boiled sweet potatoes can provide more nutrients than fried ones.
Be careful, though, ensure that you are giving only small proportions. Boiled sweet potatoes are not dangerous unless your rabbit has ingested large amounts in one eating.
Are sweet potato leaves safe for rabbits?
Yes, you can give your rabbit sweet potato leaves and vines.
It’s safe to include a small handful of sweet potato leaves and vines in your rabbit’s diet. But before you feed your rabbit with sweet potato leaves, be reminded to clean them thoroughly.
By serving them sweet potato leaves, stems, and vines, they get almost the same nutrients when you eat sweet potatoes.
Here are some benefits your rabbit can get with sweet potato leaves:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B Complex
Are sweet potato peels safe for rabbits?
Yes. Rabbits can enjoy sweet potato skin or peel. However, sweet potato skins can be bad in large quantities as they contain starch and sugar. Therefore, we recommend offering sweet potato skins only once a week.
On the bright side, sweet potato peels are higher in fiber than the sweet potato itself. Fiber maintains the overall health and fitness of your rabbit. This nutrient ensures that your bunny’s digestive system works and processes food properly.
What to do if my rabbit ate sweet potatoes?
Don’t panic. If your rabbit ate a few bites, your rabbit should be alright. Just make sure to feed your pet enough hay. Enough hay ensures that your bunny’s gut works well to process the starch ingested.
Remember, sweet potatoes are not generally poisonous for your rabbit. But because of their high levels of starch, phosphorous, and acidic content, the root vegetable is not recommended.
Are sugar and starch toxic for rabbits?
Foods high in sugar and starch are not dangerous for rabbit consumption. In fact, your rabbit’s pellets and nuggets have sugars and starches. The only difference is that pellets and nuggets do not have high levels of carbohydrates that can lead to health problems.
Pellets and nuggets have rabbit-safe content, like starches in the form of wheat, soya beans, and oat.
Although non-toxic, starch and sugar are fattening. These two can cause a nutritional imbalance in your rabbit. If rabbits frequently eat starchy and sugary foods, they will be prone to obesity and digestive problems.
Planning A Healthy Rabbit Diet
As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your rabbit eats excellent food to keep them healthy. But how do you plan a healthy rabbit diet? How do you avoid foods that can upset your rabbit’s stomach, like sweet potatoes?
Planning a healthful rabbit diet is not as complicated as you think. Here are helpful tips you can follow:
- Give them access to fresh and clean water 24/7. Rabbits need to stay hydrated throughout the day. Water is key!
- Have hay or grass around the corner. Hay or grass are healthier than commercial rabbit pellets. Make sure that your rabbit has enough hay daily. Feeding them with enough hay or silage every day benefits their digestive health.
- Root vegetables should be given in moderation. Like sweet potatoes, root vegetables may contain high amounts of starch and sugar. Only give them in small quantities.
- Rabbits love leafy vegetables like herbs and weeds. Just be cautious as some of them may be poisonous and can make your rabbit severely ill.
Other Fun Facts About Sweet Potatoes
Now that you know everything about sweet potatoes and rabbit health, why not look into the fun facts below? Sweet potatoes are more than just a yummy root crop. They’re interesting too!
1. Sweet potatoes are regarded as the most nutritious vegetable.
You read that right – this root vegetable is top 1! Yes, they’re more nutritional than broccoli and spinach! Sweet potatoes contain many naturally occurring sugars, proteins, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium.
But no matter how nutritional this root vegetable is, rabbits can not simply be fed with sweet potatoes in a large amount. They can pose more disadvantages than benefits to your pet.
2. Yams and sweet potatoes differ.
Perhaps you’ve mistakenly interchanged the two. But here’s the thing: yams and sweet potatoes differ.
Yams are from the Dioscorea genus. They are rough and have a dark brown peel, just like tree bark. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are smooth and have a reddish peel. Sweet potatoes come from the genus Ipomoea.
3. February is National Sweet Potato Month.
On February 22, Americans celebrate National Cook a Sweet Potato Day. What a way to enjoy this highly nutritious and delectable root crop!
But of course, remind yourself not to give your rabbit sweet potatoes, even on this day. No excuses nor holidays can disadvantage your rabbit’s health!
So, can rabbits eat sweet potatoes? Although non-toxic, sweet potatoes taken in large amounts at once can cause digestive problems and obesity.
It’s best not to give your rabbit sweet potatoes to be safe. Other alternatives, like celery and carrots, are better for your bunny. These foods can make your adorable furball happy!