As a new rabbit owner, you may think that because a rabbit’s diet consists of mostly hay and lots of leafy green vegetables, all green plants are okay to feed to it. This can be no more wrong. There’s a huge list of plants and parts of plants that your rabbit can’t eat at all or it could make him very sick–and aloe vera is one of them.
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What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a succulent plant that has thick and long leaves. There is a gel inside of the leaves that are used for medicinal purposes in humans. Its thick substance will remain thick on the skin where you place it on a minor burn, skin irritation, cuts, or insect bites and it helps it to soothe the area. Aloe vera also has anthraquinones that work as a laxative for humans and animals alike.
Can Rabbits Eat Aloe Vera?
No, rabbits can’t eat aloe vera at all. The gel inside of the plant may have medicinal benefits, but it’s definitely not good for your rabbit. Aloe vera is not classified as a toxic plant but it can be very harmful and toxic to a rabbit.
Most rabbits are allergic to aloe vera, especially the protein in the leaves of the plant that causes severe allergic reactions and can even cause anaphylaxis if your rabbit eats it. Never offer them any aloe vera at all.
Two different substances occur naturally in aloe vera, which both act as a laxative for rabbits. The saponins in it are made up of two different groups, in which one causes diarrhea and the other anthrone glucosides that irritate the lining of a rabbit’s stomach to make it very ill.
Rabbit’s digestive systems can’t break down these substances in aloe vera, which is why you should make certain your bunny never eats it. Even the leaves of the plant can cause serious digestive upset in a rabbit.
Can Rabbits Have Aloe Vera Juice?
No, rabbits can’t have aloe vera juice either. Just like eating the plant can be toxic, the juice in the liquid or dried form as it will still lead to gastrointestinal issues and it’s painful for your bunny.
Can I Put Aloe Vera Gel On My Rabbit?
Since aloe vera gel works well on minor cuts and scratches on humans, you may be wondering if you can put it on your rabbit topically. The answer again is no. Your bunny could actually lick the gel and it would be the same as if you fed him this toxic substance. So, it’s best not to use it for medicinal purposes on your rabbit.
What Are Signs That A Rabbit Ate Aloe Vera?
There are many disturbing signs that indicate your rabbit ate something toxic to him, such as aloe vera. He will have gastrointestinal problems, a skin rash, breathing problems with labored breathing, and stomach ulcers. He can also have seizures, spasms, tremors and can be paralyzed from aloe vera poisoning. Your bunny will likely just lie on the bottom of his enclosure on his stomach while pressing it on the floor because he is trying to stop the stomach pain. He will also have severe diarrhea.
What To Do If Your Rabbit Eats Aloe Vera
Remove your bunny from the area of the aloe vera and make sure he is breathing normally and acting normally too. Don’t give your rabbit any type of home remedies, including milk, cheese, food, or salt. He shouldn’t have anything to eat or drink at all and you can call a pet poison helpline for help or your vet.
If your rabbit eats aloe vera accidentally, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. At the emergency vet appointment, your pet care specialist will be able to determine how much aloe vera your bunny ate and take the appropriate actions for care.
How to Protect My Rabbit From Poisonous Plants
Rabbits are very curious pets by nature and they love to nibble on just about anything green that they can reach. If you have any plants and trees inside and outside of your home, you should make a list of all of them and then look them up on the poisonous plants for rabbits list. Then you can proceed to keep your furry friend safe from these plants.
If you have aloe vera at home or any other of the hundreds of plants that a rabbit can’t have because they can’t digest it, it doesn’t mean that you need to get rid of it. You can put them in pots on stands where your bunny can’t reach them either outside or inside your home.
If you have several large plants with beautiful flowers on them, you can install a fence around them in one area of your lawn to keep your rabbit from having access to them and becoming sick.
If you have a vegetable garden, you should also fence it in to keep your curious furbaby from tasting those plants as well. Rabbits can’t digest onions, chives, or any vegetable in the onion family, as well as potato plants and tomato plants. Other garden plants that rabbits can’t have include mushrooms, rhubarb, broad beans, kidney beans, iceberg lettuce, and avocadoes.
If you have apple trees, you should be aware that rabbits can eat apples just fine, but they can’t eat the seeds. Make certain that you pick up any apples that may fall to the ground after a rain and wind storm so your rabbit can’t access the seeds in them. The same is true if you have an apricot tree, because the pits in the fruit contain cyanide which is fatal for bunnies.
Rabbit Proofing Your Yard and Home
If your rabbit plays in the house, the best idea is to keep your eye on him at all times so he doesn’t get into mischief or into something harmful. If you are going to be in a different room, make him a play area that is sectioned off from items he shouldn’t be in. You can use a baby playpen or a dog exercise pen or room dividers to make him a large enough area to play in, without being able to have harm come to him.
If your rabbit spends time outside, it’s best never to leave him alone and on the loose. Rabbits can move rapidly when they are going somewhere that they shouldn’t, just like toddler children. If you are going to leave your rabbit outside in an exercise pen for a while and unattended, make sure that his pen is secure and that it has an enclosed top on it so flying predators can’t take your furbaby when you aren’t watching.
You should also check your lawn for grasses that rabbits shouldn’t eat. Different types of weeds can cause your rabbit serious digestive upset and diarrhea as well. Even allowing him to eat a lot of green grass at once can cause his stomach to be upset because its main fiber source is hay, which is dried grass and not green grass.
Never allow your rabbit to eat aloe vera or anything else if you aren’t sure if it will harm him. Rabbits love to nibble on just about anything they find just to sample it, but many items aren’t good for your rabbit. Keep a close eye on them if they are in the yard and keep all vegetables, fruits, and ornamental plants out of their reach at all times to ensure they are safe. If you need a good snack for your bunny, try sunflower seeds.