Rabbit Mag

can rabbits eat lavender? – Health Benefits and Safety Risks

Lavender is a beautiful, aromatic plant that can be used in many ways. There are many different plants and herbs that people like to give to their rabbits as a source of food.

But, is lavender safe for rabbits to eat? In this blog post, we will take a look at the safety of lavender for rabbits and what the potential benefits may be. So, keep reading to learn more!

can rabbits eat lavender?

Yes! Rabbits can eat lavender. Rabbits are herbivores (plant-eaters), so there’s no reason why rabbits shouldn’t be able to eat lavender. Lavender is a plant that belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae, and is not toxic to rabbits in small amounts.

Lavender has some great health benefits for humans; however, since each animal species varies on what foods agree/disagree with their digestive systems, you should only allow the rabbit to eat the lavender sparingly as some types of lavender may disagree with them more than others. However, they cannot eat too much of it, or else it can make them sick.

The main concern would be if your rabbit isn’t eating its regular food because it’s trying to eat the lavender instead. If this is the case, you need to tell your pet that no means no and take away the lavender until its original healthy food has been eaten.

How much lavender can a rabbit eat?

By age

If you rabbit is under the age of one year, it’s important to note that you should only allow them to eat a very small amount of lavender. A baby bunny should only have 1/8th teaspoon per pound of their body weight per day.

Between 1-3 years old :If your rabbit is between the ages of one and three years old, you can let them have up to 1/4th teaspoon for each pound of the animal’s weight every day.

For rabbits over 3 years old: A healthy adult rabbit can be given up to 1 teaspoon daily for each pound they weigh. Make sure not to give this much lavender if your rabbit suffers from any kidney or liver problems.

By type

You also need to make sure you know what type of lavender your bun is being fed. Different types of lavender have different attributes, so you need to be aware if the garden variety or a more potent one is being given to your pet.

A three-pound Holland Lop would only get 1/24th teaspoon of lavender per day under any circumstances. At most, this rabbit should only ever consume 1/2 tablespoon every day (a serving size). Anything over that amount could make them sick and lead to digestive problems like vomiting and diarrhea.

Facts About Lavender

Lavender is a popular flowering plant that is used in cooking, medicine, and aromatherapy. It has a long history of use as an herbal medicine for treating nervousness, anxiety, depression, insomnia, digestive disturbances, infections, wounds and burns (especially sunburns). Today’s medical research is taking advantage of lavender’s powerful antioxidant effects to aid in the treatment of everything from blemishes to chronic pain.

How do rabbits relate to lavender? Can they eat it or have an adverse reaction to it? The answer is yes, rabbits can eat lavender! But…is eating it good for them, bad for them, or somewhere in between…we will explore that below.

History of Using Lavender as Food / Herbs for Rabbits

Lavenders are herbaceous plants belonging to the mint family, Lamiaceae. As a food source for humans and other animals, they are often used as tea herbs, spices in foods (and drinks), flavoring agents in herbal remedies and essential oils with aromatherapy benefits .

Rabbits were domesticated by humans long before the advent of herbal medicine. During the stone age, rabbits were primarily eaten for food; however, people also used their fur and meat to make clothing and hunted them with sling stones. Domestication of wild rabbit breeds began as early as 2000 BC by Celtic farmers in dry areas (now France and Great Britain).

Rabbits and lavender have a long history together: Romans occasionally used it as a fodder crop; French gardeners grew it during the Middle Ages; colonists brought it to the New World; European settlers carried it around the world; and today many varieties are widely used as landscape plants (not only because they’re pretty flowers but also because they attract pollinating insects like bees that help produce fruits and vegetables for those same humans).

Lavender is included in some recipes for treating rabbits. However, it cannot be stressed enough that this has not been tested on domestic rabbits nor has it been approved by the Animal Medical Center of Chicago or many other responsible authorities.

Eating Lavender – How does it benefit your rabbit?

Since lavenders are used in cooking, medicine, and aromatherapy, then logically they should offer some health benefits when eaten (processed) for humans and animals alike.

According to Aroma web , there are over 30 species of lavender with only two varieties growing in North America:  French Lavandula dentata and Spanish Lavandula stoechas. All originate from the Mediterranean region but adapt well to being cultivated in the United States.

The culinary uses of various lavenders include: adding to honey or sugar to sweeten dishes, preserving fruits and making jams, infusing into fruit drinks, flavoring custards and ice cream, giving flavor to different types of pastry dishes (e.g., cakes, tarts), using as garnishes on beef dishes or on baked potatoes with sour cream (and chives), making puddings by boiling milk with some lavender flowers for at least 10 minutes before straining out the flowers; whisking egg whites with sugar then folding-in chopped up lavender flowers; infusing dried leaves into bath water; mixing dried leaves or flowers with salt (called “lavula”) for use as a meat rub, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do bunnies like the smell of lavender?

A. Most bunnies like the smell of lavender (just like most humans do). However, some rabbits are more sensitive to smells than others and may find some lavenders too strong or “perfume-y”.

Q. Do my bunnies have to eat English or French lavender? Can they eat any kind of lavender?

A. Again, most bunnies will enjoy the taste and smell of either French or English lavenders, but there are other types that might not appeal to them as much (e.g., Spanish). If you know which type your rabbit eats…stick with it!

English lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia ) is commonly used as a landscaping plant from which rabbits may nibble on.

Q. Is lavender essential oil safe for rabbits?

A. Lavender essential oil is toxic to rabbits! It contains terpenoids (compounds similar to turpentine) that are harmful if swallowed or inhaled. Another word of advice is not to use any type of essential oils on rabbits until you have consulted with your veterinarian who can properly instruct you about dosage, method of application and the benefits/side-effects associated with it.

Q. Can I give my rabbit lavender flowers?

A. The flowers are fine but make sure they are fresh because old lavender blooms may be dry and dusty which can result in eye irritation if touched by a bunny’s sensitive nose or mouth. If this occurs, rinse the eyes thoroughly with water to remove the dust particles.

Q. Is lavender scented bedding safe for rabbits?

A. In general, bedding that is scented may not be the best for your rabbit’s health. When in doubt, go with unscented.

Q. is lavender sawdust for rabbits?

A. Lavender sawdust is not good for rabbits to eat. This may be because the lavender sawdust contains aromatic oil residues that would overwhelm your rabbit’s sense of smell. Also, the powdery residue left behind after sawing may cause respiratory problems if inhaled by your bunny (e.g., “sawdust asthma”).

Q. Do wild rabbits eat lavender?

A. There is a variety of wild rabbits called a “cottontail” that lives in North America and eats plants such as clover, alfalfa, dandelion greens/flowers, grasses, and some types of lettuce – among others. Most cottontails consume the green parts of plants while leaving behind the flowering or seed-producing parts.

It is possible that cottontails in the wild would eat lavender if they encountered it, but this is just educated guesswork because there are no scientific studies on this topic. However, experience shows us that some rabbits will try to eat anything!


A rabbit’s diet should come primarily from hay, greens, and other vegetables. However, if you are interested in trying lavender for your own or your pet bunny’s culinary benefit (not medical), then it must be grown organically without pesticides because the chemical residue might cause illness, irritation of the digestive system, or be fatal.

You should also note that you cannot feed lavender to your bunny if they are pregnant or lactating because it can cause uterine contractions which could lead to miscarriage.

Last but not least, rabbits have a far better sense of smell than humans so keep in mind they might not be too keen on the idea of eating something that smells good to us – but is repulsive to them.

error: Content is protected !!