Rabbit Mag

Can Rabbits Eat Lemons? – Health Risks and Issues

When it comes to what our furry friends can and can’t eat, the list of dos and don’ts is always changing. So, the question remains – can rabbits eat lemons?

It turns out that this citrus fruit is not toxic to rabbits, but it’s not necessarily good for them either. In moderation, lemons can be a healthy snack for your bunny, but too much can cause stomach upset. So go ahead and give your rabbit a piece of lemon as a special treat – just make sure it’s only a small slice!

can rabbits eat lemons?

No! We strictly recommend not to feed Lemons to rabbits because Lemons are very acidic and can cause stomach upset in rabbits. They may even cause more serious issues, such as the formation of calcium stones in the kidneys or bladder. It’s best to avoid feeding lemons or lemon juice to your rabbit for this reason.

Some other types of citrus fruit should also be avoided, such as oranges and grapefruit. Fruit in general can be given to rabbits in very limited quantities. Further information about which fruits are safe to feed your rabbit – and which ones aren’t! – can be found here

Lemons, oranges, and other types of citrus fruit should not be part of your rabbit’s diet under any circumstances.

Risks Of Feeding Lemon To Your Rabbit

Lemons pose a risk to the health of rabbits. Although some owners have been known to give their rabbits lemon without any problems, it’s best to avoid feeding lemons or lemon juice to your rabbit for the following reasons:

Lemons Are Acidic and Can Cause Stomach Upset in Rabbits: Lemons are very acidic and can cause stomach upset, including diarrhea, in rabbits. They may even cause more serious issues such as the formation of calcium stones in the kidneys or bladder.

Lemons Are Not Nutritious: Being high in water content but low in fiber and other nutrients, lemons don’t provide what rabbits need nutritionally and should never be used as food source.

Citric Acid Affects The Digestive System: Citric acid affects the digestive system and, as the kidneys and bladder are particularly sensitive organs, feeding lemons or lemon juice to rabbits can cause kidney issues.

Lemons Can Be Toxic to Your Rabbit: It’s not only because of the digestive side effects that lemons should be avoided; they can be toxic to your rabbit too. The leaves, bark, and seeds of citrus plants contain chemical compounds known as psoralens – substances that could be harmful if ingested by a rabbit.

Choking Hazard: Lemons contain high amounts of citric acid, which can cause irritation to the esophagus and stomach if eaten by your rabbit. This irritation could pose a risk of being inhaled into the lungs while attempting to swallow it.

Can Cause Vomiting And Nausea: Although in most cases, ingestion of small amounts of lemon or lemon juice is harmless and will pass in a few hours; it can cause vomiting and nausea when swallowed.

Cause Dental Problems: Just like in humans, too much sour food can cause dental problems, including enamel erosion.

How to Treat Citrus Toxicity In rabbits at home

If your rabbit has ingested lemons or other types of citrus fruit, then use the following treatment:

  • Use activated charcoal to neutralize any remaining citric acid in the stomach. Follow the instructions on the package for correct dosage and contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your rabbit has swallowed lemons! – If your bunny is having diarrhea after eating too much sour food, stop feeding it acidic foods and give her lots of hay to eat instead.
  • If you notice severe abdominal pain, lethargy, bloating, vomiting (with blood), difficulty breathing (dyspnea), weakness (prostration) or death; rush your rabbit to the vet immediately! These symptoms indicate that more serious issues are at play than simple digestive issues.
  • Keep an eye on your bunny for developing any sign of calcium stones (urinary tract infections, straining while passing urine, excessive drinking and urinating) after citrus intake. These symptoms will not improve without treatment; again, contact your veterinarian immediately, as this could be a life-threatening situation!

Healthy alternatives to lemons for rabbits

Instead of giving your rabbit lemons you should instead give them something that has the Vitamin C without any additional risks. These include

kale: Kale is a favorite amongst many rabbits and it is great because not only does it contain vitamin c, but it also contains protein, Vitamin A and all the other vitamin groups that are needed. Kale helps to keep rabbits healthy and provides a great source of fiber. If you rabbit is suffering from a loss of appetite and is not eating anything, try mixing some kale into there normal food to see if that gets them eating again.

parsley: Parsley provides the same type of benefits as kale and is also good if your rabbit has a loss of appetite.

beet tops: Beet tops are another great source of calcium, protein and vitamin c that can help to keep rabbits healthy. Just like parsley and kale, beet top mix well in with other foods so it doesn’t have to be fed on its own, but it does encourage a rabbit to eat which may benefit them in the long run.

Watercress: Watercress contains large amounts of Vitamin A and C so would be perfect for a rabbit who needs a few vitamins added into their diet. They also contain high levels of iron which can help you rabbits immune system. This will likely be one of the best things for them to eat during the winter months when the cold is starting to get at them.

spinach: Spinach is another food which contains vitamin c in it, so rabbits will benefit from eating this. It is also good for your rabbit because of the high content of iron which can help to boost their immune system.

Bok choy: Bok choy is a vegetable that many rabbits like to eat and it has lots of different benefits for them such as containing Vitamin A and C, calcium and iron. It isn’t rich in fiber but if you mix bok choy with other types of vegetables such as kale or cabbage then your rabbit should be able to get the necessary fiber they need.

Can Rabbits Drink Lemon Juice?

Lemon juice and lemons themselves do not provide rabbits with any dietary fiber or other nutrients that they need. As such, you should never give your rabbit either of these things to eat or drink.

The liquid in lemon fruit contains citric acid and it can cause irritation in the esophagus and stomach if eaten by your rabbit; this irritation could pose a risk of being inhaled into the lungs while attempting to swallow it. Even small amounts of lemon juice may be toxic for your rabbit and should be kept out of reach of them at all times.

Can Your Feed Lemon Leaves To Rabbit?

We have discussed about lemons and its juice, but what about its Leaves? Can you feed your rabbit lemon leaves?

The surprising answer is yes! In fact, rabbits often eat leaves as a normal part of their diet. However, the number one rule is to make sure that the plant you give to them has not been sprayed with pesticide or other chemicals.

Lemon leaves can be actually healthy for your rabbit to eat and provide them with lots of Vitamin C which can help keep them healthy.

Even though the fruit is toxic, Leaves are fine as a treat to rabbit. Just make sure that it is organic, and not treated with pesticide or any chemicals that might be harmful to your pet!

Are There Any Other Citrus Fruits That Are Dangerous To Rabbits?

You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned anything about oranges, grapefruits or other citrus fruits.

This is because rabbits should not eat these types of foods as they are high in acidic content and too much of the fruit can cause the stomach to become upset and possibly even ulcers.  

A diet which consists of too much acidic food like this will result in a lack of calcium, vitamin C and also damage your rabbit’s liver over time. Here is a list of all Toxic Citrus Fruits that rabbits should not eat:

  • lemons
  • limes
  • oranges
  • grapefruits


As you can see, lemons are very bad for rabbits to eat.

Even though they are high in Vitamin C, there are many other foods that have the same result without being toxic to them. As such, if your rabbit is currently eating some lemon fruit or juice then please stop feeding it immediately and take your bunny to a vet for further advice if needed.

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