Rabbit and peanut butter

Can rabbits eat peanut butter?

Find out why peanut butter is not safe to give to rabbits. A full breakdown of all the issues in giving peanut butter to your bunny.

Peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly (if you’re American), peanut butter and bananas. Many of us love it, smooth or crunchy, and will happily spread it on toast or combine it with other foods. But can rabbits eat peanut butter? Should you panic if they do? Find out more.

Is peanut butter safe for rabbits?

You should not feed peanut butter to rabbits. Although peanut butter is not poisonous to rabbits, as a food it is entirely unsuited to rabbits’ complex and delicate digestive system. Peanut butter is extremely high in fats. Eating too much peanut butter may cause stomach problems including GI stasis for rabbits, which need low fat and high fibre diets based on hay.

Why peanut butter is bad for rabbits – nutritional breakdown

Peanut butter may be a tasty topping for humans, but it is a bad food for bunnies. This table shows how peanut butter doesn’t provide the nutrients that rabbits need, and also provides too much of nutrients that rabbits don’t need and that are bad for them.

IngredientPeanut butter per 100gRabbit daily nutritional requirements per 100g of feedComments
Energy598 kcalPeanut butter is high in calories. Just like humans, rabbits need to watch their weight. High energy foods like this don’t help.
Protein22.2 g12-17 gPeanut butter is high in proteins. You might think that this is a good thing, but the higher concentration of proteins in the rabbit gut could cause problems, upsetting the balance of bacteria inside the rabbit intestinal system.
Fat51.4 g2.5-5 gPeanut butter is much too high in fat for rabbits. This can create short term problems in the gut, and longer term issues over rabbits becoming overweight. This is a major concern for peanut butter as part of the diet.
Fibre5 g14-25 gRabbits need a lot of fibre in their diets to keep food moving through their digestive system. Without fibre, it all blocks up and creates problems. Peanut butter doesn’t provide much fibre.
Carbohydrates22.3 g< 20 gRabbits need a relatively low carbohydrate diet. Peanut butter is high in carbohydrates (including sugars).
Calcium49 mg500 mgIt doesn’t contain too much calcium. Rabbits need a low calcium diet, as they are prone to developing extremely painful kidney stones.
Sodium426 mg100 mgPeanut butter has way too much sodium for rabbits (because of the salt). Just like too much salt is bad for us, so too much salt is not good for rabbits.
Iron1.74 mg30-400 mgPeanut butter only provides a little of the iron that rabbits need in their diets.
Phosphorus335 mg400 mgPeanut butter does provide an appropriate amount of phosophorus for a healthy rabbit diet.
Potassium558 mg6,000 mgPeanut butter can contribute a bit to the potassium that rabbits need each day.
Vitamin ANone1,000-1,200 IUIt provides none of the vitamin A that rabbits need.
Vitamin CNoneNoneRabbits don’t need any (their bodies make vitamin C).
Vitamin E9.1 mg5-16 mgPeanut butter does provide an appropriate amount of vitamin E for rabbits.
Vitamin DNone80-100 IUPeanut butter provides none of the vitamin D that rabbits need.
Vitamin B complex78 mgNoneRabbits don’t need vitamin B complex. Their bodies make all that they need.
Zinc2.51 mg5-15 mgPeanut butter is OK on the amount of zinc.
Selenium0.004 mg0.005-0.032 mgPeanut butter provides an appropriate amount of the selenium that rabbits need.
Peanut butter nutrition taken from USDA

As the table shows, peanut butter is much too high in fats (over 50% of peanut butter is fats). Rabbits are designed to live off grass and other vegetation which is high in fibre and very low in fat. Wild rabbits rarely get to eat anything so fatty, so their digestive systems haven’t evolved to cope with high amounts of fat.

If rabbits have too much peanut butter, their digestive system has to cope with way more fat than it is designed for. Part of the digestive system is the caecum. This part digests the fibre. If too much fat is in the caecum, it encourages the growth of unhealthy bacteria. In turn, this causes problems with gas and diarrhoea.

While indigestion is just inconvenient to us, it is dangerous to rabbits. The rabbit digestive system needs to keep food moving, with large amounts of fibre essential to this. If a rabbit does develop stomach problems, this can lead to GI stasis (gastro-intestinal stasis). The rabbit may become constipated, and stop feeding.

If you suspect that your bunny has GI stasis, consult a vet straight away, as it can prove deadly for rabbits.

Another problem with peanut butter is the high calorie count. Each little portion packs quite a big energy punch. Eating high calorie food like this on a regular basis could easily lead to your bunny being overweight. This in turn can cause other health problems for your rabbit.

And most peanut butter is also high in salt. Too much salt is also bad for bunnies.

Peanut butter isn’t toxic to rabbits. It is not poisonous. But it is unhealthy, and best avoided as a snack.

Can you add peanut butter to other foods for rabbits?

You should not add peanut butter to other foods for rabbits. Whilst peanut butter is not toxic, all you are doing is adding unhealthy fats to a food. You might also be conditioning your bunny to be getting used to food that is too high in fat and salt.

What are alternatives to peanut butter as treats for rabbits?

The best treat for bunnies is small, cut up pieces of fruit such as bananas. You can find a list of which fruit you can safely give to rabbits in our article here (including appropriate portion size, and debunking some of the myths you find in some areas of the internet).

Help! My rabbit ate some peanut butter – what should I do?

If your bunny has nibbled a little bit of peanut butter, then there’s no need to panic. It is the equivalent of us having a really unhealthy snack. It’s not done them any good, but it is unlikely to do them any harm.

If you’re at worried, monitor your rabbit over the next 24 hours, and make sure that they keep on moving about, eating, drinking water and pooping as normal.

If you’re in any doubt or have any concerns over your rabbit’s health, consult a vet straight away.

What diet should rabbits have?

The best diet for rabbits is lots of hay (preferably Timothy) with lots of fresh water. Rabbits don’t really need anything else. You can’t overfeed hay to rabbits. It provides the nutrients they need in the right balance, and helps keep both their bowels and their teeth in the best condition.

However, you can also give rabbits about an egg-cupful of rabbit nuggets each day, and a handful of fresh greens each day. And you can also give your rabbits a small treat each day, like a piece of fruit.


Peanut butter is not a good food for rabbits, and you should not feed peanut butter to bunnies. It is too high in fats and salts. Too much peanut butter could upset rabbits’ delicate digestive system, and lead to serious intestinal problems.

Check out these other posts

Find out more about rabbit nutrition here.

This post goes into more detail on the rabbit digestive system.

Fruit is a better snack than peanut butter. Check out which fruit and how much to give your bunny.

Herbs make a great addition to your rabbit’s diet – check here which herbs are safe for bunnies.

Posted by Jonathan