Rocket (arugula)

Can rabbits eat rocket (arugula)?

Rabbits can eat rocket (arugula) safely as part of a healthy, hay-based diet. An adult rabbit can be fed about a handful of rocket a day.

In the summer, I love having salad to accompany a barbeque. There’s something refreshing about the mix of salad leaves and other food. 

But not all salad… let’s face it, iceberg lettuce is a bit dull. I prefer rocket (also known as arugula). The peppery taste from the dark green leaves is just more interesting, livening up a dish. And not just in salads – I also love it on pizzas.

But will your rabbit also love rocket? And even if your bunny does, is it good or safe for them?

Can rabbits eat arugula? Can rabbits eat rocket?

Rabbits can eat arugula, also called rocket. Rocket, or arugula, is safe to feed to bunnies as part of a varied diet mainly based on hay. Rocket provides a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, and with other vegetables and hay is part of a healthy diet for a rabbit. A daily portion is about a handful of rocket for a medium sized rabbit.

How much rocket should I give my rabbit?

As with most leafy greens and vegetables, about a handful of rocket (or two cups) is enough for a mature rabbit of about 6lb, as part of a daily diet based mainly on hay.

Younger rabbits will need less. And if your bunny is under one year old, you can start introducing them to the delights of arugula from about 12 weeks. It’s a good idea to introduce greens one at a time to ensure that their developing digestive systems can adjust to the new food. 

It’s also a good idea to rotate which vegetables and greens you feed your rabbit. The variety is good for their diet and health, ensuring your rabbits get all the minerals and vitamins they need.

It also makes sure that they don’t get too much if a particular vegetable is high in one mineral or vitamin.

Why is rocket good for rabbits?

Rocket (or arugula) is good for rabbits because it contains a variety of minerals and vitamins. For example, it contains vitamins A, E and K, which rabbits need from their diet (though vitamin A is also found in hay, which should always be the main part of the diet).

Rocket is also high is vitamin C, but this is less useful for rabbits, as their bodies can produce this by themselves.

Minerals are also vital for rabbit health. For example, phosphorus is involved in energy metabolism (how the body converts food into energy for muscles), and magnesium is needed for bone structure. 

And the moisture content is also helpful – rabbits require a lot of water, either through drinking it or it naturally occurring in their food.  

Rocket as part of the diet helps ensure your rabbit has all the right vitamins and minerals they need.

IngredientAmount per 100g of rocket
Calories122 kJ; 29 kcal
Fat< 0.5g
Folic Acid170µg
Vitamin A119µg; 2373 IU
Vitamin C15mg
Vitamin E0.43mg
Vitamin K108.6µg
Ingredients in Rocket (arugula)

Are there any concerns about feeding rocket to rabbits?

You may find warnings on the internet about the calcium content of rocket. If a rabbit has too much calcium this can cause urinary stones, which are painful and dangerous.

Some suggest you have to be careful with rocket because it has relatively high levels of calcium (160mg/100g), as the chart above shows.

But you can relax – this level is still much lower than the hay which should be the main diet for a rabbit. 

Timothy hay has a calcium level of 400mg/g, which is over twice as high, and is good for your rabbit.

Bottom line – you don’t need to worry about your furry friend getting too much calcium from rocket. 

What if my rabbit doesn’t like rocket?

If your bunny sniffs and turns their nose up at rocket, don’t be surprised or upset. 

Just like humans, rabbits have their own preferences. Just as some of my friends find rocket too strong and peppery a taste, perhaps so will your bunny. 

Just give your bunny a different salad or vegetable instead.

Where rocket comes from, and a few other facts

Rocket is salad leaf native to the Mediterranean, and popular throughout this region. One common use is as a pizza topping (added just after the pizza comes out of the oven. (I like it with goats cheese as a topping).

It is an annual plant, known to the ancient romans, who thought rocket was an aphrodisiac (thank Virgil for that). They also thought that lettuce calmed you down, so you should mix the two. So those mixed salad bags with rocket and lettuce are balanced in every way.

The name ‘rocket’ comes from the Italian ‘ruchetta’ or ‘rucola’.

In the USA and Canada, it is known as arugula, which probably also comes from ‘rucola’. Same root, different words. 

A little coincidence – the poem by Virgil which references rocket (also known as colewort in the poem’s translation I linked to) also has the phrase ‘e pluribus unus’ (out of the many, one) which ended up being the motto of the USA. In the poem, it refers more to the herby paste (pesto) being cooked up.


You can safely give rocket to your pet bunny. The dark, peppery leaves will provide your bunny with water, vitamins and minerals, and also provide some variety in the taste and smell of their food. As part of a varied diet based mainly on hay and water, rocket (arugula) is fine for your rabbit.

Here are some of the sites I consulted, to make sure that the advice above is OK:

RSPCA advice about diet for rabbits

House Rabbit Society (a non-profit rabbit rescue and education organisation) advice about vegetables and fruit

The PDSA (a leading veterinary charity) advice about safe vegetables for rabbits

The PDSA also have this download about feeding rabbits (opens pdf file)

The Rabbit Welfare Association has a page on recommended vegetables and herbs

If you’re concerned about what food to give your bunny, you might also want to check out our post on what herbs are safe for rabbits, and what fruit you can give your bunnies.

We also have posts on rabbits and apples, and bunnies and mangetout.

And if you want to keep your bunnies’ minds healthy, check out what toys we found kept ours entertained and interested.

Posted by Jonathan