Can Rabbits Eat Creeping Charlie?

Rabbits are herbivores and their diet mainly consists of hay, fresh vegetables, and some fruits. While it’s important to provide a balanced diet for your pet rabbit, you might wonder if they can enjoy eating plants such as creeping charlie.

Creeping charlie, also known as ground ivy or Glechoma hederacea, is a fast-spreading perennial plant that often grows in shaded areas with moist soil. It has small round leaves with scalloped edges and produces small purple flowers in the spring.

Before feeding any new plant to your rabbit, it’s crucial to understand any potential risks associated with its consumption. In the case of creeping charlie:

  • Toxicity: Creeping charlie is not toxic to rabbits when consumed in moderation. However, if ingested in large quantities, it may cause digestive upset such as diarrhea or gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Oxalates: Like many other leafy greens and herbs consumed by rabbits, creeping charlie contains oxalates. These compounds can interfere with calcium absorption over time and potentially lead to bladder sludge or stones. Therefore, it’s advisable to feed this plant sparingly.

If you decide to introduce creeping charlie into your rabbit’s diet occasionally despite the potential risks mentioned above – here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Moderation: Always offer this plant in moderate amounts alongside other safe foods for rabbits like hay or leafy greens.
  2. Observation: Monitor your rabbit’s reaction after introducing creeping charlie into their diet. If you notice any signs of digestive upset or changes in behavior, discontinue feeding it immediately and consult a veterinarian if necessary.
  3. Quality and Safety: Ensure that the creeping charlie you feed your rabbit is free from pesticides or chemical treatments. Collect it from an area where no herbicides or harmful substances have been applied.

If you’re concerned about the potential risks associated with feeding your rabbit creeping charlie, there are plenty of other safe and nutritious options to consider:

  • Hay: The foundation of a healthy rabbit diet should consist primarily of hay, such as timothy hay or orchard grass. Hay provides essential fiber for gut health and helps wear down rabbits’ continuously growing teeth.
  • Fresh Vegetables: Leafy greens like kale, romaine lettuce, cilantro, parsley, and dandelion leaves are all great choices to supplement your rabbit’s diet with various vitamins and minerals.
  • Fruits: In small quantities due to their natural sugar content, fruits such as apples (without seeds), berries, melons, or papaya can be offered as occasional treats for added variety.

Incorporating new foods into your pet rabbit’s diet requires caution and an understanding of potential risks. While creeping charlie is not toxic to rabbits when consumed in moderation, its oxalate content makes it advisable to offer sparingly. Always prioritize high-fiber foods like hay along with fresh vegetables and fruits known to be safe for rabbits. Monitoring your rabbit’s reaction and consulting with a veterinarian if any concerns arise can help ensure their well-being and a balanced diet.