Can Your Rabbit Eat Poinsettia? (Facts, Things To Do, Preventive Measures & Food Alternatives)

Poinsettia For Rabbits

Rabbits love to be active and explore the things that surround them. That is why sometimes they are put in a situation that endangers their life. In addition, rabbits tend to eat different things and get sick or, worse, poison themselves. As a pet owner, you should know that this can happen to your pet.

If you are one of the people caring for plants, you might have crossed with poinsettia plants. It is a popular belief that poinsettia plants are toxic to animals, especially rabbits. It is known that they can cause death when rabbits eat them. Although poinsettias are edible to rabbits, you should avoid offering them this plant.

One of the threats that happen commonly in rabbits is toxicity from eating the plants inside the household. That is because rabbits love to eat different leaves for nourishment, and it can be tempting for them to consume plants when they see one. 

In this article, we will discuss poinsettia and rabbits.

Is the plant really poisonous to rabbits? If you want to know more about this, keep on reading. 

All About Poinsettia and Rabbits

Poinsettias are decorative plants belonging to the Euphorbiaceae family or Spurge group. Most of the plants in this class are known to produce milky sap. Moreover, this plant has become popular because of the beautiful structure and color of the leaves, especially during holidays. 

Poinsettia tends to be noticeable because of the red pigment of their flower. That is why sometimes it is also called a flame-leaf flower. 

According to the University of Illinois Extension, poinsettia is not poisonous to humans. But there might be some restrictions regarding pets, especially rabbits. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) concluded that plant leaves are toxic for animals such as dogs, cats, and horses.

Unlike other pet animals, eating poinsettia is not that toxic for rabbits, but eating the leaves might upset them and cause complications in their digestive system. So it’s best to avoid feeding them this plant.  

However, you don’t have to worry because rabbits will probably ignore the poinsettia plant. Poinsettia leaves have a bitterness that may deter animals or pets from eating them. But sometimes, rabbits do not mind the bitter taste and still consume them. 

The leaves contain a milky sap irritating the gastrointestinal tract’s skin, mouth, and lining. You may think that this can lead to poisoning, but in reality, their stomach is just upset from the nourishment that does not suit their stomach. 

Moreover, after years of studying the effects of poinsettia leaves consumption in animals, it turns out that it is not poisonous or harmful to rabbits. The milky sap is the one that generates an adverse reaction to the lining of the digestive tract of the animal that causes mild to moderate irritation. 

Things to Do When Your Rabbit Eats Poinsettia

Although the study shows that poinsettia is not toxic for rabbits, you should still be aware of the possible consequences. Several complications can occur, and they will disrupt the digestive function of your pet.

As a responsible owner, one of the things that you should keep healthy in rabbits is their digestion. Since this is where their energy came from. Moreover, the digestive system is responsible for breaking down the nutrients to be distributed in other parts of the body organ. 

If you think your rabbit starts eating poinsettia accidentally, these are the things that you should do to avoid further risk to their health. 

Keep an eye on the rabbit for possible adverse effects

Every time your rabbits digest new food, whether safe or harmful, it’s best to keep an eye on them for possible adverse effects. According to some articles, rabbits are a type of animal sensitive to sudden changes in their nourishment. Hence, if your rabbit eats a moderate amount of poinsettia, it will cause abdominal pain and diarrhea

Take Note of Important Information

Taking notes is a practice that will help you and the doctor to better diagnose rabbits’ illnesses correctly. Such as how many poinsettias you rabbit to eat. What are the symptoms that you notice upon exposure? Or what kind of lifestyle did your rabbit have before the checkup? These pieces of information are crucial because the treatment will depend on your rabbit’s severity and prior history. 

Schedule an appointment at Veterinarian’s Clinic

Visiting your pet’s doctor is important, especially if it concerns the rabbit’s health. Veterinarians are the expert people regarding the medical aspects of your pet. So if you think your rabbit is experiencing symptoms of an upset stomach after eating poinsettia, it’s best to consult and ask for advice. Possible treatment may also be given to rabbits, but it will depend on the doctor’s assessment. 

Preventive Measures For Your Rabbits

Rabbits will naturally avoid eating poinsettia leaves because of the texture and taste of the plant. If your pet starts foddering the poinsettia plants inside your household, there might be a reason for them to do that. 

One of the reasons is that they might either be hungry or, as a pet owner, you are neglecting your responsibility in taking care of them. Such as providing a safe environment and planning a diet for your rabbits. If you forget your responsibility, this will motivate your rabbit to keep grazing or feeding on plants that can cause them harm.

However, preventing your pet from foddering on non-nutritional food such as poinsettia is easy. Planning their diet well will keep them from grazing on plants inside your home. Most pet owners forget that a balanced diet is important for your rabbit’s overall health and wellness. Since they are herbivores, fiber-rich food is their primary source of nourishment because it keeps their digestive system functioning well. 

In addition, an active lifestyle also helps your rabbit boost their immunity and release some of their pent-up energy. It is important to ensure that your rabbit moves their bones and muscle and not only stays in their cage for most of their life.  Another thing, rabbits might also be munching on the leaves because they are bored, so a little bit of exercise a day will keep your rabbit happy.

Alternative Foods

Instead of feeding your pet plant, such as poinsettia, that will not benefit rabbits’ health, here are some foods you can offer as an alternative option.

Rabbit Pellets

One of the good sources of nutrition for your rabbits is pellets. For adult rabbits, the recommended amount is one-quarter cup of pellets daily, while smaller ones will need one-eighth of a cup. You must ensure they get enough servings to avoid overfeeding them because it can result in obesity in rabbits


Adding vegetables is also good for your rabbit’s daily dietary needs. These vegetables should be fed to rabbits with a minimum of 1 cup for every 4 pounds of the rabbit’s body weight to ensure they are not overfed. 

Moreover, you should also be aware that not all kinds of veggies are safe for your pet to eat. You can ask the doctor about these things to safely fodder your rabbit with nutritional foods. 

List of Veggies that Rabbit can Safely Eat:


Fruits should be given to rabbits once or twice a week. But this can depend on the size and nutritional value of the fruits. Moreover, one or two tablespoons of fruit for every five pounds of body weight is the suggested dietary allowance for your pet. You should consider the number of vitamins, minerals, and fiber when feeding your rabbit fruits. That way, you will know that what you give your pet can benefit their body. 

List of fruits that are safe for your rabbit to Eat:

Read More: The Definitive Guide To What Foods Rabbits Can & Cannot Eat

Key Takeaways

  • Poinsettia is edible to rabbits, but you should avoid giving them this plant because it can cause digestive problems in their body.
  • One of the common threats in rabbits is toxicity from eating indoor and outdoor plants in their household. 
  • Poinsettia is a popular decorative plant because of its texture and color, especially during holidays. It has a red pigment which is why sometimes it’s called a flame-leaf flower.
  • ASPCA concluded that poinsettia is toxic to some pets, such as dogs, cats, and horses. But when it comes to rabbits, a small amount is edible for their stomach, but when consumed excessively, it can result in different complications. That is because the sap from the plant contains an irritating content. 
  • Here are the things you should do if your rabbit consumes poinsettia;
    • 1. keep an eye out for adverse effects,
    • 2. take note of important information about your rabbit, and
    • 3. schedule a visit immediately if they show symptoms of an upset stomach.
  • You can prevent your rabbit from eating poinsettia if you fodder them with the right nutrition. In addition, keeping them healthy and active also prevents your pet from grazing plants. 

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