For rabbit owners seeking new ways to spice up their pet’s diet, rosemary may seem like an appealing option. But can these fluffy herbivores really eat rosemary safely? This aromatic culinary herb hides a complex mix of compounds that could delight your rabbit’s senses – or wreak havoc on their digestive system if given improperly. Join us on a flavorful journey into the nuances of feeding rosemary to rabbits. We’ll explore everything from which rabbits can try it, to how much and how often to serve it, and even clever tricks to tempt picky bunnies. Get ready to unlock the secrets of sharing this intriguing herb with your long-eared companion! Let’s dig in and satisfy your curiosity on if and how rosemary can become part of a happy, healthy rabbit diet.

Is Rosemary Safe For Rabbits?

Rosemary is generally considered safe for rabbits to eat in small quantities. Rosemary contains antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, and can help support healthy digestion in rabbits. However, it does contain volatile oils that can cause stomach upset or diarrhea if too much is consumed.

The main safety concerns with feeding rosemary to rabbits are:

  • Volatile oils – The volatile oils in rosemary can irritate a rabbit's digestive system and cause diarrhea or other gastrointestinal issues if too much is eaten. It's best to only feed rosemary in moderation.

  • Pregnancy – Some sources advise avoiding rosemary if a rabbit is pregnant since rosemary may stimulate uterine contractions. It's best to err on the side of caution and not feed it to pregnant rabbits.

  • Kidney dysfunction – Rosemary may exacerbate kidney issues in rabbits prone to kidney problems. If your rabbit has a history of kidney disease, it's best to avoid rosemary.

  • Interactions with medications – Rosemary may interact with some medications, especially diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and lithium. Talk to your vet before feeding rosemary if your rabbit is on any medications.

As long as you feed rosemary in moderation and watch for any adverse reactions, it can be a healthy supplemental feed for most adult rabbits. Start with just a sprig or two at a time and monitor your rabbit's droppings to make sure the rosemary isn't causing diarrhea.

Some key tips for safely feeding rosemary to rabbits:

  • Introduce slowly and in small amounts to watch for reactions
  • Limit to only 1-2 times per week
  • Introduce to adult rabbits only, not babies or pregnant/nursing does
  • Avoid giving to rabbits with kidney issues or on certain medications
  • Monitor rabbit's stool and appetite closely when first feeding

So in conclusion, yes rosemary can be safely fed to rabbits in moderation for most healthy adult rabbits. But take precautions, start slow, and watch for any possible adverse reactions when first introducing it.

Will My Rabbit Like Rosemary?

Whether or not your rabbit will like rosemary depends on the individual rabbit's tastes and preferences. Here are some factors that determine if a rabbit may enjoy eating rosemary:

  • Smell – Rabbits rely heavily on smell to decide what to eat. If your rabbit seems to enjoy the aromatic smell of rosemary, they are more likely to nibble on it.

  • Novelty – Rabbits are curious animals and often enjoy exploring new foods. The novelty of rosemary may entice some rabbits to try it.

  • Texture – Rabbits like to nibble and chew. The fibrous texture of rosemary stems and needles may appeal to some rabbits.

  • Taste – Rosemary has a bittersweet, pine-like flavor. Some rabbits may find this taste unappealing. But others may develop a taste for it over time.

  • Effect on digestion – If rosemary improves digestion for a rabbit prone to issues like gas, they may learn to seek it out. But if it causes any stomach upset, a rabbit will avoid rosemary.

  • Individual preferences – Just like people, every rabbit has unique tastes and preferences. You won't know if your rabbit likes rosemary until you carefully introduce it.

In general, herbs with strong smells and textures tend to pique rabbits' curiosity. So the aromatic and fibrous qualities of rosemary do make it reasonably attractive to rabbits.

When introducing rosemary, observe your rabbit closely. If they return to nibble on the rosemary frequently, it's a sign they probably enjoy and want more of it. But if they take a small nibble then ignore it, they are likely indifferent or uninterested.

With patience and gradual introduction, you may find your rabbit develops a taste for this healthy, digestion-supporting herb. But be ready to accept not all rabbits may take to it. Respect their preferences and don't force the issue if rosemary doesn't seem to suit your bunny.

How Much Rosemary Can My Rabbit Have?

When feeding rosemary to rabbits, moderation is key. Because rosemary is so aromatic and fibrous, it's easy for an excited rabbit to get carried away nibbling too much. This can lead to GI upset, diarrhea or other adverse reactions.

Here are some tips on safe rosemary serving sizes for rabbits:

  • Start with just 1-2 fresh sprigs of rosemary at a time. This provides a small amount for your rabbit to safely try.

  • Limit rosemary feedings to no more than 1-2 times per week. Their main diet should still be hay, leafy greens and a small amount of pellets.

  • Feed larger rabbits (over 5 lbs) 2-3 rosemary sprigs per serving. Smaller rabbits should get just 1-2 sprigs per session.

  • Rabbits under 12 weeks old shouldn't get rosemary because of their still-developing digestive systems.

  • For dried rosemary, use less than 1 teaspoon per 5 lbs of body weight per feeding.

  • Never let your rabbit have free access to a rosemary plant. This could allow them to eat a dangerously large quantity.

  • Start with the lowest amount then gradually increase only if your rabbit tolerates it well.

  • Reduce or eliminate rosemary if it causes loose stool, lack of appetite or other concerning reactions.

  • Avoid large amounts during pregnancy or if your rabbit has kidney issues.

The fiber-rich stems of rosemary help provide chewing satisfaction but aren't very calorie dense. So focus on small portions to provide flavor, texture and novelty without disrupting their main diet.

Monitor your rabbit's health and stool consistency closely when first introducing rosemary. Adjust the amount based on how well they tolerate it. Every rabbit has a unique sensitivity level to new foods like rosemary.

How Should I Introduce Rosemary To My Rabbit?

When introducing new foods like rosemary to a rabbit's diet, go slowly and be patient. Here are some tips for safely transitioning your rabbit to eating rosemary:

  • Start young. Rabbits are most open to trying new foods between 12-24 weeks old. Older rabbits can be stubborn about new foods.

  • Let them smell it first. Hold a sprig near their nose and see if they show interest before offering a nibble.

  • Offer just a small piece at first, like a 1 inch sprig. See if they will nibble it when held or put on the ground.

  • If they don't show interest right away, rub a tiny bit of juice on their lips to encourage a small taste. But don't force it if they refuse.

  • Introduce rosemary along with favored foods at first. They may try it if offered with a treat like cilantro or banana.

  • Be patient. It can take 10 or more gradual exposures before a rabbit accepts a new food. Allow time for them to get used to it.

  • Watch closely for changes after eating it, like unusual stool or loss of appetite. Stop giving rosemary if you notice any concerns.

  • If diarrhea occurs, stop rosemary and give extra hay until stools normalize. Then offer just a tiny piece again.

  • Once accepted, slowly increase the amount offered over a period of weeks. But limit to 1-2 times per week still.

  • Make sure plenty of water is available in case the rosemary increases thirst. Dehydration risks GI issues.

  • Offer rosemary at room temperature, not hot or frozen. Sudden temperature changes can cause digestive upsets.

With an open mind and gradual introductions, you may get your rabbit to accept and even enjoy a little rosemary. Pay close attention and adjust based on their reactions. Eventually rosemary can become a flavorful and healthy supplemental diet item.

How Often Can I Give My Rabbit Rosemary?

When first introducing rosemary, it's best to go very slowly and only offer it 1-2 times the first week. But once your rabbit adjusts to rosemary with no adverse effects, how often can rosemary be fed? Here are some guidelines:

  • Healthy adult rabbits can have rosemary 1-2 times per week on an ongoing basis. This allows them to get beneficial nutrients without overdoing it.

  • Smaller rabbits under 5 lbs and younger rabbits under 6 months should only get rosemary once weekly. Their digestive systems are more sensitive.

  • Avoid feeding rosemary multiple days in a row. The volatile oils can accumulate and lead to irritation if too much is consumed at once. Space it out, feeding every 3-4 days at most.

  • Monitor stool consistency and appetites closely. If stools become loose or rabbit eats less hay, stop rosemary for a week then try again more slowly.

  • Reduce frequency or stop completely if you notice possible signs of GI irritation like less pooping, stomach rumbling, or wet/mucus stool after eating rosemary.

  • Only reintroduce rosemary after symptoms resolve completely, starting with just a small piece again. Discontinue use if reactions recur.

  • Avoid rosemary altogether if your rabbit has ongoing GI issues, kidney disease, or is very sensitive to new foods. The risks may outweigh benefits for some individuals.

  • Pregnant, nursing or underweight rabbits should not have rosemary due to higher risk of intestinal upset.

Listen to your individual rabbit's health signals. If rosemary is well-tolerated, 1-2 times weekly can safely provide health benefits without overdoing the volatile compounds. But don't exceed this frequency, and be prepared to stop completely if reactions occur.

What If My Rabbit Won't Eat Rosemary?

It's not unusual for a rabbit to show little interest in rosemary at first. Here’s how to get a reluctant rabbit to eventually try this healthy herb:

  • Keep trying! It can take 8-15 gradual exposure before they try a new food. Be patient and persistent.

  • Make sure the rosemary is fresh. Rabbits rely on smell, so old rosemary may not entice them. Replace weekly.

  • Mix in a few tiny pieces with their usual greens. They may accidentally nibble some when eating their salad.

  • Offer rosemary first thing in the morning when appetite is strongest. Hungry rabbits are more open to new foods.

  • Rub a very small amount of rosemary juice on their lips or front paws. The taste may tempt them to try a bite.

  • Add rosemary to DIY toys or nibble sticks. They may chew and ingest some incidentally.

  • Gently rub a bit of banana, apple or carrot juice onto rosemary pieces to make them more appealing.

  • Place rosemary in a food puzzle or hidden in cardboard rolls. Their curiosity may overcome reluctance.

  • Try different forms – sprigs, dried crushed, or frozen in ice cubes. Varying the texture may spur interest.

  • Demonstrate you eating rosemary. Rabbits are very social and may copy your behavior.

  • If your rabbit is very resistant, don't force it. Some rabbits just don't like certain flavors. Keep trying occasionally, but don't stress it.

With time and creativity, you can frequently get a "rosemary refuser" to come around and accept it in small amounts. But some rabbits just have strong dislike for its flavor. Respect their preferences and don't force foods if they continually refuse. In that case, consider alternate herbs like cilantro, dill or basil instead.


Rosemary is an aromatic herb that can offer some health benefits to rabbits in moderation, but needs to be fed carefully due to its volatile oils. When introducing rosemary, go slowly, watch closely for reactions, and be guided by your individual rabbit's preferences and tolerance. Used occasionally in small amounts, rosemary can provide a flavorful and enriching supplement for most healthy adult rabbits. But it's not essential, so if your bunny refuses, don't stress. Simply try offering different herbs until you find ones your rabbit enjoys. Getting to know your rabbit's unique tastes takes time, patience and close observation. But it helps ensure you can provide a diet diverse enough to support their health and keep mealtimes interesting!


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