Arugula, garden rocket or Euruca sativa is an edible peppery flavored leaf vegetable that belongs to the family Brassicaceae. It has many other common names depending on your location including eruca, rucola, rugula, roquette, colewort, among others.
This annual vegetable mainly used as a salad has vitamin A, B complex, C, E, K, some carbohydrates, fats, and minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, among others.
Can bunnies eat arugula?
Yes. You can feed your bunnies with arugula but sparingly or in limited amounts a few times a week. It is one of the safe leafy veggies in which this pet will enjoy its texture and taste.
Its nutritional data shows it is a quite healthy vegetable from the various nutrients it has, as already seen above. However, we should mention the fact that it has a fairly high amount of calcium.
Ordinarily, when preparing arugula for your rabbits, you need to mix it with 4-5 other leafy veggies and chop them together. A cup of this vegetable mixture is enough for a rabbit that weighs about two pounds per day.
However, due to the higher calcium it has, you should try to mix it with other veggies that have low calcium or reduce the amount of arugula in your vegetable mix. This will ensure your bunnies do not get more calcium than required.
Rabbits absorb calcium depending on the amount in their diet. If it is excess, they will also absorb more. However, since they must maintain a certain calcium-phosphorus ratio, the excess will be eliminated and it is what appears whitish in this animal's urine.
Although it is a vital mineral, excess calcium has been linked to urinary stones, kidney damage, soft tissue calcification and it can affect phosphorus and zinc absorption.
Finally, too much of any leafy veggies or greens can lead to digestive problems including gas, diarrhea, and other stomach disturbances since it might not have enough amount of fiber required by bunnies. Fiber is very important in promoting healthy gut and gut motility.
Arugula is ok for bunnies unless you give them in large amounts. Stick to the suggested diet where hay should account for over 80%. Good brands of hay to buy include Kaytee Timothy Hay, Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting "Perfect Blend" Timothy Hay Pet Food, Standlee Premium Western Forage Timothy Grass, Oxbow Timothy Hay, Vitakraft Timothy Hay, Premium Sweet Grass Hay, among many others.
Fresh foods should be about 10-15% with leafy greens accounting for over 75% of these fresh foods the rest being fruits and non-leafy vegetable treats.
Finally, pellets should be about 5%. Do not forget to provide unlimited amounts of fresh, clean water. Buy high fiber pellets especially those hay-based like Oxbow Animal Health Bunny Basics Essentials Adult Rabbit Pet Food.