GIVING rabbits lettuce to eat is like feeding them drugs, pet experts have warned.
Some varieties, especially iceberg, contain lactucarium, a chemical known as “rabbit opium”, which gets them high.
Britain’s 1.1million owners are also warned that although rabbits love to chomp on carrots just like Bugs Bunny, they are full of sugar.
This makes them fat and rots their teeth, so should be given only as a rare treat.
Burgess Pet Care, today launching Rabbit Awareness Week, said: “It’s like a human scoffing chocolate.”
A healthy rabbit diet should be 90 per cent hay and grass with supplements of dandelion leaves, basil, rosemary, thyme, mint, pear and apple leaves and carrot tops.
The firm was backed by the RSPCA, which said: “Rabbits don’t actually eat fruit or vegetables in the wild. Hay keeps their teeth and tummies healthy and encourages foraging and grazing.”
Lactucarium is a milky fluid that acts as a sedative and “promotes a mild sensation of euphoria” which can be dangerous in large quantities.
Former rabbit owner Colin Grant, 41, of St Albans, Herts, said he had “no idea” about lettuce and carrots being harmful. He said his old rabbit Fluffy was “out of it” most of the time.
2 Rabbits are better off eating hay and grassCredit: The Sun
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