Carrots are too high in sugar, the charity warned, while lettuce can be even more harmful. Picture: Pixabay

London - Thanks to Bugs Bunny, rabbits and carrots are inextricably linked.

But the British RSPCA is urging owners not to give their pets the vegetable – which they say is like giving it a chocolate bar.

Carrots are too high in sugar, the charity warned, while lettuce can be even more harmful.

Both vegetables are on the RSPCA’s list of "junk foods" that owners are being warned not to feed their bunnies.

READ: Growing market for rabbits

Iceberg lettuce contains lactucarium, a milky fluid known as "lettuce opium" that has sedative properties. It produces a mild sensation of euphoria which can dangerous to rabbits.

Apples also contain too much sugar, along with muesli. Instead, rabbits should be fed dandelion leaves, basil, rosemary, thyme, mint and pear or apple leaves.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) said rabbits should be fed "carrot tops, not carrots". A spokesperson said: "Five of the six top rabbit health problems vets see are attributable to poor diet."

Daily Mail