Rabbits are just so cute when they’re begging for food that you may be tempted to give them anything. Or you may be looking for a treat to feed them and only have bread on hand. However, it’s important to put the health of your rabbit first and make sure not to feed them anything that may harm them.
Is it safe to feed rabbits bread? No. Rabbits cannot digest grains properly, and feeding them bread can cause indigestion, bloating, and blockages of the digestive system. You should only feed your rabbits the correctly formulated pellets or select fruits and vegetables to make sure they’re getting the correct nutrition.
What happens if I feed my rabbit bread?
Because they are herbivores, rabbits have specialized digestive systems made just for breaking down plant fibers. This means they’re not able to digest grain-filled foods like bread, pasta, or pastries. Bread is also high in sugars and starches, which can cause your rabbit to become obese due to the high calorie content. Because rabbits can’t digest starch correctly, it could ferment in their stomach and cause diarrhea, which can cause dehydration and death. Bread can also expand in the digestive tract and block their system, which would require surgery to remove the bread and save the rabbit – if you caught it in time.
Bread has no nutritional value for rabbits, so feeding them bread does them no good even without the health issues. Rabbits are better off eating recommended foods such as formula pellets and certain fruits and vegetables. While bread will not necessarily kill a rabbit if it is fed in very small amounts, it is better not to risk it when there are so many potential consequences.
What do I do if my rabbit has eaten bread?
If your rabbit has already eaten the bread, there isn’t much you can do. First, try to find out how much bread your rabbit has eaten. If it is only a small amount, there is a chance that they may only experience indigestion as the bread passes through their system. Make sure you remove all bread and other grain products from areas where they can reach it; you want to make sure they can’t eat any more bread to make the problem worse.
Next, monitor your rabbit carefully for the next 24 hours for digestive issues. If your rabbit has diarrhea, make sure they are drinking enough water to keep from getting dehydrated. Once the diarrhea has gone away, keep monitoring them until they are eating and drinking normally and are back to their regular activity levels. If they are not back to normal within 24 hours, take them to a vet immediately.
If your rabbit stops eating after consuming bread, they may be experiencing GI statis and you should address it immediately. GI stasis, if not treated right away, can result in death. Rabbits with GI stasis will be less active than usual and will refuse to eat or drink. If your rabbit shows any of these symptoms after eating bread, he or she needs immediate medical attention. If you are not able to get to a vet, check in your area for rescue volunteers who may be able to come to your residence and help.
What foods can hurt a rabbit?
Many foods can cause your rabbit to have health problems, including some that may come as a surprise. Some obvious ones include meat, which you should never feed to an herbivore, chocolate, which can cause the same problems as in dogs and cats, and yogurt drops, which can cause rabbits to develop the wrong kind of bacteria in their digestive tract. Peanut butter and other nuts are high in fat and will give your rabbit a stomach ache if they eat them.
Some surprising no-no’s are several vegetables such as avocado, chard, rhubarb, and cauliflower. While these are vegetables, they often contain chemical compounds that are not safe for a rabbit to eat. Another surprisingly bad food is iceberg lettuce. Iceberg lettuce contains chemicals that are harmful to rabbits and is also made up of mostly water, which has no nutritional value.
You should also never feed your rabbit food made for other animals. You should not feed your rabbit dog or cat food, but you also shouldn’t feed it food for rodents such as hamsters or rats. Rabbits need a high-fiber diet, which is different than what you’ll find in hamster and rat food. You should only feed your rabbit pet food made specifically for rabbits.
What foods are safe for a rabbit?
Many fruits and vegetables are safe for a rabbit to eat, but most should be fed sparingly. Your rabbit’s diet should consist mostly of pellets gotten from a pet store supplemented with grass or hay. Grass and hay are high in vitamin A and D, calcium, and protein. Other foods should be used only as treats and should be given out sparingly. Even foods that are not harmful to a rabbit can upset their stomach if they are too rich and are eaten too much.
Some healthy vegetables for rabbits include celery, carrots, and bok choy. These plants are high in fiber that can help keep your rabbit happy and healthy. Leafy greens such as spinach are also good, but should be fed sparingly due to certain chemical compounds in the plant. A rabbit should only eat about a cup of leafy greens per 2-3 pounds of body weight in a day.
Rabbits should only be fed fruits as a treat, and if your rabbit is overweight you should avoid fruits altogether. Some good fruits include raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and apples. Be careful to never feed your rabbit pits or seeds, as these can be highly toxic.
What is a good treat to give a rabbit?
Fruits are a great treat for a rabbit, but they should only be fed a few times a week in very small amounts. Any treat you give your rabbit should not be a regular part of their diet. This can include fruits, certain vegetables, and treats bought at the pet store. To make sure your rabbit maintains a healthy weight, be careful about feeding it sugary foods and try to maintain a consistent and healthy diet. You can feed your rabbit a healthy treat by giving them fresh herbs in place of a meal of hay or grass, such as cilantro or mint leaves.
Vegetables such as fresh pumpkin, any color of bell peppers, or asparagus can also be used as a treat for your rabbit. While these aren’t high in sugar, they can still cause indigestion and obesity if fed too frequently or in large amounts. Try giving your rabbit different fruits and vegetables a few times a week to see which ones they like. Once you find their favorites, reward them when they show good behavior or respond to commands.
How much should I feed my rabbit?
If you have a baby rabbit 7 weeks or older, you should give them unlimited access to pellets and hay at all times. This is important to make sure they develop the proper weight as they grow. They should be weaned off of their mother’s milk by 8 weeks and only be eating dry food. At 3 months you can begin to feed them some vegetables, but make sure you introduce them one at a time. When a rabbit reaches 7 months you can feed them fruits sparingly, but no more than 1 or 2 ounces per 6 pounds of body weight per day.
If you have a mature adult rabbit, you should feed them ¼ cup of food pellets per 6 pounds of body weight. You should feed them about 2 cups of leafy greens per 2-3 pounds of body weight, and you can feed them an unlimited amount of grass or hay. If your rabbit becomes overweight, consult a vet to understand how you should change your rabbit’s diet. Anything other than regular food should be fed sparingly and carefully to make sure there are no health issues.
What should I do if my rabbit is overweight? Reduce the amount of high calorie treats you are giving your rabbit such as sugary fruits. You can also try reducing the amount of pellets you are feeding them per day, especially in adult rabbits. If this doesn’t work, consult a veterinarian.
Will rabbits fight over food? If you do not provide enough food for all your rabbits, they may fight over the scare resource. Make sure you put out enough food for all your rabbits to eat, and separate rabbits who may eat other rabbits’ food.
How much water should I give my rabbit? Rabbits should have access to clean water at all times. If your rabbit is running low on water, make sure to fill it up before it runs out. Rabbits will drink as much water as they need without needing to portion it.