I thought feeding rabbits was easy, but I was wrong. I used to let them nibble onto different leafy veggies I see in the fridge while housed in the indoor rabbit hutch I bought for them. Unfortunately, they got sick in the long run, which was really terrifying. It’s just sad that I learned my lesson the hard way. It was all too late.
Hopefully, my story will serve as a lesson. While you think some foods offer them the essential nutrients they need, often times, they are just incredibly hazardous. Henceforth, knowing what to feed rabbits, especially what NOT to feed them, is really vital when it comes to rabbit care.
With this article, let’s learn more about the foods that are potentially dangerous to rabbits. That way, we can keep them healthy and happy all throughout their lives.
It was a huge mistake. I fed my rabbits with lettuce. But eventually, they suffered diarrhea. It was so bad that I had to bring them to the vet. It was then when I realized feeding lettuce to rabbits is a big no-no.
While lettuce contains lactucarium, which caused diarrhea among my bunnies, other lettuce varieties have other components that are more harmful than others. So as the owner, it’s best to stay cautious.
If you insist on feeding lettuce, you can try the Romaine variety. It contains the least amount of lactucarium.
2. House Plants
Did you know that most houseplants are toxic to bunnies? According to research, rabbits have lost the ability to determine good or bad foods since they were domesticated. As a result, they will ingest almost anything they see as long as it is within reach and that they think it’s enticing.
To avoid the worse to happen, as the owner, you have to make sure that none of the flowers or leaves reach your rabbits’ cage at all times. Also, during playtime, they should be supervised to ensure they don’t ingest any plants within the area. Take note that most backyard plants are poisonous, including poppies, tulips, dahlia, clover, buttercups, iris, jasmine, and snowdrops.
3. Rabbit Treats
So many different rabbit treats are being sold in pet stores that you don’t know which ones are healthy or not. For that, I’ve listed several products you should be avoiding.
Yogurt and Dairy Products
Yogurt and dairy products have a very high sugar content that could result in tooth problems among bunnies. Aside from that, it may also lead to an inflow of harmful bacteria in the stomach that may cause gastrointestinal complications.
Known for its high sugar and phosphorus content, peas never make an ideal treat for rabbits. Though it is okay to let them eat one or two, too much of it can result in digestive upset.
As shocking as it may seem, eggs aren’t really recommended in a bunny’s diet. Its digestive tract isn’t meant to digest eggs and other products from animals.
Corn is not an excellent treat for rabbits. The corn hulls, which surround the kernel, are made of polysaccharides that can’t be digested by their stomach. When ingested, a rabbit will need immediate treatment, which involves surgery.
Nuts and Seeds
Like corn, nuts and seeds have hulls that can’t be digested by bunnies. But that is not the alarming part. Both these foods have high sugar, starch, and fat content that may cause an unfavourable reaction in the rabbit’s digestive system.
4. Human Medications
Unless a vet instructs you, never give human medications to your rabbit. You never know how a rabbit’s body will react to these. Do not ever leave these medicines in a place where rabbits could easily get them. Of course, you know that these creatures can hop up onto hard to reach places. Right?
In general, human medications are not safe for bunnies. Even if you think it is the safest over-the-counter medicine, there are still chances that it could kill your pet. Therefore, do not just leave them lying around on the ground.
5. Other People Food
While the human body has the ability to produce an enzyme that can break down toxic substances, rabbits don’t. So it is worth noting that one must take caution when offering human foods to these adorable creatures.
Chocolate contains a substance that is toxic to rabbit. It is called theobromine. When ingested, it may result in seizures and higher heart rates; hence you might want to remember that. If you suspect that your pet has accidentally eaten chocolates, it is just right to take him to the vet right away.
The basic rule in feeding bunnies and their delicate stomachs is, “If in doubt, don’t let them eat it!” That only means that it’s up to you to protect them or not. But if you wish to take the extra mile and ensure their safety and happiness, feel free to get a copy of the eBook I wrote below.