Question: Can rabbits eat bread?
Answer: Rabbits can eat bread, but they shouldn’t.
Is Bread Bad for Rabbits?
We love bread – so much. Then, this food is just so nutritious; it contains plenty of vitamins and fiber that humans need in the body. All in all, bread is a great food item for humans.
Since they’re so good for us, does that mean rabbits can also enjoy this fluffy and delicious meal? It would be nice to pass some loaves to your bunny as you eat. Sadly, as nutritious and tasty as bread is, rabbits shouldn’t eat it. This is because bread contains the wrong fiber and starch balance for your rabbit’s body. It also has other nutrients that might not be of much use to your rabbit.
Sure, bread isn’t poisonous to rabbits, but they might suffer from GI stasis issues if they eat bread because the food item doesn’t really agree with their digestive needs. That means it will be better to stick to the animal’s regular diet of hay and fresh water and moderate quantities of healthy fruits and vegetables.
What are the Health Benefits of Bread?
Bread can’t be all that bad, right? At least, there must be something that rabbits get when they eat bread. Sadly, that’s not the case – bread has little to no nutritional value to a rabbit. White bread, for instance, is refined flour that’s even considered junk food to humans because it has almost nothing to offer in terms of nutrients.
On the other hand, whole grain bread is helpful to humans because it contains some complex carbohydrates and some amount of protein and fiber. Still, that this kind of bread is beneficial to humans doesn’t mean that rabbits can also enjoy those benefits.
Rabbits are herbivores, unlike humans, who are omnivores and will thrive on anything that contains a high level of calories like flour, starches, and nuts. Rabbits can’t successfully digest foods made from flour.
Yes, we have a habit of feeding rabbits almost everything humans eat, but that doesn’t mean rabbits can eat everything. If it were that simple, we wouldn’t have to put much effort into ensuring they get unending hay access. Then, among the animals, rabbits reportedly have one of the most delicate and fragile digestive systems, so we can’t afford to give them everything to eat, even if those bunnies would eat them.
Why Shouldn’t Rabbits Eat Bread?
When rabbits eat bread, they consume too many calories that cause them to get fat in the long run. It’s the simple law of nature – too many calories make you, including animals, go fat. And it’s usually unhealthy for the rabbit to get fat.
Also, if rabbits eat bread, they get exposed to too many carbohydrates and lesser fiber, which can mess with their digestive system. This situation can lead to what experts call Gastrointestinal stasis (GI stasis), meaning food can get stuck or move too slowly in the digestive system.
When this happens, bacteria start growing in the stomach areas, and gas is released, which causes pain for the bunny. Usually, a rabbit suffering from this problem will lose appetite and eat little to nothing, or it may stay in a spot without moving anywhere. The pet’s stool might also change, looking smaller or waterier than it usually looks, or the rabbit can also get diarrhea.
If you notice your rabbit exhibiting any of these signs, it’s a sign that your rabbit has eaten bread or some other unsafe food. At this point, your next best option is to take the animal to a vet.
So you might be wondering that since bread contains fiber, it shouldn’t be so bad for rabbits to eat – these animals need all the fiber they can get, after all. While that is true, rabbits’ intestines have been designed to eat hay and other plants full of strong cellulose, and bread doesn’t have enough fiber for rabbits.
What Should I Do if my Rabbit Eats Bread?
You can’t always be there to monitor what your pet eats, and sometimes, these animals end up eating something that they shouldn’t. So, what should you do if your rabbit eats some bread?
If it’s a tiny piece of bread, then you don’t have to worry so much. Although bread isn’t good for rabbits, it isn’t poisonous either. So a tiny piece won’t harm your adult rabbit, and you simply tag that incident as one of your rabbit’s little escapades.
However, if it turns out that your rabbit has eaten a considerable quantity of bread, then you should be alert. Monitor the rabbit for about 24 hours to confirm that everything is OK with them. Confirm that they’re moving around usually, eating well and that their poos don’t look different. If everything looks OK, then you can relax. If not, you should contact a vet.
What Should Rabbits Eat Instead?
The best source of nutrients for a rabbit is an unlimited supply of hay and lots of fresh water. Grass contains all the fiber that your rabbit could possibly ever need. You can also add a few veggies or leafy greens to their diet to spice things up a little bit. Also, rabbits will appreciate special treats like fruits every now and then, although these treats should be given in moderate quantities, not every day.
Whatever you do, try not to feed your bunny bread of any kind. It’s all fun and games until the rabbit gets sick, and you have to worry about its health and whether the bunny will get better or not. Yes, your vet will be able to treat your pet and get it moving again, but you wouldn’t even need the vet in the first place if you pay more attention to what goes into your rabbit’s stomach.
What are the things that your rabbits can eat? Hay, high-quality pellets, vegetables, and some fruits in moderate quantity.