They say all sorrows are less with bread. Well, that’s hardly true when it comes to rabbits. Can rabbits eat bread, you ask. Yeah sure, they can. But can they digest it? Poor bunnies can’t digest bread, and yet some of us are intent on feeding them bread crumbs all the time. Don’t fall for a rabbit’s avidness for eating bread. Bunnies will eat anything in front of them!
It is you who must decide what’s good and what’s bad for rabbits. And folks, bread is certainly not good for rabbits. Rabbits normally eat grass, hay, kale, and other green vegetables. Artificial stuff like bread is hardly great for their digestive systems. In this discussion, we attempt to explain why such a case is.
What do wild rabbits eat generally?
So before we indulge ourselves in the bread debate, we want to make sure that you are aware of a normal rabbit diet. Domesticated rabbits are usually given a variety of green leafy vegetables, apart from hay and grass. Hence, their digestive systems are quite flexible. However, the matter is altogether different when it comes to wild rabbits. They usually eat pretty much the same kind of food in the wild, specific to their geographic location. This food can be grass, vegetables, and fruits.
You can see why a rabbit’s digestive system rejects certain kinds of food. It is not simply accustomed to stuff like bread. You might argue, bread is based on pretty much plant-based products. Well, let us answer this query in detail.
Why rabbits can’t digest bread?
The rabbit digestive system is a lot different as compared to the human digestive system. The main element which a rabbit can process is cellulose. It is majorly found in green leafy vegetables. Cellulose is also found in some herbs, grass, and fruits. But bread? No sir! Bread is all about starch and carbohydrates, something which rabbits find difficult to ferment and digest. For us, it is the complex carbohydrates that provide all the energy. However, for a rabbit, fibrous foods are the key. Hence, the idea is to supplement a rabbit’s diet with more and more fiber and less complex carbohydrates.
Effect of bread consumption on rabbit health
By now, we know that bread is not suitable for a bunny, not at all. But what happens to a rabbit if it eats bread? It might not show at first while a rabbit happily nibbles on the bread crumbs. After all, who doesn’t like the taste of bread? It is after a certain time that the detrimental effects of bread consumption begin to show themselves.
The number of complex carbohydrates or simply speaking the sugar that bread carries are not safe for rabbit health. It leads to a state of diarrhea in rabbits. The undigested starch is the main reason for this condition. It further leads to a state of excessive dehydration. In worst-case scenarios, this ultimately translates into death. Sometimes, bread can expand in the digestive tract of a rabbit and can cause obstruction. Surgery is required to remove bread pieces in such a scenario. The high sugar content is simply not suited for a rabbit’s dietary style. Hence, if you have domesticated rabbits, their regular diet must not include bread at any cost.
Bread as an occasional treat
You might have seen a scene on television or in a movie, where someone affectionately feeds rabbits a piece of bread. Now, we are pretty sure that you must be thinking, what was that all about? Folks, if you are thinking of giving your rabbit a piece of bread as a treat, that’s ok. But it cannot be more than a piece. In little amounts, in the form of small pieces that they can easily digest, bread as a treatment works for rabbits.
You must still be careful about the type of bread you are feeding to your beloved pet. White bread is absolutely out of the discussion. It is a starch-rich type of bread and hence, very harmful to the health of a rabbit. A tiny piece of whole-meal or wheat bread will do the job. Anything more than that and you are putting the life of your eager bread munching bunny at risk!
Frequently Asked Questions
At this point, we are sure that you have a lot of queries regarding this issue. However, you are not the only one with questions. People all over the internet have asked questions of all sorts about rabbits and bread. We have simplified the matters for you by shortlisting the most frequently asked questions, better known as FAQs.
1- Can rabbits eat garlic bread?
A- Feeding rabbit garlic is toxic. Garlic and onions have been reported to have an immunosuppressive effect in rabbits.
2- Can rabbits eat bread and butter?
A- This is a toxic combination that must not be in a rabbit’s access at any cost.
3- Can rabbits eat toast?
A- Yes, but only in small amounts. The bread should be plain, preferably homemade. Avoid adding extras like butter.
4- Can rabbits eat breadsticks?
A- It is not a suitable option to feed your rabbits. Instead, try something like green vegetables.
5- Can rabbits eat bread crusts?
A- It is not advisable to feed your bunny bread or bread crusts. These crusts are also high in starch and carbohydrates, which are difficult for rabbits to digest.
That concludes our discussion about rabbits and bread. An innocent-looking combination, but one which can claim the life of your rabbit. If you feed your rabbit with bread daily, now is the best time to stop it before it is too late. To avoid any unfortunate tragedies, it is best to keep bread out of your rabbits’ reach. In case of accidental consumption, keep your pet under 24/7 monitoring. Provide plenty of water in case the bunny is suffering from diarrhea. Best to consult the vet if things don’t improve even after a day or so!