Rabbits are simple creatures that have simple needs. They aren’t high maintenance and often are happy gobbling up the hay, vegetables, and occasional fruit that you offer them.
That doesn’t mean that rabbits won’t enjoy a treat other than fruits. You may have caught them watching you curiously as you eat your morning cereal breakfast. The curious stares may have made you curious about whether you can offer the cereal as a once in a while treat.
The answer to this question is a bit complicated. It comes down to what kind of cereal you’re offering your bunny and what that cereal is made up of. The reason why we need to get into the nitty-gritty of the composition is that your rabbit has a very sensitive digestive system and the smallest foreign food can upset that system and lead to a few health concerns that can otherwise be avoided.
You probably know that just because a food is safe for us, it may not necessarily be safe for your bunny. Humans and bunnies are vastly different creatures and they have vastly different nutritional needs. To the extent that not all fruits and vegetables are safe for them. So where do cereals stand in this equation? One popular cereal is Weetabix. Not only is Weetabix a yummy cereal to eat, but it is also healthy. At least for us humans it is. Can we offer it to our rabbits or is it a complete no-no? Read on to find all the answers to your questions.
Can rabbits eat Weetabix?
If you’re looking into healthy breakfast options, Weetabix is a whole grain wheat cereal that is a popular option that most people swear by. And for good reason too. Weetabix is super filling and is made up of all the components that are considered healthy. Weetabix is high in protein content, as well as fiber. It is also 100% whole grain. To make things even better, Weetabix has a limited amount of calories which makes it so healthy.
But what does this all mean? It means people who eat Weetabix are less prone to health issues such as obesity, heart problems, diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer and can all in all prevent early and untimely death.
So we have established that Weetabix is great for humans. And we have also established that it is not necessary that the health benefits foods have for humans extend to their pet rabbits. So the question now is: can rabbits eat Weetabix?
What do rabbits eat?
Rabbits are herbivores and their dietary requirements are as simple as they can get. All they require to live a healthy life is plenty of hay and water as well as certain vegetables. Fruits can be given as an occasional treat.
To be a bit more specific, the one thing rabbits absolutely need is fiber. Fiber helps keep their teeth from becoming overgrown, they ensure that your rabbit’s intestines work without any hindrance. Hay is rich in fiber and so it is always advised to get plenty of it as not only is it healthy, it gives rabbits something to munch on to keep them from getting bored. This might sound silly, but it keeps their psychological well-being in check.
Rabbits, like humans, need protein in order to stay energetic and keep them from becoming lazy. A healthy rabbit needs proper exercise otherwise it can become obese and protein provides rabbits with that energy. It also helps their muscle and weight management.
Calories, on the other hand, are not recommended to be given in large quantities to rabbits. Fruits that are high in sugar and calories can only be given as an occasional treat. If too many calories are consumed, it paves the way for several health concerns. Too many empty calories can cut your rabbit’s life short.
Rabbits and Weetabix
From the looks of it, it seems as though rabbits and Weetabix are a match made in heaven! All the dietary needs and restrictions of a rabbit seem to align with the nutritional values present in this food. This is why Weetabix is considered as an occasional alternative to fruit as a treat.
However, there is a divide about whether cereal is actually healthy for rabbits. One thing that needs to be clear is that cereal if ever given to a rabbit, has to be given dry. Rabbits are lactose intolerant and thus cannot have milk. It will cause them digestive issues and thus should be avoided at all costs.
The argument against cereals such as Weetabix is that while they might be high fiber, they are high fiber for us humans. Herbivores such as rabbits are more equipped to digest cellulose or dietary fiber as opposed to high fiber cereals. Which is why it isn’t as easy on their digestive systems as it seems.
Others argue that dry cereal has all the health benefits that are appropriate for your pet rabbit. While it can’t be considered a staple part of their diet it is a healthy treat option. Those who give their rabbits Weetabix claim they haven’t seen any health issues associated with it.
We’re not here to tell you what to feed your rabbit or what not to feed them. That is a choice that is entirely up to you. All we’re here to do is give you a clear picture of the possible advantages and disadvantages.
We would, however, suggest that if you still have your doubts about whether you should feed your rabbit Weetabix, simply avoid doing so. There are several rabbit centric treats available to offer your rabbit that is confirmed to be safe and thus is a better option.
However, if you do want to try it out, do so in small steps. Offer a small bit of Weetabix and see how your rabbit responds to it. If you suspect any changes in their appetite then stop including it in their meal. If symptoms persist, contact your vet. Happy feeding!